Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, has announced a $10 million gift from trustees Louis A. Simpson ('58) and Kimberly K. Querrey to create an epigentics center at its Feinberg School of Medicine.
Part of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern, the gift will establish the Simpson Querrey Center for Epigenetics and support the center's investigations into how environmental factors such as emotional experiences, chemical exposure, obesity, exercise, diet, and drug therapies can modify genes packaged in human chromatin, causing them to become more or less receptive to biochemical signals.
To be led by Ali Shilatifard, the Robert Francis Furchgott Professor of Biochemistry and Pediatrics and chair of the department of biochemistry and molecular genetics at Feinberg, the center will bring together experts in biochemistry, molecular genetics, computational biology, fundamental biology, epidemiology, and clinical medicine with the goal of developing foundational insights about how environmental conditions impact the human genome. The gift also will support the center's operations, seminar and symposium programs, pilot studies by Northwestern faculty, the recruitment of outstanding investigators in the area of epigenetics, and a new Feinberg Fellows in Epigenetics program.
Longtime supporters of the university, Simpson and Querrey have contributed to a number of initiatives, including the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, a fourteen-story, 600,000-square-foot building that will significantly expand Feinberg's biomedical research enterprise. The current gift brings their total giving to the university to $164 million.
"Through their exceptional support of the sciences at Northwestern, Kimberly and Lou are transforming our ability to understand, diagnose, and treat disease," said Northwestern University president Morton Schapiro. "We are truly grateful for their continued partnership."