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2016 Annual Report

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Donor Highlight -

Donor Highlight - Michael Carnevale Technology strategist Michael Carnevale built his business by pursuing the unknown, sparking the imagination and solving complex business challenges through mobile apps, websites, virtual reality experiences and smart objects. In business for more than a decade, the company works with a diverse client list, including Steelcase, Microsoft, Whirlpool, Amway and Lego, to create next-generation experiences that address their clients' technology needs. A West Michigan native with an innovative mind-set and a generous heart, Carnevale encourages his employees to embrace a spirit of generosity and community action. Over the years, philanthropy has become an important aspect of his company’s culture. “The scientists at Van Andel Institute are endlessly curious and committed to solving some of the world’s biggest health challenges, like cancer.” Michael Carnevale Carnevale is constantly searching for new ways to connect his professional passion for technology to causes that make a difference in people’s lives. Carnevale actively sought out local nonprofits that could benefit from his company’s expertise and financial support, and began a philanthropic partnership with the Institute. “Nearly everyone has been affected by cancer in some way,” Carnevale said. “When my mother was diagnosed with a rare and malignant meningioma, it really became a personal mission to do something about it.” Although Carnevale’s mother, a well-loved elementary school teacher in Grand Rapids, passed away in 2010, he thinks she would be proud of the organizations he MICHAEL CARNEVALE AND MEMBERS OF THE CARNEVALE TEAM. supports in her honor. “The scientists at Van Andel Institute are endlessly curious and committed to solving some of the world’s biggest health challenges, like cancer,” Carnevale said. “Everyone who works with me knows that the Institute represents the spirit of hope in West Michigan. As innovators in technology and as community members, we can’t think of a better cause to support.” 18 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE ANNUAL REPORT 2016

Foundations for the Future RESEARCH Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) is on the verge of something big. Nowhere is this more evident than in the successes of the last year. In many ways, 2016 was notable not only for being the Institute’s 20 th anniversary but also for the many milestones it entailed. VARI scientists published more discoveries than ever before, a metric that helps measure scientific impact and output. The Institute helped launch and support six clinical trials—four in cancer and two in Parkinson’s disease—that are investigating potential lifechanging therapies for millions of people around the world. And it joined the small number of organizations globally to have cutting-edge cryo-electron microscopes (cryo-EM), a revolutionary technology that allows scientists to see crucial molecules 1/10,000 th the size of a human hair. “Our cumulative momentum is propelling us toward a horizon of untold discovery and innovation,” said VAI's chairman and CEO David Van Andel. “We will meet the opportunities of the future through a shared ethos of exceptional collaboration and unwavering commitment to improving human health and science education. Our efforts will not be incremental—they will be a giant leap forward.” The foundations for these efforts, built over the last two decades, have positioned VARI for a seismic shift that will see expansion not only of its scientific capabilities but ultimately its impact on human health. Much of this is due to the cultivation of gravitational pull, created by exceptional scientists and outstanding resources, that draws research leaders from around the world to Grand Rapids. These changes are already underway—in the coming years, the number of labs housed within the Institute is slated to nearly double. “Our cumulative momentum is propelling us toward a horizon of untold discovery and innovation.” David Van Andel At the same time, VARI also is a connector that brings together people and organizations that otherwise may not have had the opportunity to collaborate, strengthening scientific endeavors and increasing the likelihood of making life-changing discoveries. All of these efforts are driven by a laser focus on human impact. The leap comes at a crucial juncture. With a burgeoning and aging world population, the incidence of diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s is expected to grow. New and more precise ways to diagnose and treat these devastating diseases are critical in reducing this burden and giving people longer, healthier lives. “Individual discoveries are not a destination, they’re a stepping stone to something bigger and better,” said Dr. Peter Jones, the Institute’s chief scientific officer. “For us, that endpoint is revolutionizing the way cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases are diagnosed and treated. Our ultimate success will come on the day that these conditions are no longer feared, when the words ‘you have cancer’ or ‘you have Parkinson’s’ have lost their power.” VAI’S CRYO-ELECTRON MICROSCOPES (CRYO-EM) AND CRYO-EM CORE MANAGER DR. GONGPU ZHAO. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE ANNUAL REPORT 2016 | 19

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