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The Wistar Institute’s new seven-story research building carries the names of two of its staunchest and most generous supporters: Robert and Penny Fox.
The Robert and Penny Fox Tower at The Wistar Institute officially opened in September of 2014. With 89,700 square feet of new laboratory space, the new tower enables the expansion of Wistar’s research operations and scientific faculty and enhances opportunities for collaborative biomedical research.
“We are pleased to be part of this seminal moment for Wistar,” said Robert Fox. “To us, there is no greater investment than saving lives through science.”
A member of Wistar’s Board of Trustees since 1974 and Board chair from 1984-1994, Robert A. Fox is chair of the Building Wistar, Changing the World capital campaign. The five-year, $35 million campaign supports Wistar’s first major building expansion in nearly 40 years and ensures the Institute’s future at the forefront of cancer research and vaccine development. Fox also was the first recipient of The Wistar Award in 1994, an honor which recognizes individuals who have been instrumental in ensuring the continuing vitality of the Institute.
A longtime supporter of Wistar, Penny Fox has been a partner in her husband’s board participation, notably chairing the 2011 Wistar Gala, which raised more than $150,000 for the Building Wistar, Changing the World campaign.
Over the years, the Foxes’ philanthropy has underwritten many initiatives, including the Robert & Penny Fox Distinguished Professorship held by Wistar Cancer Center Director Dario Altieri, M.D.; the Robert A. Fox Structural Biology Center; and the renovation of Wistar’s Grossman Auditorium.
“With the Robert and Penny Fox Tower, we have created an entirely new Wistar, one better equipped to link basic science with medical practice,” said Wistar President Emeritus Russel E. Kaufman, M.D. “Through their generous support, the Foxes are driving Wistar’s research engine forward into scientific frontiers that will have the greatest impact on public health.”
The microscope in the image belonged to William E. Horner, M.D., a collaborator with Caspar Wistar, M.D., in the early 1800s.
Dr. Horner, a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, was a pioneer of the use of microscopes in anatomical and medical research. He authored Special Anatomy and Histology, a seminal text on the subject.