Inspired by LIMR’s rapid response to the pandemic’s scientific challenges

Donor Spotlight
Medical Research

As a healthcare and biomedical research professional and longtime Narberth, Pa., resident, Jonathan Fox's nomination to the LIMR Board of Trustees in 2003 was a natural fit. Both Jonathan, a cardiologist by training, and his wife, Suzanne Markel-Fox, a psychologist/health information technology expert, used Lankenau for their medical care, despite working for another area health system. They experienced the high-quality, comprehensive, caring and professional environment for which Lankenau and Main Line Health are known. And their high regard for Lankenau, Main Line Health and LIMR continues, despite their move to San Francisco several years ago.

Jonathan has worked in biomedical research for more than 40 years. From academia to large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, he has seen a broad spectrum of how research is done. First under former LIMR President Vince Cristofalo, and now under the current President and CEO George Prendergast, Jonathan has witnessed LIMR evolve into an "acapreneurial" model — a mix of academic culture and invention-based entrepreneurialism.

This environment, he strongly believes, empowers what he calls the "highly skilled, insightful and industrious" faculty of LIMR to pursue innovative research without much of the usual administrative and academic obstacles found in other settings. Jonathan shared: "A tight focus, lean administrative model, and strong support by the Main Line Health community pulling together toward shared goals sustains and grows LIMR as a small but very effective research institute."

In 2020, Jonathan and Suzanne were particularly impressed with LIMR's response to the coronavirus pandemic's challenges. "LIMR transformed itself almost overnight from a group of talented investigators focused on chronic diseases of aging into a strike force focused on ways we can better diagnose, track and treat victims of this terrible pandemic," said Jonathan. "The researchers' particular focus on supporting Main Line Health's frontline health care workers who put themselves at risk every day to serve the critical needs of our patient community and their families is nothing short of remarkable."

Jonathan was so energized and inspired by LIMR's rapid pivot to COVID-focused research — which he described as embodying a spirit of urgency, dedication to scientific rigor, and commitment to making a difference — that he and Suzanne decided immediately to join a group of LIMR Board Members, spearheaded by Board Chair Peter Havens, and establish the LIMR COVID-19 Research Fundraising Challenge. New gifts to support LIMR's COVID-19 research received through the end of 2020 were matched dollar for dollar up to $80,000.

Jonathan and Suzanne were thrilled to personally support this important work and sought to make every effort to raise further funds for it from the community, while removing barriers to progress and productivity on the part of the LIMR faculty.

Jonathan described LIMR as "a very special place for research embedded in a very special place for top-quality health care in a community-based, patient-friendly institution." He noted: "We should all strive, as members of that community, to support and help further evolve LIMR into the vision that Dr. Prendergast and Peter Havens continue to refine. Whether participating in a clinical trial, attending educational events when they become available again, spreading the word to your neighbors, or making a philanthropic donation, we can all contribute to the extent that we are able. LIMR is truly an important research institute making incredibly vital contributions at a critical time for our community, our society and the world. Please consider helping in any way you can.

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