CWRU medical school announces $300 million campaign

October 18, 1999

Case Western Reserve University's School of Medicine has announced the largest fund-raising campaign in its history. Calling it the "Campaign for the Future of Academic Medicine: Tomorrow's Doctors, Tomorrow's Cures," the medical school has set a target of raising $300 million during the next seven years.

Among the goals for the campaign: According to Theodore Castele, chair of the new campaign, a major goal is also to raise funds for a new research building. Castele is a member of CWRU's Board of Trustees and a graduate of Adelbert College and the medical school.

The school has raised more than $125 million in the first, "quiet" phase of the campaign, in preparation for publically announcing the drive.

Castele and Nathan Berger, dean of the School of Medicine and vice president for medical affairs, said that the goals of recruiting faculty, expanding research programs, and renovating facilities are essential if the medical school is to compete effectively at a national level for research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the largest source of medical research funds in the United States.

The school ranks 11th in the nation with $129.9 million of NIH funding. It receives more NIH funding than any medical institution in the State of Ohio.

Berger said the school has identified seven broad interdisciplinary areas of research concentration upon which it will build for the future -- brain sciences, cancer, cardiovascular disease, emerging infectious diseases, endocrine and metabolic diseases, epithelial/connective tissue and musculoskeletal/connective tissue diseases, and human genetics and genomics. The school plans to recruit 125 new research faculty during the next decade, about a 30 percent increase in research faculty.

"If the School of Medicine is to continue playing a major role as one of this nation's research powerhouses in the 21st century, it must be prepared to attract the best faculty in the nation and have the facilities that they need for research," said Berger.

"On the educational front, the medical school needs to help the best and brightest students finance medical education, which, in this day and age, is a very expensive proposition," said Castele. He said that medical students today graduate with an average debt of about $100,000. Minority students face an even greater amount of debt.

"This campaign will help guarantee that the CWRU School of Medicine is prepared to discover tomorrow's cures and educate tomorrow's doctors," said Castele.

Berger called the medical school one of Cleveland's most important resources for several reasons. "For example, the school will play a central role in developing Northeast Ohio's biotechnology industry, which will be a major industry for the 21st century. Already, several start-up companies have come from research breakthroughs that were made at the school, among them Athersys, NeuroControl, Gliatech, and Copernicus," he said.

"In addition, our faculty at affiliated hospitals provide most of the health care to the area's uninsured and underinsured.

"Our goals are ambitious," Berger said, "but vital to the future of the school and the community that it serves."

Case Western Reserve University

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