Penn Receives Gift to Name Smilow Center for Translational Research and Enhance Bioinformatics Efforts

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Media Contact:Kim Menard | | 215-662-6183October 17, 2012

PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania has received an undisclosed gift from father and son philanthropists Joel and William Smilow to support Penn Medicine’s translational research activities, naming the Smilow Center for Translational Research in the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The gift also establishes the William Smilow Professorship in the field of cardiovascular medicine and the William Smilow Award for Innovation in Clinical Excellence. While the exact gift amount remains undisclosed, it is the largest capital gift to date to the University of Pennsylvania’s $3.5 billion Making History fundraising campaign, and among the top gifts in Penn Medicine’s history.

“We are enormously grateful to Joel and Bill Smilow for their profoundly generous gift, which will help ensure that Penn is at the vanguard of innovative medical research and cures,” said University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann. “The Smilow Center for Translational Research provides a state-of-the-art environment where eminent physicians, researchers and scientists at Penn Medicine will work side-by-side to advance medical science. The Smilows are noted for their significant philanthropic works throughout the nation, and Penn is very proud to be the recipients of their first gift here in Philadelphia.”

The Smilow Center for Translational Research brings Penn basic scientists and physicians together to deliver discoveries quickly and effectively to patients. The collaborative, innovative design of the Smilow Center for Translational Research helps research teams accelerate targeted scientific discoveries for a wide range of diseases and train the next generation of physician-scientists. The gift also provides support to enhance Penn’s medical bioinformatics team and infrastructure, allowing researchers to mine large amounts of genetic, imaging, and biomarker data for patterns, and analyze gene sequences and drug targets.

“This transformational gift from the Smilow family is a remarkable example of the Smilows’ shared commitment with Penn to biomedical research,” said J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, dean of the Perelman School of Medicine and executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania for the Health System. “Our scientists in the Smilow Center can train and work as fast and collaboratively as possible with Penn Medicine patient care teams to ensure that patients are able to benefit from scientific advances in areas such as cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease.”

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