The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation makes a historic donation to University of Alberta to establish an endowed Chair in Lymphatic Disorders 

A ground-breaking announcement has just been made by the offices of the Dean of Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and the President of the University of Alberta. The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation has donated 6 million dollars to establish an endowed research chair in lymphatic disorders at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta.  Five million dollars will be used to endow the Chair with an additional 1 million dollars as an initial establishment fund.  In addition, the University Hospital Foundation joins the Kipnes Foundation by contributing 1 million dollars to match the establishment fund. The endowed chair will be named The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Chair in Lymphatic Disorders honouring their generosity and determination to effect fundamental changes in the care of patients suffering underreported, under-recognized, and underdiagnosed medical problems in the lymphatic system such as lymphedema.

The research emphasis of this Chair will encompass a full range of lymphatic investigation including both primary and secondary lymphedema, which, by WHO’s estimation, affects around 170 million people worldwide.  Recognizing that there lies both big unmet medical needs and exciting potential for developing novel diagnostics, preventive and therapeutic interventions, the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Chair in Lymphatic Disorders will bring multiple stakeholders together who share a common vision to tackle both foundational science and technology development.

Alberta’s top two research universities, University of Alberta and University of Calgary, have both benefited from the generous gifts from the Kipnes Foundation.  In 2013, the Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation donated 5 million dollars to establish the Lymphedema Imaging Suite, a powerful set of microscopes tailored to studying the structures and functions of the lymphatic system, at the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, University of Calgary.

The Alberta Lymphedema Network (ALNET), a research collaborative founded following the Kipnes gift to the University of Calgary, has grown to attract a sizable local group of like-minded scientists, physicians, and other healthcare practitioners sharing expertise in lymphatic biology, current therapies, imaging technologies, metabolomics, proteomics, and nanotechnology. ALNET has been actively sponsoring and facilitating basic research and clinical trials related to lymphedema and other lymphatic disorders such as chylothorax and will continue to dedicate its efforts to supporting lymphatic research by becoming an engaged partner to the endowed Kipnes Chair program.   As well, the Kipnes Chair will become a collaborative member of the Cancer Research Institute of Northern Alberta (CRINA) with an appointment to the Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta .

At a time when public funding for academic research is quite limited, the new endowed Kipnes chair program is no doubt an energizing initiative signifying the Kipneses’ unwavering support for basic science research and clinical development. The endowed chair program is expected to attract suitable candidates from a wide range of disciplines as well as high calibre researchers in the lymphatic field to Edmonton further expanding the scientific and clinical impact of current Albertan and Canadian research teams.

Last edited on October 10, 2018