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

Program Areas

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


  • GSK Awards 2023 Chairman’s Prize

    Chi Nguyen, a PhD student attending the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSK), has been awarded the 2023 Chairman’s Prize. The $2,000 prize recognizes Nguyen's research on interactions between environmental factors, gut microbiota, and the immune system in acute graft-versus-host disease following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). “Microbiota” refers to the fungi, bacteria and viruses that live in the intestines and play a pivotal role in regulating the immune system. Little is known about how different medications can impact this microbiota. Nguyen’s research aims to give physicians a better understanding of how they can protect the gut health of patients with cancer while they are undergoing treatment. Nguyen conducted her research under the mentorship of Marcel van den Brink, MD, PhD, Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies, who also has a lab in the Immunology Program at the Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI). Of her research, Dr. van den Brink shared: “Chi was very brave to engage in this project, which was purely computational biology. Her background in this field was limited when she joined my lab. Therefore, I am even more proud of her accomplishments.” Nguyen was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam, and moved to the United States to attend Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. In 2018, after graduation, she moved to New York City to pursue graduate school with an eye on cancer research. “My parents have always inspired a sense of curiosity in me,” says Nguyen. “Curiosity about the natural world, biology, and how things work.”

  • Mayo Clinic Names 2023 Recipients of Gerstner Family Career Development Awards

    The Mayo Clinic has announced the 2023 recipients of the Gerstner Family Career Development Awards. These awards are presented annually to researchers conducting innovative investigations to predict, prevent, treat, and cure diseases using individualized medicine approaches. This year, physician scientist Patrizia Mondello, M.D.,Ph.D., M.Sc., and medical oncologist Ryan Carr, M.D., Ph.D., have been selected to further develop their research in treating follicular lymphoma and pancreatic cancer resistance, respectively. For these studies, both of which aim to improve the outcomes for patients facing resistant forms of cancer, securing funding in these earliest stages is crucial.

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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