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Impact

Thanks to a new multimillion-dollar, multiyear grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Northwestern Medicine will continue to participate in the MJFF-sponsored Parkinson’s Progression Markers Initiative, which aims to identify biomarkers for the progression of the disease.

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A recent gift from the John R. Flanagan Charitable Foundation seeks to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, like COVID-19, around the world.

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The national conversation surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion is ongoing. Northwestern has responded by committing to advancing racial and social justice and making the University a more equitable and inclusive place for all — and generous donors are bolstering these efforts.

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in spring 2020, the University’s philanthropic community has responded by funding high-impact research and providing resources to help students learn remotely and return to campus. Donor support has been crucial to the continuation of Northwestern’s research and teaching missions.

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Austin J. Waldron partnered with the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences to create and endow the Waldron Student-Alumni Connections Program, which connects undergraduates with alumni in various fields and across different stages of their careers.

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Researchers at Northwestern and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab have developed a novel wearable device and custom data algorithms to catch early signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19 and to monitor patients as the illness progresses. It measures and interprets coughing, respiratory activity, heart rate and body temperature to uncover subtle but potentially lifesaving insights.

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When Northwestern researchers Chad Mirkin and David Walker ’14 PhD heard about the PPE shortage, their team sprang into action. They used a new 3D-printing technique they invented called “high-area rapid printing,” or HARP, to produce face shields at high volumes.

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To help reinvent the struggling industry, in 2018 the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications launched the Local News Initiative — a research and development project designed to improve audience engagement and strengthen business models. Alumni and industry leaders have stepped up to fund LNI’s reporting, data and research, which is conducted by students and faculty.

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In mid-March the University’s financial aid team began receiving a plethora of requests from undergraduate, graduate and professional school students in need of emergency financial assistance. Many needed help with unexpected travel costs, while the majority sought assistance to upgrade computers, internet service or other technology for remote learning.

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In 2017 Howard Trienens gave $20 million to transform Trienens Hall, the indoor turf field he helped fund with a leadership gift in 1996, into a world-class developmental facility for Wildcats volleyball, baseball, softball, and men’s and women’s basketball teams. Northwestern Athletics and Recreation celebrated Trienens’ decades of service to and support for Northwestern at the November 2019 dedication.

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Trienens Performance Center Volleyball Court