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David Marshall

David MarshallA Personal Investment

With 18 years on Fox Chase’s board of directors—the last three as its chairman—David Marshall has helped to oversee a transformative phase at Fox Chase, including the construction of new facilities, the recruitment of a president, and an historic affiliation with Temple University Health System.

In the same period, global advances in genomics and molecular biology have revolutionized cancer research, and improvements in screening and treatment have contributed to a decline in U.S. cancer mortality rates.

“Quite a bit has been accomplished at Fox Chase in recent years,” Marshall says. “I like to think that as board members, we have played a small part in it.”

Marshall and his wife, Sandy, have been donors and advocates for the Center for more than two decades. The impetus for Marshall’s advocacy is personal. “Cancer has had a profound effect on my family,” he says. “My mother and all five of her sisters died of cancer. When your life is affected by a disease like that, it’s impossible not to feel an obligation to do something about it.”

When he is not helping to guide Fox Chase, Marshall is busy as chairman and CEO of Amerimar Realty Co., a real estate development firm that he founded in 1987. With commercial and residential holdings throughout the country, the company is especially well known for its development of the Rittenhouse Hotel in Philadelphia.

Last year, Marshall stepped out of the boardroom and into the laboratory when board members partnered with Fox Chase scientists for some hands-on experience. Marshall teamed up with immunologist Glenn Rall, who studies how viruses interact with human cells to cause disease. Rall also coordinates the postdoctoral research program. Marshall met with the scientist several times over the course of the year to share perspectives and get an inside look at Fox Chase research.

“It was great,” he says. “Glenn is full of love for teaching and learning. We hit it off.”

As for whether he learned anything about science, Marshall says: “I’ve always had tremendous respect for scientists—and the emphasis on connecting science with medicine is one of the things that makes Fox Chase special. This experience helped reinforce what I already knew: We have very dedicated people. They know what needs to be done and they just go out and do it.”

As he completes his term as board chairman, Marshall offers this advice to future leaders: “Explore everything, and keep your mind open. We have a responsibility to do no less than that.”

2011