Husband and wife biomedical research team John W. Kappler, PhD, and Philippa Marrack, PhD, FRS, are arguably some of the greatest minds in science today. This powerhouse duo has made groundbreaking discoveries at National Jewish Health that have fundamentally changed the ways in which the immune system can be used to help treat allergies, cancer and AIDS.
They are driven by a desire to understand and improve upon things — both in their lab and through philanthropy. The two have been giving back to the hospital for more than 20 years.
“We give where we can see an impact,” said Dr. Marrack. “At National Jewish Health, it is easy to see how gifts from us and others lead to breakthroughs in medicine.”
As an example, she refers to a crystallography machine funded by grants and donations. This tool allowed the couple, and other researchers at the hospital, to view the atomic level of cells and learn how they recognize infections — a critical piece in determining how to treat illness.
“Our discoveries would never have happened without the strong support of donors and the collaborative environment at the hospital,” said Dr. Kappler.
He and his wife both appreciate the unique experience National Jewish Health offers. “When we were hired, we realized we needed techniques and skills that the two of us didn’t have,” Dr. Marrack said. “We asked the institution for help getting the innovative tools and people our research required, and we received it.”
The couple ensures that younger generations of scientists enjoy that same support by sharing their equipment with other labs, making donors’ dollars go even further. In addition, they believe supporting up-and-coming scientists and physicians through the National Jewish Health fellowship program is crucial. The two make a special donation each year to further fellowships and other programs at National Jewish Health.
“This institution values collaboration and new ideas, which attracts the best minds and leads to treatments and discoveries that can be found nowhere else,” Dr. Marrack said. “We want to give more young scientists and fellows the opportunity to train at such a special place.”
A Shared Legacy
The couple said they hope to be remembered for helping the institution become an international leader in biological science.
“We want the high quality of research to continue at National Jewish Health. So, on top of our annual gifts, we have designated the hospital as a beneficiary in our will,” said Dr. Kappler.
The couple encourages others to also support research and education at National Jewish Health, so the institution can continue to build its legacy of being home to discoveries that change the way health care is practiced across the globe.
You can support research, education and care at National Jewish Health by planning your gift or legacy today.
Your gift today will support children and adults with lung, heart, immune and related conditions.