Endowed Gift Establishes Dr. Cyrus Katzen Family Director at GW Cancer Center

A gift from GW alumnus and former Trustee Jay Katzen will support directorship at the GW Cancer Center.

May 10, 2019

Jay KatzenThe George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center has announced the establishment of the Dr. Cyrus Katzen Family Director of the GW Cancer Center, thanks to a gift from GW alumnus and former Board of Trustee member Jay Katzen, B.A. ’67 and M.D. ’72.

The gift will support the ongoing growth and expansion of the GW Cancer Center in strategic areas of clinical care, research and education.

“We are grateful for the support of Dr. Katzen and his family,” said Eduardo Sotomayor, director of the GW Cancer Center, who will be installed as the inaugural Dr. Cyrus Katzen Family Director of the GW Cancer Center at a ceremony later this year. “With this gift, we can expand our ability to deliver the highest quality of care to patients in Washington, D.C.—this includes expanded treatment options, as well as research we can take from the lab to the bedside. Many lives will be touched by this act of generosity.”

The endowment will support basic science and translational research, new treatment protocols, academic needs for medical students and clinicians, honoraria for visiting scholars, pilot research grants for residents and fellows, equipment needs and more.

The Katzen family’s support over the past two decades has been critical to cancer care at GW and in Washington, D.C. This gift follows a $10 million gift made in 2008 by Cyrus and Myrtle Katzen that enabled GW to bring the most up-to-date technology and treatment options to patients. It also included an expanded and remodeled Infusion Center to create a calming, healing environment for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

“On behalf of GW, I would like to thank Dr. Katzen for his generous gift and for his continued support of the university and its initiatives,” said Donna Arbide, vice president for development and alumni relations at GW. “The Katzen family’s philanthropy has already made a significant impact on the lives of those who have undergone cancer treatment at GW, and the ongoing support will help improve the lives of patients for years to come.”  

Jay Katzen is one of six members of the Katzen family to have attended GW and is one of four family members who earned medical degrees at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). He is a member of the GW SMHS Dean’s Council, the Katzen Cancer Research Center Board of Directors, the GW Society and the Luther Rice Society. He also served on the GW Board of Trustees from 2010-18.

Jay Katzen practices as an ophthalmologist at The Eye Center, an Alexandria, Va., practice that is at the forefront of vision correction. He is also involved in commercial real estate development, property management and leasing and is an officer of Culmore Realty Company. He is a member of numerous organizations including the Northern Virginia Academy of Ophthamology, Research to Prevent Blindness Society and is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

“My family’s tradition of philanthropy is rooted in our desire to give to programs and initiatives that benefit cancer patients in the Washington, D.C., region, the most. We believe we can move the needle forward at the GW Cancer Center,” said Jay Katzen. “Every cancer patient deserves compassionate care and to have the latest research and treatment at their disposal during their fight.”