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再访美利坚(20):AaronDiamond艾滋病研究中心

(2009-08-30 21:01:27)
标签:

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纽约

aaron

diamond

分类: 行万里路

以研制艾滋病鸡尾酒疗法而著名的华裔科学家何大一所在的Aaron Diamond 艾滋病研究中心位于纽约东27街一大道纽约市卫生局办公楼内。因为是政府部门很有一点门庭森严,我访问那天没有带证件,来接我的朋友费了小许口舌,我还被照了张像,才获准许进入。

 

对于何大一其人,我们应该不算陌生。但这次访问才使我有机会了解这个研究中心和与它相关的基金会Aaron Diamond Foundation、Irene Diamond Fund的情况。

 

Aaron Diamond Foundation 的创始人 Irene Diamond (1910-2003)是匹兹堡人,最初在纽约和好莱坞从事电影业,是华纳兄弟、派拉蒙等影业公司才华横溢、老资格的编剧,在圈内享有出色声誉,曾和制片人 Hal Wallis合作,参与过《Come Back Little Sheba》, 《The Rose Tattoo》 和《 Casablanca》(《卡萨布兰卡》)的制作交易;她的丈夫 Aaron Diamond 则是纽约的房地产开发商。他们在1985年(一说50年代)建立了 Aaron Diamond Foundation,后来又决定在1987年大部分基金到位后基金会将存在10年。基金会在10年间投入的2.2亿美元资金主要用于纽约市,除了支持Aaron Diamond 艾滋病研究中心外,每年还提供2000万用于支持领域内的青年科学家博士后研究奖学金、院校的小项目新项目,是美国支持艾滋病研究的最大的私人基金会。基金会也支持艺术、人权等活动,支持了纽约一系列艺术机构如林肯中心、纽约市芭蕾舞团、纽约市公共图书馆。1996年12月,基金会关闭,代之以新的Irene Diamond Fund ,它集中支持艾滋病和免疫科学、表演艺术。Irene Diamond 作为慈善家曾被授予国家艺术奖(1999)、卡内基慈善奖(2001)。她的著名的说法是她自己一生的写照:做慈善正象在好莱坞,你找到一个好项目,然后支持它“。 

 

Aaron Diamond Foundation 成立伊始就非常重视有关的研究,邀集了纽约市卫生局、纽约市公共卫生研究所、纽约大学参与。1989年, 基金会罗致到了何大一担任中心主任,他着手实验室(当时只有一层)的设计,1991年完工后中心正式开始运营。1996年中心扩展到两层,何大一又获洛克菲勒的教授职位,从而更加便利于各方面的协作。现在中心有9位PI,各自的研究团队在努力地工作。

 

在Aaron Diamond 艾滋病研究中心的网站刊出的开篇语告白了这个中心的使命:


We at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center are committed to finding solutions to end the AIDS epidemic. In the 25 years since HIV was identified, researchers have learned more about this virus than about any other in history. We remain optimistic that research will ultimately succeed in finding a way out of the crisis.(我们Aaron Diamond 艾滋病研究中心致力为终止艾滋病流行寻求解决方案。艾滋病被认识的25年来,科学家对这个病毒的了解超过了历史任何时期,我们仍乐观地认为科学研究将最终找到克服危机的方法。)

A long road, however, still lies ahead and the challenge is extraordinary. Nevertheless, we consider it a great privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to the eradication of a plague that threatens the welfare of mankind。(路还漫长,前面的挑战是超乎寻常的。但我们相信,有机会为根除这一威胁人类福祉的威胁做出贡献是我们至高无上的荣幸。)


 

再访美利坚(20):AaronDiamond艾滋病研究中心

门厅

 

再访美利坚(20):AaronDiamond艾滋病研究中心

地毯上是DNA的双螺旋,其中也含着红丝带?

 

再访美利坚(20):AaronDiamond艾滋病研究中心 

 

再访美利坚(20):AaronDiamond艾滋病研究中心

Irene Diamond

《纽约时报》:

Irene Diamond, who after a successful career scouting scripts and talent in Hollywood became a major benefactor of the arts and medical research in New York City, died Tuesday at her home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She was 92.

At her death, she was president of the Irene Diamond Fund, which she established in 1994 to support, in particular, the performing arts and the fight against AIDS. The fund succeeded the Aaron Diamond Foundation, which she and her husband, a New York real estate developer, set up in the 1950's.

In the 1980's, the couple took an innovative step, deciding to pay out that foundation's considerable wealth over 10 years. They made the decision just before Aaron Diamond, developer of Roosevelt Island, died in 1984. (She liked to say that at the time they married, however, she made more money than her husband.)

Mrs. Diamond remained in control of the foundation after his death. Over the next decade, as planned, she oversaw the distribution of $220 million in about 700 donations, with more than $50 million earmarked for the fight against AIDS.

Among the foundation's top priorities was the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center for the City of New York, affiliated with Rockefeller University. There, in a laboratory building facing Bellevue Hospital Center, its director, Dr. David D. Ho, made crucial discoveries about the immune system's struggle with the AIDS virus.

Through her own fund, Mrs. Diamond invested heavily in New York institutions like Lincoln Center. Recent gifts include $1.2 million for Jazz at Lincoln Center's new home, now being built at the former Coliseum site, and large grants for the Dance Theater of Harlem, New York City Ballet and the New York Public Library.

She aided causes like gun control and AIDS programs in the public schools and gave $10 million to the Juilliard School for a program to attract gifted minority students and teachers.

President Bill Clinton recognized her philanthropy in 1999 with the National Medal of Arts, and in 2001 she received the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. She also sat on the boards of Young Concert Artists, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Human Rights Watch.

Irene Levine was born to immigrant parents in Pittsburgh, where she attended public schools. Hoping to be an actor, she took the name Irene Lee and studied repertory theater in Manhattan.

She did some modeling and freelance reading for Warner Brothers in New York before getting a job in Hollywood as an assistant editor in the studio's story division. At a meeting with the producer Hal B. Wallis, she began a 25-year collaboration in which she made recommendations on the work of as many as 32 writers. Some of the scripts that crossed her desk became classics, like ''The Maltese Falcon'' and ''Dark Victory.''

In 1941, back in New York, she read an unproduced play, ''Everybody Comes to Rick's,'' by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison. It came with several rejection slips, but its theme of the tough but idealistic American and his bar in Morocco seemed to her a perfect fit for the world news of the day.

She persuaded Mr. Wallis to let her buy the play for $20,000 -- he gave it the name ''Casablanca'' -- and the movie, starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, came out in 1943. It was just in time for the Allied invasion of North Africa and the Casablanca Conference of Roosevelt and Churchill.

After her marriage to Mr. Diamond in 1942, she continued to work in show business, back in New York. After a brief stint working for the producer Sam Goldwyn, she again worked with Mr. Wallis at Paramount Pictures as a story editor and was head of the talent division until 1970.

She was involved with films like ''Sorry, Wrong Number,'' with Barbara Stanwyck, and ''Come Back, Little Sheba,'' with Shirley Booth. She met and furthered the careers of actors like Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas and Robert Redford.

Mrs. Diamond is survived by a daughter, Jean, and two grandsons.

Speaking about ''Casablanca'' and her charitable priorities, she liked to say that ''philanthropy is a lot like Hollywood: you find a good script; you support it.''

Her own Irene Diamond Fund will continue her work, said Jane Silver, its executive director.

 

 

再访美利坚(20):AaronDiamond艾滋病研究中心

何大一(左)

 

 

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