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


  • Columbia University Announces 2019 Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholars
    June 20, 2019

    Columbia University's Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons have selected this year's cohort of Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholars. The group includes four physician-scientists at the college and a fifth physician-scientist has been named a 2019 Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Merit Awardee. The Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholars Program annually supports tenure-track physicians who conduct research that has the promise to bring new treatments to patients. The fund provides a stipend of $75,000 per year, for up to three years, to support the awardees’ research projects. Scholars are nominated by a committee of distinguished research faculty and selected by the VP&S dean. The program has named scholars every year since 2008. The program also presents the Gerstner Merit Award to an outstanding third-year Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholar who has made great strides in research.

    Read more at cuimc.columbia.edu
  • Gerstner Scholar Led Study Reveals New Insights Into Evolution of Sea Anemones

    A new study published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution this month sheds new light on the evolution of the symbiotic relationship between clownfish and sea anemones. The relationship between the anemone and the clownfish is a mutually beneficial one. The anemone protects clownfishes from bigger fishes who, unlike the clownfish, lack the ability to neutralize the anemone's sting. In return, clownfishes will ward away animals that might try to eat the anemone. There are 10 described species of clownfish-hosting anemones, but scientists suspect that the total number may be much higher. And the information on the origin of these species, as well as the number of times the symbiosis evolved in anemones, is sparse and dated. To fill in these gaps, the research team, led by American Museum of Natural History Gerstner Scholar and Lerner Gray Postdoctoral Fellow Benjamin Titus, built a phylogenetic tree based on DNA from newly collected anemone specimens. They found that as a group, anemones independently evolved the ability to host clownfish three times throughout history. "For a symbiosis that's supposedly highly co-evolved, the groups originated in very different parts of the world and probably also at very different times," Titus said.

    Read more at eurekalert.org
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