Washington University in St. Louis has announced a $15 million pledge from alumnus Kim D. Kuehner in support of research that advances personalized approaches to fighting heart disease.
The pledge, which includes outright and planned gifts, will establish and endow the Kim D. Kuehner Program for Personalized Cardiovascular Medicine within the university's School of Medicine. Each year, the school will issue a call for proposals from faculty members for the most promising projects in the emerging field of precision cardiovascular medicine, with an emphasis on early-stage research that has the potential to attract additional funding from government agencies, foundations, or corporations.
Kuehner graduated from Washington University with a master's degree in business administration in 1977 and retired in 2016 after a nearly forty-year career as a men's clothing retailer, first at Famous-Barr and then at a sportswear store in Ladue he established and operated for thirty years. In 2017, a $2 million gift from Kuehner supported construction of the Anabeth and John Weil Hall at Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. A courtyard in Weil Hall will be named the Kuehner Family Court in memory of Kuehner's parents, sister and grandparents, also longtime supporters of the university.
"Our most sincere gratitude goes to Kim Kuehner for his extraordinary generosity and vision," said Washington University chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. "With this endowment, our creative, talented physicians and scientists can make significant inroads into understanding how a person's genetic makeup and biomarkers influence heart health. Such information is critical for developing more personalized approaches and treatments for heart disease."
(Photo credit: Washington University in St. Louis)