Support from a Survivor

Kinga Lampert and her husband, Edward, are helping Sylvester breast cancer researchers move closer to a cure

When Kinga Lampert was just 31 years old, she heard the words every woman fears: “You have breast cancer.” With no history of the disease in her family, the news came as an incredible shock, especially considering her age.

Fortunately, the treatment she received was a success. Today she is not only a survivor, but she and her husband, Edward Lampert, are also among the nation’s foremost supporters of breast cancer research. Much of their generosity now focuses on Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

“Through my work with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, I already knew about the promising work of Sylvester’s Dr. Joyce Slingerland [director

of the Braman Family Breast Cancer Institute] and Dr. Tan Ince [former Sylvester research professor],” Lampert said. “The dots started connecting even more when I met Dr. Felicia Knaul, a researcher who is married to UM President Julio Frenk and who, like me, is a breast cancer survivor.”

The Lamperts were also inspired by the work of Stephen D. Nimer, M.D., director of Sylvester and Oscar de la Renta Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, and his desire to put Miami on the map as a leading center for breast cancer research.

“My husband and I moved here in 2012, and we felt strongly that a vibrant, growing international city like Miami deserved a top-notch research center,” Lampert said.

“This is a very challenging project that we would not be able to do without the support from Ms. Lampert.”
— Lluis Morey, Ph.D.

A New Research Lab

With a growing connection to the University, the couple funded a new state-of-the-art research lab in 2016 — The Kinga and Edward Lampert Laboratory for Breast Cancer Research. Their support is helping researchers understand why up to a third of patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, the most common type, develop a resistance to treatment, often leading to a metastasis of their disease up to five years following treatment.

“If we can understand why some women develop resistance to current therapies and others don’t, we will be able to identify new targets and develop new therapeutic approaches and strategies,” said Lluis Morey, Ph.D., assistant professor of human genetics in Sylvester’s Cancer Epigenetics Program, whose work is funded by the Lampert Foundation. “This is a very challenging project that we would not be able to do without the support from Ms. Lampert.”

Lampert also accepted a seat on Sylvester’s Board of Overseers, helping lead the cancer center into the future.
Sylvester was recently named a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center — the only one in South Florida.

“You can’t overestimate the importance of the NCI designation,” Lampert said. “It not only means the center will receive more government funding, but it also means it can attract the best talent in terms of researchers, physicians and staff. It elevates the center to a whole new level.

“I know in my heart that there will be a cure very soon,” she added. “Sylvester is a terrific place to lead the charge.”

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI MEDICINE
SPRING 2020