2016 Annual Report

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Through biomedical research and science education,

Van Andel Institute is committed to improving the health and

enhancing the lives of current and future generations.

Table of Contents

2 A Letter from David Van Andel

4 Research

6 LAX vs. Cancer

8 Van Andel Research Institute's

Principal Investigators

14 Challenging Cancer – Beating the Odds

16 Battling Parkinson's – Embracing Advocacy

18 Donor Highlight – Michael Carnevale

19 Foundations for the Future

20 Education

22 Van Andel Institute Graduate School –

Personal, Focused and Unique

23 Emily Machiela and Jason Cooper –

Life-Changing Graduate School

24 Terra Tarango – Revolutionizing Science

Education with Four Simple Words

25 Students Performing Real Science –

Van Andel Education Institute's Impact on

the Classroom

26 Donors and Philanthropic Partners

28 Use the Gifts You’re Given – Pat Ringnalda

and the Bee Brave 5K

29 Bringing it Full Circle at Duncan Lake

30 Hope on the Hill Photos

31 Donor Highlight – The Boelkins Family

31 Tim Tebow – Inspiring Through Faith,

Hope and Football

32 Our Angels of Excellence

33 Trina Taylor – A Moment on the Runway

34 Dr. Hui Shen – Starting a Conversation

About Women’s Health

35 Donor Highlight – Joe Rudnick &

Tapistry Brewing

36 Sources of Funding

37 Society of Hope

38 Tributes

40 Memorials

44 Signature Special Event Sponsors

45 Institute Leadership

46 Board and Council Members


A Letter from David Van Andel

Dear Friends,

Our story began more than 20 years ago with a bold dream:

to impact human health. Why? Because millions of people

are affected by diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s, and we

believed we could make a difference.

From our founding, early development and growth into a

global institute, our most important asset has always been

abundantly clear—people. The Institute became a reality

because a dedicated group of people decided to write a

new narrative for how science is done—to break down

barriers, build a world-class research and science education

organization, and spark the growth of a health sciences

industry in the heart of West Michigan. In the beginning, we

sought advice from experts, established partnerships and

began laying the foundation for the years to come. As time

passed, our story expanded and evolved—the product of

many individuals’ expertise, hopes and dreams.

Today, the Institute employs more than 360 people from

32 different countries, bringing with them unique skills, gifts

and abilities that benefit us as an organization and add to

our diversity. These incredible scientists, educators and

professionals could be working anywhere in the world—but

they came here and are helping lead the way into a future

filled with opportunities.

Opportunities abound because of people and their

connections to each other. Van Andel Institute scientists

collaborate internally, locally, nationally and internationally

with others who are committed to making a profound

impact on people’s health. Partnerships with organizations

such as Stand Up To Cancer and The Cure Parkinson’s Trust

are helping us accelerate the pace of discovery and begin

clinical trials for new cancer and Parkinson’s therapies.

Through the years, hope has always been the heart of the

Institute’s story. And today, there is more reason to hope

than ever before. We could not have come this far without

you—our friends and supporters. Some of you have been

touched by cancer, Parkinson’s or other diseases and have

decided to take action. Others of you give of your time,

treasure and talent to advance scientific discovery and

educational enlightenment. Together, we are moving the

Institute forward in new and surprising ways.

This year’s annual report is a celebration of the people and

the stories that illuminate who we are, what we do and

where we’re going. It is my hope that you will join us for the

next chapter in the Institute’s history and add your story to

the pages that have yet to be written.


David Van Andel

Chairman and CEO

“Through the years, hope

has always been the heart

of the Institute’s story.”

David Van Andel



Van Andel Research Institute

is a world leader in cancer epigenetics and Parkinson’s disease research.

Collaborating with academia, industry and philanthropy, the Institute

orchestrates cutting-edge clinical trials to improve human health.



LAX vs. Cancer

On a cold, rain-soaked spring day, Dr. Patrick Grohar

stood in the middle of the field addressing two high

school lacrosse teams. They were playing a game not for

glory, victory or personal achievement but in honor of

their friends and loved ones who had been affected by

cancer. As a physician-scientist, Grohar is well versed in

the devastating impact cancer can have on people’s lives.

He runs a laboratory at Van Andel Research Institute and

works as a pediatric oncologist at Helen DeVos Children’s

Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

When Grohar looked out and saw names of people who

had been affected by cancer stitched on the backs of the

players’ jerseys, he knew this event was much more than a

charity lacrosse game.

“It was really a uniquely special day—speaking at the game,

seeing the students with names of people they loved who

had cancer stitched on their jerseys was inspiring,” Grohar

said. “One of the players even honored a patient from the

children’s hospital—it was really moving.”

The first Purple Community lacrosse game between

Grand Rapids Christian and Rockford High School took

place in 2015, but the event has already earned a special

place in the hearts of the participants and Grohar—whose

lab received more than $6,000 from last year’s event.

Dana Stenstrom, who works with the Grand Rapids

Christian lacrosse team and is the mother of two players,

views the event as a way for young adults to connect to the

greater good and an opportunity for scientists to see how

much their work means to people who have been affected

by cancer.

“When Dr. Grohar came out to meet with our players

and spoke at the game, he connected all of the dots and

helped our kids understand where their donation goes—it

goes right into a lab that is focused on cancer research,”

Stenstrom said. “We are all connected as a community

here in West Michigan, and I think we are becoming aware

of how lucky we are to have people like Dr. Grohar and

Van Andel Institute right here in our own backyard.”

“We are all connected as

a community here in West

Michigan, and I think we

are becoming aware of how

lucky we are to have people

like Dr. Grohar and

Van Andel Institute right

here in our own backyard.”

Dana Stenstrom












Purple Community

lacrosse game

20 lacrosse players

honoring friends

and loved ones


people donated

at the game

We did that!

Grohar, an accomplished lacrosse player who served as

a team co-captain while attending Villanova University,

is inspired by the Rockford and Grand Rapids Christian


“I just think it’s really cool that these kids are 100 percent

behind this game and the goal of supporting the work we

do at the Institute,” Grohar said. “I am very grateful for what

they have done, and I hope by interacting with them and

showing them where their funds are going, we can give

them a tangible sense of accomplishment.”

A new cancer drug

therapy that could benefit

millions of people



$6,000 raised at

the lacrosse game


The donations collected at the 2016 game will fund the

initial stages of a genome-wide SRNA library screen that

could lead to the discovery of a new target for cancer


What does this mean?

The library could identify a

new drug therapy target

which could lead to...


of donations go to VAI


“Any time there is a grassroots effort to raise money, I try

to use it for something very specific—something people

can point to and say, ‘We did that,’” Grohar said. “If the

efforts of these young people can lead to a new cancer

drug, perhaps they’ll be inspired to become Ph.D.s. or

M.D.s and continue to make a difference in people’s lives.”



helps to fund

the first stage

of Dr. Grohar’s genome-wide

SRNA library screen



Meet Van Andel Research Institute’s Principal Investigators

Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) is composed of three centers and 31 principal

investigators, each with their own area of expertise and research projects.

VARI Leadership

Peter Jones

Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc., is a

pioneer in epigenetics, a growing

field that explores how genes

are regulated and provides new

avenues for developing therapies

for cancer and other diseases. His discoveries have helped

usher in an entirely new class of drugs that have been

approved to treat blood cancer and are being investigated

in other tumor types. Jones is a member of the National

Academy of Sciences and is chief scientific officer of

Van Andel Research Institute.

Patrik Brundin

Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.,

investigates molecular mechanisms

in Parkinson’s disease, and his

goals are to develop new therapies

aimed at slowing or stopping

disease progression or repairing damage. He is one of the

top-cited researchers in the field of neurodegenerative

disease and leads international efforts to repurpose drugs

to treat Parkinson’s. Brundin is director of Van Andel

Research Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative Science.

Bart Williams

Bart Williams, Ph.D., studies

the building blocks of bone

growth on behalf of the millions

suffering from diseases such

as osteoporosis. He seeks new

ways of altering cell signaling pathways to encourage

healthy bone development and deter cancer spread to

the skeleton. Williams is director of Van Andel Research

Institute’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology.

Scott Jewell

Scott Jewell, Ph.D., leads

Van Andel Research Institute’s

Core Technologies and Services,

which provides technology and

specialized expertise for research

investigators. Cores and services include bioinformatics

and biostatistics, cryo-EM, confocal microscopy and

quantitative imaging, flow cytometry, genomics, pathology

and biorepository, small-animal imaging, vivarium

management and transgenics. Jewell is a past president of

the International Society for Biological and Environmental

Repositories (ISBER).



Center for Epigenetics

Research areas: Epigenetics, cancer, heart disease,

neuroepigenetics and structural biology.

