From the President

From the President

Russel E. Kaufman, M.D., President and CEOThere are few sights more captivating than construction. As I write this letter to you, workers are using “the cruncher” to tear down our old vivarium, and I admit that I find it hard to tear myself away from the view. As you read in the last issue of Focus, we are in expansion mode, undertaking both a transformative building project and a $35 million capital campaign.

Both efforts are well underway. Where the vivarium once stood will be, in less than two years’ time, a gleaming seven-story, 89,700-square-foot research tower. Researchers in every laboratory across the Institute will enjoy new or refurbished spaces and exceptional scientific facilities.

The Building Wistar, Changing the World campaign is gaining momentum, but we need the help of you and your friends to get us all the way.

Only you can make this possible. This is not just about laboratory space and money; this is about building a better future for humanity. Your investment will enable more “eureka moments” that lead to new treatments, preventions and even cures. We take our motto to heart: Wistar science does indeed save lives.

Already, Wistar has created vaccines that have had a profound, lasting effect on human health. Our Vaccine Center continues this legacy with new vaccines in the pipeline to prevent HIV infection and to treat cancers therapeutically.

Similarly, our new Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis program within the Cancer Center will provide the insights that will permit us to treat or prevent metastatic cancer. This is a vitally important area of exploration, as most cancer deaths are not caused by primary tumors themselves but, rather, result from the spread of tumors throughout the body.

To support this new program, Wistar’s Center for Systems and Computational Biology, which was created largely through the generosity of our donors, will take on an even greater role in collaborating to decipher the complex scientific data our Cancer Center scientists produce. With your help, we are furthering our team science approach to tackle any barriers that might arise between biomedical research and the end of metastatic cancer.

All of these changes, structural and restructuring, alike, will make Wistar a more robust institution, better capable of developing impactful research programs.

So while you might need to “pardon our dust” at the moment, I would like to invite you to join us as Wistar builds for the future.


Russel E. Kaufman, M.D.

President and CEO