At Stony Brook University, a Cancer Prevention Fellowship has been established with $1 Million Endowment from George and Olga Tunis as a symbol of their shared commitment to fighting cancer and as a nod to their great pride in their Greek ancestry. The fellowship is endowed for an MD or PhD pursuing biomedical research at the Stony Brook University Cancer Center.
The Tsunis Fellowship for Cancer Prevention has been created to attract a well-qualified scholar from Greece or of Greek decent, with the goal of training these physicians and scientists at Stony Brook, and then returning them to Greece to help the country overcome its current difficulties.
The George and Olga Tsunis Fellow will learn the process of how new and novel drugs can be developed for the treatment of cancer. Such knowledge could be applied in Greece to improve the treatment of cancer patients, conduct clinical trials of new drugs and foster academia — pharmaceutical industry interactions on drug development.
“Imagine if the George and Olga Fellow working alongside a Greek American contributed to the ultimate goal of preventing or curing cancer,” Mr. Tsunis said, adding, “That would be remarkable achievement for Olga and me as well as the Greek community.”
“Stony Brook’s cancer research enterprise will be further propelled by the passion and generosity of Olga and George Tsunis,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, President of Stony Brook University. “Their leadership by example will inspire and enable a new generation of Greek researchers and collaborators who, along with Stony Brook, strive toward the bold pursuit of a world without cancer.”
The Stony Brook Cancer Center, led by Director Yusuf Hannun MD, is home to some of the most promising new ideas in cancer research today. At its new and unique cancer-fighting enterprise, the Kavita and Lalit Bahl Center for Metabolomics and Imaging, Hannun and his team are pivoting from studying one cancer — as most other centers do — to studying the genesis of all cancer at the molecular level.
The Stony Brook University Cancer Center is clearly an investment that promises George and Olga Tsunis a significant return on their investment. A prominent business leader, George Tsunis is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Chartwell Hotels, which owns, manages and develops hotels under the Hilton, Marriott and InterContinental Hotels Group franchises. An attorney and developer, Tsunis is highly sought out for his expertise in public policy at the intersection of economic and foreign affairs.