Stephen Baylin

Stephen Baylin, M.D., studies the

body’s genetic control systems—

called epigenetics—searching for

vulnerabilities in cancer. Baylin is a

pioneer in this field, ranking among

the first to trace epigenetic causes of cancer. His studies

have led to new therapies for common cancers, like breast,

lung, colorectal and many others. He is co-leader of the

VARI-SU2C Epigenetics Dream Team, co-director of Johns

Hopkins’ Cancer Biology Division and associate director for

research at Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Stefan Jovinge

Stefan Jovinge, M.D., Ph.D.,

develops ways to help the heart

heal itself and has led dozens

of clinical trials in regenerative

medicine. As a critical care

cardiologist and scientist, he uses a bench-to-bedside

approach in an effort to give patients with serious heart

conditions longer, healthier lives. The clinical platform

for his research is the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care

Unit at Spectrum Health Hospitals Fred and Lena Meijer

Heart Center, and the basic science effort in regenerative

medicine is performed at Van Andel Research Institute

(VARI). He serves as director of the DeVos Cardiovascular

Research Program, the name of the overall structure of the

program that is a collaboration between Spectrum Health

and VARI.

Peter W. Laird

Peter W. Laird, Ph.D., seeks

a detailed understanding of

the molecular foundations of

cancer with a particular focus

on identifying crucial epigenetic

alterations that convert otherwise healthy cells into cancer

cells. He is widely regarded as an international leader

in this effort and has helped design some of the world’s

state-of-the-art tools to aid in epigenetics research. Laird

is a principal investigator for the National Cancer Institute’s

Genome Data Analysis Network and is a professor in

Van Andel Research Institute’s Center for Epigenetics. He

also played a leadership role in The Cancer Genome Atlas,

a multi-institutional effort to molecularly map cancers.

Huilin Li

Huilin Li, Ph.D., uses cryo-electron

microscopy (cryo-EM) to reveal the

most basic building blocks of DNA

replication and other systems vital

for life. He has been at the vanguard

of cryo-EM for more than 20 years, and his research has

implications for some of the world’s most critical public

health concerns, including tuberculosis, cancer, mental

illness and many more. He is a professor in the Center

for Epigenetics.

Gerd Pfeifer

Gerd Pfeifer, Ph.D.,

studies how the body

switches genes on and off,

a biological process called

methylation that, when faulty, can

lead to cancer or other diseases. His studies range from

the effect of tobacco smoke on genetic and epigenetic

systems to the discovery of a mechanism that may help

protect the brain from neurodegeneration. Pfeifer’s studies

have implications across a range of diseases, including

cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes and many others. Pfeifer is a

professor in Van Andel Research Institute’s Center

for Epigenetics.

Scott Rothbart

Scott Rothbart, Ph.D., studies

the ways in which cells pack and

unpack DNA. This elegant process

twists and coils roughly two meters

of unwound DNA into a space less

than one-tenth the width of a human hair. Although this

process is impressive, it is also subject to errors that can

cause cancer and other disorders. Rothbart seeks new

targets for drug development in this process. He is an

assistant professor in Van Andel Research Institute’s

Center for Epigenetics.


Meet Van Andel Research Institute’s Principal Investigators (continued)

Hui Shen

Hui Shen, Ph.D., develops new

approaches to cancer prevention,

detection and treatment by

studying the interaction between

genes and their control systems,

called epigenetics. Her research focuses on women’s

cancers, particularly ovarian cancer, and also has shed

new light on the underlying mechanisms of other cancer

types, including breast, kidney and prostate cancers. She

is an assistant professor in Van Andel Research Institute’s

Center for Epigenetics.

Steven J. Triezenberg

Steven J. Triezenberg, Ph.D.,

explores the genetic and

epigenetic control systems of

viruses to understand how

infections progress and to reveal

new ways to stop those infections. His discoveries with

herpes simplex viruses have opened new possibilities

for antiviral drug development and have revealed new

insights into how human cells control gene expression. In

addition to running a lab at Van Andel Research Institute,

Dr. Triezenberg is the founding dean of Van Andel Institute

Graduate School.

Gerhard Coetzee

Gerhard Coetzee, Ph.D., searches

the human genome for minuscule

changes that contribute to the

onset, progression and drug

resistance of many diseases,

ranging from cancer to Parkinson’s to rare and heritable

disorders. His team deploys genome sequencing

technologies and high-powered computational arrays

to tease out patterns and interactions of markers and

treatment targets from among the human genome’s more

than three billion DNA base pairs. Coetzee is a professor in

the Center for Neurodegenerative Science.

Piroska Szabó

Piroska Szabó, Ph.D., studies the

flow of epigenetic information

from parents to their offspring,

with a focus on how epigenetic

markers are remodeled during

egg and sperm production and how these markers are

rewritten after fertilization. These processes have profound

implications on fertility and embryo development.

Disturbances in epigenetic remodeling are thought

to contribute to disease conditions lasting well into

adulthood. Szabó is an associate professor in Van Andel

Research Institute’s Center for Epigenetics.

Center for Neurodegenerative Science

Research areas: Parkinson’s disease, depression/suicide,

aging, prion disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington's

disease and neuroepigenetics.

Lena Brundin

As a psychiatrist and a scientist,

Lena Brundin, M.D., Ph.D.,

seeks ways to diagnose and

treat depression and suicidality

by studying inflammation of

the nervous system. Her findings may lead to earlier

interventions for depressive patients and for the

development of a new class of antidepressants that

targets the immune system. She also investigates how

inflammatory mechanisms can damage nerve cells in

Parkinson’s disease. She is an associate professor in the

Center for Neurodegenerative Science.

Viviane Labrie

Viviane Labrie, Ph.D., studies

the dynamic interplay

between the human genome

and its control system—the

epigenome—to understand how

neurodegenerative diseases start and progress in an

effort to develop improved diagnostics and treatments.

Labrie’s scientific pursuits have deepened understanding

of conditions from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases

to schizophrenia to healthy aging conditions like lactose

intolerance. She has also developed new methods for

epigenome analysis. She is an assistant professor in the

Center for Neurodegenerative Science.



Jeffrey Kordower

Jeffrey Kordower, Ph.D., is an

international authority on the

onset of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s

and Huntington’s diseases, and

works to develop new procedures

aimed at slowing disease progression or reversing damage

to the brain. He holds a primary appointment at Rush

University in Chicago and is a Director’s Scholar at

Van Andel Research Institute, where he focuses on

designing preclinical studies and clinical trials to translate

these new approaches into meaningful changes for people

suffering with movement disorders.

Darren Moore

Darren Moore, Ph.D., seeks

new diagnostic and treatment

approaches for Parkinson’s by

investigating the inherited form

of the disease, which comprises

five to 10 percent of cases. He aims to translate the

understanding of these genetic mutations into better

treatments and new diagnostic tools for Parkinson’s, both

inherited and non-inherited. Discoveries from Moore’s

Lab routinely elucidate the faulty molecular interactions

that transform healthy, functioning neurons into diseased

ones. Moore is an associate professor in the Center for

Neurodegenerative Science.

Jiyan Ma

Jiyan Ma, Ph.D., studies

abnormal proteins that cause

neurodegenerative diseases,

including Parkinson’s disease and

prion diseases in humans and

animals. His lab has developed new ways to understand

how these proteins spread and cause diseases in humans

and animals. The lab is also developing new approaches

to diagnose and treat these devastating disorders. Ma is a

professor in the Center for Neurodegenerative Science.

Jeremy Van Raamsdonk

Jeremy Van Raamsdonk, Ph.D.,

studies the genetics of aging

and the mechanisms underlying

Parkinson’s and Huntington’s

disease. He focuses primarily on

understanding what causes aging, and how the changes

that take place during normal aging contribute to the

development of neurodegenerative disease. His work on

the relationship between oxidative stress and aging has

upended many scientific assumptions about the effect of

reactive oxygen species on lifespan. Ultimately,

Dr. Van Raamsdonk hopes to leverage the knowledge

gained about aging to develop novel treatments for

neurodegenerative disorders. He is an assistant professor

in the Center for Neurodegenerative Science.


Meet Van Andel Research Institute’s Principal Investigators (continued)

Center for Cancer and Cell Biology

Research areas: Asthma, diabetes, neurofibromatosis

type 1, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, sarcoma, tuberous

sclerosis and blood, bone, breast, colorectal, pancreatic

and prostate cancers.

Patrick Grohar

Patrick Grohar, M.D., Ph.D.,

develops new drugs to treat bone

cancer in children, in addition to

pursuing a deeper understanding

of the mechanisms of sarcomas

and related conditions. Once proven safe and effective in

the lab, his team translates these potential therapies into

clinical trials for children with few other options. He is an

associate professor in Van Andel Research Institute’s Center

for Cancer and Cell Biology and a pediatric oncologist at

Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

Brian Haab

Brian Haab, Ph.D.,

searches for new ways to

diagnose and stratify

pancreatic cancer based on the

chemical fingerprints tumors leave

behind. Part of the problem Haab aims to solve is that

cancers often look and behave normally—until after they’ve

started making people sick. Haab is sleuthing out clues to

build a library of diagnostic tools that will help providers

diagnose tumors earlier and optimize treatment. He is a

professor in the Center for Cancer and Cell Biology.

Xiaohong Li

Xiaohong Li, Ph.D., studies when

various cancers, particularly

prostate and breast cancer cells,

migrate from their original site

and spread to the bone. These

cells stay dormant and might wake up years later or

grow up to bone metastases, cause debilitating pain and

are exceedingly difficult to treat. Li hopes that a better

understanding of metastatic cancers will lead to new

diagnostic tests and targeted therapies. She is an assistant

professor in the Center for Cancer and Cell Biology.

