2012 Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year
Chairman Thomas M. Lofton accepts award on behalf of an organization that has funded nearly $500 million in charitable, educational and scientific grants benefiting Indiana’s life sciences community
Indianapolis, October 23, 2012 – At the ninth annual Indiana Life Sciences Summit today, BioCrossroads recognized Lilly Endowment, under the leadership of long-time Chairman Thomas M. Lofton, with the August M. Watanabe Life Sciences Champion of the Year Award, a prestigious honor named in tribute to BioCrossroads’ late first Chairman.
BioCrossroads presents the Watanabe Award annually to an individual or organization that has made or enabled unique achievements in the development and promotion of Indiana's life sciences research, educational or economic advancement.
Lilly Endowment's contributions to these efforts are unmatched, beginning with $155 million in total grant funding, in 2000 and 2002, to the Indiana University School of Medicine for programs to enhance education, medical informatics and training for scientists and students in the emerging field of human genomics and proteomics. These "INGEN" grants were designed to put the School of Medicine in the vanguard of institutions exploring the research and development potential unleashed by the successful mapping of the human genome in 2000.
“Through the vision of Tom Lofton and his colleagues, Lilly Endowment has been prescient and strategic in its support of the life sciences. They have provided multiple awards to different institutions that are more than a collection of individual pieces of cloth; rather they are a tapestry where the whole is truly greater than the sum of the parts,” said Craig Brater M.D., Dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine and Chairman of the Board of BioCrossroads. “The result of their grants throughout Indiana’s life sciences community will be more and more discoveries and better educated scientists and professionals, all leading to well paying jobs, new companies and an overall better quality of life for Hoosiers.”
Lilly Endowment has contributed nearly a half-billion dollars in grant funding for programs to advance critically important research and development of intellectual capital in the life sciences. These programs, in turn, have contributed in a variety of ways to the vitality of Indiana's strong life sciences sector. In addition to the INGEN grants for the IU School of Medicine, major Endowment grants since 2000 have supported the following:
· Purdue’s Discovery Park;
· Indiana University -- METACyt, a research core at focused on analytical technology development and molecular biology;
· Schools of Pharmacy at Purdue University, Butler University and Manchester College;
· Indiana University School of Medicine – Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative: a program identifying, recruiting and training the best and the brightest of the next generation of talent in translational, patient-directed research;
· OrthoWorx: a unique industry, community and education initiative launched by a community foundation grant from Lilly Endowment, designed to highlight and address the strengths, challenges and opportunities of Warsaw, Indiana, as the "orthopedics capital of the world"; and
· The I-STEM Resource Network: a statewide consortium of 18 Indiana higher education institutions dedicated to measurably improving kindergarten through high school student achievement in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines through professional development for teachers.
About Lilly Endowment
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family – J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons J.K. Jr. and Eli - through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company.
Gifts of stock in Eli Lilly and company remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment. It is, however, a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location.
In keeping with the wishes of the three founders, Lilly Endowment exists to support the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment affords specials emphasis to projects that benefit young people and that promote the causes of philanthropy and volunteerism.
The Lilly family’s foremost priority was to help the people of their city and state build a better life. Although the Endowment also supports efforts of national significance and an occasional international project, it remains primarily committed to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.