STEEPED IN TRADITION AND CEREMONY, endowed chairs are the highest accolade a university can bestow upon a professor. Endowed chairs represent prestige and honor for the chairholders and the people and organizations whose names they carry. They help advance research, provide exceptional patient care, and attract and retain world-class talent. In 2022, Sylvester awarded endowed chairs to two outstanding faculty members who have distinguished themselves through their groundbreaking bodies of work.
“I intend to use the Schultes’ investment to explore new territories and ideas in our research to investigate how cancer cells interact with the tumor microenvironment and immune response for gastroesophageal cancers. I’m blessed and honored to be a part of Sylvester, to be working with and learning from so many visionary leaders in cancer research.“
WAEL EL-RIFAI, M.D., PH.D.
John and Judy Schulte Senior Endowed Chair in Cancer Research
From his humble start as a University of Miami student to the pinnacle of his public relations career, John K. Schulte was a steadfast supporter of his alma mater. Together with his wife, Judy, they not only gave generously during their lifetime, but also arranged to support research and education after their passing.
Their legacy now lives on in perpetuity through their Senior Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, presented to Wael El-Rifai, M.D., Ph.D., also associate vice chair of the DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, to expand his research to identify and develop novel therapeutic strategies for gastroesophageal cancers.
"I am humbled and honored to receive this endowed chair. It is less about me and more about three amazing pillars of our community that have made this possible: the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation, the Dolphins organization, and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. I am so grateful that they have chosen me to conduct this mission.“
FRANK J. PENEDO, PH.D.
Sylvester Dolphins Challenge Cancer Living Proof Endowed Chair in Cancer Survivorship
In recognition of his accomplishments in the field of cancer survivorship and psychosocial oncology, Frank J. Penedo, Ph.D., was inducted as the inaugural holder of the Sylvester Dolphins Challenge Cancer Living Proof Endowed Chair in Cancer Survivorship. This unique chair, created through a remarkable partnership of the Harcourt M. and Virginia W. Sylvester Foundation and Dolphins Challenge Cancer, combines the efforts of many into a greater unified impact.
Dr. Penedo has dedicated his life to increasing the understanding that fighting cancer is a lifelong journey, with a series of emotional, physical, and social challenges that affect not only the patient but the family and caregivers as well.