June 2, 2020—(BRONX, NY)—Albert Einstein College of Medicine has received a $1 million challenge grant from Michael F. Price and the Price Family Foundation to support COVID-19 research. The foundation will match donations to Einstein for research on the novel coronavirus, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million.
“Our longstanding partnership with Einstein is based on its extraordinary strength in translational research, moving breakthrough discoveries in the lab into the clinic to help patients,” said Mr. Price. “The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Bronx and Westchester particularly hard, which provides Einstein and Montefiore with an extraordinary opportunity to play a leadership role in the development of diagnostics and treatments in the fight against the pandemic—and we are committed to supporting them in this important work.”
The COVID-19 outbreak in New York State first emerged in New Rochelle in Westchester county during early March, with the Bronx later becoming the epicenter of the global pandemic. Montefiore was on the front lines treating patients and has, to date, discharged over 5,000 people from the medical center.
With a large and growing number of those who have recovered from the disease, researchers at Einstein and Montefiore are leading the national effort to conduct a rigorous clinical trial on the use of convalescent plasma to treat those fighting the infection. The study brought together bench researchers and infectious disease clinicians and has resulted in a new antibody test, which has been approved for clinical use.
“Einstein and Montefiore are perfectly placed to take a lead role in the fight against COVID-19 and help blunt the impact of the pandemic not only in our city, but around the world,” said Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D., The Marilyn and Stanley M. Katz Dean at Einstein. “With no natural immunity, no vaccine, and no approved treatments, this pandemic requires all of us to marshal our resources, focus on the most pressing problems, and devise meaningful solutions. Mr. Price’s generous gift is critically important to us to take immediate steps—and is a clear call to action for others to join the charge.”
In addition to the convalescent plasma study, Einstein and Montefiore have a long roster of current and planned research projects on the novel coronavirus:
Einstein has also launched the COVID-19 Research Collaboratories to connect scientists in a range of disciplines, foster collaborations, and facilitate new investigations into the virus. Pilot funding will be provided to propel promising research projects ahead.
Mr. Price’s generous gift is critically important to us to take immediate steps—and is a clear call to action for others to join the charge.
Dean Gordon F. Tomaselli, M.D.
Mr. Price, through his Price Family Foundation, has been a major supporter of Einstein and Montefiore for decades. In addition to the current grant, Mr. Price made a significant donation to build the Price Center for Genetic and Translational Medicine/Harold and Muriel Block Research Pavilion, which was opened on Einstein’s campus in 2008. In 2017, the foundation established the Price Foundation Fund for Translational Research at Montefiore/Einstein, which is supporting collaborations between researchers and clinicians focusing on pediatrics in the Bronx. For more than a decade, the foundation has supported the Healthy Steps for Young Children at Montefiore Program, which integrates mental health care with pediatric primary care and has been cited as a proven solution to poverty.