$100 million gift establishes The Duchossois Family Institute

May 26, 2017

The University has announced a $100 million gift that will establish The Duchossois Family Institute: Harnessing the Microbiome and Immunity for Human Health. Please refer to the below message from University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer outlining the mission of the Institute. 

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The Duchossois Family Institute
May 24, 2017

The University is pleased to announce a $100 million gift that will establish The Duchossois Family Institute: Harnessing the Microbiome and Immunity for Human Health. The Institute will bring together the University of Chicago’s strengths in genetics, immunology, microbiome research, and computation to develop research and interventions focused on optimizing health.

The gift, from The Duchossois Group Inc. Chairman and CEO Craig Duchossois, his wife Janet Duchossois, and The Duchossois Family Foundation, will support research into new ways of maintaining well-being, and an entrepreneurial infrastructure for translating such findings into clinical applications. The Institute also will help educate the next generation of young physicians and students in innovative approaches to preventing disease by harnessing the body’s own defenses. Recent discoveries, many at the University of Chicago, demonstrate that the genetic material encoded within the microbiome is a critical factor in fine-tuning the immune system to support well-being and prevent disease. The Duchossois Family Institute’s efforts will bring together research from across the University as well as affiliates at Argonne National Laboratory and the Marine Biological Laboratory. The Institute will also facilitate close collaboration with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to accelerate the development of clinical applications. 

The Duchossois family has a longstanding and deep commitment to supporting science and medicine. This latest gift continues a history of giving to UChicago that began in 1980, when Richard Duchossois established the Beverly E. Duchossois Cancer Fund in memory of his wife. In the years since, the family has given $37 million to the medical center to drive innovation and transformative care, including a named professorship and several cancer research funds, as well as a $21 million gift in 1994 to establish the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine.

The Duchossois gift is the single largest in support of UChicago Medicine, and it is the fourth gift of $100 million or more to the University of Chicago. The Thomas L. Pearson and The Pearson Family Members Foundation made a grant of $100 million in 2015 to establish The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts and The Pearson Global Forum at the Harris School of Public Policy, and an anonymous donor gave $100 million in 2007 to fund the Odyssey Scholarship Program for undergraduate student aid. The University’s largest gift to date is $300 million in 2008 from investment entrepreneur David Booth, for whom UChicago’s Booth School of Business is named.

We are deeply grateful to Craig, Janet, and The Duchossois Family Foundation for their visionary generosity in support of a new approach to wellness.

Robert J. Zimmer