Jackson Laboratory successfully raises matching gifts for $1 million challenge

Date: May 19, 2010
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Bar Harbor, Maine -- The Jackson Laboratory has raised $1 million in gifts to match the $1 million challenge gift made by one of its trustees last year.

In March 2009, geneticist and author Weslie Janeway of Cambridge, England, and New York made a $1 million "challenge gift" to The Jackson Laboratory to recruit and support new scientists.

The Laboratory's five-year strategic plan calls for the addition of seven new principal investigators, each of whom leads a team of research assistants and other support staff. In all, the Laboratory expects to add about 200 new jobs. The funds will be used to pay for faculty starting salaries, lab equipment and experiments.

The successful completion of the challenge gift campaign was announced at the Laboratory's Board of Trustees meeting. "I had expected this campaign to take two years," Ms. Janeway said. "I'm most gratified that the Laboratory has met its goal not only in terms of raising the matching funds, but also in attracting new donors and encouraging current supporters to make additional gifts."

The completion of the challenge ahead of schedule, Ms. Janeway added, "highlights both the extent of the need and the growth in new support for the Laboratory."

Rich Gurin, chair of the Board of Trustees advancement committee, noted that 20 percent of the 414 matching gifts were from first-time donors to The Jackson Laboratory. "Leading the search for tomorrow's cures always requires leadership in terms of funding the important research of the Laboratory," Gurin noted. "We are fortunate to have a trustee leader like Weslie Janeway, who challenged all of us to support the new talented young scientists who are leading the search. Matching Weslie's challenge grant has been an achievement of which all of our board members and friends can be justifiably proud."

Jackson President and CEO Rick Woychik, Ph.D., said the gifts will enable several new researchers to "hit the ground running" as soon as they are recruited to The Jackson Laboratory. "New investigators need assistance for the first couple of years, while they are conducting experiments, hiring lab assistants and applying for federal research funding. Mrs. Janeway's extraordinarily generous gift, and the contributions of everyone who participated in the matching campaign, will help these new scientists succeed in their vital work of understanding the genetic basis of human disease."

Recent recruits to The Jackson Laboratory faculty include Elissa Chesler, Ph.D., and Da-Ting Lin, Ph.D., both specialists in the genetics of neurological development and diseases. The Laboratory is currently recruiting researchers in cancer, neurobiology, bioinformatics, immunology, aging and other areas.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center with more than 1,400 employees. Headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine, it has a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and a new institute for genomic medicine in Farmington, Conn. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.

Contact(s): Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058

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Media Relations, Communications Office
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
Main Jackson Laboratory phone: 207-288-6000
Fax: 207-288-6076
Email: news@jax.org