Claremont, Calif. (March 19, 2010) — Pitzer College received a $200,000 donation from Dr. Francois Ferré and Dr. Magda Marquet to support the research and development of the college’s Vaccine Development Institute.
“We strongly believe in the vision of the institute with its dual tenets of ‘disease eradication in the developing world and global thinking in bioscience education.’ We hope that this contribution will have a significant impact on creating educational opportunities between Pitzer and Botswana as well as on contributing to the development of innovative and efficacious vaccines. It is also a way to share our passion for the life sciences with Pitzer College and the Claremont community. We are looking forward to working with the Pitzer Vaccine Institute team to transform this stimulating vision into an even more exciting reality,” said Marquet and Ferré.
Pitzer President Laura Skandera Trombley said, “Pitzer College is so grateful for the generosity of Drs. Ferré and Marquet. Their support launches the Vaccine Development Institute, which is destined to provide a much-needed resource to help eradicate disease amongst very vulnerable populations. We welcome their important leadership on our campus and in our global community.”
The Pitzer College Vaccine Development Institute, in partnership with University of Botswana, was formed in 2008 to develop the mechanism and capacity for cost-effective vaccine production to address urgent health priorities in southern Africa. By leveraging faculty expertise, this academic program allows students to simultaneously work to improve healthcare in developing countries while performing cutting edge bioscience research in the creation of specific vaccines against lumpy skin disease, rotavirus and other insidious diseases. Ferré and Marquet are the founding donors and serve on the Institute’s advisory board.
Ferré and Marquet are founders and co-CEOs of AltheaDx, Inc., a world leader in the development of companion diagnostic and biopharma services. They also founded and co-chair Althea Technologies, a contract development and manufacturing organization that provides the technical expertise and flexibility to successfully develop and manufacture clinical and commercial drug products.
Ferré and Marquet’s eldest son, Alexandre Ferré ’11 is a neuroscience major at Pitzer College.
The new Vaccine Development Institute laboratory will be named The Ferré/Marquet Vaccine Research Center at Pitzer College.