Louis C. Washburn Fund for Cancer Research Established at The Wistar Institute

Louis C. Washburn Fund for Cancer Research Established at The Wistar Institute

May 16, 2006

(Philadelphia – May 17, 2006) – Louis C. Washburn was a friendly, unassuming man who believed very strongly in this maxim: “To whom much is given, much is required.” Mr. Washburn, a longtime resident of Malvern who passed away on September 18, 1998, was an estate planner and partner of the law offices of Pepper Hamilton for more than 40 years. In that capacity, he had the opportunity to work with many local Philadelphia charities, both as a legal advisor and as a proponent for encouraging clients to include charitable giving in their financial planning.

On May 11, 2006, at a dinner at The Wistar Institute, his family and friends launched The Louis C. Washburn Fund for Cancer Research benefiting Wistar, one of the charities dearest to his heart. He called it one of the hidden gems of Philadelphia – renowned within the scientific and medical communities, but often unknown by the citizens of its natal city. The fund will support research into the role that the environment plays in cancer development.

Preceding the dinner, there were performances by Mr. Washburn’s grandchildren, Brianna and Jameson Pesce, and members of the choir at St. Martin’s Church in Radnor led by H.L. Smith. Joining the sixty guests who attended the dinner were Mr. Washburn’s widow Mrs. Barbara R. Washburn of West Chester; his son Mr. Mark Washburn of Malvern; and his daughters Mrs. Elizabeth Pesce of Yardley and Mrs. Diana Slaymaker of Malvern. The group was also joined by Mr. Washburn’s personal friend The Right Reverend Charles E. Bennison, Jr., who is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania; Robert J. Weinberg, head of Pepper Hamilton’s Trust and Estates division; and Reverend H. Barry Evans, Interim Rector of St. Martin’s Church. At the event, Wistar President and CEO, Russel E. Kaufman, M.D., spoke, as did Wistar professor Meenhard Herlyn, D.V.M., an internationally recognized cancer expert.

Dr. Herlyn pointed to the critical role the Washburn Fund will play for Wistar in the current federal funding climate, perhaps the most challenging since World War II. He noted that the budget for the National Institutes of Health, Wistar’s main source of research support, declined this year for the first time in 35 years. In addition, he said, where a grant proposal in years past stood roughly a 20 percent chance of receiving approval, that figure has now dropped to about 10 percent.

Donations to the Washburn Fund should be mailed to The Wistar Institute, 3601 Spruce Street, Suite 242, Philadelphia, PA 19104.

The Wistar Institute is an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution dedicated to discovering the causes and cures for major diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases, including AIDS and influenza. Founded in 1892 as the first institution of its kind in the nation, The Wistar Institute today is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center focused on basic and translational research. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the creation of vaccines for such diseases as rabies, rubella, and rotavirus; significant insights into the mechanisms of skin, brain, breast, lung, and prostate cancers; and the development of monoclonal antibodies and other significant research technologies and tools. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the web at www.wistar.org.

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