News Release
Richard S. Schiffrin, Esq.

PHILADELPHIA – The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania announced today that Richard S. Schiffrin, Esq., has been appointed chair of the Center Director’s Leadership Council (ACCDLC), replacing outgoing chair Richard W. Vague. Schiffrin was chosen for his many years of service on the ACCDLC, his experience and expertise in both business and philanthropy, and his dedicated support of innovative cancer research. His appointment takes effect in April 2019.

“Richard Schiffrin has been a tireless advocate for the cutting edge research going on here at the Abramson Cancer Center, and we’re excited for what his leadership will bring to the table as we continue to forge ahead together,” said Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, director of the Abramson Cancer Center.

The ACCDLC exists to support the mission of the ACC and to ensure its success in raising resources that support the Center’s most critical needs. As key contributors to the ACC’s leadership team, council members play an important role as knowledgeable advocates, ambassadors, and donors.

Schiffrin and his wife, Barbara Schiffrin, PsyD, are longtime supporters of the ACC, and both have served on the ACCDLC since 2010. In 2016, the couple established the Richard and Barbara Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professorship, which is currently held by E. John Wherry, MD, chair of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics.

“I continue to be inspired by the effort, dedication, and passion of the ACCDLC, and I am honored and humbled to serve as its chair,” Schiffrin said. “I look forward to taking on this new role that will allow me to continue to work closely with ACC leadership and members of the Abramson family.”

Richard W. Vague

A graduate of Syracuse University, DePaul Law School, and the University of Chicago, Schiffrin is an attorney, philanthropist, entrepreneur, and film producer. Barbara Schiffrin is a retired clinical psychologist who is currently teaching English as a Second Language to refugees in Philadelphia. In addition to her work with the ACCDLC, Schiffrin owns The Cashmere Goat, a knitting store in Camden, ME and is involved in numerous artistic and charitable causes.

Vague served as ACCDLC chair for four years. He is one of the managing partners of Gabriel Investments, and he is Chairman of the Governor’s Woods Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization. He established the endowed Richard W. Vague Professorship in Immunotherapy, which is currently held by CAR T cell therapy pioneer Carl June, MD. Vague will continue his other roles at Penn, including serving as a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, the Power of Penn Medicine campaign chair, and Penn Medicine board member. Vague will also serve as chair to the ACC’s newly established Innovation and Advisory Board – a strategic corporate volunteer board that will partner on innovative projects, as well as leadership and campaign initiatives.

“I’m deeply grateful for Richard Vague’s friendship and service during his tenure as chair of the ACCDLC,” Vonderheide said. “Thanks to his work, this council is well positioned to continue to provide our faculty with the resources necessary to pursue novel ideas that make a difference in the lives of our patients.”


Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $8.6 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top medical schools in the United States for more than 20 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $494 million awarded in the 2019 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center—which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report—Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Medicine Princeton Health; and Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional facilities and enterprises include Good Shepherd Penn Partners, Penn Medicine at Home, Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

Penn Medicine is powered by a talented and dedicated workforce of more than 43,900 people. The organization also has alliances with top community health systems across both Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey, creating more options for patients no matter where they live.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2019, Penn Medicine provided more than $583 million to benefit our community.

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