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Wistar Institute Launches Bold Science // Global Impact Capital Campaign to Rechart the Future of Human Health

PHILADELPHIA — (June 16, 2022) —The Wistar Institute, an international biomedical research leader in cancer, immunology and infectious disease, announces its Bold Science // Global Impact Capital Campaign to support a five-year plan that sets out Wistar’s roadmap for accelerated progress to drive breakthroughs in biomedical science and technology and educate and train the next generation of innovators.

“A once-in-a-century pandemic taught us the critical need to be nimble—to have the scientific freedom, capacity, and agility to rechart the course of human health,” said Dario Altieri, M.D., Wistar president and CEO, Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center director, and Robert and Penny Fox Distinguished Professor. “That’s why we’re taking bold action now with an Institute-wide commitment to push forward and deliver purposeful, transformative impacts on health and life science. The ambitious goals we’ve set for The Wistar Institute could not be achieved without the committed participation of our science collaborators and the Board of Trustees, who are dedicated to advancing the vision.”

The Institute’s ambitious Capital Campaign ensures that Wistar’s vision of Bold Science // Global Impact becomes a reality. Chaired by Ronald Caplan, president of PMC Property group and a long-term member of Wistar’s Board of Trustees, the successful campaign has already raised nearly 60 percent of its $75 million goal, including an anonymous $20 million gift, since the initiation of its silent phase in January.

“In my 20 years serving Wistar’s Board, I’ve witnessed the organization’s tremendous growth as an engine of indispensable research, and now it’s poised for even greater scientific leadership,” said Richard M. Horowitz, chairman and CEO of RAF Industries, Inc., and chair of Wistar’s Board of Trustees. “My day-to-day work is focused on making investments, and I believe that being able to influence the future of society’s health through trailblazing science is one of the greatest investments you can make.”

Philanthropic support of the Bold Science // Global Impact Capital Campaign will fund the expansion of the Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center and the Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center as well as the creation of the Center for Advanced Therapeutics and the Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Education and Training Center.

The recently renamed Ellen and Ronald Caplan Cancer Center will help transform the prevention and treatment of cancer by advancing fundamental and translational research into next-generation therapeutics. This will involve expansive recruitment of new leaders in cancer research focusing on key areas of treatment resistance, metabolic and cellular reprogramming, cancer systems biology, and personalized anticancer strategies.

The Vaccine & Immunotherapy Center will strengthen the Institute’s capacity to support pandemic preparedness as well as expand pioneering research to accelerate advances in drug development – including innovative platforms for novel drug candidates to halt disease resistance, advance diagnostics, and accelerate discovery of personalized treatment strategies.

The creation of the Center for Advanced Therapeutics, Wistar’s latest interdisciplinary endeavor, will come to fruition as part of the five-year strategic plan beginning this fall. The Center will integrate computational biology, artificial intelligence, and structural biology with next generation sequencing technologies and groundbreaking immunotherapy research. The Center aims to tailor medicines with the potential to radically transform the treatment of some of the most dangerous and widespread diseases by harnessing the immune system in truly novel ways.

The Institute will also create the Hubert J.P. Schoemaker Education and Training Center, whose mission is to broaden and enhance education and mentorship opportunities for current and aspiring researchers. Distinct programs designed for high school, pre-apprenticeship, and apprenticeship education as well as graduate and postdoctoral training will create career opportunities and foster a diverse life science talent pipeline. Within the new Center, the Institute’s flagship training program will be renamed the Fox Biomedical Research Technician Apprenticeship program and undergo expansion of students and partners across the state.

View the campaign video below.


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 United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

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