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Honoring the Abramsons: Renaming the Cancer Center

In celebration of the extraordinary generosity and support of Leonard and Madlyn Abramson and their family to the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center, Penn has announced the renaming of its nationally recognized, National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center to the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

"The Abramson’s generosity has significantly advanced Penn’s quest to unravel the biomedical mysteries of cancer in order to design better treatment options and ultimately find a cure," said President Judith Rodin. "With their extraordinary philanthropic vision and personal dedication to help all members of the cancer community, particularly patients and their loved ones, the Abramson commitment has enabled us to realize a new era in cancer treatment and research."

The Cancer Center is one of the largest in the country, with 345 members from 41 departments and eight schools of the University and over $120 million per year in external research grant funding. In 1997, the Abramsons announced a $100 million gift to establish The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center. "This was the largest such gift to a cancer center at the time and one of the largest donations ever received by the University," added Dr. Rodin.

According to Dr. Arthur H. Rubenstein, EVP of UPHS and dean of the School of Medicine, "The Abramson Institute has become a critically important research and clinical component of the Cancer Center and the University." Major scientific initiatives made possible by the extraordinary Abramson gift include programs in translational research, cancer cell biology, signal transduction, cancer genomics, and biomedical informatics. Currently, the Institute supports 27 Penn researchers and more than 250 personnel.

"We want to recognize the Abramson family and acknowledge the significant research and clinical accomplishments made possible through their magnificent gift," said Dr. John H. Glick, director of the Center. "We decided that the fifth anniversary of the Abramson’s gift was the appropriate time to celebrate and thank the Abramsons for making our Cancer Center what it is today."

"In addition to making possible numerous scientific accomplishments, the Abramsons have helped to transform the level of clinical cancer care and service excellence at the Cancer Center," added Dr. Glick. Abramson-funded patient service coordinators, cancer nutritionists, and psychosocial counselors help patients and their families cope with the physical, emotional, and practical complexities of their care. Comprehensive cancer rehabilitation services and a service excellence training program also contribute to new levels of patient satisfaction.

"It is wonderful that the University is recognizing the Abramson family for its strong support of cancer research and treatment," said Dr. George Vande Woude, former scientific director of the National Cancer Institute and Director of the Van Andel Research Institute. "The Abramson family’s investment in the Cancer Center has already had a profound effect on the cancer program of the University of Pennsylvania, helping to build a world-class cancer research program and develop new treatments for this disease, which affect one in three Americans."

Throughout its history, the Center has been continuously recognized regionally and nationally for its contributions to patient care, research, professional education, and patient and community outreach. The Center is one of only 37 Comprehensive Cancer Centers approved and designated by the NCI. It was among the first cancer centers to receive this prestigious designation, and has continually maintained this status. It is also ranked fourth in research grant funding from the National Cancer Institute.

Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 1, July 16, 2002


July 16, 2002
Volume 49 Number 1

Dr. Marvin Lazerson gets a new Endowed Chair in Education.
The annual GSE Awards are presented.
The Penn Cancer Center is renamed.
The Faculty Senate's Slate of nominees for the Senate Executive Committee.
PPSA's 2002-2003 Board has been elected.
The A-3 Assembly's officers invite all A-3 employees to a July meeting.
The Trustees held their full board meetings last month.
The report of the Council Committee on Facilities deals with classrooms, Campus Development Plan, and Transportation.
Graduate Medical Education has a new director.
Speaking Out about the future of the BioPond and protecting personal privacy.
Honors for faculty, staff, students, and HUP
Research Foundation Awards for Spring 2002.
Research Roundup: Sumerian Dictionary, Smallpox, Alzheimer's Disease, and Schizophrenia.
New challenges, more efforts to conserve energy and control energy costs.
Business Services: Parking Rates; Children's Center; Mail Service; Dining Services; Customized Penn merchandise; Directory Update; Computer Connection.
New Security Measures for Penn's Networked Systems will require replacing PennNet ID and password PennKeys and passwords.