Public Release: 

Dyson Foundation gives $5 Million for ophthalmology research at Weill Cornell Medical College

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NEW YORK (May 23, 2007) -- The Dyson Foundation has given $5 million to Weill Cornell Medical College towards the Dyson Family Ophthalmology Floor in the Weill Greenberg Center, the new ambulatory care and medical education building. The new floor is expected to open in the spring of 2008.

"This new gift honors the memory of Margaret and Charlie Dyson, who were dedicated supporters of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell. We are very grateful for this gift, which will go a long way to support the new home for our state-of-the-art eye care for our patients," says Dr. Antonio M. Gotto Jr., the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College.

"The Department is very grateful for this generous gift, which honors the exemplary clinical and research work of Dr. D. Jackson Coleman," says Dr. Donald J. D'Amico, chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College and ophthalmologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "Dr. Coleman, former chairman of the department, has had over 30 years of continuous funding from the NIH, holds 13 patents for inventions, and has published over 200 papers, 300 abstracts, 60 book chapters and two books. Dr. Coleman brought the department to the position it enjoys today."

Robert Dyson, president of the Dyson Foundation and son of the founders, states: "Almost 30 years ago, Dr. Coleman treated my mother for a detached retina. A lifelong friendship developed between our family and Dr. Coleman, and my mother became especially interested in eye diseases and vision problems. This led to the establishment of the Margaret M. Dyson Vision Research Center at Weill Cornell in 1989. This new grant represents our family's continued friendship with Weill Cornell and Dr. Jackson Coleman, as well as a memorial to my mother's efforts and interests."

"I am especially grateful to the Dyson family for this important gift, as it honors the memory of my beloved friend Margaret Dyson -- supporting eye health, a cause dear to her, and bringing to the bedside the therapeutic breakthroughs achieved in the laboratory of the Margaret Dyson research institute," says Dr. Coleman, The John Milton McLean Professor of Ophthalmology and former chairman of the ophthalmology department.

To celebrate and commemorate its 50 years of grant-making, the Dyson Foundation awarded major grants totaling $28 million to several organizations. In addition to Weill Cornell Medical College, recipients included Cornell University, Pace University (New York and Pleasantville, N.Y.), Health Quest Inc. (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.), Marietta College (Marietta, Ohio) and the Pierpont Morgan Library.

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The Dyson Foundation

In 1957, Charles H. and Margaret M. Dyson established the Dyson Foundation, which took in the assets of an earlier trust (dating to 1949). Charles (1909-1997), or "Charlie" as he was known, became a renowned pioneer in the field of leveraged buyouts. The Dyson Foundation was established to facilitate and formalize the family's charitable giving and was intended to be a permanent vehicle for family philanthropy. Headquartered in Millbrook, N.Y. (Dutchess County), the Dyson Foundation has awarded over $164 million in grants since its founding to organizations large and small, national and local, in both New York City and the Mid-Hudson Valley. The Dyson Foundation's current grant-making includes a significant grants program in the Mid-Hudson Valley of New York state that seeks to improve the quality of life in the region, create opportunities and support for economically disadvantaged individuals and families, and strengthen the nonprofit sector. The Dyson Foundation also supports a number of organizations and causes that are tied to Dyson family interests. Its assets currently stand at approximately $337 million. The Dyson Foundation awarded grants totaling $18,463,531 in 2006.

Weill Cornell Medical College Weill Cornell Medical College -- located in New York City -- is committed to excellence in research, teaching, patient care and the advancement of the art and science of medicine. Weill Cornell, which is a principal academic affiliate of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, offers an innovative curriculum that integrates the teaching of basic and clinical sciences, problem-based learning, office-based preceptorships, and primary care and doctoring courses. Physicians and scientists of Weill Cornell Medical College are engaged in cutting-edge research in such areas as stem cells, genetics and gene therapy, geriatrics, neuroscience, structural biology, cardiovascular medicine, ophthalmology, AIDS, obesity, cancer and psychiatry -- and continue to delve ever deeper into the molecular basis of disease in an effort to unlock the mysteries behind the human body and the malfunctions that result in serious medical disorders. Weill Cornell Medical College is the birthplace of many medical advances -- from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., and most recently, the world's first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease. Weill Cornell's Physician Organization includes 650 clinical faculty, who provide the highest quality of care to their patients.

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