Ira Brind Recieves the Wistar Award For Commitment to Advancing Biomedical Research

Ira Brind Recieves the Wistar Award For Commitment to Advancing Biomedical Research

November 10, 2009

PHILADELPHIA – (November  11, 2009) – Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist Ira Brind was honored with The Wistar Award at The Wistar Gala, November 7 for his commitment to advancing biomedical research to benefit public health. More than 280 notable guests attended the black-tie Wistar Gala at The Rittenhouse, which raised $150,000 in support of basic biomedical research at the Wistar Institute.

“Ira is a gifted businessman with great intellect and a generous heart,” said Russel E. Kaufman, President and CEO of The Wistar Institute. “We are proud to honor him with the 2009 Wistar Award for his strategic guidance and philanthropic support to advance potentially life-saving research at Wistar.”

President of Brind Investments, Inc., Brind has been a Wistar board member for more than 20 years. During this time, he served as treasurer from 1988 to 1994 and as chairman from 1994 to 1998. His active leadership during that decade enabled the Institute to pursue its scientific mission through faculty expansion, and many young recruits have matured into innovative and productive investigators who compromise Wistar’s world-class faculty today.

During Brind’s leadership two new research centers were established at Wistar, the Albert R. Taxin Brain Tumor Research Center and the Robert A. Fox Structural Biology Center. Investigators working in these centers have made important discoveries about the fundamental nature of the genetic mechanisms involved in cancer and other diseases, knowledge which scientists today apply toward developing cures.  Brind expanded his commitment to Wistar by recently providing key philanthropic support to endow an Associate Professorship that will finance the work of an outstanding Wistar researcher.

The Wistar Award is a biennial award given to an individual who reflects the qualities of compassion, integrity, generosity, commitment, and vision that the Institute’s founding members demonstrated. The proceeds from the event benefit basic biomedical research at Wistar. Brind presented the inaugural Wistar Award to Wistar Board member Robert Fox, at the Institute’s Centennial Gala in 1994.

Adele K. Schaeffer of Bryn Mawr chaired the 2009 Wistar Gala Committee.  Gala Committee vice chairs included: Marta and Robert Adelson, Lee and Ian Berg, Sean Buffington, Ellen and Ronald Caplan, Eleanor and Hal Davis, Penny and Bob Fox, Lynne and Harold Honickman, Jane and Russel Kaufman, M.D., Karen and Herb Lotman, Helen and David Pudlin, Caro and Bob Rock, and Harriet and Larry Weiss. Honorary committee members included: Gov. Edward G. Rendell, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA), ABC News Correspondent Sam Donaldson, Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, and former NFL Super Bowl Champion Coach Dick Vermeil. 

Brind also serves on the Boards of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Chairman Emeritus), The University of the Arts (Vice Chair), The Connelly Foundation, Thomas Jefferson University, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Jefferson Health System. With his late wife Myrna, Brind created the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Jefferson University Hospital.  The University of the Arts named its School of Theater Arts in Brind’s honor, in recognition of the critical role he played in that institution’s creation. 

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