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Posted on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

University of Michigan announces $100,000 science prize funded by billionaire A. Alfred Taubman

By Juliana Keeping


A. Alfred Taubman, the founder and chairman of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute, presents a thank-you gift to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder during a symposium at the A. Alfred Taubman Biomedical Science Research Building at the University of Michigan Friday.

Angela J. Cesere |

Billionaire A. Alfred Taubman will fund a $100,000 science prize — a carrot meant to lure the most talented “clinician-scientists” in the world to the University of Michigan, the university announced today.

Eva Feldman, the director of the 4-year-old A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute at the University of Michigan Health System, said Taubman wants “a 100,000 gift given to the best clinician scientists in the world.” We anticipate this person will come speak at our annual symposium each year; and anticipate it will bring exceptional clinician scientists to the University of Michigan.”

The 16 scientists working in U-M labs funded by Taubman’s donations are among the university’s elite researchers, said University of Michigan Health System CEO Ora Hirsch Pescovitz at an annual Taubman Symposium at U-M.

Each scholar is a scientist as well as a clinician who sees patients. The goal is that the research of the doctor-scholars will have real-word applications, rather than stay in the lab, a common research pitfall, said Feldman, who is leading the first human clinical trial of a stem cell treatment for ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Other researchers are looking into better treatments and cures for conditions and diseases like obesity, pancreatic and breast cancer and other diseases.

The institute was launched in 2007 with a $22 million donation from the Pontiac native and U-M dropout. In April, U-M announced a $56 million gift from Taubman, which would help grow the institute’s reach to fund 16 scholars. The gift made him the largest donor in U-M’s history, with donations topping $140 million.

The symposium included a speech from Gov. Rick Snyder and remarks from Taubman scholars.

Biomedical research like that being done at the University of Michigan is key to the reinvention of the state, Snyder told the crowd of more than 150 people gathered at Kuhn Auditorium in the Alfred A. Taubman Biomedical Research Building. The facility was renamed in Taubman’s honor after his latest donation.

Snyder said he wants to see the state optimize commercial opportunities born of basic research.

“We can come up with the idea, prove the scientific principles behind it, and we can also take it and make it into an application where it can touch peoples’ lives. That’s truly exciting,” he said.

Taubman was on hand for the symposium and the sign dedication afterward.

Juliana Keeping covers general assignment and health and the environment for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter



Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: Thanks for sharing this story. However, I am missing some details. The first human clinical trial involving the use of stemcells for treatment for ALS is being funded by U of M Medical Research Institute. However, the clinical trial is being conducted at Emory University and not in Michigan. I want to know the reason. Michigan apparently has the funds and yet had to choose a different venue. This clinical experiment that involves the use of &quot;neural stemcells&quot; may violate the Law of Michigan. It is illegal to destroy human embryos for purposes of medical research. In fundamental terms, Michigan is funding an illegal activity. There is a conspiracy to violate Law of the State and I am surprised at the audacity displayed in this story to claim public credit and recognition for unethical conduct. Kindly correct me if I am wrong. I would like to know the source of these &quot;neural stemcells&quot; and as to how they are harvested. These cells represent human individuals. Human Identity and Individuality is expressed by unique molecules and hence cannot be concealed by using a term called 'stemcells'. Like any other tissue graft, or organ transplant, the body of the recipient is most likely to reject these cells because of immunological reaction. Science must define the human individual and state as to how its individuality is defended. Do they have the courage to speak the truth? <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

tom swift jr.

Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

yep, ricky runs with a nice crowd...


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 1:07 a.m.

So here is the question I end up having: I love that his money is going to something good. I am challenged by the probabiliy that these two smiling faces may be in their respective positions based the very things that are killing (and will kill) so many of us today: greed, corruption,and gaming various systems. And they divide up by pulling this cash our for themselves by pulling it away from funding our common goals, common interests(eg. public education) and our common good (like feeding the poor) for more private profiteering on the backs of the least among us. So thank you for this funding, but I am wary of the real costs of this 'gift'.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

Why is someone like Taubman being courted for donations? I guess Mr. Snyder doesn't care about his criminal background. Excerpt from 4-22-02. &quot;NEW YORK - A. Alfred Taubman, one of the highest-ranking American businessmen ever to be convicted of a serious crime, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison today for his role in a price-fixing scheme between his Sotheby's auction house and archrival Christie's.&quot;


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 6:07 p.m.

bill gates anti trust with windows.


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 8:06 p.m.

A2citizen: Bill Gates


Sat, Oct 15, 2011 : 4:30 a.m.

&quot;...There are plenty of other donors who aren't former criminals...&quot; ok. Name one.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 11:09 p.m. 4-22-02: &quot;Federal antitrust prosecutor John Greene argued that Taubman should be sentenced closer to the three-year maximum. U.S. District Judge George Daniels, citing Taubman's &quot;lack of contrition&quot; and his &quot;arrogance and greed&quot; in heading up the secretive scheme, said Taubman must go to jail for his crime to show that &quot;no one is above the law.&quot; I doubt his arrogance and greed have changed having served a year in jail. There are plenty of other donors who aren't former criminals.


Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

Big deal...the guy did his time. Maybe they figured courting the holier-than-thou population was a waste of time.

Matt P

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

At what point do you forgive a &quot;criminal&quot;, Sally? He's done his time and has donated around $200 Million Dollars to higher education and disease research at various schools around the country. What else do you propose that he needs to do before we should feel good about accepting all of this money that he's using to try and cure diseases that surely have affected the lives of you or those that you love? I take it you were burned pretty badly paying a couple extra percent in commissions on all of the multi-million-dollar paintings that you auctioned?

Kai Petainen

Fri, Oct 14, 2011 : 7:18 p.m.

Nice! sweet... cool...