HomeScienceSusan L. Solomon, Crusader for Stem Cell Research, Dies at 71

Susan L. Solomon, Crusader for Stem Cell Research, Dies at 71

Susan L. Solomon, whose frustration over lags find a remedy for her teenage son’s Kind 1 diabetes prompted her to determine what grew to become a number one impartial stem cell analysis laboratory, died on Sept. 8 at her residence in Amagansett, N.Y. She was 71.

The trigger was ovarian most cancers, in accordance with her husband, Paul Goldberger, the previous structure critic of The New York Occasions and The New Yorker.

In 2005, Ms. Solomon deserted a profitable profession as a lawyer, new media entrepreneur and administration guide to hitch Mary Elizabeth Bunzel, a former journalist, in founding the New York Stem Cell Basis, of which Ms. Solomon was chief government for 17 years, stepping down solely lately.

The muse’s purpose is to speed up cures for main illnesses via stem cell analysis, and its lab, the New York Stem Cell Basis Analysis Institute, on West 54th Road in Manhattan, describes itself as the biggest impartial stem cell analysis lab within the nation. It has been credited with making inroads in opposition to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, neurodegenerative illnesses and imaginative and prescient loss, in addition to mitochondrial illness in pregnant girls, which might result in stunted development, kidney illness or neurological problems of their offspring.

Ms. Solomon and Ms. Bunzel began the inspiration in response to the refusal of the administration of President George W. Bush to make a significant funding in stem cell analysis. Their hope was that stem cells — fundamental cells that may generate new cells with specialised capabilities — might be reworked into cells that produce insulin and thus assist folks with Kind 1 diabetes. The pancreas of such a affected person doesn’t produce sufficient insulin by itself to assist the physique convert blood sugar into power.

Stem cell analysis grew to become a political situation for the Bush White Home as a result of the cells had been initially harvested solely from fertilized embryos, which many social conservatives take into account human lives. Some personal analysis organizations additionally shied away from stem cell analysis on the time, fearing they could jeopardize their funding from the federal authorities.

Ms. Solomon first envisioned the New York Stem Cell Basis in her kitchen after her mom died of most cancers and her son developed Kind 1 diabetes, a persistent situation that required him to consistently monitor his blood sugar ranges and inject himself with insulin.

Her purpose was to expedite breakthroughs in medical analysis into therapy or cures that will be available to sufferers. “She imagined the unimaginable and made it occur,” mentioned Dr. Roy Geronemus, chairman of the inspiration’s board.

The muse has grown into an establishment with a $40 million annual price range and greater than 114 staff, together with 45 full-time scientists, in addition to its personal laboratory. It has additionally overseen fellowships that help researchers at different establishments.

As chief government, Ms. Solomon helped increase greater than $400 million for stem cell analysis, starting with early contributions from the previous New York Metropolis mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; the investor Stanley Druckenmiller and his spouse, Fiona; and a basis run by the hedge-fund supervisor Julian Robertson, who died final month.

Ms. Solomon instructed the journal in 2012 that in serving to to discovered the group she was prompted partly by “an enormous hole between the work being performed at educational establishments and the supply of capsules and coverings on the business facet.”

“We, as a small group, may by no means present the funding that the federal government can,” she mentioned. “However what we will do is create a path, assets, fellowship applications and a laboratory, and lead analysis. We’re offering the proof of idea, in order that when public opinion and public funding is accessible, then that work may be scaled up.”

Susan Lynn Solomon was born on Aug. 23, 1951, in Brooklyn. Her father, Seymour, based Vanguard Information together with his brother Maynard. Her mom, Ruth (Katz) Solomon, was a pianist and supervisor of live performance musicians.

After graduating from the Fieldston Faculty within the Bronx, Ms. Solomon earned a bachelor’s diploma in historical past from New York College in 1975 and a regulation diploma from Rutgers in 1978.

Her eclectic profession started on the regulation agency of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York, the place she helped provoke an employment discrimination case on behalf of girls who mentioned they had been denied the chance to turn out to be New York Metropolis firefighters.

She left the regulation agency in 1981 to turn out to be counsel and director of enterprise affairs for Warner Amex Satellite tv for pc Leisure. She later labored for United Satellite tv for pc Communications; CBS Movies; Sotheby’s, the place she was chief government of its first effort to create an internet public sale platform; and Lancit Media, a producer of TV programming for youngsters, the place she was additionally chief government. In 2000, she established and ran Solomon Companions LLC to offer strategic administration consulting

Her marriage in 1968 to Gary Hirsh, the drummer for the band Nation Joe and the Fish, resulted in divorce. She married Mr. Goldberger in 1980.

Along with her husband, who’s now a contributing editor at Self-importance Honest and a professor of design and structure on the Parsons Faculty of Design and the New Faculty, Ms. Solomon is survived by three sons, Adam Hirsh, from her first marriage, and Ben and Alex Goldberger; and 6 grandchildren.

She by no means gave up hope that some day researchers would develop a therapy for the illness that her son Ben has been coping with for 3 many years, since he was 9 years previous. He’s now the chief editor of Time journal.

“I’m not going to relaxation till we discover a remedy for Kind 1 diabetes,” Ms. Solomon instructed The Wall Road Journal in 2016. “It’s going to occur in my lifetime. I imagine it.”



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