$10 million bequest to strengthen Australia-United States scientific links
Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, have been named as beneficiaries of a charitable trust established by American scientist, physician and publisher Dr Leslie Norins and his wife Mrs Ann ‘Rainey’ Norins.
The future value of the gift, which will be received after the donors’ deaths, is estimated at $US10 million. The Norins Fund will support exchanges of students and scientists between the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
Dr Norins, who received a Bachelors degree from Johns Hopkins University, undertook postgraduate studies at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute with Nobel Prize winner Sir Macfarlane Burnet from 1962 to 1964, receiving a PhD degree in immunology. After a decade studying infectious disease at the US Centers for Disease Control, Dr Norins moved into publishing, specialising in medical newsletters. Mrs Norins is a business partner of Dr Norins in their publishing enterprises.
Dr Norins said Johns Hopkins and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute had aided the formative years of his career. “I have seen the rewards of exposing younger scientists to cross-training at top institutions in other countries,” Dr Norins said. “Not only does it promote exchange of science knowledge and techniques, but it broadens their world outlook in this time of increased globalisation. We wanted to enhance such opportunities for future generations of researchers.”
The director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Professor Doug Hilton, said he was thrilled that Dr and Mrs Norins had chosen to remember Dr Norins’ time at the institute and at Johns Hopkins University in such a generous and thoughtful way.
“Improving human health through medical research is truly a global effort,” said Professor Hilton. “An exchange program such as that enabled by Dr and Mrs Norins allows researchers to collaborate much more closely, bringing together more minds and strategies to solve complex problems.
“Dr Norins’ career path, taking him between continents to receive the best scientific training, reflects the experiences of many medical researchers, particularly those in Australia. I am delighted to think that, in the future, this fund will benefit both Australian and North American researchers, allowing reciprocal exchanges between two important research centres.”
Both the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Johns Hopkins University were founded through philanthropy, and the generosity of many in the Australian and American communities remains a significant source of financial support for both institutions.
Professor Hilton said the institute’s focus on understanding, preventing and treating cancer, immune disorders and infectious diseases, was complemented by the research strengths of Johns Hopkins University. “Both Australia and the United States will benefit greatly from exchanges supported by the Norins Fund,” he said.
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