Gottesmans Give $25 Million to Support Stem Cell and Epigenomic Research and Clinical Skills Training at Medical School

Donors Ruth and David Gottesman

May 14, 2008 — Yeshiva University’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine has received a major gift of $25 million — one of the largest in the college’s 53-year history — from Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman.

The Gottesman gift will support several important research projects at the College of Medicine, most of them to be conducted in the new Michael F. Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine/Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion, which officially opens in June 2008. The Price Center/Block Research Pavilion is the largest medical research facility to be constructed in the Bronx since Einstein opened in 1955.

Funds from the gift will be allocated as follows: $15 million will be used to establish the Ruth L. and David S. Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Research; $7 million will fund the Center for Epigenomics, to be headed by Einstein researcher Dr. John Greally; and $3 million will be used to create the Ruth L. Gottesman Clinical Skills Facility in the soon-to-be renovated Van Etten Building, which Einstein has leased from Jacobi Medical Center as part of its overall expansion.

In addition, the gift will support an endowed chair at the Gottesman stem cell institute and a faculty scholar in epigenomics, the study of the vast network of chemical “marks” inside our cells that control the expression of our genes, turning them on and off at certain times and in certain tissues.

It will also enable the college to recruit top-flight faculty that will bolster Einstein’s already prominent leadership in both of these important fields.

“In discussions with the college, we determined that stem cells, epigenomics, and clinical training were areas where we could help make an important contribution, both to Einstein and to the future of biomedical research,” said Dr. Ruth Gottesman, who was elected chair of Einstein’s Board of Overseers in 2007 and is the first woman, and the first former faculty member, to serve in that role. “We want our gift to support endeavors that will position Albert Einstein College of Medicine to excel in both research and medical education, while also attracting the best and brightest to our laboratories and to our classrooms.”

“The Gottesman gift will contribute significantly to Einstein’s already formidable research efforts in stem cell/regenerative medicine research and epigenomics,” said Allen M. Spiegel, MD, the Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein. “Additionally, the gift will establish an innovative facility to further enhance the training of future generations of physicians at Einstein, helping them master the clinical skills that will prepare them to be first-rate health care providers.”

Click here to read more about the specific benefits of the gift to Einstein, including the exciting new field of epigenomics.

The $25 million gift is a reflection of the Gottesman’s longstanding affiliation with the college of medicine. In 2002, the couple endowed a professorial chair at Einstein’s Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center in connection with Dr. Gottesman’s life-long interest in helping people with learning disabilities.

Prior to joining the Einstein Board of Overseers in 2002, Dr. Ruth Gottesman had a distinguished 33-year academic career at the medical school, beginning in 1968 when she joined the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center to develop a program for children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities. She went on to serve as the center’s Director of Psychoeducational Services and later as Director of the Adult Literacy Program. In 1999, she became Founding Director of the Fisher Landau Center for the Treatment of Learning Disabilities, a new division of CERC that was established to provide interdisciplinary services to individuals of all ages with learning disabilities.

David Gottesman is the founder and senior managing director of the First Manhattan Company, an investment advisory firm. He was Chairman of the Board of Yeshiva University from 1990 to 1998.

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