Four physician-scientists were recently named 2022 Gerstner Scholars: Rebecca Muhle, MD, PhD; Jennifer Small-Saunders, MD, PhD; Neil Vasan, MD, PhD; and Peter Yim, MD. The program also awarded the Gerstner Merit Award to 2019 Scholar Amélie Collins, MD, PhD. The Gerstner Merit Award, created in 2014, provides an additional year of funding and recognizes an exceptional third-year Gerstner Scholar who conducts innovative research, has shown significant growth as an academic medicine investigator, and is ideally positioned to secure a significant principal investigator award.he Louis V. Gerstner Jr. Scholars Program provides exceptional physician-scientists at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) with vital funding. Each scholar receives a stipend of $75,000 per year for three years for salary or laboratory support. The support allows early-career scientists to conduct pioneering research and gather the pilot data necessary to apply for grants from the National Institutes of Health and other sources. The Gerstner Scholars Program, established in 2008 by Louis V. Gerstner Jr. and the Gerstner Family Foundation, helps make VP&S a major engine of medical innovation.Read more about the 2022 Scholars at columbia.edu
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
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
2021 was a landmark year for Gerstner Philanthropies. Grants totaled over $48 million, almost doubling the previous year and the most in its history. Gerstner Philanthropies launched two new program areas within Helping Hands and created a new grant program to support climate change mitigation. Grantees continue to respond to the impacts of COVID-19, and we are proud of the impacts they made. For more on our engagement and impact in 2021, please see the full Year in Numbers Report.Year in Numbers 2021
Our Helping Hands grantees continue to feel the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Throughout the year, we communicate with our partners informally and formally. They report data on program statistics that we compile to highlight larger trends. Based on third quarter reports, need for rental arrearages assistance remains high, with many clients facing a looming eviction crisis. Federal funding for rental assistance helped many, we join in the call for additional rental assistance funding to help families regain their stability.