UF grad pledges gift of $1 million to fund research


Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 12:49 a.m.
A graduate of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy is giving back to his old school in a big way.
Allen Spiegel, through the A.J. Spiegel Foundation, has pledged $1 million to establish an endowment fund to support graduate students in the Department of Pharmaceutics' Ph.D. program.
Spiegel earned his Ph.D. in pharmacy from UF in 1957. He is now retired as senior director of international patents operations from Pfizer Inc., where he worked for 43 years. He has served as a member of the College of Pharmacy's national advisory board since 2000.
"Allen Spiegel wasn't interested in supporting pharmaceutical research as much as he was in supporting individual students in their endeavors," Executive Associate Dean Bill Millard said Wednesday.
Millard said that Spiegel, who got his degree in pharmaceutics, wanted to guarantee there would be others like himself coming into the workforce - well-educated graduates who have a passion for translational research.
According to Millard, the college needs this type of private funding for translational research, through which scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level and at the clinical level, potentially taking a new drug or treatment from the laboratory bench to a patient's "bedside."
Also benefiting from the gift is research in pharmacogenetics, the study of how genetics can dictate drug response.
Such translational research is a top priority with national funding agencies and pharmaceutical firms, Millard explained.
"Dr. Spiegel's endowment will now allow the College of Pharmacy to expand its graduate training program in both translational and pharmacogenetics research by providing additional graduate student lines and support in each of these areas," he said. The Dr. Allen J. Spiegel Graduate Endowment in Pharmaceutical Research could fund as many as four graduate student fellows at one time, according to Millard.
The gift is eligible for matching funds from the state's Major Gift Trust Fund.
It also will count toward the Faculty Challenge Initiative launched last year by UF President Bernie Machen.
Diane Chun can be reached at (352) 374-5041 or chund@gvillesun.com

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