Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Eleanor Roosevelt Institute to move to DU campus

In a move designed to further strengthen the University’s expanding Life Sciences Initiative, DU officials announced April 2 that the Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (ERI) will relocate to campus in the summer. Currently, the institute is housed in a building five miles north of DU near Denver’s City Park.

Having ERI on campus will create additional collaborative research efforts with faculty and researchers housed at the University, Provost Gregg Kvistad says.

Kvistad says ERI’s biomedical expertise is an excellent fit with the University’s biological sciences and biochemistry programs. “It’s very difficult for scientists at ERI to easily interact with students and their DU colleagues on campus,” he says. “This move will have a positive impact on our research capabilities and the learning experience for our students, especially those in the pre-medicine program.”

In 2003, the University, together with the Bonfils-Stanton and Boettcher foundations, rescued ERI from imminent closure. ERI was founded in 1961 with a gift from the Eleanor Roosevelt Foundation for Cancer Research. Private donations and federal grants supported work at the institute for more than 40 years, but a decrease in the level of funding almost led to its demise.

The move to campus will involve a downsizing of research personnel. Three ERI scientists and their support staff will leave the institute on June 30.

Three other scientists and their staff, plus two ERI technicians, will relocate to offices and laboratories in two DU science buildings.

There, they will continue research into ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Down syndrome, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and Parkinson’s disease. The National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense fund the work.

“Most research organizations, and their principal investigators, support their work largely with grants from federal agencies, donors and foundations,” says Jim Fogleman, dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “Unfortunately, not everyone at ERI has been able to maintain funding for their projects and the University simply can’t afford to fund the research itself.”

DU will sell the current ERI building when the move is completed.

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