By Anna Lothson
The Taxman Family Foundation, run by local developer Seymour "Sy" Taxman, will donate $2.5 million to support the training of specialists in the study and treatment of digestive disease at the University of Chicago Medicine, according to a recent news release.
The gift was announced June 30 at the annual fundraising event for the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation (GIRF). It will honor Dr. Joseph B. Kirsner, the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, who helped establish GIRF in 1962.
According to the release, the gift will support an endowed fellowship that will enable young physician-scientists of high promise to continue their clinical training while developing research skills and experience. It will support research and faculty recruitment initiatives, and it will help build the Joseph B. Kirsner faculty reception area in the medical center's New Hospital Pavilion, which will open in early 2013.
"Very few people have had an impact on me, or on the world, like Dr. Joseph Kirsner," Taxman, Chief Executive Officer and founder of the Chicago-based Taxman Corporation, said in the release. "He has helped thousands of patients in their personal battles against digestive disorders. He also has trained generations of experts in the field. It is an honor for my wife and me to help extend his reach and continue this profound legacy."
Taxman, a longtime member of the GIRF board, is a pioneer in bringing suburban-style commercial development to the city. The Chicago-based Taxman Corporation develops neighborhood and community retail properties. Since its inception, the Corporation has developed nearly 85 shopping centers, drugstores, supermarkets, suburban properties, and other properties throughout the city.
"This magnanimous gift is a fitting tribute to the seminal role played by Dr. Joseph Kirsner to further our understanding of gastrointestinal health and disease and to advocate for every patient he ever cared for," Dr. Kenneth Polonsky, dean of the Biological Sciences Division and the Pritzker School of Medicine and executive vice president of Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago, said in the release. "For more than 60 years, Joe Kirsner was a model in the care of the patient, a skill he passed on to his students, and in the study of complex disease. This gift will extend that legacy. We are very appreciative that the Taxman Foundation has agreed to honor Dr. Kirsner in this manner and would also like to acknowledge the critical role played by the Gastro-Intestinal Research Foundation in facilitating this gift."