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News Release

Major gift will support neurology and cardiology research.

9/10/2010
 

AURORA, Colo. (September 1, 2010) – A bequest of more than $1.9 million will bolster two areas of health care research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

This generous and unsolicited gift from the estate of Joseph and Rose LaConte, to be split equally between the Department of Neurology and the Division of Cardiology at the School of Medicine, is all the more remarkable—since the couple has no known ties to the university, its clinical program, or its doctors. The LaContes, hard-working vegetable farmers, developed commercial real estate in Westminster for years as well as a drive-in movie theater; the LaConte Shopping Center on Federal Boulevard bears their name. Joseph LaConte passed away in 2001 at age 91; Rose LaConte passed away in 2006 at age 94.

“It’s a stunning gift,” says Peter Buttrick, MD, S. Gilbert Blount professor and head of the cardiology division, which will use its approximately $965,000 allocation from the bequest to fund an endowed research professorship to lead translational research, helping to convert basic laboratory science into new cardiovascular therapies.

For the neurology department, the LaConte bequest represents the second major gift received recently for Alzheimer’s research (another $1.1 million bequest was received last spring). The approximately $965,000 from this current gift will, like the prior gift, fund the hiring of a faculty member with high-caliber research expertise in Alzheimer’s, according to Kenneth Tyler, MD, Reuler-Lewin family professor and department chair. Alzheimer’s disease is a priority research area for the department, as its incidence is expected to increase rapidly, and Colorado’s 47 percent incidence increase since 2000 is greater than that of any state except Alaska.

Faculty at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Degrees offered by the UC Denver School of Medicine include doctor of medicine, doctor of physical therapy, and masters of physician assistant studies.  The School is located on the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. For additional news and information, please visit the UC Denver newsroom online.

About the CU Foundation
Founded in 1967, the nonprofit CU Foundation partners with the University of Colorado to raise, manage, and invest private support for the university’s benefit. Our donors help the university transform lives through education, research, clinical care, and community engagement. Visit www.cufund.org for more information.

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Contact: Jeremy Simon, University of Colorado Foundation, 303-541-1218, jeremy.simon@cufund.org