Rancho Santa Fe philanthropists endow Cancer Center director chair at Sanford-Burnham


RSF residents Jeanne and Gary Herberger have made a substantial gift to Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham). Their donation establishes the endowed Jeanne and Gary Herberger Leadership Chair in Cancer Research. The chair will be held by Kristiina Vuori, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford-Burnham’s president, Pauline and Stanley Foster Presidential Chair, and director of the Institute’s Cancer Center.

The new endowed chair adds to the generous support provided to Sanford-Burnham by the Herbergers in the past several years. Jeanne Herberger is currently serving as a member of the Institute’s Board of Trustees, where she sits on the Executive Committee. The couple chaired the Institute’s highly successful annual gala in 2011.

The Institute’s Cancer Center is officially designated as a basic research cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It is one of only seven in the country. In 2010, the NCI renewed the designation with their highest rating of “Outstanding,” along with an unprecedented 21 percent increase in grant funding. The Institute has consistently maintained its status as an NCI-designated Cancer Center since 1981.

Vuori has led Sanford-Burnham’s Cancer Center since 2006. Since 2010, she has served as the Institute’s president and Pauline and Stanley Foster Presidential Chair, a chair endowed by Rancho Santa Fe resident Pauline Foster.

The Herbergers closely follow Vuori’s work, particularly her study of metastasis—the spread of cancer to multiple tissues and locations in the body.

Jeanne Herberger said, “We believe the next generation of cancer therapies will come from the research being done at Sanford-Burnham. Through our gift, we hope to provide the resources to expand this important work. Kristiina’s leadership is exceptional and we are honored to know her and call her our friend.”

“I am grateful to the Herbergers for their visionary support of our research,” said Vuori. “It is a great honor to be recognized by them with such a generous gift. The Institute’s friendship with community leaders such as Jeanne and Gary always reminds me that the work we do each day in the laboratories profoundly and positively impacts lives.”

John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford-Burnham’s CEO and Donald Bren Chief Executive Chair added, “Private philanthropy is a crucial element in our continued success at Sanford-Burnham. Because of our success with securing competitive grants, we are able to leverage donated dollars eight-to-one. We are tremendously grateful to have individuals like Jeanne and Gary recognizing the value of this kind of investment.”

Jeanne and Gary Herberger are also active supporters of Arizona State University, where Jeanne earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Next month, ASU will present the Herbergers with its Philanthropist of the Year Award. Jeanne is also the founder of Arizona Women’s Employment and Education Inc., Valley Leadership, and the Arizona Women’s Forum, a chapter of the International Women’s Forum. Jeanne was recently named one of “Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women.”

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