Oppenheimer’s Gift to Cancer Research Honors a Force for Good

Oppenheimer’s Gift to Cancer Research Honors a Force for Good

Jennifer Oppenheimer


“Our gift is a way to give back to the physicians who took care of [Jennifer] while also honoring and carrying forth her work to help others.”
JONATHAN OPPENHEIMER


Jennifer Oppenheimer devoted her life to promoting economic and social opportunity for communities in need, particularly in Africa. When she passed away in 2017 from brain cancer, her husband, Jonathan, wanted to find a way to honor her generous spirit and prevent others from enduring the same heartbreaking fate.

“Jennifer was a powerful and vibrant force for good who touched the lives of thousands through her extensive advocacy for civil society organizations,” Jonathan says. “My family and I are grateful for the kind and expert care Jennifer received at the Dana- Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center during the most challenging and difficult time of our lives.”

Jennifer suffered from glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer. Through the Oppenheimer Generations Foundation, Jonathan recently made a gift to create the Jennifer Oppenheimer Cancer Research Initiative at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. The initiative will focus on improving care for glioblastomas through innovative surgical approaches and improved therapies.

Jonathan says, “Our gift is a way to give back to the physicians who took care of her while also honoring and carrying forth her work to help others.”

The initiative’s leaders include expert members from Jennifer’s care team: Alexandra Golby, MD, director of image-guided neurosurgery, David Reardon, MD, clinical director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology, and James Tulsky, MD, chair of the Department of Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care. With their combined strengths, the team is poised to accelerate research toward a cure and improve quality of life for patients.

“We are honored and humbled by Jonathan’s gift and his trust in us to honor Jennifer’s memory by bringing resources and hope to thousands of patients and families who are living with a glioblastoma diagnosis,” says Betsy Nabel, MD, president of Brigham Health. “His generosity and vision will lead to new ways of understanding and treating this devastating disease.”