Dean A. Lee, MD, Recipient of The DiMarco Family Endowed Chair in Cell Based Therapy

January 26, 2018

During a ceremony on Jan. 15, Dean A. Lee, MD, PhD, Director of the joint Cellular Therapy and Cancer Immunotherapy Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center, was announced as the first recipient of The DiMarco Family Endowed Chair in Cell Based Therapy. This new chair was made possible by the generosity of Tom and Ann DiMarco.

Tom DiMarco is the majority owner, president, and chief executive of Salo Inc., the largest franchisee for Interim HealthCare Inc. His work led the family to Columbus, Ohio, more than 20 years ago and they have been active in a number of charitable and volunteer efforts since their arrival. Ann is a board member of WOSU, as well as a longtime volunteer with Kobacker House. Tom is a board member of A Kid Again. Longtime donors to Nationwide Children’s, the couple has enabled groundbreaking research into Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease, in addition to cancer research, trauma programming, and other specialty areas.

The DiMarcos were inspired to create the chair, in part, by the memory of their late aunt, Jean C. Twinning McErlain, known to family members as “Nana.”

“Providing a better tomorrow for children with rare diseases has a deep, personal resonance with my family,” said Ann.

Dr. Lee joined Nationwide Children’s in 2016. Educated at Fresno Pacific College and Loma Linda University, he worked at Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he also served as Co-Director of the MD/PhD Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Dr. Lee is board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is Chair of the cell therapy strategy group for the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium, a member of the cellular therapy committee of the Children’s Oncology Group, and a member of the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee.

“We are grateful for the DiMarco family’s generosity,” said Steve Testa, president, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Endowed chairs are a cornerstone of any prestigious institution, helping us recruit, retain, and support the best scientists and clinicians in the industry.”

Note to Editors: Dean A. Lee resides in Canal Winchester, Ohio, 43110.

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 list of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of nearly 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.