Donors on a Mission to Fast-Track Cancer Therapies at MSK

Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller

The Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller Presidential Innovation Fund will support translational research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller know the value of a good investment. Throughout their successful careers in finance, the Druckenmillers have lived by a key tenet: Invest in the causes and people you believe in. A passion for economics and keen analytical skills guided them throughout their careers. Mr. Druckenmiller founded an investment firm, Duquesne Capital Management, in 1981. A few years later, he joined the Dreyfus Corporation and later the Quantum Fund. Mr. Druckenmiller met Mrs. Druckenmiller at the Dreyfus Corporation, where she was a portfolio manager and senior securities analyst.

Now, the Druckenmillers have set their sights on a new venture: supporting translational cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. With a transformational gift of $100 million from the Druckenmillers, MSK established the Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller Presidential Innovation Fund in late 2021. The fund is designed to fuel the most creative and impactful early-stage translational research and to channel advances in cancer biology directly into potential treatments. Translational research serves as a bridge between the laboratory and the clinic, often resulting in the development of novel diagnostics and therapies.

“We wanted to create more opportunities to support research endeavors that could lead to lifesaving treatments for many people with cancer. We’re confident that the fund will have a transformative effect on cancer outcomes over the next 10 years,” says Mrs. Druckenmiller.

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The Druckenmillers have long been champions of MSK’s approach to cancer medicine, which fosters close collaboration between doctors and scientists to deliver world-class care. Mr. Druckenmiller has been a member of MSK’s Boards of Trustees and Governing Trustees since 1997, and the couple has supported a wide range of programs across the institution. In 2015, they made a gift to establish the Fiona and Stanley Druckenmiller Center for Lung Cancer Research, with the goal of providing more effective therapies for people with lung cancer. In a few short years, physician-scientists and surgeons working side by side have initiated high-impact projects that have identified new strategies to treat people with lung cancer.

“Time and time again, we have witnessed the incredible advances that come from placing resources in the hands of talented doctors and scientists,” says Mr. Druckenmiller. “I can’t think of another institution better positioned to shape the future of cancer care than MSK.”

Philanthropy provides the necessary support for MSK researchers to study cancer in innovative ways. The Druckenmillers’ generosity ensures that the most brilliant people working in translational cancer research have the resources they need to make the most significant discoveries.

“All of us at MSK are deeply grateful to the Druckenmillers for their leadership and support of this crucial initiative, which will launch pathbreaking research and clinical care efforts and bring hope to so many people with cancer,” says Craig B. Thompson, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSK. “It is an honor to partner with them in this visionary endeavor.”

MSK News Winter 2021/2022
Translational research at MSK is speeding up discoveries to help patients like Mark Denisiuk.