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Notre Dame receives $10 million donation to biophysical research center

| Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The William and Linda Stavropoulos Family Foundation of Midland, Michigan, donated $10 million to Notre Dame to create a center specializing in biophysical research in the College of Science, according to a University press release.

The Stavropoulos Center for Interdisciplinary Biophysics will aim to foster connections between physicians, biologists, chemists, mathematicians and engineers, according to the release. The group’s work will focus on new approaches to cancer, stem cell biology, imaging, therapeutic development and other research practices.

“The interconnectedness of biology and physics to understanding living systems is longstanding, but in recent years has become even more central to scientific research,” Thomas Burish, University provost, said in the release. “Bill and Linda’s generous and visionary gift will give us the opportunity to significantly expand our work in this arena.”

According to the release, Bill Stavropoulos has served on the College of Science Advisory Council since 1988. His wife, Linda, serves as president of the William and Linda Stavropoulos Family Foundation, which the couple created to support efforts in health care, human services, higher education and religion, according to the release.

“We feel strongly about the future of science at Notre Dame and wanted to support this important area of research that we believe will bring the University to the forefront of biomedical research,” he said in the release.

Physics has been used in biological research for years — a relationship that has grown in recent years, as questions in biology been examined from a more fundamental level, according to the release.

The center will allow the University to attract “a cluster of elite research talent to significantly strengthen science and biophysics at Notre Dame,” Mary Galvin, dean of the College of Science, said in the release.

“This field of knowledge is crucial as we seek to explore the physical principles of biology and make advancements in human health,” she said.

According to the release, Stavropoulos graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and earned a doctorate in medical chemistry from the University of Washington. He worked at Dow Chemical Company for 39 years, where he served as chairman and CEO from 2002 to 2004.

The Stavropoulos’ children, Bill and Angela, both graduated from Notre Dame. The couple has six grandchildren and live in Naples, Florida.

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