The Russell Berrie Foundation
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Jewish Renaissance

The Russell and Angelica Berrie Program in Cellular Therapy

A New Frontier in Diabetes Research

The Berrie Medical Science Pavilion, New York City

In May 2003, The Russell Berrie Foundation’s $12 million gift to Columbia University School of Medicine created an innovative program in cellular therapies focused on preventing and curing diabetes. Spearheaded by top scientist Dr. Rudolph Liebel, the cellular therapy program is conducting research in innovative ways to confront the war on diabetes.

Dr Liebel and other Columbia University colleagues work closely with top level scientists and researchers in other leading medical schools across the country and abroad, such as Harvard, Vanderbilt and Jerusalem universities. Together they collaborate in joint research projects as well as share results about their individual work, which could lead to advances that one day may spare patients the need for daily insulin injections and prevent the devastating complications of diabetes— blindness, amputation, kidney failure, nerve damage and heart disease.

"The importance of this gift is that it keeps alive Russ's dream of finding a cure for diabetes. By collaborating with the best minds in research, we will achieve that dream and improve the health and lives of millions of people who live with this disease and its devastating complications," said Angelica Berrie, president of the Russell Berrie Foundation.

"This gift will permit an assault on the disease using cellular and gene therapy to dramatically change the course of the disease and the lives of diabetes patients," stated the outgoing dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Columbia University, Dr. Gerald Fischbach.