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The Wistar Institute Appoints Two Top Scientists to Endowed Professorships

The Tobin Kestenbaum Family Professorship in Neuroscience and the Christopher M. Davis Professorship in Cancer Research Honors Distinguished Wistar Faculty

PHILADELPHIA—(September 23, 2013)—The Wistar Institute has appointed two of its faculty members to endowed professorships. Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, M.D., Ph.D., (pictured left), a professor in the Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program of Wistar’s National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center was appointed the Christopher M. Davis Professor. Ramana V. Davuluri, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis program was named the Tobin Kestenbaum Family Professor in Neuroscience.

“These endowed professorships have tremendous long-lasting impact, and are a vital tool to ensure The Wistar Institute’s advances in cutting-edge research,” said Russel E. Kaufman, M.D., Wistar President and CEO. “The Tobin Kestenbaum Family Professorship and the Christopher M. Davis Professorship are enduring gifts that provide outstanding faculty with the resources to operate laboratories that carry on undaunted, innovative work.”

The Christopher M. Davis Professorship was created by Wistar Emeritus Trustee and real estate developer Hal Davis and his wife Eleanor in honor of their son, Christopher. The Davis family has supported The Wistar Institute for many years and, following Christopher’s death in 1995, the family created first the Christopher M. Davis Memorial Fund and then the professorship to make an appreciable difference in cancer research.

Gabrilovich, the new Davis Professor, came to Wistar in the spring of 2013. He is a pioneer in the field of cancer vaccine research, with a long history of research accomplishments.

The Tobin Kestenbaum Family Professorship was endowed by Fran and Sylvan Tobin, along with their daughter and son-in-law Sharon and Joseph Kestenbaum, to support the study of neuroscience at The Wistar Institute. As associate director of Wistar’s Center for Systems and Computational Biology, Davuluri uses advanced mathematics to make sense of genetic data and measure gene profiles in different types of brain tumors.

Longstanding friends and supporters of Wistar, the Tobin and Kestenbaum families have been pivotal in the Institute’s growth. Sylvan, who passed away this past spring, and Fran have supported Wistar for more than 20 years, and both Fran and Sharon volunteer annually for the Institute’s Albert R. Taxin Golf & Bridge Classic, the proceeds of which support brain tumor research at Wistar.

“We are honored by the commitment of our donors to the Institute and its faculty,” Kaufman said. The Wistar Institute’s scientific strengths could not be realized without these generous endowments—investments into Wistar’s future of discovery.”

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



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