June 3, 2009
CHARLESTON -- The family of the late Jerry Zucker has made a $2 million gift to the Medical University of South Carolina that will set the stage for aggressive research into new treatments for brain tumors, spinal cord injuries and other neurological ailments.
Jerry Zucker was a scientist, inventor and businessman who founded The InterTech Group, a Charleston-based polymers conglomerate that grew into one of the nation's largest privately held businesses. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2007 and passed away on April 12, 2008. Shortly afterward, his wife Anita met with his doctor, Sunil Patel, clinical chair of the Medical Universityís Department of Neurosciences, to talk about ways they might work together to end the type of neurological ailments that claimed her husbandís life. The discussion led to the Zucker familyís decision to fund neurological research and care.
The bulk of the Zuckersí gift will be used to explore brain tumors. Specifically, it will fund an investigation of new tumor-fighting drugs and establish a new endowed chair: The Jerry Zucker Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research.
The gift also will support spinal cord research and allow MUSC surgeons to bring neurosurgical care and neurosurgical training to the people of Tanzania, Africa, where there currently are only three neurosurgeons in the country, a ratio of one to every 12.9 million people.
Finally, the Zuckersí gift will allow Patel and his team to begin planning a comprehensive neuroscience center at MUSC rooted in Jerry Zuckerís desire to build seamless linkages between research and innovations in patient care.
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Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 11,000 employees, including 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.6 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu or www.muschealth.com.