Newswise — The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has received a $16 million gift from Philip Van Horn Gerdine, a longtime business consultant for well-known national and international corporations.

The gift, also made in the name of Gerdine’s late wife, Marjorie, a clinical psychologist and educator, will be divided three ways to benefit the School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute:l $10 million will be used to benefit the School of Medicine to establish the Philip and Marjorie Gerdine Precision Medicine Scholars Fund (Gerdine Scholars Fund), which will enable six to eight scholars to pursue creative experimental approaches to novel research in the area of precision medicine, which tailors health treatment for individual patients.l $3 million will be used to benefit the Wilmer Eye Institute and establish the Philip and Marjorie Gerdine Professorship of Ophthalmology for the Cornea Division (Cornea Fund) in support of the cornea division.l $3 million will be used to benefit the Wilmer Eye Institute and endow the Philip and Marjorie Gerdine Professorship of Ophthalmology for Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research (AMD Fund) in support of research in age-related macular degeneration.

Gerdine, who is based in Boston, understands and appreciates the critical importance of this work and says his motivation for the donation was personal.

“When my wife and I worked on our wills, we knew that Johns Hopkins Medicine would be at the top for gift-giving,” says Gerdine, who had corneal transplants at the Wilmer Eye Institute in the 1980s to treat a condition called Fuchs’ dystrophy. His wife later received care there for macular degeneration.

“This wonderful gift from Philip Gerdine and his late wife, Marjorie, will allow our researchers to go even further in their work developing cutting-edge treatments for a range of diseases, from cancer to age-related macular degeneration,” says Paul B. Rothman, dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “I know that their impressive generosity will make a significant difference in our efforts to help our patients.”

“We are grateful that Dr. Gerdine has chosen to invest in innovation within the field of ophthalmology and research into eye disease,” says Peter McDonnell, M.D., director of the Wilmer Eye Institute. “The professorships he is establishing will accelerate the work of the next generation of Wilmer faculty leading the way to better understanding and treatment of the major retinal and corneal diseases.”

Married for 55 years, both Philip Van Horn Gerdine and Marjorie Gerdine studied clinical psychology. In addition to her career in education, Marjorie Gerdine maintained a large private practice in Massachusetts working with children and adolescents. She passed away in 2019. Philip Gerdine chose to pursue a business career and has extensive experience in international business management, most recently in the semiconductor industry.

“The revolutionary tools of our era will allow humans to reimagine discovery and practice in medicine,” says Antony Rosen, M.B.Ch.B., B.Sc., vice dean for research at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and director of Johns Hopkins inHealth. “Dr. Gerdine’s magnificent gift places these tools in the hands of highly creative trainees, who will use them to shape medicine’s future.”The funds will be made available to Johns Hopkins Medicine as part of Gerdine’s estate plan.