Multimillion-dollar gifts fund translational therapy institute

Published on May 02, 2016
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An anonymous racehorse breeder has donated $20 million to Colorado State University to build a regenerative medicine research facility, fulfilling a $65 million matching challenge from lead donors and fellow horse aficionados John and Leslie Malone.

The donations enable construction of the CSU Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies, which will tap the body’s healing powers for innovative treatments that improve animal and human health. Groundbreaking is planned for later this year.

In December 2014, the Malones pledged $42.5 million, the largest cash gift in CSU history, for the planned facility. The gift was prompted by their interest in stem cell therapy and its effectiveness in treating joint problems in horses. The Malones raise world-class dressage horses and Thoroughbred racehorses.

The Malones’ gift provides $32.5 million for construction of the building and $10 million for institute operations during the first five years. The lead gift required $32.5 million in matching donations. That challenge was fulfilled in just over a year with the $20 million gift from the anonymous donor and $12.5 million from other donors and the university.

On Feb. 13, CSU publicly announced its first $1 billion campaign to generate philanthropic support for teaching, research, outreach, and veterinary clinical services. With the gifts for regenerative research, the university is more than halfway to fulfilling that goal.

The leader in planning the institute has been Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, CSU professor and founding director of the Orthopaedic Research Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. He and other faculty members with the center developed the vision for the institute as part of their focus on equine musculoskeletal problems. Then other CSU faculty with interests in regenerative medicine became involved. 

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