Jeff MacKeigan

Jeff MacKeigan, Ph.D., studies

the biological systems that

influence cellular metabolism

and the cell’s recycling process,

known as autophagy. Extensive

knowledge of these complex cellular processes helps the

MacKeigan Lab understand how tumor cells respond to

and resist treatment. The MacKeigan team pairs their cell

biology expertise with cutting-edge techniques, such as

computational modeling and next-generation sequencing,

to identify new therapeutic targets and strategies.

MacKeigan is an associate professor in the Center for

Cancer and Cell Biology.

Karsten Melcher

Karsten Melcher, Ph.D., studies

molecular structure and cellular

communication, which have

implications for finding new

treatments for serious health

threats, including cancer, diabetes and obesity. His

expertise extends beyond human cells—his research into

plant hormones may one day lead to heartier crops that

resist drought and help meet the nutritional demands of

a growing global population. Dr. Melcher is an associate

professor in the Center for Cancer and Cell Biology.

Lorenzo Sempere

Lorenzo Sempere, Ph.D., studies

the role of microRNAs in the origin

and growth of cancer. These very

short strands of genetic material

were discovered just over 15

years ago and are now recognized as dynamic regulatory

modules of the larger human genome. Sempere targets

microRNAs in an effort to develop new cancer drugs,

specifically for pancreatic and breast cancers. He is an

assistant professor in the Center for Cancer and Cell and




Matt Steensma

Matt Steensma, M.D., studies

the genetic and molecular

factors that cause benign

tumors to become cancers to

find vulnerabilities that may

be targeted for treatment. As a scientist at VARI and

practicing surgeon at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos

Children’s Hospital, he is committed to translating

scientific discoveries into treatments that improve

patients’ lives.

Ning Wu

Ning Wu, Ph.D., investigates

the interface between cellular

metabolism and cellular signaling,

particularly as they relate to

cancer. On the most basic level,

cancer is fundamentally a disease of uncontrolled cell

growth, and Wu believes that understanding a tumor’s

voracious energy requirements and altered signaling

pathways will lead to new treatments that optimize

existing combination therapies and identify novel

therapeutic targets. She is an assistant professor in the

Center for Cancer and Cell Biology.

George Vande Woude

George Vande Woude, Ph.D., is a

titan in cancer biology. He is the

Founding Director of Van Andel

Research Institute, which he led

for a decade. His discovery and

description of the MET receptor tyrosine kinase as an

oncogene, together with its activating ligand hepatocyte

growth factor, have led to new possibilities for cancer

therapies. His discovery has revolutionized the way

scientists view the disease, especially in tumor progression.

He is a distinguished scientific fellow in the Center for

Cancer and Cell Biology and a member of the National

Academy of Sciences.

H. Eric Xu

H. Eric Xu, Ph.D., explores

the structure of molecules in

the body’s complex hormone

signaling system, which plays a

vital role in health and disease.

He is particularly known for his discoveries in defining

the structure of molecules critical to the development of

new drugs for cancer, diabetes and many others. He is a

professor in VARI’s Center for Cancer and Cell Biology and

also serves as director of VARI-SIMM Research Center in

Shanghai, China.

Tao Yang

Tao Yang, Ph.D.,

studies the signaling

systems that govern skeletal

stem cells and the role

they play in diseases such

as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Bones are the

largest producer of adult stem cells, which mature

into cartilage, fat or bone tissue—a process that

falters with age. Yang seeks a better understanding

of these systems in search of new treatments for

degenerative bone disorders and other skeletal

aging. He is an assistant professor in the Center for

Cancer and Cell Biology.


Challenging Cancer - Beating the Odds

In 2007, Pat Gavin heard the three words that

everyone fears—“You have cancer.”

A week earlier, the father of four daughters had gone

to the doctor for a sore throat. Now, his physician was

spelling out disastrous news—a tumor in Gavin’s upper

throat was coiled tightly around his trachea, spine and

major arteries in his neck. Its location made surgery

impossible, leaving few options—either see an oncologist

for treatment, which had little chance of working, or start

palliative care.

As the news sunk in, Gavin’s wife, Mary, asked what he

thought. Gavin answered quickly. “I said, ‘It is what it is,’” he

recalled. “Now we deal with it and pray.”

Gavin took the referral. He was going to fight. The

conversation with his oncologist was stark but offered

a slight glimmer of hope: A clinical trial had recently

opened nearby and Gavin fit the criteria. There were no

guarantees that it would work—in fact, it was unlikely given

the advanced stage of his cancer—but it could provide

valuable insight that might help others down the line.

“The decision to participate was very easy for both me and

Mary. We wanted to do whatever we could to fight cancer,”

Gavin said. “I didn’t think it would work when I signed up for

it, but we did it because we hoped it would make an impact

on cancer, so maybe our grandkids would never have to

face what we were going through.”

The experimental approach, which combined radiation

and standard chemotherapy with two drugs approved

to treat other types of cancer, was grueling. Then, after

several months of ups and downs, Gavin’s oncologist

shared exciting—and unexpected—news.

“He said we had witnessed a miracle thanks to drugs and

radiation treatments that worked, a great attitude and

loving family, and lots of prayers,” Gavin said. “My cancer

was in complete remission.”

Translating experience into impact

Nearly a decade has passed since Gavin’s initial diagnosis.

Some of the experimental therapy that saved his life is

now a standard treatment for head and neck cancers. He’s

also beaten cancer twice more—malignant melanoma a

year-and-half later and prostate cancer three years ago.

And he’s dedicated himself to helping other patients

and improving clinical trials, working with numerous

organizations locally and nationally.

In 2014, Gavin was asked to join an exciting new venture—

the Van Andel Research Institute–Stand Up To Cancer

Epigenetics Dream Team, a paradigm-shifting, collaborative

effort that brings together leading scientists, physicians

and pharmaceutical companies to compete against cancer

rather than each other. By 2016, the team had launched

four clinical trials to investigate potentially life-changing

therapies for metastatic colorectal cancer, myelodysplastic

syndrome, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and acute

myeloid leukemia. Gavin has been a key part of these

efforts by sharing the patient perspective and helping

integrate it into trial design.

“Everything comes back to the patients—they are the driving

motivation for all that we do,” said Dr. Peter Jones,

Van Andel Research Institute's (VARI) chief scientific officer

and the team’s co-leader. “The team is a connector, a hub

for scientific and medical innovation that we hope will lead

to new therapies that better treat cancer and give people

more years with their families.”

Combinations and collaborations

Accomplishing this goal will take a team effort, one that is

bolstered by the synergy in the team’s collaborative nature

and in the types of therapies being studied in its ongoing

clinical trials. Called combination therapies, these pairs

of drugs have shown promise in laboratory studies by

working in tandem to combat cancer on a molecular level.

The trials also allow the team to collect critical samples that

will inform future studies and therapeutic development.

“Pairing drugs together allows us to attack these diseases

on multiple fronts, with one drug often priming cancer cells

to be more receptive to the other,” said Dr. Stephen Baylin,

co-leader of the team and an investigator at Johns Hopkins

University and VARI. “These efforts are a direct result of the

outstanding collaboration between our team members—

each one brings a critical point of view and invaluable

resources to the table.”

Although much has been accomplished, the team’s work

is far from complete. There are new trials being prepared

for launch, current trials to enroll and complete, and a

mountain of data to analyze, all with the goal of giving

patients more and better treatment options.

“Cancer is so many different things—there’s no one way

of fixing it,” Gavin said. “It’s going to take a concerted and

collaborative effort to beat it. Together, we can take on

the challenge.”






Battling Parkinson's - Embracing Advocacy

“He said, ‘You have Parkinson’s; don’t freak out,’” she

recalled. “I decided I could curl up and be miserable, or I

could do whatever it takes to make every day the best

that I could.”

December 18, 2013, is the day Alison Sheltrown’s

world changed.

For two years, the then 41-year-old had been plagued by

stiffness and pain in her right shoulder that eventually

began radiating down her arm, interfering with her


intensive martial arts training and everyday tasks like

writing. At first, she chalked it up to normal wear and tear,

but when surgery for a herniated disk didn’t fix it and new

problems cropped up, including a small twitch in her right

leg, her doctor referred her to a neurologist. Sheltrown

was shocked.

Sheltrown threw herself into helping others who are

newly diagnosed with the disease through her social

media presence and spreading the word about the

benefits of exercise, which has been shown to help

people with Parkinson’s maintain muscle control. She’s

also a passionate advocate for research and frequently

volunteers with Purple Community, Van Andel Institute’s

(VAI) grassroots program.

“If MSDC-0160 is as

successful in the clinic

as it was in lab models, it

could be a game-changer

for millions of people with

Parkinson’s around

the world...”

Dr. Patrik Brundin

“It’s important that we have a place like VAI that is actively

researching to find cures, not just treatments,” she said.

“Just knowing that it’s happening in my hometown makes

me thankful that we have this kind of research here and

that we have the opportunity to be a part of it.”



In many ways, Parkinson’s disease is an enigma. Its

symptoms, age of onset and progression can vary widely

from person to person, although it is typically diagnosed

after age 60. With the exception of a small percentage of

cases that may be traced genetically through families, there

is no firmly established cause. And most problematic,

there is no definitive test to diagnose it and no cure. Only

a few treatments for symptoms exist, and none that slow

or stop it.

