US-based non-profit healthcare system Northwestern Medicine has received $10m to expedite scientific discoveries and improve the lives of patients with oesophageal diseases.

The donation was provided by Kenneth Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel and founder of Griffin Catalyst.

Griffin said: “The physicians and scientists at this centre exemplify the commitment to excellence and innovation that defines Northwestern Medicine.

“I am honoured to support Northwestern Medicine in its mission to advance the understanding and treatment of esophageal diseases.” 

Northwestern Medicine will rename the current Center for Esophageal Disease to the Kenneth C Griffin Esophageal Center in Griffin’s honour.

The centre will include a clinical trials unit and a treatment clinic for patients, as well as study programmes in areas such as artificial intelligence and translational science.

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It will focus on ongoing research efforts related to oesophageal cancers, reflux disease, swallowing disorders and other oesophageal disorders.

Kenneth C Griffin Esophageal Center director Ikuo Hirano said: “Patients from around the world come to our centre for evaluation and treatment of complex oesophageal conditions, and we are an international destination for physician education.

“We have pioneered many of the most modern diagnostic and therapeutic methods for both rare and common esophageal diseases and continue to be trailblazers on the leading-edge of research and advanced technologies.

“We are grateful to Griffin for his generous gift that creates amazing opportunities for our group to operate at an even higher level.”

The Kenneth C Griffin Esophageal Center mainly provides diagnostic and therapeutic services to patients from the Chicagoland area of Chicago, Illinois, and neighbouring states.

According to Northwestern Medicine, the centre has also supported innovations that have significantly changed how disorders such as Barrett’s oesophagus, gastroesophageal reflux disease and eosinophilic oesophagitis are managed.

The centre currently treats more than 5,000 patients a year, carrying out nearly 2,500 endoscopic procedures and 4,000 diagnostic procedures annually.