Gerstner Philanthropies focuses on biomedical research, educational opportunities, and assistance for people who have suffered a temporary setback and could use a “helping hand” to restore their equilibrium.

Our Biomedical Research funding falls into two categories:

  • Supporting important genomic research that could lead to breakthroughs in clinical practice
  • Enabling talented young scientists to pursue a career in research

Our Education work supports students who have talent and determination but whose opportunity to excel is limited because of their economic circumstances.

Our Helping Hands program provides assistance for people experiencing an unforeseen emergency through one-time cash grants.

In addition, we make a small number of grants related to or outside of these areas of focus.

News


  • Gerstner Center for Cancer Diagnostics Researchers Develop New Approach called MAESTRO to advance Cancer Detection

    A team led by researchers at Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Harvard Medical School has developed a new method to identify thousands of DNA mutations accurately and efficiently in a patient's blood sample with minimal sequencing. The approach, called MAESTRO, could one day enable the detection of residual cancer in patients who have undergone treatment, alerting doctors to disease recurrence earlier and more cheaply than current techniques allow. MAESTRO works to identify Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) markers in the blood using less sequencing than more conventional approaches, enabling researchers to detect cancer mutations more quickly, efficiently and at a low cost. “This project has been a great reminder that new methods can make DNA sequencing even more powerful,” added Golub. “It will be exciting to see how MAESTRO can impact basic discovery and, in the future, clinical care.”

    Read more at broadinstitute.org
  • Gerstner Philanthropies Awards $4.9 Million For Helping Hands Emergency Grant Program
    February 7, 2022

    GerstnerPhilanthropies announced today that it has awarded $4.9 million in Helping Hands funds to our grantee organizations. The Gerstner Helping Hands program provides financial resources to assist individuals facing a one-time, urgent need. These emergency cash grants are distributed by our partners, who combine Helping Hands funds with holistic wrap-around services to help clients avoid homelessness and instability. Helping Hands reaches over 4,000 families each year, providing assistance with rent, utilities, medical expenses, and food.

    Read more about our 2022 Grantees
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Reflections on Helping Hands


Lou Gerstner shares the origin of and his vision for the emergency grants program, lessons learned over the past decade, and his belief in the critical importance of the work.

Watch the video