But that may soon change.

MSDC-0160, a drug originally developed for type II

diabetes, has shown exceptional promise in impeding

Parkinson’s in laboratory models, preserving critical brain

functions that are lost as the disease advances. It was

created just down the road in Kalamazoo by Metabolic

Development Solutions Company, which is working closely

with the Institute and UK-based research charity The Cure

Parkinson’s Trust to move it into human clinical trials.

“If MSDC-0160 is as successful in the clinic as it was in lab

models, it could be a game-changer for millions of people

with Parkinson’s around the world,” said Dr. Patrik Brundin,

head of the Institute’s Center for Neurodegenerative

Science and the senior author of a 2016 paper describing

the work. “We know more about Parkinson’s disease

than ever before. Thanks largely to the stunning breadth

of collaboration in the scientific, medical and patient

communities, we have an unprecedented opportunity to

have a real, life-changing impact.”

MSDC-0160 isn’t alone. Another diabetes drug, exenatide,

and a respiratory drug, ambroxol, also have shown

promising results in the laboratory and in early human

trials for slowing Parkinson’s progression and are already

being studied in the clinic as part of the Linked Clinical

Trials initiative, a joint effort between The Cure Parkinson’s

Trust and the Institute.

“To know that there’s somebody else that’s going to

battle for me and that they found something that could

potentially just knock this disease in the teeth really makes

me proud and happy and excited and thrilled,” Sheltrown

said. “It’s one of those crying-tears-of-joy moments, not just

for me but for so many people I know.”

Other breakthroughs are on the horizon, fueled by

collaborations between scientists at the Institute and

their colleagues, both in Grand Rapids and around the

world. By teaming with experts in other fields, VARI

scientists are making significant inroads in understanding

what makes Parkinson’s tick—and how to definitively

diagnose and treat it sooner and more effectively. These

efforts are taking aim at all facets of the disease, from the

underlying molecular cause to disease progression to

therapeutic development.

It’s these advances that Sheltrown shares with others,

along with a message of strength and solidarity.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are a critical step on the road from the

laboratory to the clinic. These rigorously designed and

managed studies help ensure new therapies are not only

safe in humans but also effective.

Although VAI does not host trials on-site or treat patients,

many of its scientists and physician-scientists participate

in trials at collaborating organizations. The Institute also

“To know that there’s

somebody else that’s going to

battle for me and that they found

something that could potentially

just knock this disease in the

teeth really makes me proud and

happy and excited and thrilled...”

Alison Sheltrown

“If I have one thing to offer, it’s this—don’t give up hope,” she

said. “You have to live your life, love people and love yourself,

and stay hopeful.”

is proud to support the development of potentially lifechanging

therapies through the VARI–SU2C Epigenetics

Dream Team and the Linked Clinical Trials initiative,

multi-institutional collaborations that help move promising

drugs into the trial process.

For more information on clinical trials, please

visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.


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


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.”


Foundations for the Future


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


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.”




Van Andel Education Institute

is leading a national revolution in science education by uniquely

empowering teachers to engage students to think and act like scientists.

Van Andel Institute Graduate School

develops future leaders in biomedical research through an intense

problem-focused Ph.D. degree in cellular, molecular and genetic biology.



Van Andel Institute Graduate School - Personal, Focused and Unique

Van Andel Institute Graduate School’s (VAIGS) curriculum

and philosophy are directly connected to the research

taking place in Van Andel Research Institute’s labs. This

interconnected relationship, which encourages graduate

students to think and act like scientists, makes for a

learning experience that is personal, focused and unique.

Ph.D. candidate Nikki Thellman, a licensed veterinarian who

decided to work in biomedical research, sees a noticeable

difference between VAIGS and other doctoral programs.

“I compared VAIGS to larger programs where a student

can feel like just another number, and I decided to

attend VAIGS because the faculty here are truly invested,

collaborative, and provide direct input and mentorship in a

way that is really incredible,” Thellman said.

This direct collaboration between students and professors

is due to VAIGS’s relatively small size and a program that

gives students the opportunity to become immersed in

scientific discovery early in the process.


“...the faculty here are truly invested,

collaborative, and provide direct

input and mentorship...”

Nikki Thellman

scientific careers. “The way the program is designed

teaches you how to think and be open to new ideas, which

is very important in our information-rich world,” Thellman

said. “You can’t just memorize things anymore. Because

scientific information changes at such a rapid pace, you

have to be able to continuously learn and solve problems.”

“The inquiry-based curriculum gets you thinking in new

ways and really trains you not just to do science but to

think like a scientist,” Thellman said. “VAIGS prepares you

to be independent with your learning and to apply your

knowledge to real scientific problems.”

No roadblocks

During the first year of core curriculum, VAIGS students

work collaboratively with peers and mentors in lab

rotations and then in the second semester choose a lab for

their dissertation work. Thellman believes VAIGS’s program

is special because it supports students and gives them the

freedom to be completely immersed in their work.

“The program at VAIGS is different from other schools

where you have a teaching requirement, have to fight for

mentorship or resources and have to pick a lab depending

on who has funding,” she said. “VAIGS pays your stipend,

benefits, tuition, and provides research funds and travel

expenses. You get to pick a mentor and lab based on a

good fit, so when you’re prepared to do research and

get down to doing science, there are no roadblocks in

your way here.”

The supportive, close-knit community gives scientists like

Thellman the chance to get a rich educational experience

that prepares them for the challenges of 21st-century

After graduation, Thellman plans to use her experience

at VAIGS to launch a scientific career in the public health

sector, investigating emerging infectious diseases at an

agency like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

or the National Institutes of Health.

“My experience here taught me that science is a

continuous, dynamic process of learning,” Thellman said.

“VAIGS is small enough to encourage collaboration but big

enough that we can make great science happen —it’s really

been a perfect fit.”


Emily Machiela and Jason Cooper – Life-Changing Graduate School


Jason Cooper and Emily Machiela work in Dr. Jeremy

Van Raamsdonk’s lab in the Center for Neurodegenerative

Science. Their research is demanding and difficult, but it

is the most purposeful, important work of their lives.

Students in Van Andel Institute’s Graduate School (VAIGS)

all have different stories, individual paths and distinct

backgrounds, and it’s this diversity of experience that

allows for incredible collaboration and radical ideas to

occur. Machiela, who aims to graduate in 2017, discovered

her love of medicine and science as a high school student

working for various health-focused organizations in the

African country of Zambia. Cooper, who is also a fifthyear

graduate student, discovered his love for science

as a student attending the University of Texas. Both

scientists were drawn to the Graduate School’s small size,

its supportive culture and its mission to improve human

health, set in place by the Van Andel family more than

20 years ago.

“I really love the fact that the Van Andel family is still active

in supporting the Institute,” Machiela said. “It’s powerful

to know that the people who built this Institute are real

people, not just names on a wall, and that they are still

looking after it today.”

Nothing’s traditional

As VAIGS graduate students, Cooper and Machiela feel

free to embrace their adventurousness and curiosity to

build a foundation for their careers. Through the Institute’s

inquiry-based curriculum, students are given the chance

to develop their own research projects and jump right

into developing their professional skills. The first years of

the program focus on seminar-style courses, but in years

two through five, students have the freedom to focus on

research, professional development and their dissertation.

“I really love the fact that the Van Andel family is still active in supporting the

Institute. It’s powerful to know that the people who built this Institute are real

people, not just names on a wall, and that they are still looking after it today.”

Emily Machiela

In this culture of independence and respect, students feel

more connected professionally to their peers and more

assertive in their work.

“We’re treated like colleagues by our fellow scientists, and

that makes us more focused and accountable,” Machiela

said. “The freedom to get into research right away is really

unique for a graduate program.”

VAIGS students are encouraged to build relationships and

work collaboratively, both internally and externally, on

research projects. Cooper believes the Institute’s program

is purposefully designed to be a space where young

scientists can be aggressive in their pursuits and use their

time to become immersed in the world of science.

“The curriculum here is much different than at other

programs, and you’re really given the opportunity to be



responsible for your research and work in a way that

you would never get to do in a typical Ph.D. program,”

Cooper said.

You’re a student and a scientist

While attending VAIGS, Cooper and Machiela have created

lasting collaborative partnerships inside the Institute and

with external partners. These relationships create a web of

support that is instrumental for scientists at the beginning

of their careers.

“The support you receive, both financially and

professionally, allows you to foster collaborations both

inside and outside the Institute,” Machiela said. “VAIGS

students plan meetings and symposiums where we meet

top scientists from all over the country, and through these

interactions, we can begin to build important professional


Cooper and Machiela both credit the Institute with

giving them the ability to be fearless in their work, be

passionately curious, and view learning as a continuous

process of growth.

“Going through this program has really helped me grow

professionally and made me unafraid to ask questions

and be bold when working with my peers,” Machiela said.

“What’s really special about being a graduate student at

VAIGS is that you’re not in a higher-education space, you’re

both a student and a scientist working at a biomedical

research institute—and that’s an incredible opportunity.”


