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Natural Sciences & Mathematics

About Us

About Us

About the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute

Brief History and Mission

The Eleanor Roosevelt Institute was founded in 1961 on the belief that biomedical and genetic research are the most cost-effective, long-term approaches to the eventual conquest of human afflictions such as cancer, premature aging, birth defects and genetic diseases. The Institute merged with the University of Denver in 2003. It is our mission to seek an in-depth understanding of the process of life, especially human life, and through this understanding, work toward unlocking the mysteries of human health and disease.

A few highlights include:

1956: Dr. Theodore Puck, the Institute's founding scientist, developed somatic cell genetics making much of modern human genetics possible.
1971: Publication of Dr. Puck's book "The Mammalian Cell as a Microorganism" in which he describes the logic and methods of mammalian somatic cell genetics developed largely by ERI scientists in the previous 10 years.
1977: Dr. Puck led a team that developed revolutionary new radiation and chemotherapy methods to treat cancers more safely and more accurately.
1987: Institute scientists collaborated with scientists from around the world to locate the first gene shown to cause hereditary Alzheimer's disease on chromosome 21.
1993: Institute scientists and collaborators investigated four new genes and determined that they are tied to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), immune function, and kidney and colon cancers.
1998: The Institute began a new program exploring the cognitive ability of people with Down syndrome and potential therapies.
1999: Institute scientists working in collaboration with scientists in Oklahoma, isolated a hormone that may play an important role in weight regulation and obesity.
2000: Institute scientists were the only American scientists to participate in the complete sequencing of chromosome 21.
2000: Institute scientists located a mouse gene that prevents Lou Gehrig's disease in strains of mice otherwise destined to contract the disease.
2003: ERI merged with the University of Denver to maximize its scientific potential and its ability to train the next generations of young scientists.
2006: ERI initiated a research program to understand Parkinson's disease by recruiting a new faculty member, Dr. Daniel Linseman, jointly with the University of Denver.
2008 ERI completed its move into renovated lab space in the Seeley G. Mudd Science Building at the University of Denver.
2008: ERI scientists published the first production of a mouse model of folic acid metabolism in which a critical mouse gene located on chromosome 21 and thought to be involved in Down syndrome is replaced with its human counterpart.
2008: Many University of Denver and Denver Health Medical Center scientists become affiliated with ERI to facilitate multidisciplinary research efforts.