Published: Feb. 11, 2014
Updated: Feb. 11, 2014
Reporters & producers can visit Duke Medicine News and Communications for contact information.
By Duke Medicine News and Communications
Durham, N.C. -- Glenn H. and Stacy Schiffman of Austin, Texas, have pledged $1 million to create a pediatric cancer research fund at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center.
The gift will support the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, including the research of Dan Wechsler, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division, who is exploring new treatments for childhood leukemia. The Glenn and Stacy Schiffman Pediatric Cancer Research Fund will also support faculty development and fellowship training.
Glenn H. Schiffman is a 1991 graduate of Duke University’s Trinity College who now serves on the Duke Medicine Board of Visitors.
“Such a generous gift is remarkable from an alumnus as young as Mr. Schiffman,” said Victor J. Dzau, M.D., chancellor of health affairs and president and CEO of Duke University Health System. “Duke Medicine is very pleased to have his partnership.”
The Schiffmans decided to support the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology after spending time with Wechsler and visiting his lab.
“I grew more and more excited about his research, in particular his vision and enthusiasm,” Glenn Schiffman said. “Rather than simply write a check, we want to partner with Dan while we’re young to see the impact of his work and help to make a fundamental difference.”
Wechsler’s primary research efforts are focused on infant and childhood acute leukemia.
“Even though we’ve made tremendous progress in curing many children with leukemia, more than half of infants with leukemia don’t survive,” Wechsler said. “It is for children with these more aggressive cancers that we need to redouble our efforts, to better understand why they get leukemia in the first place. This understanding will lead to developing new therapies.”
Ira M. Cheifetz, M.D., interim chair of the Department of Pediatrics, said pediatric cancer research is underfunded. “We are very grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Schiffman,” Cheifetz said. “Their transformational gift will provide much-needed capital in the search for better treatments.”
Glenn Schiffman is a senior managing director at Guggenheim Partners, a privately held global financial services firm. He has more than 20 years of investing and investment banking experience. Over his career, Glenn has executed deals well in excess of $100 billion for a global roster of marquee clients. He was recognized by Asia Atlas Awards as the 2009 Asia Mergers and Acquisitions Banker of the Year.
The Schiffmans have long supported pediatric cancer research and treatment. The couple has been active with The Valerie Fund, a New Jersey-based organization that provides treatment, counseling, and support for children with cancer and blood disorders. Glenn Schiffman is founder and chairman of The Valerie Fund Endowment.
“Over the years I have gained a profound respect for the work Duke Medicine is doing,” Glenn Schiffman said. “I am thrilled to be able to have some small impact around that effort.
“Stacy and I have four kids, and we’ve always been partial to charities focused on children,” he added.