The University of Chicago is receiving $100 million from Craig Duchossois, his wife, and Janet Duchossois and The Duchossois Family Foundation. The funding will be used to establish a new life science institute that will focus on the development of a “new science of wellness.” As the name indicates, The Duchossois Family Institute: Harnessing the Microbiome and Immunity for Human Health, will work to accelerate research and interventions based on how the human immune system, microbiome and genetics interact to maintain health.
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By providing resources and research infrastructure, The Duchossois Family Institute will allow faculty and students to focus on preventing disease by optimizing the body’s own defenses and finding new ways to maintain well-being. The University’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, will work with the institute to bring breakthroughs to market through partnerships with industry, venture capitalists, government agencies, and like-minded philanthropists.
Until now, much of the research on the microbiome has focused on its relationship to disease. However, Ashley Joyce, president of The Duchossois Family Foundation stated in an article for UChicago News that, “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?’ 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 term microbiome refers to the community of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microorganisms living in the body, primarily the digestive tract. Recent discoveries at UChicago demonstrate that the genetic material encoded within the microbiome is a critical factor in fine-tuning the immune system and can be powerful in maintaining well-being and preventing disease. New computer technology to integrate and analyze vast amounts of biological and medical data developed and operated by the University is allowing researchers from disparate disciplines and locations to work toward common interests and solutions.
Early targets identified by institute scientists envision a potential future in which:
- Peanuts, milk and eggs could safely return to school menus.
- Children with asthma play outside, confident they can breathe without inhalers.
- Inexpensive sensors help families adjust their homes to optimize health.
- Doctors guide patients to foods and probiotics to win the fight against obesity.
- Technologies pinpoint the microbes needed to treat and prevent autoimmune diseases.
- Probiotics and prebiotics improve the effectiveness of cancer and antidepressant drugs.
- Judiciously used antibiotics reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Duchossois Family Institute will support leading-edge technologies and services including:
- A clinical repository to maintain biological samples
- Microbial cultivation and analysis tools
- Next-generation platform to identify biomarkers that mediate between the microbiome and immune system
- Medicinal chemistry to pinpoint biomarkers and develop more effective therapies
- High-throughput genetic sequencing for microbial DNA
- A data commons for sharing large amounts of microbial, environmental and medical information
This gift from the Duchossois is the largest single donation in support of UChicago Medicine and brings the family’s lifetime charitable contributions to the academic medical center to $137 million. The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research has donated a total of $118 million since 2006, largely to support cancer research.
Researchers at UChicago Meet with Lab suppliers at Bioresearch Product Faire:
The Duchossois Family Institute and numberous over projects like it at the University require the right laboratory supplies and equipment. Vendors looking to increase your laboratory product sales should plan on attending the 3rd Annual BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Chicago on September 29, 2017.
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At this event, lab suppliers are able to:
- Meet one-on-one with over 150 life science researchers in a professional and intimate environment.
- Demonstrate new lab products and technologies to end-users and purchasers.
- Answer researchers' questions and schedule follow-up appointments.
- Gain market visibility and increase brand awareness.
To learn more about participating in the BioResearch Product Faire™ Event in Chicago, call (530) 272-6675 or visit the link below:
Science professionals attend for free. For more information and to save time in line by preregistering, click the link below:
While in the area, check out the Bioresearch Product Faire at University of Illinois on September 28, 20017.