The Weill Cornell Medical College announced a $75 million gift to its cancer research and care programs Wednesday from private investment mogul Edward Meyer and his wife.
"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," said Dr. Laurie Glimcher, dean of Weill Cornell Medical College.
Edward Meyer, chairman of the investment firm Ocean Road Advisors, Inc., said he and his wife, Sandra, had been interested for a few years in making a major gift in the area of cancer research, having lost relatives and friends to the disease.
"This family has not only been touched by cancer, it's been battered by cancer," he told The Associated Press, with deaths including his grandmother and three of his wife's close friends.
Meyer said he and his wife spent the last couple of years looking into the work that was being done and visiting the facilities where it was being carried out. They were impressed with the people connected to Weill Cornell, including Glimcher and Dr. Lewis Cantley, who leads the cancer research.
Meyer said the timing of the donation was important, that "this is a moment in time when cancer research is taking a new direction and the money could very well produce, not necessarily cures, but better life outcomes."
The school's cancer research center will be named the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center. Weill Cornell's flagship Manhattan building also will bear their name and will be called the Sandra and Edward Meyer Research and Education Building.