Chapter 4: The Vital Role of Philanthropy

Support from Generous Donors


Test tubes in the Barouch labJust as Barouch’s HIV vaccine work laid a solid foundation for his researchers to build upon, decades of support from generous donors helped to establish his lab’s infrastructure. Philanthropy has been critical, particularly during times when the Barouch team did not have federal funding due to the long timeline required to secure grants. A key supporter is Cathy Lurie, who was deeply inspired by Barouch’s work. “Dan’s lab pivoted early on to focus on COVID-19 and showed tireless commitment to this research,” says Cathy. “As the gravity and impact of this pandemic was unfolding, I felt it imperative to help in a way that I could, as a layperson.” Likewise, Brit D’Arbeloff also found inspiration in Barouch’s work and his ability to distinguish himself through the academic rigor he and his team bring to their studies. “Dan’s work in this space is truly pioneering,” says Brit, a steadfast and generous donor. “There is so much research happening, but only a very small percentage of scientists reach his level of success and influence.” Read more about D’Arbeloff’s support, from one trailblazer to another.

In the early days of the pandemic, Roger Klein and Rachel Coben learned about the promise of Barouch’s work, which motivated them to make generous gifts. “We believe that science is the hope of humankind. Research like Dan’s saves lives and provides hope for all of us during this difficult time,” says Roger. Adds Rachel: “We are so proud to play a part in something that’s made a profound impact around the world, and we see great value in Dan’s ongoing work, which aims to stop the next pandemic before it begins.” Roger and Rachel are not the only supporters who have their eyes on the future of Barouch’s work. Trustee Advisory Board member June Tatelman has funded HIV investigations at BIDMC for nearly a decade, and more recently made wonderful contributions to support vaccine research. “My husband, Eliot, and I are proud to support Dan and his team, his work, and his vision,” she says. “I think we are only just beginning to see the potential of this research and I know his lab will continue to lead the way in whatever global health challenge comes next.”

Our motivation is obvious: vaccines save lives and Dan Barouch is as good as it gets when it comes to making vaccines.
Paul Weisman
Trustee Advisory Board Member

Philanthropists who support Barouch are not shy about their feelings of appreciation and admiration toward him. For some, including Bob Millard—who conducted his own due diligence and spoke to his contacts within the scientific community—Barouch’s track record truly stood out. “Perhaps the greatest thrust of biology and therefore science in our day is immunology,” says Bob. “Once I got wind of Dan’s immunology work, I knew immediately I wanted to support it.” For others, their confidence in Barouch and his team helped them navigate the uncertainty of the past year. “My faith that Dr. Barouch would produce an effective vaccine against COVID-19 gave me the strength to endure the pandemic with equanimity,” says generous donor Daphne Hatsopoulos. And to some, making a gift to help advance Barouch’s work just made sense. “He’s a brilliant guy,” says Trustee Advisory Board member Paul Weisman, who, with his wife, Susan, have championed BIDMC’s research enterprise throughout the years. “Our motivation is obvious: vaccines save lives and Dan Barouch is as good as it gets when it comes to making vaccines.”

For Barouch, the feeling is mutual. Flexible philanthropic support is essential to his work because it allows his team to be creative and nimble when it matters the most—COVID-19 being the perfect example. “BIDMC has been an incredible environment for myself and my team,” says Barouch, who is grateful for the remarkable support provided via the BIDMC Vaccine Research Fund. “We are thankful to the generous donors who helped us get to where we are today, develop key lab infrastructure, and prepare for emerging infectious diseases.”

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