IU School of Medicine gets $2M gift to fund new faculty member

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The Indiana University School of Medicine has received a $2 million gift from the children of Indianapolis real estate developer Sidney Eskenazi, which it plans to use to recruit a “highly accomplished” cancer researcher at its Simon Cancer Center.

The medical school said Tuesday the gift from David, Sandra and Dori Eskenazi was inspired by their mother, Lois, who was diagnosed with lung cancer several years ago and received treatment from IU oncologist Lawrence Einhorn, one of the nation’s top cancer researchers.

The newly recruited faculty member will join a team of about 200 researchers at the Simon Cancer Center, and will be known as the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Professor in Hematology-Oncology.

The medical school said the contribution was "among the largest faculty endowments we have received for cancer research.” Income from an endowed fund will provide the researcher with funds to launch early-stage investigations, purchase equipment and hire laboratory staff, the school said.

In 2011, Sidney and Lois Eskenazi contributed $40 million toward a new hospital in Indianapolis to replace the aging Wishard Hospital. The health care system, which was renamed Eskenazi Health, serves poor and underserved patients in Indianapolis. The Eskenazis also made large contributions to the IU Art Museum and the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI, and have established a scholarship fund at IU.

Sidney Eskenazi is CEO of Indianapolis-based Sandor Development Co., a privately held shopping center that operates more than 8 million square feet of retail across 25 states.

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