The Roddenberry Foundation is providing critical support for Gladstone’s COVID-19 research. Their gift of $1 million will be put to immediate use to accelerate efforts to develop reliable testing and contact-tracing technologies and explore powerful and effective therapeutics.
“The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the devastating impact it’s having across the globe requires immediate and diverse efforts from a wide swath of institutions,” said Heidi Roddenberry, board chair of the Roddenberry Foundation. “We are proud to support Gladstone’s research and scientific endeavors in their pursuit of solutions to the pandemic.”
The Roddenberry Foundation was established to honor the legacy of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and is committed to advancing his faith in humanity by supporting organizations that can disrupt existing dynamics, challenge old patterns of thought, and discover new ways to help move toward a better future.
“We are proud to support Gladstone’s research and scientific endeavors in their pursuit of solutions to the pandemic.”
The funding will be distributed across multiple labs working to block the entrance of the virus into human cells, map protein-to-protein interactions to identify existing drug candidates, and leverage CRISPR technology to create an affordable at-home diagnostic device with the potential to track COVID-19 and future pandemics. The gift will also help Gladstone operate two BSL-3 facilities that will provide researchers throughout the Bay Area an opportunity to study SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses directly.
“The response of the scientific community has been nothing short of heroic and is really unprecedented in terms of how rapidly researchers were able to pivot to work on COVID-19” said Gladstone’s President Deepak Srivastava. “Our virologists were uniquely positioned to address the pandemic and, in some cases, launched new research projects in a matter of days. This gift from the Roddenberry Foundation could not come at a better time and is going to have a major impact on our ability to keep pushing toward discoveries that could save countless lives.”
In making this commitment, the Roddenberry Foundation joins Atlantic Philanthropies, the Omidyar Network, Amazon/AWS, Bain Consulting, and individual philanthropists in supporting Gladstone’s COVID-19 Philanthropic Initiative, which launched in March 2020 with a goal of rapidly expanding Gladstone’s research capacity and investing in tools and technologies to study COVID-19.