Terra Tarango – Revolutionizing Science Education with Four Simple Words

Van Andel Education Institute’s (VAEI) director and chief

education officer is focused on four simple words—

curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. By using these

words as guidelines, Terra Tarango hopes to increase

the reach of the Institute’s inquiry-based methods that

promote discussions, creative problem-solving and

collaborative student engagement.

“I think if we stay focused on what makes VAEI’s inquirybased

instruction unique, we will have a national impact,”

Tarango said. “And to be honest, I have never felt more

able to make a difference than I do here.”

Tarango’s lifelong love of learning began by listening to her

mother, a special education teacher in San Marcos, Texas.

“My mother was a teacher, so I got an early look at what

teaching is like, and I always wanted to be a teacher,”

Tarango said. “When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be

a kindergarten teacher, and in college, I wanted to be a

professor. My mother inspired me to work in the education

field more than anything I found in a textbook.”

This passion for learning led Tarango to pursue a career

that spans education, writing, curriculum development and

publishing, and she considers her past experience as the

perfect foundation for taking VAEI to a new, exciting and

uncharted space.

Student focused and student driven

A common sight in many classrooms is a teacher lecturing

to a group of students. Through VAEI’s methods, programs

and tools, Tarango wants to help teachers create an

environment where students drive the discussion and

facilitate their own path for discovery.


“I have never felt more

able to make a difference

than I do here.”

Terra Tarango

“We want to encourage classrooms where students are

leading discussions, designing experiments, are actively

engaged and the teacher is more of a guide for the process

of discovery,” Tarango said. “I have always been a fierce

teacher advocate, and what I am hearing from educators is

that they want to empower their students to think critically,

work independently and be creative problem-solvers.”

No longer satisfied with the status quo, educators

who attend VAEI’s teacher professional development

workshops have made it clear that in order to meet the

Next Generation Science Standards, new tools and new

methods are needed. VAEI’s holistic approach to supporting

these teachers includes teacher professional development,

on-site student programs in Grand Rapids, as well as online

science education tools, such as NexGen Inquiry ® .

“A decade ago, teachers weren’t as interested in new

ways of teaching, but that’s not the case now,” Tarango

said. “When we ask teachers what defines an exemplary

classroom, they say a place where students are learning

through questioning, collaboration and challenging

themselves. They know what the classroom should look

like, and they want to make it happen.”

Looking ahead

Tarango is confident that VAEI’s methods, programs and

tools are exactly what science educators are looking

for to prepare today’s students as the next generation

of innovative problem-solvers. Looking ahead, VAEI will

continue to reach teachers and students across the

United States—empowering them to embrace innovative

ways to learn science and setting the stage for a lifelong

love of discovery.

“In the years to come, I have no doubt that VAEI will play

a driving role in how we teach science education in this

country and beyond,” Tarango said. “I love looking into a

classroom and seeing the students passionately engaged

in doing science and enthusiastically working as hard as

the teacher. If that can happen more often, we can truly

revolutionize science education. And until it is happening

nationally on a regular basis, we have a job to do.”


Students Performing Real Science –

Van Andel Education Institute’s Impact in the Classroom


Tim Renz has worked as a science teacher in Washington

state for more than 25 years. He’s taught everything from

grade school to high school honors classes. Always on the

lookout for new and innovative teaching methods, in 2013

Renz began using Van Andel Education Institute’s (VAEI)

inquiry-based Community of Practice methods, QPOE 2


model and web-based online tools in his classroom. The

results have been nothing less than extraordinary.

“The support and professional

development I received from VAEI

gave me what I needed to have the

most significant, transformative impact

on my classroom in my entire career.”

Tim Renz

“A lot of other programs say they are about doing inquirybased,

student-centered learning in science education, but

it wasn’t until I came across VAEI’s models and techniques

that I found a model that actually works in the classroom

and reflects what 'real' scientists do on a daily basis,”

Renz said. “The support and professional development

I received from VAEI gave me what I needed to have the

most significant, transformative impact on my classroom in

my entire career.”

The Institute’s QPOE 2

model emphasizes the scientific

method of asking a question, making a prediction,

collecting data through observation, developing an

explanation and ongoing evaluation to refine and

improve the process. In addition to the QPOE 2


the Institute provides teachers with the online science

education platform, NexGen Inquiry ® , as well as techniques

that can be used to create a classroom that encourages

inquiry-based learning.

Doing real science

After working with the Institute’s methods, Renz noticed

that students were approaching their work differently.

Students who had not been interested in science

suddenly became focused and started developing

creative experiments and working collaboratively.

“A group of girls in one of my classes who hadn’t been

very engaged in class designed an experiment to solve a

problem that was affecting them in their daily lives—water

bottles breaking when you store them in the freezer,” Renz

said. “It was great to see the students develop experiments

that studied the scientific properties of water and used the

scientific method to problem-solve in such a creative way.”

Through these new techniques, the students in Renz’s

class started working in an independent, self-motivated,

creative way—and in the process, they developed a love

for scientific discovery.

“When students feel empowered to ask their own

questions, they become engaged in the process of learning

and can use their knowledge to solve problems and find

solutions,” Renz said. “It’s great to see so many of my

2016 by the numbers

In the last year, VAEI worked with 800 students and more

than 1,200 teachers in West Michigan.

NexGen Inquiry ®

Since its launch in 2015, 3,000 teachers have signed up to

use NexGen Inquiry, the Institute’s online, inquiry-based

students thinking critically, working

collaboratively and doing real science.”

VAEI’s student programs, teacher professional

development and inquiry-based instruction tools help

teachers like Renz transform their classrooms and create

an environment where students have the freedom to think

like scientists and develop a lifelong love of discovery.


science education platform. The interactive resource

serves as a digital science journal where teachers and

students can conduct experiments, record and analyze

data and share hypotheses.

To date, more than 70,000 teacher assignments have been

issued through this innovative platform.


Van Andel Institute’s donors and philanthropic partners are connected

by a shared sense of commitment to the Institute’s mission. Their creativity,

passion and dedication have helped the Institute become a thriving center

for innovative biomedical research and science education.



Use the Gifts You’re Given – Pat Ringnalda and the Bee Brave 5K

Pat Ringnalda, founder of the Bee Brave 5K, gets emotional

when she talks about her work with Van Andel Institute’s

Purple Community. For Ringnalda, the 5K she organizes

to benefit breast cancer research at Van Andel Institute is

more than philanthropy—it’s a way to share her gifts and

give back. In 2016, she helped raise more than $60,000 for

the Institute.

Ringnalda worked for years as a leading salesperson for

Mary Kay cosmetics and had an innate ability to connect

with people and personalize her sales. She loved her work

but had a strong desire to use her talents in support of

causes she felt passionately about.

“I’ve always thought that I had a responsibility as an

individual to use the abilities I’ve been given to help other

people,” Ringnalda said. “If you’re lucky enough to realize

what you’re good at, you should use it to make the world a

better place.”

A life-changing event

After supporting national philanthropic efforts that

funded domestic abuse awareness and women’s cancer

charities, Ringnalda wanted the 5K to benefit a cancer

research organization that was part of her West Michigan


“I contacted all the Grand Rapids–based cancer research

organizations, and I told them about my event, and that I

was looking for a home in West Michigan," Ringnalda said.




“Within 24 hours, Purple Community reached out to me,

and we got to work.”

The personal touch is important to Ringnalda, who works

with her husband, children and friends to organize the 5K.

She enjoys the opportunity to meet the Institute’s scientists

and learn about how Bee Brave’s funds are used and

credits these unique experiences with bringing everything

full circle.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet Dr. Hui Shen and Dr.

Peter Laird, two amazing scientists who are investigating

cancers that affect women,” Ringnalda said. “After talking

with them, I know exactly how our support will help find

new treatments for cancer. Jay and Betty Van Andel must

have been two amazing people to build this Institute in our


Hosting an event the size of the Bee Brave 5K requires

many hours of work for Ringnalda, and when the days grow

long, there’s one bit of wisdom that keeps her going.

“Every year, when I get weary and I start to question why

I’m doing this, I remind myself that it’s not about me—it’s

about the women in my community and communities

everywhere who have been touched by cancer, and the

scientists like Dr. Laird and Dr. Shen who have dedicated

their lives to this fight,” Ringnalda said. “If we keep going, I

know that one day we could help them save lives.”

“Jay and Betty Van Andel must have been two amazing

people to build this Institute in our community.”

Pat Ringnalda


Bringing It Full Circle at Duncan Lake


Abbey Solitro, a doctoral candidate in Van Andel Institute’s

Graduate School, spends long hours working in a

laboratory. Solitro usually doesn’t have time to meet with

anyone or do anything that isn’t strictly focused on her

lab work. But there is a group of students from a small

middle school, tucked away in the West Michigan town of

Caledonia, who will always have her attention.

Over the course of three years, Solitro, her mentor Dr. Jeff

MacKeigan and other scientists from the Institute have

worked with a group of eager fundraisers at Duncan Lake

Middle School who plan an annual cancer walk to benefit

research at Van Andel Institute. Impressed by the students’

initiative, Solitro invited them to the Institute for a tour and

spoke at their all-school assembly, where she expressed

deep gratitude for all of their effort.

