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July 16, 2017

With $2 million donation, Cooper pushes stem-cell research

The Cooper Foundation received a sizable private donation that will help pave the way for stem-cell research at Cooper University Health Care.

The $2.2 million gift is the largest of its kind ever given to the institution. The funds, which will be dispersed over three years, will help with exploring the role of a unique line in certain cancers, wound healing, and vision. The donation will also facilitate the expansion of basic science research at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.

Dr. Richard D. Lackman, Dr. Mindy George-Weinstein, and Spencer Brown, PhD, research director of the Surgery Department at Cooper, will serve as the project executive leaders. As a multi-institutional project, investigative teams will be supported at Cooper University Health Care, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Rowan University, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

In an interview with KYW Newsradio, Lackman, who is head of orthopedic oncology at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said, “The projects deal with stem cells and cancer, stem cells and wound healing, for example like in diabetics, or with people who have radiation that would make wound healing less, and also in the eye where scar tissue can interfere with the function of cataract implants.”

The gift was made by an anonymous patient.

Questions about these areas of stem cell research focus have been lingering the in the medical world -- and for many, public conscience -- for a many, many years. Lackman noted that though this research could take many years (so, more than three), he hopes the donation and subsequent work done from it can lead the way for future donations in the name of stem cell research.

Full disclosure: PhillyVoice Founder and CEO Lexie Norcross sits on the Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees. Her father, George E. Norcross III, is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Cooper Health System and the Cooper University Hospital.

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