Research Made Possible

Because of the philanthropy provided by the Tisch family, Duke is able to make research discoveries at a rate never before imagined.  These discoveries are providing new hope to patients who previously had nowhere else to turn.

Because of the philanthropy provided by the Tisch family, Duke is able to make research discoveries at a rate never before imagined. These discoveries are providing new hope to patients who previously had nowhere else to turn.

 

In 2005, the Tisch family gave $10 million to Duke to honor the memory of Preston Robert Tisch, a businessman, leader and philanthropist, who was treated at Duke for an aggressive brain tumor called glioblastoma. 

This gift was the single largest donation ever received by Duke Cancer Institute. 

In recognition of the generosity of the Tisch family, the Brain Tumor Center at Duke was renamed the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. 

In the years since that initial gift, the family has continued their generous philanthropy. Discover how their gifts have impacted brain tumor research, below. 

Critical Research Made Possible 

Development of vaccine trials, including the poliovirus trial featured in national news media. Due to genetic engineering of viruses, oncolytic (or “cancer-fighting”) viruses are becoming an effective therapy for combatting brain cancer.
 
The poliovirus trial and other vaccine trials continue to show promising and exciting results at Duke and have been one of the most significant advancements thus far in the realm of brain tumor treatments. 
 
Recruitment of new basic science, translational research, and clinical faculty to focus on scientific advancements in adult and pediatric neuro-oncology. Duke is renowned for attracting top-notch doctors and dedicated staff, and members of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center are an all-star team. Thanks to the generosity of the Tisch Family, we are fortunate to be able to recruit the best in the field. 
 
Support for clinical investigation and the development and conduct of new clinical trials. With access to the most modern technology, our experts can offer innovative treatments that are inaccessible elsewhere. Clinical investigations and trials, in which scientists either develop new therapies or improve existing ones, are performed with the overall goal of prolonging survival and increasing the quality of life for patients with malignant brain tumors. 
 
In-depth genomic analysis of each patient’s brain tumor and preclinical screening to target optimal treatment. Revolutionary advancements in genomics have made it easier to understand complex biological systems such as the brain. Duke is a world leader in using genomic profiling to administer personalized care to patients and is already conducting clinical trials for patients with breast, lung, and prostate cancers using this innovative therapeutic approach. 
 
Preclinical research for new drug development. There is a relatively small market for brain tumor drugs, and many pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to provide financial support for research in investigative treatments. Similarly, it’s difficult to obtain federal funding to support research until new therapies are shown to be effective. At Duke, great progress has been made in drug development because of support for innovative research from the Tisch Family. 

Timeline 

2005: The family of the late Preston Robert Tisch makes a transformative $10 million gift which names the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. 

2009: The family makes a second major gift to support clinical and laboratory research focusing on new treatments for brain tumors.

2011: With two additional gifts, the Tisch family continues its generous support.

  • A gift toward construction of the new Duke Cancer Center building, which opened its doors in February 2012. The Joan and Bob Tisch & Family Atrium and Reception Area is named in recognition of the Tisch family’s generosity.
  • A gift to support brain tumor research, including brain tumor clinical trials and basic and translational research of promising new brain tumor treatments. 
2013: The Tisch family provides an additional gift to support brain tumor research, including clinical research and clinical trials to study new therapies for brain tumor patients and research into the genomics of brain tumors. 
 
2013: The Tisch family provides a gift supporting research using a genetically engineered poliovirus as a new anti-cancer agent in brain tumors. This gift serves as a challenge grant to generate additional philanthropy to support the poliovirus research. 
 
2015: The family makes an additional generous donation to continue support of brain tumor research, specifically therapies for glioblastoma multiforme.  
 
2017: The family makes an additional gift to continue support of brain tumor research, specifically for clinical investigation/clinical trials and in-depth genomic analysis and preclinical screening.
 

2019: The Tisch family continues their incredible support with an additional gift for brain tumor research, specifically for clinical investigation/clinical trials and in-depth genomic analysis and preclinical screening.