Long-time Faculty Members Leave More Than $9 Million to Northwestern

David Cugell, MD, and Christina Enroth-Cugell, PhD, spent almost their entire careers at Northwestern University. The school’s longest-serving faculty member, with a tenure of 58 years, Cugell was founding chair of the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Feinberg.

During their lifetimes, the Cugells included the university in their estate plans, designating commitments to multiple areas. Upon their passing in 2016, Northwestern received planned gifts from the Cugells totaling $9.39 million. More than $4.39 million will support candidates and fellows at Feinberg studying lung disease.

“Dave Cugell was strongly committed to the training of young physicians and scientists in the area of lung disease,” says Scott Budinger, MD, chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care in the Department of Medicine and the Ernest S. Bazley Professor of Airway Diseases at Feinberg, who worked closely with Cugell on several projects toward the end of his career.

The Cugells began their pioneering careers at Northwestern in 1955, the same year they were married.

“He would be pleased to know that the fellowships he has provided will help to bring a new generation to this area and will further knowledge to improve the lives of patients with lung disease,” adds Budinger.

Serving on the faculty for 31 years, Enroth-Cugell was one of the first female professors to teach at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and chaired the Department of Neurobiology within the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

The Cugells’ most recent gifts contribute to We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, helping realize the transformational vision set forth in Northwestern’s strategic plan and solidify the university’s position among the world’s leading research universities.

Celebrating Our Les Turner ALS Foundation Partner

Nearly 450 people, including 21 men and women living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), attended the Les Turner ALS Foundation’s annual Hope Through Caring Gala on March 9. The event raised $617,000 to support the Foundation’s mission to provide the best quality of care, local community support and hope through scientific research to everyone affected by this disease.

“We are all here because we are part of the Les Turner ALS family: those of us with ALS, those of us who love or care for someone with ALS, those of us who advocate for people with ALS, those of us who provide clinical care and those of us who search for a cure for ALS,” said Andrea Pauls Backman, chief executive officer of the Les Turner ALS Foundation. 

This year, the Foundation honored Mindy Evans-Williams, a patient and donor diagnosed with ALS in 1992, with its Hope Through Caring Award, and Robert L. Sufit, MD, professor of Neurology and Surgery at Feinberg, with the inaugural Harvey and Bonny Gaffen Advancements in ALS Award.

Robert L. Sufit, MD (middle), professor of Neurology and Surgery at Feinberg, received the Harvey and Bonny Gaffen Advancements in ALS Award. Here, he poses with the Gaffens, two founders of the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

A neurologist at the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine, Sufit has helped thousands of families affected by ALS through his clinical care and research since joining Northwestern in 1992. In fact, he designed and participated in some of the earliest and ongoing clinical drug trials in ALS and has published numerous papers on the natural history of ALS, end of life care for ALS patients, as well as the speech, swallowing and electrophysiology
of the disease.

“The real heroes are the people with ALS and their families, who live with ALS and volunteer in our clinical trials. All of our work depends upon them,” he said, to cheers from the audience — including whistles from one of his patients.

In 2014, the Les Turner ALS Foundation made a leadership commitment of $10 million to help establish the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine. The Foundation continues to partner with Northwestern to raise $10 million to endow the Center in perpetuity.

Malnati Brain Tumor Institute Moves To 20th Floor of Galter

On February 26, donors to the Northwestern Medicine Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University at Northwestern Memorial Hospital gathered with clinical staff and administration to unveil a new state-of-the-art clinical space located on the 20th floor of Galter Pavilion at 675 N. St. Clair Street. The expanded space treats patients with malignant, benign and metastatic brain and spinal tumors. 

The new naming of the institute began in late 2017 after a landmark donation was gifted by the Lou Malnati Cancer Research Foundation. The expanded clinical space is part of an overarching vision to provide better follow-up care by striving for quicker diagnosis, more specialized treatment and one-of-a-kind support programs within the Lurie Cancer Center.

Triple in size from the original space, the newly constructed clinic space occupies 8,370 square feet of the floor, with 12 exam rooms and two consult areas. A majority of the rooms are designed to be hybrid exam rooms and consult rooms to allow for better utilization of space and to increase family involvement for members wishing to attend appointments.

Leadership from the Malnati Brain Tumor Institute, with members of the Malnati family at the opening of the institute’s new clinical space. Jean Malnati Miller and Dean M. Harrison, president and CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, had the honor of cutting the symbolic ribbon.

Other amenities include a radiology reading room embedded into the clinic to review patients’ medical images and an MRI scheduler in the clinic to provide patients a one-stop-shop for scheduling follow-up imaging return visits. An oversized, 140-square-foot exam room provides space for a ceiling-mounted patient lift for patients who are immobile.