Volume 91, Issue 68

Thursday, January 29, 1998



Two million dollars - just what the doctor ordered

By Dave Yasvinski and Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Gazette Staff

While drastic cuts are being made to medical research across Canada, a generous donation will ensure Western a first-place ranking in the field of medicine with the country's only chair for studies in molecular toxicology.

As part of a $2.5 million donation being made through the Richard and Jean Ivey Fund, $2 million will be used to establish the new chair, which is expected to yield an endowment of $100,000 per year.

"This endowment will allow the medicine and dentistry department to recruit a scientist of international stature in the area of international toxicology," said dean of medicine Robert McMurtry.

The proposal for the chair was chosen from a group of 25 proposals submitted to the community for scientific review. "[The Richard and Jean Ivey fund] thought it was imaginative and very important," McMurtry said.

Treasurer for the fund, Keith Sumner said the organization has always had a strong environmental interest and believes London is uniquely placed to examine the reaction of drugs on humans because of its location to the Great Lakes.

"The [molecular toxicology] program has been at Western in varying degrees," Sumner said. Establishing a chair will now lend a focus and a strong identity to the program, he added.

The announcement of the donation was made on Tuesday but has been discussed for quite some time, said Western President Paul Davenport. "Mankind has experienced extraordinary benefits from the growth of pharmaceuticals and now we need research on how drugs interact with each other and other chemicals in the environment."

The remaining $500,000 portion of the endowment is being given to the Richard Ivey School of Business in conjunction with an earlier grant made by the Richard and Jean Ivey Fund to produce Asian case studies, Sumner said.

Bringing the total donation for this project to $1.25 million, Ivey Asian Business Management Institute director Paul Beamish said this idea is part of an aim by the business school to use material which better reflects the economic reality of the world. "We are trying to create the largest body of Asian related teaching cases in the world."

The case studies will be used in the school in addition to being made available to other schools through a distribution process. Ivey also hopes to become the number one provider of these materials, Beamish said.

"The Iveys are supporting areas of outstanding strength at Western," Davenport said. "We owe them a great debt for the many years of contributions they have made."

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Copyright The Gazette 1998