“Meeting the students and being involved with community

events keeps me very grounded in the work that I do,"

Solitro said. “It is also important that we let these students

and staff know how grateful we are. We can’t do this

work alone.”

Ryan Graham, Duncan Lake’s principal, views the event

as a way for students to learn organizational skills, work

together to help others and interact directly with leaders in

the scientific field.

“We have always wanted to empower and encourage our

students’ generosity and genuine desire to help,” Graham

said. “And in turn, Dr. MacKeigan, Abbey and others from

the Institute have brought us in and helped our students

think about their futures in new and wonderful ways. To

our students, these scientists are rock stars.”



“Dr. MacKeigan, Abbey and

others from the Institute have

brought us in and helped our

students think about their

futures in new and wonderful

ways. To our students, these

scientists are rock stars.”

Ryan Graham

Pushing passion further

Partnering with Duncan Lake has also inspired MacKeigan

and his team to stay focused and inspired in their work in

cancer research.

“Interactions with the students push our passion and

efforts further —and it can be really transformative to

work with that many kids who are so focused on making a

difference,” MacKeigan said. “What we are doing together

is really inspiring—the energy, passion and successful

engagement shared by my team and the students makes it

more than just a typical walk or event—it’s a perfect model

of community action and collaboration.”


Hope on the Hill – A Celebration of VAI's 20 th Anniversary






Donor Highlight

The Boelkins Family

Tim Tebow

Inspiring Through Faith, Hope and Football


Chuck and Christine Boelkins grew up in Grand Rapids. It’s

a place that is near and dear to them—a place where they

made a life and raised a family. They feel blessed to have

Van Andel Institute as part of their community and are

proud supporters of the Institute’s research into cancer

and Parkinson’s disease.

“Having been a part of the Grand Rapids community

for our entire lives, we have seen the amazing growth

in medical services and technology that was instigated

by the formation of Van Andel Institute,” Christine Boelkins


Chuck’s father struggled with Parkinson’s disease, and

recently, many friends and family members have been

diagnosed with cancer. Giving of their time as members

of the Institute’s Board of Governors, volunteering and

donating to fund cancer and Parkinson’s research help the

Boelkins stay connected to the great work taking place in

their city—a place of immense innovation and ingenuity.

“We feel blessed to have such a world-renowned

research institute in our community. We have supported

the Institute financially and through volunteer service for

15 years, and we feel great knowing that our efforts and

donations go directly to research," Chuck Boelkins said.

“Our hope is that one day soon, Van Andel Institute will

find a way to fight back against diseases like Parkinson’s

and make a significant impact toward the eradication

of cancer.”

When athletes use their fame to touch people’s lives

through faith and goodwill, wonderful things can happen.

Tim Tebow, a world-renowned quarterback, athlete,

author and public speaker is not shy about what motivates

him—and it isn’t a first down. It’s living a spiritual life.

In September 2016, Tebow took time out of his busy

schedule to tour VAI and visit with David and Carol

Van Andel, Associate Director of Research Dr. Patrik

Brundin and members of the Institute. Tebow also gave

the keynote speech at the 10 th annual Van Andel Institute

Golf Outing, and the day proved to be an inspirational

experience for the Heisman Trophy winner.

“It was extremely inspiring to visit with David and Carol

Van Andel and Dr. Brundin,” Tebow said. “After meeting

with everyone, and hearing about Dr. Brundin’s incredible

approach to Parkinson’s disease research, I was filled with

a sense of hope and optimism.”

Tebow’s speech highlighted his

unwavering commitment to his faith

and how it has guided him throughout his life.

He also touched on the work of the Institute

and the importance of giving back.

“I have always believed that you can do well and do

good in life, and the generosity of the Van Andels and

the dedication of the people working at the Institute are

something I am very proud to support,” Tebow said. “I

believe that faith guides us, and I can tell that the Institute’s

mission is guided by a deep and significant belief in a

power greater than us all.”

In 2013, Christine Boelkins was presented with the

Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award—an honor

given to people who have demonstrated excellence and

significant contributions to Van Andel Institute’s mission

through volunteer service and commitment.





Our Angels of Excellence

Carol Van Andel, executive director of the David and Carol

Van Andel Family Foundation, is always looking for new

ways to spotlight the generosity of Van Andel Institute’s

volunteers, advocates and donors. In 2013, she created the

Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award to celebrate the

efforts of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional

service on behalf of Van Andel Institute’s mission.

Van Andel created an event that is focused on gratitude

and celebrating the rich and diverse Van Andel Institute


Van Andel is consistently impressed by the dedication and

spirit of the Angel of Excellence Award recipients, and for

her, they serve as a reminder of what is possible when

talent and generosity are paired with action.

“Every day, I am touched by the impact of these women,”

Van Andel said. “They are community leaders who are

choosing to give of themselves, and in the process, they

are making a real difference for others. It’s an absolute

honor to work alongside them.”

“This event is close to my heart,” Van Andel said. “Our

Angel of Excellence recipients bring such joy, creativity

and purpose to our leadership boards and planning

committees. Because of their work, we are able to support

research that benefits the millions of people living with

cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and science education

programs that inspire thousands of students.”

In April 2016, the award was given to Peggy Greydanus,

Debbie Kinney, Jamie Mills and Rachel Mraz, four women

who organize and sponsor impactful fundraising events

and helped build important relationships between young

professionals and the Institute.

Greydanus and Kinney both serve on the Hope on the Hill

Gala planning committee and help organize the Institute’s

signature annual event that raises funds to benefit the

Institute’s biomedical research and science education

programs. For more than 10 years, the two incredibly

dedicated volunteers worked directly with Van Andel

to create and support some of the most spectacular

fundraising galas in West Michigan.



Mills worked directly with Van Andel to co-create A

Conversation About Breast Cancer, the first in a series of

community-minded, health advocacy events held at the

Institute. In addition to her health advocacy efforts, Mills is

a top sponsor of events such as Hope on the Hill, the

Van Andel Institute Golf Outing and Couture for a Cure and

is a tireless ambassador on behalf of the Institute.

Rachel Mraz is a West Michigan business leader with a

passion for philanthropy. Her connections to the Grand

Rapids business community and enthusiasm for the

Institute’s mission inspired her to create the Van Andel

Institute JBoard Ambassadors in 2009. The JBoard hosts

events, engages the West Michigan community and

provides philanthropic support for the Institute’s initiatives.

Under Mraz’s leadership, the JBoard continues to be a

significant community engagement force and a meaningful

way for young people to partner with the Institute.

“Our Angel of Excellence

recipients bring such joy, creativity

and purpose to our leadership

boards and planning committees.

Because of their work, we are

able to support research that

benefits the millions of people

living with cancer and Parkinson’s

disease, and science education

programs that inspire thousands

of students.”

Carol Van Andel


Trina Taylor - A Moment on the Runway


Trina Taylor’s life is filled with passion, positivity and hope.

A mother, working professional, model and cancer patient

advocate, she lives by her own personal motto, “make

memories on purpose.”


In 2012, Taylor was diagnosed with metastatic colorectal

cancer—a disease that affects 200,000 new people in the

United States every year. The news was devastating, but

Taylor, determined to not let her diagnosis define her, has

been fighting ever since. Her willingness to fight gave her

the strength to work with her physician and enroll in a

clinical trial at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer

Center at Johns Hopkins University supported by the

Van Andel Research Institute-Stand Up To Cancer

Epigenetics Dream Team. Agreeing to participate in the

trial, which uses a combination treatment to reprogram

cancer cells to better respond to chemotherapy, was

a gamble, but it was also an act that would change the

course of her life.

“The importance of a clinical trial is that it gives so many

people like me hope—hope for what’s next,” Taylor said.

To honor Trina’s indomitable spirit, grace and work as an

outspoken advocate for cancer patients, she was invited

by Carol Van Andel to walk the runway at the 11 th annual

Couture for a Cure—a significant fundraiser for Van Andel

Institute and the premier fashion event in West Michigan.

On a fall night, with hundreds of eyes focused on her every

step, Taylor walked out on the runway filled with bright

lights and dazzling color. When the spotlight hit her, she

did something unusual for any model —she paused and

“The importance of a

clinical trial is that it

gives so many people

like me hope—hope

for what’s next.”

Trina Taylor

looked out into the audience. She couldn’t help it. Five

hundred people were giving her a standing ovation, and it

was a moment she wanted to cherish.

“I always take in a deep breath right before I take my first

step. In my mind, I’m carrying all of these women who are

dealing with the same things I am—being bald, living with

cancer. For me, it’s empowering,” Taylor said. “That night,

instead of walking the runway, I was taking a bow—and in

that bow, I was saying, ‘Thank you!’”


Dr. Hui Shen – Starting a Conversation About Women’s Health

Hundreds of people gathered in Van Andel Institute’s

Cook-Hauenstein Hall in November 2016, to hear from

scientists who have dedicated their lives to fighting cancers

that affect women. A Conversation About Women’s Health,

hosted by Carol Van Andel, gave those in attendance a

chance to hear from leaders in cancer research and learn

about advancements in cancers affecting women. The

event highlighted the work of Dr. Hui Shen, a young, vibrant

scientist who joined Van Andel Research Institute in 2014.

