Thomas Jefferson University

Australian philanthropists Barry and Joy Lambert have made a $3 million dollar donation to support medicinal cannabis research at Thomas Jefferson University.

Their contribution was guided by personal experience: their granddaughter Katelyn was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a genetic epileptic condition that affects the brain’s ability to send electronic signals and can cause severe seizures. The Lamberts have personally witnessed the positive effects of medicinal cannabis in regulating Katelyn’s condition.

This donation comes right after a total of 28 states, and the District of Columbia have approved the possession and use of medicinal cannabis in the United States. That number includes four of the five most populous states: California, Florida, Illinois and New York, highlighting how public opinion on the plant is shifting.

The Lamberts’ decision to choose TJU was based on Jefferson’s growing global reputation as a resource for evidence-based education and research in medicinal cannabis. Jefferson is the first major health sciences university in the United States to establish such a center.

thomas jefferson university
Barry Lambert and leaders from TJU at the gift signing ceremony.

With this donation, Thomas Jefferson University has established a new medical center for cannabis education and research. The new facility, officially named The Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp will study the therapeutic potential of a wide range of cannabinoids, including the well-known cannabinoid called cannabidiol, as well as many of its close chemical variants that are lesser-known or not often explored scientifically.

Hemp – a non-psychoactive variety of the cannabis plant that has been used for paper, textiles, and cordage for centuries, and is an additional source for cannabidiols the center will investigate. 

“The newly renamed Lambert Center has been approaching this emerging field in medicine like a start-up would, and this gift represents its first round of angel funding,”

– Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

The Lambert Center will also provide accredited continuing professional education for physicians and pharmacists regarding the potential uses of medicinal cannabis. Many states, including Pennsylvania, require healthcare professionals to receive such education before recommending medicinal cannabis products or addressing patient needs in a registered dispensing facility.

All certified programs will be designed to meet the continuing education needs of healthcare professionals as the use of medical cannabis expands.

To learn more, please check out: The Lambert Center

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