The Lustgarten Foundation Receives $1.5 Million Gift from The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation
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The generous gift will support the LABS (Lustgarten Advancing Breakthrough Science) Program site at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
WOODBURY, N.Y., Jan 26, 2024 — The Lustgarten Foundation today announced an extraordinary $1.5 million gift from The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation. The generous donation will support the LABS (Lustgarten Advancing Breakthrough Science) Program site at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in Jolla, CA. The Salk Institute researchers are exploring unique and understudied areas related to diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer.
“An enormous thank you to Michael and Eric Schwartz and the entire Bern Schwartz Family Foundation for their generosity,” said Linda Tantawi, CEO of the Lustgarten Foundation. “This gift will make a significant impact on our mission and inspire hope throughout the pancreatic cancer community that breakthroughs are on the horizon.”
The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation was established to honor the legacy of Bern Schwartz (1914-1978), the businessman and portrait photographer. Following a successful business career, Schwartz reignited his passion for photography at the age of 60. In just four years, he became widely recognized as an esteemed portrait photographer, capturing the likeness of prominent figures worldwide. Among his sitters were Dr. Jonas Salk, the American virologist credited with developing one of the earliest successful polio vaccines and founding the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and his wife, the painter Françoise Gilot. Sadly, Bern Schwartz’s photography career was short-lived; he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1978. He died soon after at the age of 64.
“We are so appreciative of The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation’s unwavering support,” said Kerri Kaplan, President of the Lustgarten Foundation. “For 19 years, they’ve supported Lustgarten, fueling life-saving research and providing the potential for more tomorrows for pancreatic cancer patients and their families.”
The Lustgarten Foundation will recognize The Bern Schwartz Family Foundation at a special event on March 12, 2024, celebrating International Women’s Day, The Power of Persistence: Women Transforming Cancer Research & Care, live at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
The Lustgarten Foundation funds pancreatic cancer research where creative risks yield high rewards to accelerate and expand life-saving treatment options. A hallmark of the Foundation’s unique research strategy, the LABS Program provides long-term funding to promote the development of innovative ideas and speed the pace of discovery by incentivizing interdisciplinary team science. In 2022, the Lustgarten Foundation launched a new strategic partnership with the prestigious Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA—the first LABS site on the West Coast.
Led by Rueben Shaw, Ph.D., the researchers participating in this five-year, $5 million collaboration are working to identify and validate new targets for pancreatic cancer drugs and biomarkers, with the goal of advancing the most promising discoveries to the next stage of drug and biomarker discovery and development.
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