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March 17, 2020

Dr. Mark A. Israel’s Message to the ICRF Community on the COVID-19 Outbreak

ICRF News | Mark A. Israel, MD








17 March 2020

Dear Friends,

As an oncologist, helping patients deal with that terror of the unknown was a daily exercise. Nothing seems scarier than the vagaries of a medical diagnosis whose course and outcome is simply not predictable. Similarly, the coronavirus has wreaked much havoc, exposing us again to the unknown. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, and your community.

As a research scientist and medical doctor for more than four decades, I confidently anticipate that the scientists around the world who are working day and night to better understand the nature of the COVID-19 virus will soon break through with vaccines and treatments. With time, we will bring this virus under control and end this worldwide public health nightmare. And when that happens, I know that in the same way that Israeli research has contributed breakthroughs against cancer, the fingerprint of Israeli science will be prominently apparent in the solution to this scourge.

But in these times of apprehension and uncertainty there is one thing that you can be sure about – scientific research is the answer to disease.

Of course, all of us have a role to play. At ICRF, we applaud the efforts of community, government and business leaders who have called for and enacted steps designed to reduce “community spread” of the virus. Your health and the well-being of those around you are of utmost importance. In that vein, ICRF has postponed or canceled all group meetings scheduled through the Spring. We closed our New York offices, and will be working remotely for the foreseeable future. We have taken appropriate steps in all our ICRF offices, so that our important work will continue unabated.

During the next several weeks, we will be in touch with you through various means, keeping you updated on our activities and the many encouraging developments in Israeli cancer research. Our goal, as always, is to extend hope and work towards healing, even during unsettled times.

Eminent Israeli scientist and ICRF grantee Howard Cedar once noted that “…a community that cares for and understands the importance of knowledge and its role in improving mankind will support research.” As a friend and supporter of ICRF you have shown that you understand the importance of science in the never-ending fight for health and healing. We are undeterred.

Thank you and best wishes for your continued good health,

Mark A. Israel, MD
Preston and Virginia Kelsey Distinguished Chair in Cancer at Dartmouth Medical School, Emeritus
Director Emeritus, Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth
National Executive Director, Israel Cancer Research Fund

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