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.
For the second annual year, two of Gerstner Philanthropies’ long-standing grantees helped provide meals to families in need this Thanksgiving. Treasure Coast Food Bank, the largest hunger-relief organization on Florida’s Treasure Coast and the only Food Bank serving Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties, distributed holiday meal boxes and turkeys to 500 families. Nearly 500 turkeys were packaged with other meal stables and distributed to around 2,000 children and adults thanks to a grant from Gerstner Philanthropies. In Massachussetts, FamilyAid Boston, the leading provider of solutions to family homelessness in the Greater Boston area, provided 1,100 children and parents a Thanksgiving dinner, funded through a grant from Gerstner Philanthropies. More than 70 staff and volunteers fanned out across the city to deliver nearly two tons of cooked Thanksgiving meals. They were joined by State Representative Rob Consalvo, many board members, and players and staff from the Boston Bruins hockey team. Gerstner Philanthropies is proud and happy to support families in need through meaningful programs such as these.Learn more about Treasure Coast Food BankLearn more about FamilyAid Boston
Learn more about UNH's accomplishments, their work with settlement houses throughout New York, as well as other helpful links/resources. They recently won the Eisner Prize for intergenerational work empowering older people and positioning them as community builders and change agents. They are working on showing the difference older adults can make in the lives of young people and their entire community. In addition, thanks to Gerstner philanthropies, UNH provided more than $1 million to settlement houses for their emergency cash assistance programs. They continue to support settlement houses as the reverberations of the COVID pandemic are felt. You can read several stories about the direct and meaningful impact this money has on families.Link to the online version
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) today announced a $25 million gift from Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. to create the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. Physician Scholars Program. Designed to support the innovative research of physician-scientists who are early in their career at MSK, the Gerstner Physician Scholars Program will advance promising scientific research and further the careers of outstanding junior faculty. “Recruiting and retaining the next generation of physician-scientists in cancer research is one of our most urgent priorities,” said Lisa M. DeAngelis, MD, MSK’s Physician-In-Chief. “We are grateful for Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.’s generous donation and continued commitment to education that will help MSK attract, support and champion talented early-career physician-scientists who will make discoveries and pursue the increasingly complex questions posed by cancer science.” Each year, a group of MSK physician-scientists will be named Gerstner Physician Scholars and receive the resources needed to validate their emerging research concepts and translate these concepts into clinical applications. The program will support early career lab-based physician-scientists, a subset of physicians who are uniquely positioned to blend clinical care with laboratory research. The chosen Scholars will be eligible to receive funding of up to $150,000 per year for three years to advance their work, recruit talented junior lab members and develop preliminary data in ambitious projects that can provide the basis for applications to other outside sources for further funding.Read more at mskcc.org
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