A gift of $126 million to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine will accelerate advances in finding cures for cancer and expand innovative treatment options. The donation is the single largest in the University of Miami’s 95-year history.
The unrestricted anonymous gift was made in honor of Stephen D. Nimer, MD, Director of Sylvester and the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. “I am truly humbled by the magnitude of this gift,” said Dr. Nimer. “I never expected to experience such immense generosity for simply answering the call to serve those in need.”
Stephen D. Nimer, MD
The gift is an anonymous bequest from a member of a family Dr. Nimer has known for decades. When facing several health challenges, including cancer, the family turned to Dr. Nimer for guidance and support. “I’ve dedicated my life to excellence and serving the well-being of others,” said Dr. Nimer, who is also Professor of Medicine, Biochemistry, and Molecular Biology at the Miller School. “I now want to honor this donor. With a gift of this size, it’s our goal to maximize its impact, ensuring that we invest in programs and people who can change outcomes for as many patients as possible. That will mean a legacy that lasts for generations to come.”
Recognized as one of the world’s premier leukemia and stem cell transplant researchers and clinicians, Dr. Nimer led the multiyear effort to secure National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation in 2019, making Sylvester the only NCI-designated cancer center in South Florida and one of only two in Florida.
Based on the donor’s previous interest in Dr. Nimer’s research priorities, a part of the gift will be dedicated to advancing research in cancer epigenetics and Sylvester’s experimental therapeutics program. “This will help the people in this community get greater access to more novel treatments,” said Dr. Nimer. “With expanded treatment options and opportunities to develop more cures, our patients can benefit from this landmark gift to our cancer center.”
The gift has already allowed Sylvester to recruit a leader in the field of experimental therapeutics, who will build on the program’s breakthrough impact on cancer care. Funds from the donation will support Sylvester’s continued efforts to attract and retain top-tier scientists and clinicians.