TSRI Development Office Launches Fundraising Initiative to Purchase Immunology Building

What does it take to raise at least $16 million? Commitment. Perseverance. And most of all a good cause.

The Scripps Research Institute's (TSRI) development staff have all three in the new initiative to raise money to purchase the Immunology Building. The building, which has been leased by TSRI since 1980, is the southern anchor to the main TSRI campus and houses TSRI's oldest and largest department, the Department of Immunology, comprising some 60 faculty, 100 postdocs, and 340 staff members.

"This is a one-time opportunity to obtain the building at below current market value," says Director of Development Denise M. Scalzo. "Land is no longer available on the Torrey Pines Mesa, which makes acquiring the building an important priority."

The terms of the original lease allow TSRI the right to purchase the building at a pre-determined price. Raising a minimum of $16 million in private funds would enable the institute to commit to the purchase by the deadline of June 2003 and take advantage of this exceptional option.

While in general it is a difficult time for raising money—the stock market's fluctuations have affected discretionary funds and individual wealth—development staff remain optimistic. "TSRI is not just another biomedical institution," comments Development Officer Roz Hodgins.

Development staff are making their case for the long-term medical potential of work that goes on within the Immunology Building's walls. "How often do you have a chance to help save 64 million lives?" reads a brochure for the initiative. "Last year, 64 million people suffered from cancer, HIV, diabetes, and septic shock. Rare and deadly viral diseases in developing countries threaten to make those numbers grow. Since 1980, the Immunology Building has been home to world leaders in unlocking the secrets of the complex human immune system and in developing potential treatments for these global killers."

While written material supports the fundraising effort, development staff acknowledge that it all comes down to people—finding and informing those forward-looking individuals with the vision, passion, and means to make the purchase of the Immunology Building possible.




The Immunology Building, leased by TSRI since 1980, houses TSRI's oldest and largest department. Photo by Kevin Fung.