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International Philanthropists
Support Genetic Research
February 7, 2000

International philanthropists Raymond and Beverly Sackler have donated $250,000 to support genetic research at the Health Center. The gift will establish the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Research Fund in Genetics and Molecular Medicine.

The Sackler fund will support research in an innovative technology believed to be important in brain development and the immune system.

Peter Deckers, dean of the School of Medicine, says "Cell behavior depends on its ability to accurately interpret signals from its surrounding environment - a process called 'signal transduction.' Irregular signaling underlies many human diseases such as cancer. Research in this area has strong potential implications for drug development and the treatment of disease."

The research will be led by Bruce Mayer, a prominent geneticist at the Harvard School of Medicine, who will join the UConn faculty in the spring.

"Private investment can be instrumental in producing major advances in medical research, and UConn is fortunate to count the Sacklers among our generous benefactors," says President Philip E. Austin. "The University of Connecticut is emerging as a leader in genetics research, and this gift will be of invaluable help in the years ahead."

The gift is eligible to be matched on a 1:2 basis by the UConn 2000 endowment matching program, bringing the fund to $375,000.

Raymond Sackler, who holds a medical degree from the University of London, is president and co-owner of Purdue Frederick, a private pharmaceutical manufacturer in Norwalk, Conn. He and his wife, Beverly, are generous supporters of philanthropic activities worldwide, particularly in medicine and the arts. In May 1998, the Sacklers received honorary degrees at UConn's commencement in recognition of their outstanding contributions to philanthropy.

The Sacklers also fund two important initiatives in the UConn School of Fine Arts, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Artist-in-Residenc e Program and the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Master Artists Institute, as well as the Sackler Distinguished Lecture Series in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.