George C. Prendergast, PhD, LIMR President and CEO

Dr. George Prendergast was appointed president and CEO of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) in 2004. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he was graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Biochemistry in 1983. He obtained his Master of Science in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1984 and his PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University in 1989. Dr. Prendergast is professor, Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Jefferson Medical College, and co-leader, Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling Program, Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.

With experience in the pharmaceutical industry as well as in academia, Dr. Prendergast is an accomplished cancer researcher recognized for his expertise in cancer biology, signal transduction, and molecular therapeutics. An emergent theme in Dr. Prendergast’s work has been the development of new therapeutics based on modifier genes that strongly affect disease susceptibility and therapeutic response. In his career he has become known as an innovator who has the ability to translate basic research findings toward clinical application, most recently in developing IDO inhibitors as a novel class of drugs to dramatically improve the immune response and therapeutic outcome in cancers treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy.

Dr. Prendergast has contributed over 180 publications in the field of cancer research, and he is an inventor or co-inventor on 50 published or pending patents.

Janet Sawicki, PhD, LIMR Deputy Director

Dr. Sawicki has been the deputy director of the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research since 2009 and a LIMR professor since 1990. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Delaware and her PhD in Genetics from Cornell University. She did postdoctoral training at Yale University and at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Sawicki is professor, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; professor, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, also in Philadelphia; associate professor, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Thomas Jefferson University; investigator, Department of Hematology/Oncology, Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania; and adjunct professor, St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Sawicki served as a standing member of the NIH Study Section Gene and Drug Delivery, and as an associate editor for Cancer Research. Her laboratory is developing novel nanotherapeutics that hold great promise for improving the treatment of metastatic cancers, including prostate, ovarian, pancreatic, and cervical cancers.

Robert Cox, PhD, Director, LIMR Scientific Administration

Dr. Cox is LIMR’s director of scientific administration and a LIMR professor since 2000. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where he was awarded his PhD in Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Cox focuses his research on how ion channels regulate blood pressure and the electrical signals that drive heartbeat, specifically a type of calcium channel that is present only in arteries. Calcium channels are microscopic molecular machines that regulate the flow of calcium across cellular membranes. By targeting the special type of calcium channel found exclusively in blood vessels, not found in heart muscle, Dr. Cox's research will lead to the development of more effective, safe and selective therapy against high blood pressure.

Board of trustees


  • Peter H. Havens, Board Chairman
    Chairman & Portfolio Manager, Baldwin Management, LLC
  • George C. Prendergast, PhD, President
  • Bonnie Graham, Treasurer
  • John Wellenbach, Secretary


  • David Berkowitz
  • Alice Chase, RN
  • Jonathan Charles Fox, MD, PhD
  • C. Meade Geisel, Jr.
  • Paul B. Gilman, MD
  • Karen Gotting-Smith, PhD
  • Barbara D. Hauptfuhrer
  • Bruce M. Hinlein
  • Edward L. Jones, Jr., Esq.
  • Peter R. Kowey, MD
  • David D. Langfitt, Esq.
  • I. Wistar Morris, III, MBA, CFA
  • Amber Salzman, PhD
  • Sara Senior

Ex officio

  • Stephen S. Aichele, Esq.
  • Joseph Gobern, MD
  • Susan Gregory, MD
  • Lawrence Livornese, MD
  • John J. Lynch III, FACHE
  • George Prendergast, PhD
  • Alfred W. Putnam, Jr., Esq.
  • Phillip D. Robinson, FACHE
  • Patrick Ross, MD