Dr. Shen uses leading-edge technology to investigate the

molecular background of ovarian cancer. In November

2015, she received the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund’s Liz

Tilberis Early Career Award, which is given to junior faculty

with a strong commitment to an investigative career in

ovarian cancer research. Shen also participates in the

Van Andel Research Institute–Stand Up To Cancer

Epigenetics Dream Team and is a member of The Cancer

Genome Atlas, a multi-institutional effort to better

understand the molecular basis of cancer through

genomic analysis.

“The fact that scientists like

Dr. Shen are using every

technology and resource

available to take on cancers

that affect women

is something that should

give all of us a great deal

of hope.”

Carol Van Andel

Dr. Shen’s presentation during A Conversation About

Women’s Health focused on her work in epigenetics—a

groundbreaking new area of cancer research, and where

she sees new avenues for improved diagnostics and

therapies. Van Andel believes the Institute’s community

health-focused events provide a lasting resource for

patients, caregivers and people who want to take a

proactive role in their own healthcare.





Donor Highlight

Joe Rudnick & Tapistry Brewing

Joe Rudnick brews craft beer with heart. After a 20-year

career as an engineer with Pfizer, he decided to follow

his passion and opened Tapistry Brewing Company in

2013. In addition to brewing great beer, Rudnick feels very

strongly about community engagement and living life with

a generous spirit.

After his father passed away from a long battle with cancer,

Rudnick found Van Andel Institute’s website while doing

some web browsing, and was impressed by the Institute’s

mission and fundraising philosophy.

“I found the Institute when I was searching online after

cancer took my father’s life at 59—and when I learned

that the Institute applies every dime to research and

doesn’t waste it, I knew I wanted to partner with

them," Rudnick said.

Rudnick and Tapistry Brewing Company are active partners

in Purple Community’s Hops for Hope fundraising initiative.

During the yearlong annual event, breweries, restaurants

and pubs donate a portion of specialty beer sales to

support the Institute’s cancer and neurodegenerative

disease research. An active community member, and a

dedicated craftsman, Rudnick is proud to partner with a

Michigan-based organization that values donor dollars and

uses funds to impact human health.

“I have a great amount of respect for the Van Andel family

and everyone at Van Andel Institute, and I really appreciate

their determination to help those affected by cancer and

disease,” Rudnick said. “Cancer has affected my life in

multiple ways, and I think it’s important to help scientists

discover new ways to fight this disease and give people a

ray of hope.”


“I was searching online

after cancer took my

father’s life at 59—and

when I learned that the

Institute applies every

dime to research and

doesn’t waste it, I knew I

wanted to partner

with them.”

Joe Rudnick



Sources of Funding

Sources of Funding for Research & Education


Private philanthropy


Grants and contract

revenue (direct)


Endowment income



Sources of Funding for Operating & Overhead Expenses


Grants and contract

revenue (direct)


Endowment income

and other revenue


Society of Hope


The Society of Hope recognizes individuals

and couples who have notified us that they

have included Van Andel Institute in their

will or other deferred giving plan. Through

our acknowledgment of and gratitude to

these exceptional people, we hope that their

generosity will inspire others.

Vivian G. Anderson

Stanley & Blanche Ash

Kevin & Michelle Bassett

John & Nancy Batts

Philip & Shirley Battershall

Fred & Julie Bogaert

J. Scott Grill

Joan Hammersmith

Arthur Joseph Jabury

Ms. Maryanna Johnson

Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Long

Jamie Mills & Jim Nichols

LG & Helen Myers

Jone E. Phillips

Alan R. Ryan

George Sietsema

Eva Sonneville

Fred L. Tape

John E. VanFossen



Gary R. Aarup

Lawrence & Mary Lou Hicks

Chuck Boelkins

Pat & Julie Greene

Maurice J. Clark

David & Deborah Clark

Lee W. Formwalt

Sanders Foundation

Chad Henke

Peter & Lisa Foy

Paul Leonard

Jeff & Sue Swain

Raja Achanta

Peter & Lisa Foy

Gerald Bovenkamp

Chris Bovenkamp

Fabiola Crettaz

Peter & Lisa Foy

Marcy Gates

Stephen Klotz

Kathy Heyboer

Member First Mortgage, LLC

Rob Leonard

Jeff & Sue Swain

Mark Ameel

Peter & Lisa Foy

Peg Bowen

Susan Formsma

Rob & Allison DeVilbiss

Ed & Carol DeVilbiss

Rahmon W. Gharajanloo

Peter & Lisa Foy

Nancy Hickey

Jeff & Sue Swain

Ken Lewis

Peter & Lisa Foy

The Anderson Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Dan Braak

Peter & Lisa Foy

Deb Diemer

Member First Mortgage, LLC

Georgia Gibbs

Thomas Lamoreaux

Bart Huisman

Kenneth & Ann Steenwyk

Sandra Likic

Peter & Lisa Foy

Bruce Applebach

Clinton & Joanne Hop

Alyssa Arends

John & Susan Nelson

Susan Armstrong

Jeff & Sue Swain

Zhaohui Bao

Peter & Lisa Foy

Peter Baranovic

Peter & Lisa Foy

Reinhard Behringer

Peter & Lisa Foy

Eugene Bleiler

Marty Faasse

Patricia Bloemendaal

Dirk & Jill Bloemendaal

Barbara S. Bradley

Douglas & Michele Bradley

Florence Brower

Martin & Melissa Weerstra

Anita Buckowing

Denise Hart

Sara L. Butcher

Donald Butcher

Mark Bylenga

William & Jackie Bylenga

Hongxia Chen

Peter & Lisa Foy

Curtis B. Christie

Peter & Lisa Foy

Tomáš Čičák

Peter & Lisa Foy

Ann Durham

Peter & Lisa Foy

Robert Duvall

Gail Bowers

Zsolt Eichinger

Peter & Lisa Foy

Kerry Ellis

Peter & Lisa Foy

Julio Escalera

Peter & Lisa Foy

July Estrada

Peter & Lisa Foy

Shirley Evans


Francis Fan

Peter & Lisa Foy

Laura Gifford

William & Kathryne Bussey

Marcy Engelmann

Mark G. Gilmore

Peter & Lisa Foy

Sherry Grimard

Peter & Lisa Foy

Debbie Gris

Daniel & Deborah Goris

Diane Hansen

Marlene Stoops

Bruce Hari

Peter & Lisa Foy

Henry Hemond

HR Services Auto Owners


Robert R. Israels

Clinton & Joanne Hop

John Kailunas

Lea Knight

William R. King

Richard King

Melinda Krei

Jeff & Sue Swain

Tamara Kroll

Marie Creger

Mary Lou LaClaire

Todd & Hester Hendricks

Timmy Lamse

Pat Campau

Nicole Langewender

Peter & Lisa Foy

John Littleton

Dr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Klein

Kathy Lloyd

Jeff & Sue Swain

Philip Longstreet

Donna Tolan

Ariane Lopez

Peter & Lisa Foy

The MacIntosh Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Al Mahieu

Ryan & Lisa Volkers

Al & Barb Masselink

Darin Masselink

Benny Mathew

Peter & Lisa Foy


MacKale McGuire

Renata Olson

Debra Schultz Schut

Clinton & Joanne Hop

Sherry Singer

Jeff & Sue Swain

Tim & Cyndy Swain

Jeff & Sue Swain

The Walters/Patullo Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Kate McNamara

Jeff & Sue Swain

The Metsker Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Erika Mikusova

Peter & Lisa Foy

Cecilia Neuman

Member First Mortgage, LLC

Philip "Pop Pop" Nicely

Michael & Sally Murdock

Terry Nienhuis

Peter & Lisa Foy

Wolfgang Passoke

Peter & Lisa Foy

Manali Phatak

Peter & Lisa Foy

Tom & Greta Rickmeyer

Paul & Charlene Fitzpatrick

Pete Rowe

Amy Charles

Thomas Schindler

Peter & Lisa Foy

Serenity Salon

Valerie Burns

Alfonso Sernas

Peter & Lisa Foy

Bobbie Sethuraman

Peter & Lisa Foy

Dave & Lynn Setsma

Joanne Arnoys

Ellen Fowler

Ken & Beverly Nyenhuis

Grace Nyenhuis

Jacob & Leona Nyenhuis

Ronald & Carole Nyenhuis

Laura Schnyders

Carolyn Setsma

Donald & Barb Setsma

Betty Tymes

The Shapiro Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Tricia Shaw

Peter & Lisa Foy

Lisha Shekar

Peter & Lisa Foy

Leigh J. Shutes

Peter & Lisa Foy

Bill Slicker

Peter & Lisa Foy

Keith Smith

Carol Smith

Jeyapraba Srinivassan

Peter & Lisa Foy

Dr. Mathew Steensma

James & Judith Czanko

Charles & Hannah Steinhardt

George & Julia Steinhardt

George Steinhardt

George & Julia Steinhardt

Irene Stewart

William & Adeline Gipson

Juergen Stoverock

Peter & Lisa Foy

Jack Swain

Jeff & Sue Swain

Sally Swain

Jeff & Sue Swain

The Swain Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Christy A. Tape

Denise Nise

Monica Skinner

Rolf-Guenter Teichmann

Peter & Lisa Foy

Aruna Thota

Peter & Lisa Foy

Jesus Alfredo Rodriguez


Peter & Lisa Foy

Madge Torrey

Michael & Kathleen Torrey

David & Carol Van Andel

Czech Holdings LLC

Kim Van Stee

Alvin & Joyce Docter

George F. Vande Woude

Ray Loeschner

Dan Vasilauskas

Peter & Lisa Foy

Maria Walsh

Jeff & Sue Swain

The Walters/VanLandingham


Jeff & Sue Swain

Mary Weglicki

Jim & Kathy Weglicki

Herbert White

Nathan & Gail Perton

The Wilder Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Debbie Wittenbach

Stephen & Debra Wittenbach

David Wohns, M.D.

