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


  • 2021 Gerstner Sloan Kettering Chairman’s Prize Honors Research That Paves Way for New Cell-Based Therapies to Treat Autoimmune Diseases and Inflammation
    September 23, 2021

    Zhongmin Wang, a fifth-year doctoral student in the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSK), has been awarded the 2021 Chairman’s Prize. The competitive award is presented annually and was established by GSK’s Board of Trustees Chair Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. for whom the school is named. This year’s Chairman’s Prize, in the amount of $2,000, shines a light on Mr. Wang’s winning submission, which was published last month in Nature Immunology. Mr. Wang and his coauthors specifically designed mouse models for the project, which demonstrated that regulatory T (Treg) cells are fully functional under conditions of established inflammation and are capable of reversing, in addition to preventing, fatal autoimmunity. The results pave the way for the development of Treg cell-based therapies for a broad spectrum of autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders that raise the risk of cancer. “I am honored that the prize committee recognized the outstanding quality and potential impact of this research,” says Mr. Wang, who is conducting his dissertation studies in the laboratory of his thesis mentor, Alexander Rudensky, Chair of the Immunology Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering and senior author of the study.

    Read more at mskcc.org
  • FamilyAid Boston entrusted to expand major partnerships
    September 9, 2021

    FamilyAid Boston’s proven success housing more than 1,700 children and parents during the pandemic has led to an expansion of emergency shelter and housing prevention programs with their leading partners, Boston Public Schools and Boston Children’s Hospital. Expansion of the two programs will allow more families to receive case management and housing services, ultimately supporting hundreds of children and parents throughout the school year. Since March 2020, FamilyAid Boston has housed more than 400 families through our Boston Public Schools partnership. Due to the success of the program, FamilyAid will coordinate housing placement and support services for an additional 1,100 BPS children and parents during the 2021 school year. FamilyAid’s partnership with local hospitals, which assists families with eviction prevention services and access to shelter, is also expanding.The expansion represents a $2.1-million expansion of a public and private partnership that brings together city, state, and federal agencies, and long-time FamilyAid funders Gerstner Philanthropies and Day 1 Families Fund. Gerstner Philanthropies has supported FamilyAid Boston since 2015, providing over $1.3 million in funding.

    Read more at familyaidboston.org
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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