Hopkins to receive $10 million

Pittsburgh philanthropist's gift will go toward work at biotech park

April 18, 2006|By DOUGLAS BIRCH | DOUGLAS BIRCH,SUN REPORTER

John G. Rangos Sr., a Pittsburgh philanthropist, has promised to give $10 million for work at several academic research centers planned for the Johns Hopkins University's biotechnology park in East Baltimore, the university said yesterday.

The announcement of the gift came as the university broke ground on the $800 million, 80-acre project on Wolfe Street just north of Hopkins' medical campus.

The gift is tied with 16 others as the 23rd-largest in the history of the university, said Dennis O'Shea, a university spokesman. The first of the park's structures will be named the Rangos Building, in honor of the donor.

Dr. Stephen Desiderio, director of the medical school's Institute for Basic Biomedical Sciences, said they "makes possible something we've been dreaming about for some years now: trying to bring scientists from different disciplines together to work on a few outstanding problems in biology."

He said one of the four centers will study the metabolism of obesity; a second will study the biology of vision, pain and other senses; a third will use advanced imaging technology to discover how chemicals are transported within and between cells; and the fourth will study epigenetics, or nongenetic mechanisms that can regulate how genes are expressed or silenced.

Rangos, 76, the head of the Rangos Family Foundation, is the founder and former executive officer of Chambers Development Inc., an environmental and waste management company.

He is a member of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Board of Visitors, and previously has donated money for an endowed chair at the medical school.

douglas.birch@baltsun.com

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