U.S. foundation with Czech roots supports Dr. Paruch´s team

Brno, 20 January 2017

Dr. Kamil Paruch and his colleague Dr. Jakub Švenda (the Medicinal Chemistry team of FNUSA-ICRC) have been awarded a grant of USD 300,000 from the U.S. foundation Isabel & Alfred Bader Fund, a Bader Philanthropy, to advance research in organic chemistry.

The grant, awarded for the period of three years, will help the team contribute to biomedical advances in problematic areas of selected life-threatening human diseases using organic chemistry. Their research at FNUSA-ICRC and Masaryk University has already produced high-quality publications and patents for new compounds with the potential to treat fatal diseases such as prostate cancer (Czech patent was awarded on 14 Oct 2015).

The grant will supplement the funding the laboratory led by Dr. Paruch and Dr. Švenda has already obtained from several nationalParuch Svenda group foto and international funding schemes. It will help establish a flexible financing of selected activities, which will complement the rigid structure of standard research grants and ensure smooth continuation of the research. It will also help increase the number of talented Czech students of chemistry applying for the Alfred Bader Fellowship in Chemistry at top U.S. universities – both Dr. Paruch and Dr. Švenda are past holders of this fellowship which enabled them to study at Columbia University and Harvard University, respectively.

The Fund is named for Drs. Isabel and Alfred Bader of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Alfred Bader, age 92, is a U.S.-based chemist, businessman, philanthropist, and collector of fine art. He was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1924, to a father with Czech Jewish descent. In 1938, he was sent to Canada via England to escape Nazi persecution, and after completing study in chemistry and history at Queens University in Canada, he went to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry at Harvard University. After working as a research chemist at PPG, in 1954, he established Aldrich Chemical Co., a leading company supplying researchers with quality research chemicals. In 1975, Aldrich merged with Sigma Chemical Company to form Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, which Dr. Bader led until his retirement in 1991. Today, the company in now part of Merck.

Dr. Alfred Bader is considered by the Chemical & Engineering News to be one of the "Top 75 Distinguished Contributors to the Chemical Enterprise" and received honorary medals from American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemists and the Czech Academy of Sciences as well as honorary degrees from e.g. Purdue University, Northwestern University, University of Edinburgh, Glasgow University and Masaryk University in Brno.

Isabel and Alfred Bader have a long history of personal philanthropy in the Czech Republic, which has been continued by the Fund in their name since 2015. The Baders have supported Czech students of chemistry through Alfred Bader Postgraduate Fellowships in Chemistry that support studies of young Czech students at Harvard University, Columbia University, Imperial College of London and University of Pennsylvania. Alfred Bader annual prizes for outstanding research in organic and bioorganic chemistry have been awarded by the Czech Chemical Society since 1994. Today, the Isabel & Alfred Bader Fund supports programs related to Czech civil society, education, and culture, as well as various initiatives in the U.S.


Petra Veselá, assistant to the CEO of St. Anne´s University Hospital and press spokesperson, petra.vesela@fnusa.cz