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Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease at CSU to Receive Bequest for Endowed Graduate Scholarship

Planned gift from George and Mary Stark is largest to date for cutting-edge research center

A generous bequest from George Stark, Ph.D., and his wife, Mary, will endow a graduate scholarship in the Center for Gene Regulation in Health and Disease (GRHD) at Cleveland State University.

The $150,000 planned gift is the largest to date pledged to GRHD, one of the leading gene research centers in the United States.

Dedicated to improving our understanding of biological processes and how malfunctions of those processes result in various diseases, including heart disease, infectious disease and cancer, GRHD was founded in 2008 with a grant from the Ohio Third Frontier Commission. Since then, GRHD researchers have secured more than $15 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and other sources, and published more than 120 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals that have been cited more than 1,500 times.

“Mary and I are delighted to be able to help provide future support for graduate students in this wonderful program, which I have watched evolve with great pleasure,” Dr. Stark said.

“We are very grateful to George and Mary Stark for their generosity,” said GRHD Director Anton Komar, Ph.D. “In our labs at CSU, GRHD faculty are training more than 50 Ph.D. students. This endowed scholarship will help us prepare future generations of scientists to conduct vital research in the field of gene regulation. It is an enormous honor for us and our students.”

Dr. Stark is chair of the GRHD advisory committee. He also was instrumental in developing a Cellular and Molecular Medicine Specialization (CMMS) program jointly offered by CSU and Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.

As the author of more than 250 research papers, Dr. Stark has made important contributions to biomedical research. He is the Distinguished Scientist of the Lerner Research Institute, where he served as chair from 1992 to 2002. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Dr. Stark holds a doctorate in chemistry from Columbia University. He received an honorary doctorate of science degree from CSU in 2003.

Mary Stark was trained in physics at the University of Michigan and has worked in the laboratory with George for many years. They have two children, Robert and Janna.