JAX boasts a series of endowed faculty chairs established through generous philanthropic donations. Endowed chairs enable us to recruit exceptional scientific talent into our community and to empower leading faculty members as they pursue bold and innovative pathways of research.
For faculty members, appointment to an endowed position serves as a marker of excellence and increases the visibility of their work within the biomedical community and beyond. The additional support provided through an endowed chair helps to ensure that faculty can expand their research at a key moment in their careers.
Here are the endowed faculty members making a difference at JAX today.
Donor: Arthur K. Watson Charitable Trust
Chair: Elissa Chesler, Ph.D.
Children of the late Ann and Arthur K. Watson, both lifelong philanthropists who summered in Maine for more than 20 years, established the Watson Symington chair in their mother's honor to empower JAX in exploring the biological basis of addiction and to address it one of the most pressing and urgent health challenges of our time.
Donor: Lusia Milch
Chair: Gregory Carter, Ph.D.
The indelible experience of surviving the Holocaust compelled Bernard and Lusia Milch to dedicated their lives to helping others and giving back. After enduring Bernard's struggle with Alzheimer's disease later in his life, Lusia was inspired to support research at JAX that uses data-driven modeling to identify the genetic variants most likely to trigger Alzheimer’s.
Donor: Tim Dattels and family
Chair: Jennifer Trowbridge, Ph.D.
JAX Board of Trustees member Tim Dattels established the Dattels Family Chair to support JAX's groundbreaking research in pursing innovative treatments and therapies for human disease. He said of the gift, "My family and I are honored to establish a chair that recognizes the exceptional talents of a rising star whose research is changing the scientific landscape.”
Donor: The Diana Davis Spencer Foundation
Chair: Gareth Howell, Ph.D.
As a longtime supporter and daughter of a former Trustee, Diana Davis Spencer and her family share with JAX a deep, storied history. She established an endowed chair to support JAX's research and training in the field of neurodegenerative diseases of the eye. Diana's mother suffered from glaucoma, and her oldest daughter only has full sight in one eye.
In 2014, Trustee David Roux and his wife Barbara made a transformative gift to JAX that created the Roux Family Center for Genomics and Computational Biology and endowed three faculty positions within it. The Center enables JAX scientists to harness the full power of innovative genomic technologies and computational strategies, using them to analyze the human genome and discover new and better ways of preventing and treating disease.
Donor: Multiple donors
Chair: Karolina, Palucka, M.D., Ph.D.
To honor former president Edison Liu's decade of leading JAX through unprecedented growth, change, and achievement, a generous group of JAX donors came together to establish an endowed chair in his name. The faculty position is housed within JAX's NCI-designated Cancer Center, which seeks to discover precise genomic solutions for cancer and to support cancer research worldwide.
Donor: Judith and Anthony Evnin, Ph.D.
Chairs: Awaiting Appointment
JAX Trustee Anthony B. Evnin and his wife Judith, both passionate about improving health through the study of human genetics and genomics, were among were among JAX's first supporters of endowed chairs when they established the Evnin Family Chair in 2015. They later established a second endowed chair, the Evnin Family Endowed Chair in Alzheimer's Research, to support new and evolving research at JAX that focuses on protecting people from Alzheimer's disease even if they carry the genetic disposition toward it.
Donor: Weslie Janeway
Current Chair: Robert E. Braun, Ph.D.
Weslie Janeway is a philanthropist-turned-scientist and former vice chair of the Board whose generous support has supported JAX faculty at every stage of their career. Her establishment of an endowed chair ensures that the incumbent, who might have expertise in a broad range of scientific fields, can expand their research and advance JAX's mission to improve human health.
Donor: Winthrop Knowlton
Chair: Carol Bult, Ph.D.
Former JAX Board chairman Winthrop Knowlton and his family have a remarkable legacy in JAX's history. His father, Hugh Knowlton, also served as a Trustee; his daughter Samantha Knowlton, M.D. served on the Corporation board, and his granddaughter Adeline is a 2011 alumna of the JAX Summer Student Program. He established an endowed chair to amplify JAX's commitment to advancing discovery.
Donor: Maxine Groffsky
Chair: Nadia Rosenthal, Ph.D., FMedSci, FAAHMS
Maxine Groffsky established The Maxine Groffsky Endowed Chair to honor her personal connection to The Jackson Laboratory. Her husband, Winthrop "Win" Knowlton (donor of the Knowlton Family Chair) served as chair of the Laboratory's Board of Trustees from 1991-1997. Groffsky held a distinguished career in publishing, first at Random House and then followed by eight years as Paris Editor of The Paris Review. She went on to establish the Maxine Groffsky Literary Agency, representing a notable list of writers until she closed the Agency in 2009.
Donor: Robert Alvine
Chair: Charles Lee, Ph.D., FACMG
Chair emeritus of the JAX Board and longtime Connecticut resident Robert Alvine was inspired to endow a chair in part because of the positive impact of the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, which opened in 2014 in Farmington, CT. The gift will permanently endow the scientific leadership position in the State of Connecticut at JAXGM.
Donor: David E. Shaw
Chair: Awaiting appointment
JAX Board chair emeritus David Shaw established an endowed chair in honor of former president/CEO Ed Liu and the late Kenneth “Ken” Paigen, Ph.D. Paigen, who passed away in 2020, served as the Laboratory’s director (the role now designated president and CEO) from 1989 to 2003. Shaw intends his gift to support and inspire entreprenurship at JAX, and to help translate JAX's research into products and services that benefit the world.