Despite losing a $50 million donation — the largest historical gift the University had received in 2008 — Penn Medicine completed its $370 million Translational Research Center this month.
The center will house “research that spans the gap between basic science and clinical applications” said Arthur Rubenstein, executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and dean of the School of Medicine
In 2008, Jerome and Anne Fisher planned to donate $50 million toward the center, which would have marked the largest donation to Penn’s Making History Campaign at the time, but they were unable to do so because of “personal reasons,” Rubenstein said.
Though it’s unclear what the specific reasons are, an article in The New York Post that year reported that Jerome Fisher — Penn trustee and founder of Nine West, Inc. — lost $150 million in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.
In 2010, Penn Med received almost $13 million in stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to construct additional research space in the TRC, according to a statement.
The TRC, located at 3400 Civic Center Boulevard, will will house the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics and the Penn Cardiovascular Institute among other research activities. This year, translational researchers at Penn presented that they had successfully altered cells to be HIV-resistant in nine patients.
The TRC is a 14-story extension to the Ruth and Raymond Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. The basement of the TRC houses the Roberts Proton Therapy Center. The three buildings were part of an overall strategic plan launched in 2003.
“Our contributions to education, research and patient care are going to be models for this country and for the world,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said.
The opening of the TRC was celebrated May 3 in a ceremony featuring National Institute of Health director Francis Collins as keynote speaker, Rubenstein said.
Penn Med also includes the oldest medical school in the country, the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine, and the oldest hospital in the country, Pennsylvania Hospital.
Wednesday, Pennsylvania Hospital celebrated its 260-year birthday, according to a statement released by Penn Med.
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