STONY BROOK, NY, OCTOBER 17, 2013—Vincent and Stephen Della Pietra along with their wives Barbara Amonson and Pamela Hurst-Della Pietra have channeled their professional success and lifelong love of science into a leadership gift that will create the Della Pietra Chair of Biomedical Imaging at Stony Brook University. Their $1.5 million gift, matched by a grant from the Simons Foundation, will have a total impact of $3 million. The University is recruiting a nationally-renowned researcher to fill the position.
“This generous gift from the Della Pietras helps us establish an endowed chair in a field that is central to advancing medical research and clinical care at Stony Brook and we are very grateful,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “As we begin the search to fill this important new position, we do so with the promise that enhancing our biomedical imaging capabilities will foster collaboration among research faculty at Stony Brook and lead to important new discoveries.”
The Della Pietra Chair of Biomedical Imaging will play a crucial role in Stony Brook Medicine’s strategic plan, which focuses on cardiovascular, neuroscience and cancer research, said Kenneth Kaushansky, MD, Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine.
“In order to impact our understanding and treatment of the disorders that greatly erode our health, we must develop and enhance our visualization of the origins of human disease,” explained Dr. Kaushansky. “Molecular and cellular imaging is at the very frontier of modern biomedicine, and the Della Pietra family is providing Stony Brook Medicine the opportunity to develop the tools needed to greatly impact our understanding of cancer, cardiac and neurological disorders among others.”
“Imaging is a fascinating opportunity to apply math in ways that can really help people,” said Stephen Della Pietra. “We wanted to do something that would be locally important and make a big difference.”
A portion of the Della Pietra family’s generous gift will also go toward establishing a program for gifted high school students on the Stony Brook campus—one similar in spirit to a science honors program at Columbia University that Stephen and Vincent attended while in high school.
“I think education is really the most important thing the country should be focusing on,” said Vincent Della Pietra. “It’s critical to support education at the gifted level because these students are going to be our next leaders in science and technology.”