U of C receives $100 million donation for new wellness institute
Chicago investor Craig Duchossois, his wife, Janet, and his family foundation have donated $100 million to University of Chicago Medicine to establish a center focused on developing the science of wellness.
The donation is the largest single gift in the history of U of C Medicine and the fourth time U of C has received a gift of at least $100 million.
For the Duchossois family, the gift brings their contributions to the medical center to $137 million, spanning 37 years. Craig Duchossois is a longtime trustee at both the health system and the university, and Janet Duchossois is a member of the U of C Women's Board.
"We wanted to find a way to be transformative in our giving, and looked to the University of Chicago and asked, 'What is the nature of what's in our bodies that helps us stay well?' " Ashley Duchossois Joyce, president of the Duchossois Family Foundation, said in a statement announcing the gift. "They came back with an answer that connected all the dots, confirming the potential for a new science of wellness that fundamentally explores how the immune system and microbiome interact."
The family's latest gift will establish the Duchossois Family Institute, aiming to advance research and interventions based on how the immune system, microbiome and genetics interact to maintain a person's health, the statement said. The center will partner with the university's Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation to bring breakthroughs to market by partnering with companies, venture capitalists and government agencies, among others.
Meanwhile, faculty and students can study how to prevent disease by optimizing the body's own defenses and finding new ways to maintain health, the statement said. Think of a potential future where schoolchildren could once again eat peanuts in class and antibiotics could reduce the impact of Alzheimer's disease.
"The family recognized the university's and medical center's leadership in genomics, the human immune system, data analytics and the microbiome," T. Conrad Gilliam, a U of C dean who will lead the launch of the institute, said in the statement. "The new institute will integrate these areas into this new science focused on long-standing health and the body's natural ability to maintain wellness."
"Duchossois family donates $100 million for new U of C wellness institute" originally appeared in Crain's Chicago Business.
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