December 1, 2006

CONTACT: Olivia Fermano
(215) 349-5653

UPDATE: Invitation to Cover:
Beacons of Light Mark New Era in Cancer Therapy
Naming Ceremony at PENN Medicine for the World’s Largest Proton Therapy Center

WHAT: Six powerful pillars of light will outline the 75,000 square feet of space where the world’s first fully integrated proton therapy center will be built at PENN Medicine.

Visible to residents across Philadelphia, as well as the guests and honorees at a special naming ceremony from a VIP reception on the top floor of the Biomedical Research Building, the beams of light symbolize the bright future of cancer therapy in which a stream of protons are accelerated to near light speed, bent by powerful magnets and focused with incredible precision at tumors lodged deep within the human body.

At this event, it will be announced that University of Pennsylvania alumni Ralph J. Roberts and his son Brian L. Roberts have generously pledged $15 million to help create this first-of-its-kind facility, the Roberts Proton Therapy Center.

There will also be a special video presentation by Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 6, 2006
5:30 – 7:00 PM Reception
6:15 PM Gift Announcement
6:40 PM Naming Ceremony of Proton Therapy Center
WHERE: Biomedical Research Building
14th Floor
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104

** Parking will be available adjacent to the Biomedical Research Building **

WHY: To acknowledge the role private philanthropy is making to advance the next evolution of cancer therapy by helping establish a proton therapy center that will:
  • Fully integrate conventional radiation with proton beam therapy.
  • Coordinate a real-time image of the tumor thereby allowing physicians to target the tumor at the time of treatment with the proton beam.
  • Conduct dedicated research to further understand the role of this powerful new technology in the treatment of cancer.
  • Further establish Philadelphia and PENN Medicine as a world-class location in cancer care.


PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals, all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home care and hospice.

This release is available online at