The at in Philadelphia has announced a $3 million gift from Australian philanthropists Barry and Joy Lambert in support of its .
The gift will enable the center to expand its study of the therapeutic potential of a wide range of cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, as well as close chemical variants that are lesser-known or rarely explored scientifically. In addition, the center will use the gift to expand its study of hemp, a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant. In recognition of the gift, the center will be renamed the Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp at Thomas Jefferson University.
Barry Lambert is the founder of , Australia's largest network of accounting-based advisory firms. As an infant, the Lamberts' granddaughter Katelyn was diagnosed with Dravet's syndrome, a rare genetic abnormality that affects the brain's electric signaling system and causes severe and repetitive seizures. Medical cannabis has been shown to be one of the few therapies that mitigates the seizures caused by the condition, and cannabis derived from hemp provided Katelyn with substantial relief.
"We are extremely grateful to the Lamberts for this bold and visionary gift, which will have an immediate impact on our research and education efforts," said IEHP director Charles V. Pollack Jr. "From the start we have had an ambitious agenda to elevate the science that underpins the therapeutic use of cannabinoids, and this donation provides a huge boost of momentum to pursue the most promising ideas and potential therapies for a range of conditions."