Baylor Sciences Receive $500,000 W.M. Keck Foundation Grant

Sept. 11, 2000

by LoAna Lopez

Baylor University's bioinformatics and biochemistry programs have received a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles for the purchase of state-of-the-art laboratory equipment that will enrich the two fastest growing undergraduate science majors at Baylor.

"An important long-term goal of the sciences at Baylor is to build stronger connections between the science disciplines," said Dr. Ben Pierce, professor of biology and associate dean for sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. "There is a growing awareness that future solutions to many of society's most pressing problems -- global warming, overpopulation, emerging diseases -- will require integrated, multidisciplinary approaches.

"This grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation will help our students build bridges between the traditional sciences by supporting two new multidisciplinary programs -- bioinformatics and biochemistry."

In biochemistry, the grant will be used to upgrade and create laboratory courses, as well as help purchase equipment for undergraduate research. In bioinformatics, the grant will help with an upgrade to the molecular genetics teaching laboratory and provide a dedicated bioinformatics teaching laboratory.

The W.M. Keck Foundation is one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations. Established in 1954 by the late William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company, the foundation's grants focus primarily on the areas of medical research, science and engineering. The foundation also maintains a program for liberal arts colleges and a Southern California Grant Program that provides support in the areas of civic community services, health care and hospitals, pre-collegiate education and the arts.

In 1996, Robert A. Day succeeded his uncle, the late Howard B. Keck, as chairman and president of the W. M. Keck Foundation. Under their leadership the foundation has made grants of over $875 million while its assets have grown from $250 million to over $1.7 billion today.

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