UW-Madison Eye Research Institute: Research Initiative Enhances Minnesota-Wisconsin Partnerships

CONTACT: Tracy Perkins, (608) 265-0690, [email protected]; Lester Bagley, (612)

MADISON-Some of the plays in the stands at Lambeau Field were just as thrilling as
those on the turf when Minnesota Vikings ownership partner and New Jersey attorney
and businessman David Mandelbaum revealed a plan for a $2.5 million gift to the
University of Wisconsin-Madison Eye Research Institute to support a joint research
initiative with scientists at the University of Minnesota.

The gift was announced to Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle at halftime during Monday
night’s Vikings-Packers game.

Known as the “Minnesota-Wisconsin Cancer Therapeutics Initiative,” the project’s
primary goal is to improve public health through the application of molecular,
biomedical and biotechnology research into the causes and treatments of melanoma, a
cancer affecting the skin and eye. Researchers at UM and UW-Madison will work
together to initiate a rapid, translational study of new drugs for the treatment of

As neighboring states, Minnesota and Wisconsin have a distinguished history of
collaboration, broadly ranging from student reciprocity to prescription drug reform,
and from initiatives in manufacturing to agriculture.

“We truly appreciate Mr. Mandelbaum’s generosity, and his gift is truly visionary.
This gift will bring the two institutions close and allow for greater
collaboration,” Gov. Doyle said. “Much of what happens at the University of
Wisconsin is due to thoughtful and generous people like David Mandelbaum.”

Mandelbaum’s support will bring together some of the best research minds in the
world to enable rapid translation of discovery to therapy. Advances in cancer
treatment will enhance not only the lives of citizens of both states, but of all
people who are afflicted with this life-threatening disease. These two Midwestern
universities are home to world-class research institutions housing scientists who
have the insight, dedication, and skill to tackle this project.

Work at UW-Madison will be done under the auspices of the Eye Research Institute. A
major aspect of the institute’s mission is to gather researchers and scholars from
diverse scientific, medical and other academic backgrounds who are committed to
increasing the understanding of normal vision and of eye diseases. The institute
makes connections between investigators from different disciplines and universities
to facilitate innovative problem solving and the rapid application of scientific
findings to patient care.

Mandelbaum is an attorney with Mandelbaum & Mandelbaum, P.A., and is a General
Partner of Interstate Properties, a trustee of Vornado Realty, and Director of
Alexander’s, Inc. This initiative is a continuation of Mandelbaum’s generous gifts
in support of the UW-Madison Eye Research Institute.