$45 million to fund new Bladder Cancer Institute

Baltimore-area commercial real estate developer Erwin L. Greenberg and his wife, Stephanie Cooper Greenberg, have pledged a $15 million gift to create the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute. Their gift is part of a $45 million co-investment with Johns Hopkins University, which will draw on the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center's multidisciplinary research teams and will include faculty from the School of Medicine's Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences, the Brady Urologic Institute, and the departments of Pathology and Surgery.

The Greenberg gift, which is the largest designated bladder cancer research gift ever given to Johns Hopkins, was made through the Erwin and Stephanie Greenberg Foundation, whose philanthropy focuses on issues of poverty, education, and medical research.  

Despite its prevalence and toll, bladder cancer commands strikingly little public attention and media coverage as compared with other cancer types; funding for research is similarly skewed.

"Bladder cancer is not as well-known among the general public as other cancers," says Theodore R. DeWeese, chair of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Radiation Sciences. "This new institute will provide needed resources to increase awareness, education, and new research and treatments related to this disease."

Erwin L. Greenberg serves actively on several nonprofit boards, including the cancer center's national advisory board, and Stephanie Cooper Greenberg serves on the advisory board of the university's Berman Institute of Bioethics. Bladder cancer is one of the most common genitourinary cancers in adults. The World Health Organization estimates 330,000 cases worldwide, with more than 74,000 new cases and 15,000 deaths in the United States alone. Annual costs of bladder cancer in the United States alone approach $4 billion.

The Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute will serve as the hub of an institutional and international community of researchers who share a commitment to advancing the scientific understanding of bladder cancer and improving its treatment. According to Johns Hopkins officials, no other institution in the world houses a similarly collaborative program with this expansive scope and intensive focus on bladder cancer. The institute will begin formal operations in 2014.