• Gerstner Regenerative Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic Addresses Need For Rigorous Stem Cell Study and Regulation

    After publishing the results of the world’s first randomized, controlled trial studying the effects of bone marrow aspiration and concentration containing marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, the Mayo Clinic, with support from Gerstner Philanthropies, launched the Gerstner Regenerative Medicine Initiative. The goal is to advance research and develop evidence- based best practices for the delivery of regenerative therapies for arthritis by completing randomized and controlled stem cell trials to treat knee osteoarthritis, developing an outcome registry for these regenerative therapies to guide patients and physicians, and completing a prospective cohort study of regenerative therapies for hip, shoulder, and wrist/hand arthritis. Increased study and regulation of the use of stem cells in regenerative therapies is much needed; a judge recently ruled against a clinic offering unregulated stem-cell treatments, with more federal crackdowns on the horizon. As Dr. Shane Shapiro, principal investigator of the Regenerative Medicine Initiative, has stated, "Many clinics across the country have been offering stem cells, but no one had studied them. At Mayo Clinic, we feel stem cells require rigorous study before we offer them to patients.”

    Read more about the Gerstner Regenerative Medicine Initiative at
    Read more on the regulation of stem cell clinics at
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Commencement and Convocation Honors Scientists and Scholars from MSK and Beyond

    Memorial Sloan Kettering’s 2019 Convocation and the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Commencement ceremony honored the accomplishments of doctors, students, and scientists from both MSK and the broader research community. The ceremony recognized the 14 students from the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSK) who received their PhD degrees in cancer science this year. It was the school’s largest class of graduates ever, bringing the total number of GSK alumni to 67. Awards were also given to notable scientists and doctors from both inside and outside MSK. In addition to the GSK graduates, MSK President and CEO, Dr. Craig B. Thompson, congratulated the 44 PhD recipients from the 2019 class of the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences who conducted their research in MSK labs. Highlighted work at the ceremony included the discovery of a new organelle, called TIGER, which plays a role in protein translation; a collaborative study that identified the gene expression patterns of more than 45,000 individual immune cells in breast tumors; and the latest advances in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy.

  • Mayo Clinic Launches Multidisciplinary Effort to Improve Spine Pain Treatment

    In the clinical setting, attempts to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of various treatments for spine have been difficult. Currently, there is no consensus among providers on optimal spine care pathways and although experts recognize that a spine pain registry would help providers make evidence-based decisions for patients with these conditions, the development of such a registry has been challenging. To address this issue, a Mayo Clinic research team led by Wenchun Qu, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., and William D. Mauck, M.D., has launched an integrated, multidisciplinary effort called the Gerstner Spine Pain Initiative. The Gerstner Spine Pain Initiative, made possible by a grant from The Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Fund at Vanguard Charitable, is designed to have a direct impact on how clinicians care for their patients with spine pain. The initiative comprises two interrelated components: the development and implementation of a patient outcomes database and data collection platform to support critical evaluation of best practices and clinical trial planning, implementation and critical appraisal, and the completion of a randomized, controlled, clinical trial of a novel and promising therapeutic strategy based on emerging regenerative technologies developed at Mayo.

  • New Gerstner Scholars Highlight Research at American Museum of Natural History
    May 24, 2019

    The annual American Museum of Natural History Gerstner Scholars meeting was held on May 16th, 2019. Mr. Gerstner and Foundation staff received updates on the career progress of past award recipients, and met with the latest cohort of Gerstner Scholars, who presented on their research projects. The Gerstner Scholars Fellowship Program provides support for postdoctoral researchers in the fields of comparative biology, bioinformatics, and computational biology. Recent alumni of the program have gone on to receive tenure-track professorships at Rutgers University, Montclair State University, and the California Institute of Technology, and competitive postdoctoral positions at Duke University, University of Washington, University of California–Davis, and the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

    Read more about the Gerstner Scholars Program
  • New York City’s Spending on Homeless Hits $3.2 Billion in 2019

    According to a report released by Comptroller Scott Stringer, spending on homelessness services in New York City has more than doubled to $3.2 billion from fiscal year 2014 to 2019. The spending boost combined with an increase in the shelter population has raised budgetary concerns for Mr. Stringer’s office, which has placed homeless-services agencies on a spending watch list for the second year in a row. The new report showed that shelter costs have more than doubled to $1.9 billion between fiscal years 2014 and 2019. A spokeswoman, Jane Meyer, for Mayor Bill de Blasio said that after decades of underfunding, the administration has made unprecedented investments to prevent and address homelessness. Evictions are down 37%, meaning fewer people have had to enter shelters, and 115,000 New Yorkers have moved out of shelters or avoided shelter since 2014.