The Cooper Foundation has received a gift of $2.2 million to fund specialized research at Cooper University Health Care to explore the role of a unique line of cells in certain cancers, wound healing, and vision. The donation will also facilitate expansion of basic science research at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.
The funding was provided by a grateful former patient of Richard D. Lackman, MD, director of Orthopaedic Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper, who wishes to remain anonymous. Dr. Lackman, who joined Cooper in 2012, is an internationally known clinical leader and expert in the treatment of sarcomas – one of three areas the research will focus on.
“I am very excited about this generous donation that will allow a rigorous inquiry into a new cell and its possible special role in not only the development of sarcomas, and other organs undergoing fibrosis, but also may accelerate wound healing,” said Dr. Lackman. “This three-pronged approach will serve as a platform and catalyst to advance the field of cell research and further explore the role of Myo/Nog cells.”
This newly funded research will focus on three projects related to Myo/Nog cells with the goal of improving clinical outcomes in patients with sarcoma cancers, wound healing, and neurogenerative diseases.
The research will examine the unique role of Myo/Nog cells, which were discovered approximately 20 years ago by Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, chief research and science officer at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. While Myo/Nog cells are critical for normal embryonic development, these cells, when present in tissue later in life, may be helpful or harmful depending on their location.
Dr. Lackman, Dr. 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.
“We are extremely grateful to our donor for their incredible generosity and amazing vision to advance cell research at Cooper University Health Care,” said Susan Bass Levin, president and chief executive officer of The Cooper Foundation. “This gift is a beacon of hope for millions of individuals who suffer from devastating diseases that might be eliminated by breakthrough treatments that may emerge from this cell research.”
Wendy A. Marano
Public Relations Manager