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Temple Receives $5 Million Gift from Dr. Gerald M. Lemole and Emily Jane Lemole to Establish The Lemole Center for Integrated Lymphatics and Vascular Research

News July 22, 2020

Dr. Gerald LemoleGerald M. Lemole, MD, a 1962 graduate of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University (LKSOM), and Emily Jane Lemole have committed a gift of $5 million to LKSOM to establish The Lemole Center for Integrated Lymphatics and Vascular Research. Guided by a strong establishing vision, this groundbreaking new center will integrate basic science research and clinical research to establish a high-performing interdisciplinary hub for lymphatics research to target the lymphatic system in understanding, treating and curing human disease.

“We are grateful to the administration of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine and congratulate them for their visionary approach to lymphatic 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 Dr. Lemole.

“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 Richard M. Englert, President of Temple University. "I am deeply grateful to the Lemoles, and on behalf of everyone at Temple University, want to thank them for their thoughtfulness and generosity.” 

“We’re extremely grateful for this generous gift,” said John M. Daly, MD, FACS, Interim Dean, Dean Emeritus, and Harry C. Donahoo Professor of Surgery at LKSOM. “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.  I join them in anticipation of the exciting future discoveries that will take place at the interdisciplinary Lemole Center—including new and improved scientific understanding of the lymphatic system, its role in human disease and translational advances that will help inform future standards of care. This type of transformative philanthropy shapes institutions and accelerates science. In this instance, the Lemole Center will bring together scientists and clinicians from multiple disciplines to share ideas and research technology to create new paradigms related to the lymphatic system.”

Led by Michael Autieri, PhD, Associate Director and Professor in the Cardiovascular Research Center, Professor of Physiology, Professor in the Sol Sherry Thrombosis Research Center and Professor in the Center for Metabolic Disease Research at LKSOM, this collaborative Center will reach across the Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Temple University, the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple University Hospital and other universities in the region, nation and internationally, bringing together experts in multiple scientific areas to share ideas, collate scientific literature from diverse backgrounds and provide the nidus for collaborative scientific research. It will also educate clinicians and scientists by recommending translational research in humans, altering our biologic approaches to human diseases.

The Lewis Katz School of Medicine is renowned for its top science across many disciplines. A number of its NIH-funded scientists involved in cardiac, neural, and vascular research are driven to investigate how the lymphatic system participates in their disease of interest. Initial program participants have been chosen based on their ability to leverage lymphatics research funding into competitive NIH-funded research projects and lymphatic program project grants. The formation of a lymphatics research working group into a more cohesive team will synergize research and promote translation of new knowledge into clinical applications.

Dr. Gerald Lemole is a past Chair and current member of the Lewis Katz School of Medicine Board of Visitors.  After graduating from LKSOM he completed an internship at Staten Island Hospital, followed by a residency in general surgery at Temple University Hospital.

A renowned cardiac surgeon, Dr. Lemole was part of the team that performed the first heart transplant in the United States in 1968.  He returned to Philadelphia in 1969 as an instructor in surgery at Temple University. That same year, he performed the first coronary bypass in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. At age 32, Dr. Lemole was named Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Temple. In 1975, at age 38, he became a full professor at Temple - an achievement which also made him one of the youngest full professors of surgery in the United States.

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

In the fall of 2009, Dr. Lemole and his wife Emily Jane established the Lemole Lecture Series in Integrative Medicine Fund and named the Dr. Gerald M. and Emily Jane Lemole Executive Conference Room at LKSOM’s 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 LKSOM. “We are incredibly grateful for their enduring commitment, vision, partnership and support.”

Dr. Lemole has been fascinated by the lymphatic system and its role in health since his early days as a cardiovascular surgeon, and has authored many publications on lymphatics. A renowned cardiovascular surgeon, he is often given credit for introducing contemporary music to operating rooms in the Northeast as a way to soothe the medical team and the patients. The practice is now common and many studies have demonstrated its value. In 1982, as a visiting professor at the University of Istanbul in Turkey, Dr. Lemole performed that nation’s first successful coronary artery bypass procedure. He has lectured extensively and written numerous articles for professional publications and published After Cancer Care for a general audience in 2015.

Dr. Lemole was Chief of Surgery at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in New Jersey from 1972 to 1984. He relocated his practice in 1986 to develop the first open heart surgery program in the State of Delaware, serving as Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at the Medical Center of Delaware. In 2006, Dr. Lemole was the recipient of Christiana Care Health System’s W. L. Samuel Carpenter III Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Surgery.

Dr. Lemole was then appointed Medical Director of Christiana Care’s Preventive Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute and Center for Integrative Health in January, 2007.