Wegs' Five Million Dollar Gift Funds Signature Breast Cancer Research Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center
PHILADELPHIA (February 28, 2005) — Fox Chase Cancer Center announces a $5 million gift from Fox Chase Cancer Center board member Kenneth E. Weg and his wife, Carol, of Princeton, N.J. Their contribution funds the recruitment of two of the nation's top breast cancer researchers — Monica Morrow, MD, and V Craig Jordan, OBE, PhD, and helps fund the development of a signature breast cancer research program.
Jordan, a pharmacologist known as the "father" of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, and Morrow, an internationally recognized breast cancer surgeon, have joined Fox Chase Cancer Center's division of medical science. The husband and wife team has served on the faculty of Northwestern University and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago since 1993.
Morrow became chairman of surgical oncology at Fox Chase in August-one of just a few women in the nation to chair a surgery department. She holds the Center's G. Willing "Wing" Pepper Chair in Cancer Research.
Jordan joins Fox Chase in January and has been named vice president and scientific director for the medical science division. He will hold the new Alfred G. Knudson Jr., MD, PhD, Chair in Cancer Research. Jordan's published studies of tamoxifen and other selective estrogen-receptor modulators-called "designer estrogens"-have made him one of the top 20 most-cited breast cancer researchers over the past decade.
"We are extraordinarily grateful to Carol and Ken Weg for making it possible to recruit these top cancer researchers to Fox Chase," said Fox Chase president Robert C. Young, MD. "As Fox Chase plans for a 20-year expansion, we cannot overlook the impact that 'human capital' has on advancing cancer research. The additions of Drs. Morrow and Jordan will have a significant impact on breast cancer research today and in the future."
Dr. Morrow has been an outstanding advocate in the effort to ensure that women receive appropriate, state-of-the-art treatment for breast cancer and she has also worked to expand prevention options for women, Young added. Dr. Jordan was a major force in the development of tamoxifen in the 1970s and it has subsequently become a mainstay for treating women with breast cancer.
"Just six years ago, tamoxifen was shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 40 percent among high-risk women," Young continued. "Dr. Morrow was a principal investigator on that prevention trial. This illustrates how Dr. Jordan through his preclinical work and Dr. Morrow with her clinical research work together to accelerate the translation of research from the lab to treatment and prevention."
This is the third large gift made to Fox Chase by Carol and Kenneth Weg. In 2002, the Wegs funded the Audrey Weg Schaus and Geoffrey Alan Weg Endowed Chair and in 1998, the Wegs endowed Fox Chase's first chair in population science, the Carol and Kenneth E. Weg Chair in Human Genetics.
"We are committed to helping Fox Chase in its fight against cancer," said Ken Weg. "Like the leading researchers at Fox Chase and around the world, Carol and I believe the best way to make progress against cancer is with a combined clinical and laboratory research effort."
With more than 33 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Kenneth Weg retired in 2001 as vice chairman of Bristol-Myers Squibb and became founder and chairman of Clearview Projects, Inc., a company based in Princeton, N.J. that provides strategic planning and transaction services to biopharmaceutical companies.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase also was among the first institutions to receive the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious comprehensive cancer center designation in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has achieved Magnet status for excellence three consecutive times. Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research and oversees programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, call 1-888-FOX-CHASE (1-888-369-2427).