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Anniversary Gala Raises $3.2 Million for Sylvester’s Cancer Research Building

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center celebrated its 50th anniversary at Superblue Miami, an immersive art experience which illustrated the connection between art and science and shined a spotlight on Sylvester’s medical masterpiece, the Transformational Cancer Research Building (TCRB).

Art is Medicine

The evening began with docent-led tours of Superblue Miami’s impressive artist installations. Guests spoke with Sylvester researchers about their work and the leading-edge science taking place at the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center. Through these interactions, gala attendees gained an appreciation for the innovation and inspiration guiding both scientists and artists, supporting the event theme, “Art is Medicine.”

Attendees at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center gala, mingling in the Superblue Miami art exhibition.
A gala like no other, merging science, art and community, as Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer celebrated its 50th anniversary

“Art is incredibly relevant as a complex creative skill, combining imagination, inspiration, function and form,” said University of Miami President Julio Frenk in addressing the gala’s 250-plus attendees. “Our scientists employ many of the same skills needed to end the human burden of cancer: innovation, knowledge building, the design of inroads into understanding and treating complex diseases, as well as mindfulness and whole-body wellness.”

University of Miami President Julio Frenk addressed the gala audience, saying scientists, like artists, use innovative thinking to create new solutions.

Becoming a National Cancer Leader

President Frenk introduced Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., who has led the center’s rise to one of the nation’s premier cancer centers.

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Stephen Nimer addressing gala attendees from the podium
Sylvester Director Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., welcomed the more than 250 supporters who came to Superblue Miami to enjoy interactive art exhibits, food, and music by En Vogue.

Dr. Nimer, also the Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and executive dean of research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, spoke passionately of the many milestones Sylvester has celebrated over the years.

“Becoming the region’s only NCI-designated Cancer Center in 2019 was an important milestone,” said Dr. Nimer. “The successful recruitment of more than 260 cancer research and physician faculty, who with their teams represent more than 1,600 more people focusing on cancer than we had a decade ago, another milestone. And lastly, the ongoing construction of the Transformational Cancer Research Building, a building devoted to innovative cancer research and cancer care.”

Gift of Hope

From left to right: Kinga Lampert, Jayne Sylvester Malfitano, Lisa heiden-Koffler, and Georgia Nimer

The state-of-the-art TCRB will double Sylvester’s research footprint with space for a world-class, multidisciplinary team of cancer doctors and scientists committed to advancing knowledge, pursuing groundbreaking discoveries and providing personalized cancer care.

The 12-story, 244,000-square-foot building will be equipped with advanced technology and laboratories where physician-scientists can accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into lifesaving treatments.

“The funds raised tonight will bolster our efforts to complete this building by the beginning of 2025, and we cannot wait to send a clear signal to Florida and the rest of the world that Sylvester has become a destination for cancer care,” said Dr. Nimer, who expressed his gratitude to the gala attendees for their generous support in raising $3.255 million and seeing this vision come to fruition.

Event co-chairs Georgia Nimer, Lisa Heiden-Koffler and Kinga Lampert, who is also a member of the Sylvester Board of Governors, meticulously planned the gala. They, along with Jayne Sylvester Malfitano, Sylvester Board of Governors chair and president and director of the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, were outfitted in fashions provided by longtime Sylvester supporter, Oscar de la Renta.

 “It is our honor to help accelerate the work of the amazing team at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center,” said Lampert. “We would also like to thank Oscar de la Renta and his team for providing the couture we are wearing tonight.”

Pop music icons En Vogue perform at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center gala.
Pop music stars En Vogue took to the stage at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center gala.

The evening concluded with a performance by the Grammy-nominated R&B group En Vogue followed by music by DJ K.Kess.


Tags: philanthropy, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Transformational Cancer Research Building