$75 million gift will establish new cancer center at Weill Cornell Medical College

January 9, 2014

Cornell University says a "landmark gift" of $75 million from Sandra and Edward Meyer and the Sandra and Edward Meyer Foundation will enable Weill Cornell Medical College to expand its cancer research and care programs. The school will establish the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center.

Sandra and Edward Meyer, second and third from left, with WCMC dean Dr. Laurie Glimcher, cancer center director Dr. Lewis Cantley, and Anthony Meyer. Photo courtesy of Cornell University.Sandra and Edward Meyer, second and third from left, with WCMC dean Dr. Laurie Glimcher, cancer center director Dr. Lewis Cantley, and Anthony Meyer. Photo courtesy of Cornell University.“Cancer is a disease that touches everyone’s lives, and with Ed and Sandy’s generous support, we will be able to rapidly accelerate our pursuit of groundbreaking treatments and therapies for our patients,” says Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the dean of WCMC.

Edward Meyer, a Cornell University alumnus from the class of 1948 and the former chairman, president, and CEO of Grey Global Group, is now chairman of Ocean Road Advisers, Inc. Sandra Meyer is a board member of the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, a major supporter and advocate for Women for Women International, and a member of the Women and Foreign Policy Advisory Council of the Council on Foreign Relations. The family also endowed a professorship of economics at Cornell.

"Their generosity will enable us to realize our goal of developing cancer treatments that capitalize on precision medicine, offering targeted, individualized care based on each patient’s tumor," says Dr. Lewis Cantley, director of the cancer center and a professor of oncology research and cancer biology. "This gift will make it possible for us to be at the forefront of cancer research, to purchase the necessary technology and recruit the very best talent to carry out this vital work.”

The Meyers' daughter, Margaret, an economics professor at Oxford University, worked with Dr. Cantley in the past. "Our daughter’s experience working with Dr. Cantley many years ago solidified our lifelong respect for him, and we are thrilled and humbled to have him lead the Meyer Cancer Center," says Edward Meyer.

WCMC says the Meyer Cancer Center will "unify cancer research activities throughout Weill Cornell and enhance three core areas: a centralized biobank, cancer genomics and computational biology, which are crucial to physicians who base each patient’s treatment plan or enrollment in clinical trials on his or her genetic profile." 

Cornell University president David J. Skorton, himself a board-certified cardiologist and biomedical researcher with an appointment at WCMC in addition to his duties in Ithaca, says, "As cancer research and treatment move increasingly toward therapies that are tailored to patients’ individual genetic profiles and needs, the Meyer family’s gift allows us to make the necessary investments to advance this groundbreaking area of medicine and realize its promise.”

The college, whose primary campus is based in New York City with a satellite campus in Doha, Qatar, is renaming its flagship eight-story quarters at 1300 York Avenue in Manhattan the Sandra and Edward Meyer Research and Education Building.

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