School of Veterinary Medicine

Richard Lichter Richard Lichter
Richard Lichter

Car T-Cell Therapy Research and Shelter Dog Specialty Medical Treatment Project

Richard Lichter loves helping dogs. He started a foundation called the Richard Lichter Charity for Dogs and refers to his late golden retriever Cosette as “the love of my life.” His affection for animals, in addition to his generosity, makes him a perfect partner for Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, where he supports multiple initiatives.

The difficult loss of Cosette in 2010 to acute canine leukemia inspired Richard to help find a cure for the disease. Advances in immunotherapy treatments for leukemia made at the Perelman School of Medicine led him to search for a veterinary school that had the capability to conduct similar research in dogs. Penn Vet, with its close proximity to Perelman, world-class faculty, and established clinical trials center, proved to be the ideal organization. Richard is currently funding Dr. Nicola Mason’s CAR T-Cell Therapy Research on canine leukemia and lymphoma, and the early results are promising. “During the years of research and development, I have gotten to know Dr. Mason, her team, and many others at Penn Vet. I am delighted to partner with this group and to be a member of the Board of Overseers.”

“I am enormously impressed with the ability and dedication of the people at Penn Vet and with the vast capabilities of the institution.”

- Richard Lichter

Richard’s determination to help the dogs that need it most is also evidenced by his establishment of the Shelter Dog Specialty Medical Treatment Project. “There are so many dogs who pass through the world without families, love, or decent homes. They are almost invisible and unknown,” Richard says. “This program is meant for these unfortunate souls who typically wind up at shelters.” The Penn Vet Shelter Medicine Program and Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital partner with Philadelphia shelters to identify dogs who have a good prognosis but are unable to receive care due to limitations of finances, staffing, and diagnostic capabilities at the shelters. Thanks to the Shelter Dog Specialty Medical Treatment Project, these dogs can be treated and adopted. Together, Richard and Penn Vet have committed to treating 150 dogs through the Project by the end of fiscal year 2017—one inspiring example of the unique relationships that can be forged at the School, where donors, doctors, local shelters, and staff share the same passion for helping animals.

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