Posted July 29, 2020

Alumnus donates $5 million to the Lewis Katz School of Medicine

The visionary gift will create a new, collaborative research center.

Katz School of Medicine alumnus Gerald M. Lemole has donated $5 million to his alma mater in support of research.

Renowned cardiac surgeon Gerald M. Lemole, MED ’62, and Emily Jane Lemole have established the Lemole Center for Integrated Lymphatics Research at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine with a transformational donation of $5 million.

“Temple University is home to world-class research that improves the health and lives of people every day. This very generous gift by Dr. Gerald Lemole and Emily Jane Lemole adds another vital area of research,” said Temple University President Richard M. Englert. “I am deeply grateful to the Lemoles, and on behalf of everyone at Temple University, want to thank them for their thoughtfulness and generosity.”

A part of the immune system, the lymphatic system is a network of organs and nodes that help the body regulate fluid and fight illness.

The Lemole Center will serve as an interdisciplinary hub to further understanding of the lymphatic system and the part it plays in cardiac, neural and vascular diseases. By integrating basic science and clinical research, the center will promote the translation of new knowledge from the laboratory to the bedside, where it can inform patient treatment and care.

“We are grateful to the administration of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and congratulate them for their visionary approach to lymphatics research, which has always been studied adjunctively as an access route for other systems rather than the unifying, facilitating, actively integrated bedrock system that it is,” said Lemole.

Led by Michael Autieri, associate director and professor in the Cardiovascular Research Center, the new collaborative center will bring together experts from around the region, nation and world to share scientific breakthroughs.

Since his early days as a doctor, Lemole has been fascinated by the lymphatic system and its role in overall health and wellness. He is the author of many publications on lymphatics for both a professional and general audience, including The Healing Diet: A Total Health Program to Purify Your Lymph System and Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease, Arthritis and Cancer.

In 1968, Lemole was part of the team that performed the first heart transplant in the U.S. The following year, he completed the first coronary bypass in the tri-state area and was named chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Temple. In 1975, at age 38, with his appointment to full professor of surgery at Temple, he became one of the youngest in the country to hold such a position.

Lemole went on to serve as chief of surgery at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in New Jersey, chief of cardiovascular surgery at the Medical Center of Delaware, and medical director at Christiana Care’s Preventive Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute and Center for Integrative Health.

Emily Jane Asplundh Lemole is a former trustee of the Fund for West Chester University of Pennsylvania, a former commissioner of Lower Moreland Township, Pennsylvania, and a minister in the Swedenborgian Church of North America.

“A combination of Dr. and Mrs. Lemole’s forward-looking philanthropy and leadership has led to this watershed moment at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine,” said John M. Daly, the Harry C. Donahoo Professor of Surgery and interim dean at Katz. “This type of transformative philanthropy shapes institutions and accelerates science.”

Long-time friends of the medical school, the couple previously established the Lemole Lecture Series in Integrative Medicine Fund and named the Dr. Gerald M. and Emily Jane Lemole Executive Conference Room at the Medical Education and Research Building.

“Dr. and Mrs. Lemole have been an integral part of Temple’s story for decades, and this extraordinary relationship has led to a transformative philanthropic investment in the Lewis Katz School of Medicine,” said Nina Weisbord, chief advancement officer for Temple University Health System and assistant dean at Katz. “We are incredibly grateful for their enduring commitment, vision, partnership and support.”