Tobin and Kestenbaum Families Endow Neuroscience Professorship at The Wistar Institute

Tobin and Kestenbaum Families Endow Neuroscience Professorship at The Wistar Institute

August 15, 2010

(PHILADELPHIA—August 16, 2010) –The Wistar Institute today announces the establishment of the Tobin Kestenbaum Family Professorship in Neuroscience. The newly endowed chair was made possible by a generous gift from Sylvan and Fran Tobin, and their daughter and son-in-law, Sharon and Joseph Kestenbaum.

Motivated by a keen interest in research to find cures for Alzheimer’s disease and brain tumors, the family endowed the chair to enable Wistar to enhance its research programs by recruiting a scientist who studies brain disorders.

“Endowed professorships help Wistar stay at the frontline of cutting edge biomedical research, because they give the Institute the ability to recruit excellent scientists to complement our world-class faculty,” said Wistar President and CEO Russel E. Kaufman, M.D.

The Tobin Kestenbaum Family Professorship will support a scientist who studies the brain, whether his or her research interest is in brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or other neurological disorders that affect tens of thousands of people each year. This year alone, more than 22,000 Americans will develop cancer of the brain or nervous system.

“Sylvan and I find Wistar’s dedication to pure research the best opportunity to conquer neurological diseases. Given the chance to continue their research, Wistar scientists will find cures,” said Fran Tobin.

“Sharon and I have met many of the dedicated scientists at Wistar and found that they are focused on bringing real solutions to some of the more disturbing medical issues facing man,” said Joseph Kestenbaum.

The Tobin and Kestenbaum families are long-standing friends and supporters of The Wistar Institute. Fran Tobin and Sharon Kestenbaum have been instrumental in the success of the Institute’s annual golf tournament. Fran coordinates the event as event co-chair, and Sharon co-chairs the silent auction fund-raiser. Since its inception in 1995, the event has raised $1.3 million to support brain tumor research at The Wistar Institute Albert R. Taxin Brain Tumor Research Center, where researchers are studying brain tumors at the molecular level to develop better targeted therapies.

Sylvan and Fran Tobin have supported Wistar for more than 20 years. Sylvan Tobin is a second-generation manufacturer of men’s and boy’s clothing, and is a former limited partner of the Philadelphia Flyers. Fran Tobin founded the Flyers Charities program, and managed it for 29 years.

Joseph Kestenbaum is co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Marsh Hawk Capital Management, LLC; and chairman and chief executive officer of The Kestenbaum Family Foundation. Sharon Kestenbaum is president of Bala Properties Group, Inc. She serves on the board of the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, and is a member of The Wistar Institute Leadership Council, an advisory group of regional leaders who strengthen the Institute’s involvement in the community.

The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the country, Wistar has long held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. The Wistar Institute: Today’s Discoveries – Tomorrow’s Cures. On the Web at