Spring 2020

$5M Gift from Leonard A. Lauder Advances Ovarian Cancer Research

The chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies has made a $5 million gift to the University of Arizona Cancer Center. Leonard A. Lauder’s gift supports the clinical and translational research of David S. Alberts, M.D., an expert in ovarian cancer research and treatment.

Leonard A. Lauder and his longtime friend and business associate Rose Marie Bravo, who is in complete remission from clear cell ovarian cancer thanks to the efforts of University of Arizona researcher Dr. David S. Alberts.

Alberts was instrumental in founding the Cancer Center in 1976. He pioneered new treatments for advanced ovarian cancers, including in vitro tumor cell chemosensitivity testing for personalized medicine strategies.

It was this expertise that brought Alberts to the attention of Lauder, whose mother was Estée Lauder.

Lauder’s late wife, the businesswoman and philanthropist Evelyn H. Lauder, died of ovarian cancer in 2011. When a longtime friend
and business associate, Rose Marie Bravo, was diagnosed in 2016 with a resistant variant of ovarian cancer, Lauder urged her to connect with Alberts.

Bravo was already being treated by Konstantin Zakashansky, M.D., of New York City’s Mount Sinai Medical Center. Alberts worked with Zakashansky remotely to design an individualized schedule for Bravo’s treatment. She is now in complete remission.

“David is remarkable,” Bravo says. “He never gives up on his patients and always was available to discuss any issue. His collaboration with my primary oncologist, Dr. Zakashansky, was the key.”