April 28, 2004
For immediate release
April 28, 2004
I am writing to share some very exciting news about recent changes to The Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression. After a careful and deliberate process, the Board of Directors and I have decided that the quest for a genetic cure for bipolar disease would be best served by transferring the Fund to the University of Michigan Health System to create a donor-advised fund named the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund.
The assets of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund will be managed by the University’s Chief Financial Officer and will be included in the University’s investment endowment pool. The Fund will be administered by the Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, Robert Kelch, M.D.
The purpose of the Fund remains the same, to support breakthrough medical research in the genetic causes of bipolar disease that we hope will one day lead to a cure. I believe that the University of Michigan has all the components needed to make this breakthrough. The University, home to a world-class Medical School, Mental Health Research Institute, Depression Center, and the Life Sciences Institute, provides fertile ground for great ideas and discoveries and, at the same time, provides opportunities for collaboration across the country.
I have appreciated and enjoyed my relationship with a number of academic, institutional, and scientific leaders at the University including President Coleman, Huda Akil, Ph.D., John Greden, M.D., and Robert Kelch, M.D. In addition, I have gotten to know and appreciate the depth of research for bipolar disease taking place at U of M by Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D.; Stanley Watson, M.D., Ph.D.; Robert McCullumsmith, M.D., Ph.D.; Simon Evans, Ph.D.; Margit Burmeister, Ph.D.; Roseanne Armitage, Ph.D.; Robert Thompson, Ph.D.; Juan Lopez, M.D.; and others.
The Prechter Bipolar Network, whose membership includes researchers who have received grants from The Heinz C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression, will continue to function. This network will be coordinated by the University of Michigan Health System, under the direction of Dr. Kelch.
It is my intention to continue to raise significant gifts to support the work that the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund makes possible. With the administrative responsibilities of the Fund no longer mine, I will be able to devote more time to this effort. I want to find a cure, and the best way for me to do this is to work toward that goal. I will have an office in Ann Arbor; and, together with the leadership of the University of Michigan, I will work vigorously for the good of the Fund—and I will ask you to join me. You will be hearing from me, and your unwavering support of the Heinz C. Prechter Bipolar Research Fund is important to me—and especially to those whose lives may be saved with a cure.