Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City has announced a $25 million gift from Gale and Ira Drukier to establish a cross-disciplinary institute dedicated to understanding the causes of children's diseases.
To that end, the Drukier Institute for Children's Health will recruit a team of leading scientists to pursue innovative basic research that improves treatments and therapies for asthma, autism, cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, schizophrenia, and other diseases and disorders affecting affect children and adolescents. The gift also will endow an annual lecture on a research or clinical topic in the field of children's health and establish the Drukier Prize, which will be awarded annually to a junior faculty member in recognition of his or her excellence and achievement in advancing research on childhood disease and disorders.
A graduate of Cornell's College of Engineering ('66) and graduate school ('67), Ira Drukier worked in the microwave electronics field before co-founding BD Hotels LLC, a real estate development company that owns and operates more than two dozen hotel properties in New York City. He has served on the Weill Cornell board of overseers since 2012, has been a Cornell trustee for eight years, and helped develop the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. Gale Drukier, an audiologist who taught at the College of New Jersey for seventeen years, later worked for BD Hotels and now serves on Cornell’s Plantations Council and the advisory council of the Johnson Museum.
"As parents and grandparents, Gale and I appreciate the tremendous impact medicine can have on growing children," said Drukier. "When you cure children, you give them their entire life back. It's with immense pride that we are able to make this investment, which will empower Weill Cornell Medical College to focus and direct all of its outstanding pediatric research under the auspices of one institute and provide vital resources to develop tomorrow's treatments and cures."