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“When I apply for grants, it’s important to be able to say that I have an endowed chair,” he explains. “It means that I can use most of the grant funds to support research rather than my salary. That’s very important to scientists, especially these days.

David Patterson, Biological Sciences, Eleanor Roosevelt Institute

David Patterson conducts research that one day could help advance cancer treatment, improve the lives of people with Down syndrome and even slow the aging process. As he works, he shares his knowledge and discoveries with DU graduate and undergraduate students in the classroom and in the lab.

Like so much pioneering inquiry, Patterson’s work may never generate the desired results. On the other hand, Patterson says, if he is allowed the time and resources to think long-term, rather than aiming at short-term successes, his work could have “potentially profound implications.”

Thanks to the Theodore Puck Endowed Chair, Patterson has that luxury. He can take risks and take the time to plan research projects with enhanced potential. The chair is named after the late Theodore Puck, Patterson’s “scientific mentor and a towering figure in modern biology.”

The chair includes funding research, but Patterson says its impact goes well beyond funding.

“When I apply for grants, it’s important to be able to say that I have an endowed chair,” he explains. “It means that I can use most of the grant funds to support research rather than my salary. That’s very important to scientists, especially these days.

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