Ryan family gift to establish new fund for life sciences research


Daily file photo by Ava Mandoli

Northwestern Technological Institute. The Ryan family’s newly-instituted fund is intended to accelerate research in the life sciences.

Maia Pandey and Jorja Siemons

Northwestern has instituted a new fund aimed at accelerating innovative research in the life sciences, the University announced Monday. 

The Pat & Shirley Ryan Family Research Acceleration Fund is part of the $480 million gift from Pat Ryan and Shirley Ryan to NU last fall — the largest gift in University history.

McCormick Prof. Milan Mrksich said the fund will serve projects that “challenge convention” and may not yet be ready for federal funding. Faculty will be able to request Ryan Research Acceleration Awards by sharing their research proposals with center directors, department chairs or deans before submitting to an advisory committee.

“The (fund) will provide Northwestern investigators with support to demonstrate the feasibility of their visions and will enable Northwestern to attract even more federal funding for research that solves urgent challenges to create a better world,” Mrksich said in a news release.

According to the University, the fund will promote collaboration across the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine and McCormick School of Engineering by maximizing research opportunities. 

“We cannot thank the Ryan Family enough for their generosity toward Northwestern, which is accelerating promising research that can improve people’s lives,” Provost Kathleen Hagerty said in the release.

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Twitter: @maiapandey

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @JorjaSiemons

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