John “Jack” Templeton, MD, and his wife, Josephine “Pina” Templeton, MD, retired from their surgery and anesthesia careers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in the 1990s, but their legacy lives on in many areas of the institution. Jack Templeton established Pennsylvania’s first Level 1 trauma center at CHOP in 1986, and this past October, the Templeton family committed $3 million to brain tumor research.
Their gift will support the Philadelphia Coalition for a Cure (PC4C), a brain tumor initiative led by CHOP’s Center for Data-Driven Discovery in Biomedicine (D3b). It brings together six medical research institutions in the Philadelphia area to collect and share tissue samples and data for the entire scientific community.
Jack Templeton died in 2015 after his own battle with brain cancer. A cure for brain tumors relies on collaboration among many institutions to amass and study large amounts of data. It is the only way to beat this devastating disease.
“An aspect of this project that would have been meaningful to my father is the humility of all those involved,” says Jennifer Templeton Simpson, daughter of Jack and Pina. “It is an honor for our family to be able to support this endeavor that encourages the top minds in the world to work together for the benefit of others.”
Power in numbers
In addition to CHOP, PC4C includes Cooper University Hospital, Hahnemann University Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Temple University Hospital and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. PC4C also partners with insurance companies and commercial entities to evaluate the growing number of clinical genomics tests for brain tumors in the United States. A brain tumor research project of this scale has never before been attempted.
PC4C uses D3b’s one-of-a-kind biorepository to store tissue samples and CHOP’s extensive research infrastructure to ensure quality data collection. It is open-sourced so that any brain tumor researcher in the world can access it to benefit their work.
“The ultimate impact of PC4C will go far beyond brain tumors and far beyond Philadelphia — it will serve as the model for future collaborations,” says Phillip B. Storm, MD, PC4C’s founder and CHOP’s Chief of Neurosurgery. “PC4C positions Philadelphia as the nexus of brain tumor investigation and demonstrates what can be achieved when researchers work together in search of a cure.
Propelling more breakthroughs
Thanks to this gift, the Templetons’ story continues at CHOP. Their investment is the first of several multimillion-dollar donations since the Hospital launched the For Tomorrow’s Breakthroughs campaign this past fall. It will lead to future breakthroughs in brain tumor research and impact the lives of children and adults for generations to come.