Jeff & Sue Swain

Wendy Wohns

Jeff & Sue Swain

Sally Yang

Peter & Lisa Foy

The Zack Family

Jeff & Sue Swain

Mary Zimmer

Larry & Joyce Zimmer



For our friends who have lost a loved one, we mourn with you. We appreciate your trust in us

to fight disease in memory of your family and friends—with the hope for a healthier tomorrow.

Allison Aardema

Steven & Julie Aardema

James Ackley

Stephen Haarman

Art Alberts, Ph.D.

William Alberts

Wynston Alberts

Jason & Cindy Dawes

Dr. Kathryn M. Eisenmann

Peterson Haak

Carole Howard

Dwight Lakey

Brad Long

Betsy Salzman

Robert C. Anderson

David & Lynne Robinson

Vivian G. Anderson

David & Lynne Robinson

Frank L. Archer

Timothy & Marcye Van Dyke

Alyssa Arends

Dean & Beth Havens

Lynda Armstrong

Mark Press

Allan L. Arnoys

Rob Arnoys

Mary Badanek

Katherine Sanders

John Bambini

Kim & Christopher Engle

Keith Bassett

Regena Bassett

John H. Batts

Lester & Vivian Hoogland

Shirley Baumgardner

Dwane & Joyce Baumgardner

Harlan Berens

Verl & Vicky Bleeker

Nicole Beuschel

Sue Baar

Ernest Bevins

David Bevins

Joe Blaskis

Sharon Blaskis

Mary Boerema

Jean Swaney

Glenn Bonkosky

Gerald & Tracy Kneeshaw

Bob Bonney

George LaPlante

Pamela Boomer

Russell & Sara Tiller

Donna Boorstein

Dr. William M. Boorstein

Jim Bos

Grace Bouwman

Lorraine Boyd

Frieda & James Jaynes

Phyllis Brown

Jacqueline Kozal

Robert A. Brown

G. Michael & Mary Minton

Robert J. Brown


William Buis

American Legion W. G.

Leenhouts Squadron 6 SAL


Mitchell & Kristyn Arends

Lori Barkel

Rick & Janice Berens

Robert & Valerie Bernecker

Judith Borough

Jack & Lois Brott

Joyce Buis

Gary & Judith Bylsma

Thomas & Julie Carey

Whitney Carnahan

James & Dorothy Chamness

Wayne & Laura Debruyn

Victor & Ruth Dejonge

Debra DeLeeuw

Lawrence & Linda Denuyl

Douglas & Sharen Dinkins

Kenneth & Gladys Dozeman

Daniel & Jannis Ebels

Carolynne Etheridge

William & Barbara Lawton

Suzanne Linn

Medtronic, Inc.

Jacquelyn Pullen

Judith Rabbai

Jack & Ardith Shultz

Benjamin & Judith Smith

Harlan & Cheryl Sprik

Bernard & Jacqulin Stack

Rodney Truttman

Robert & Barbara Turner

Douglas & Kathleen VanLente

John & Claudia Watson

West Michigan Health

Information Management


Gary & Phila White

Kenneth & Marcia Wierda

Bob Burgers

Jason & Kimberly Jerke

In Memoriam – Dr. Art Alberts | July 23, 1964 – December 4, 2016

With great sadness, we said farewell in December to our

friend and colleague Dr. Art Alberts after his courageous

several-year battle with brain cancer.

Alberts was one of Founding Research Director Dr. George

Vande Woude’s first recruits to Van Andel Institute in 2000.

A dedicated and passionate scientist, Alberts was a lead

investigator in the Center for Cancer and Cell Biology who

was instrumental in establishing the Institute’s prestige in

the world of biomedical research. His research focused on

cell motility and mDIA2 regulation.

A proud mentor, Alberts served as a Van Andel Institute

Graduate School professor and trained several students

and postdoctoral scientists who have gone on to

successful careers in academia. He was known for his

forthright nature, intensity, humor and iconic wardrobe.

Whether helping a graduate student consider a new

perspective or asking challenging questions of a prominent

scientist during a seminar or lecture, Alberts could be

counted on for his impassioned commentaries.

David Van Andel, Chairman and CEO of Van Andel Institute,

remembers Alberts as a significant force in the early days

of the Institute and a leader in his field. PHOTO CAPTION

“Those of us who knew Art would agree that he was a true

original—a passionate, deeply inquisitive soul who was

committed to the purity of science,” Van Andel said. “Art’s

insight and genuine, uncompromising love for his work was

evident in everything he did. His legacy lives on in the work

we do today and the many people who were lucky enough

to have known him.”

Alberts was a devoted and loving husband and father, and

is survived by his wife, Lisa and their two children, Corrinne

and Isobel.


Peter G. Bylsma

Carol Bylsma

Frank Campbell

Paul & Lynn Getzin

Jack Chatfield

Lee Formwalt

Sherriel Coates

Brent Coates

Harold E. Cook

Marilyn K. Cook

Darryl Couch

Kathleen Couch

Mary Couch

Kathleen Couch

Bonnie Crabb-Tremblay

Dan Rogers

Suzanne E. Cummings

Jacqueline Kozal

Daniel G. Cusack

Jacqueline Kozal

Karl Daniels

Dr. & Mrs. Joel Vanderiet

Aaron De Lange

Sharon Blaskis

Jay A. DeBoe

Michael DeBoe

Elaine DeHaan

Leonard & Leonora Smit

Susan DeRoos

Lyle & Roberta Brockway

Marsha Burgess

Steven & Linda DeRoos

Nancy Hazle

Richard Hazle

Mary Hutchinson

Larry & Karen Mayberry

Marian Siegle

Richard & Mary Stevens

Lynda Weston Berg

Robert DeVos

Marv & O'Linda Anderson

Bonnie Butler

Arla Mae DeVos

Betty DeVos

Robert Johnson

Lavern & Lenora Lanning

Marcia Martin

Eric Pipenger

Bernard & Delores Rollston

Donald & Janice Stockhill

Cynthia Watson

Kaye Doherty

Melissa Bachman

Allen Doorn

Phil de Haan

Donald Downham

Paul & Charlene Fitzpatrick

Kathleen Drennan

Patrick & Kristine Brady

Loy L. Dykstra

Baskin Livestock, Inc.

Byron Center Baptist Church

Matt Ellis

Greenstone Farm Credit


Arnold & Marlene Groeneveld

David & Barbara Miller

David & Coralie Miller

Richard & Laura Miller

Laurie Schwartz

Donald & Lorraine Thome

Edward Dzwonkowski

Arline Dzwonkowski

Jean B. Eagleson

Lily Beck

Stephen & Betty Beck

Faye Buckingham

June Glisan

James & Elizabeth Lieberman

Loretta Miles

Bud & Ruth Elve

Mark & Anne Elve

Gloria Ender

Dr. & Mrs. Steven C. Ender

Jon C. Forslund

Jean Swaney

Butch Forystek

James Johnson

John P. Foxworthy

Jean Swaney

Terrie Frank

Roy & Maureen Warren

Diane Frede

Walter & Mary Ann Andersen

William & Carol Betts

Al Budnick

Elwood Staffing Services, Inc.

Andrew Evans

Harley & Rosemary Huffman

Larry & Jan Jewell

Joanne Marshall

Carl & Anne Newberg

Robert & Cathleen Newberg

Deborah Pitsch

Gayle Platte

Sharon Sydloski

Mark Zacha

Betty J. Frederick

Raymond Frederick

Jean Frick

Allan & Barbara Lowe

Lorraine Futrell

Ronald & Helen Colburn

Harold Gantt

Barry & Mary Gantt

Helen Ganzhorn

Robert & Andrea Rander

Norma J. Girod

Beverly & John Scranton

Josephine Granzo

Donald & Kathleen Brockriede

Brian Fitzpatrick

Neil Fitzpatrick

Lighthouse Assembly of God

Michael Ludwig

Abby Greer

Mike & Sandy Waller

Randee Grossa

Sally Shumway

Carol A. Haarman

Stephen Haarman

Dean Hanson

Sara Taylor

Chuck Harger

Ronald & Frances McKellar

James Hass

Richard Hillman & Barbara

Burby Hillman

Robert Hawley

Gregory & Patricia Hohs

Robert & Carol Peters

Michael & Brenda Radlinski

Don & Susie Thomas

Marilyn M. Hefferan

Jacqueline Kozal

Henry Hemond

Rebecca Christopherson

Steven M. Hertel

Antoinette Hertel

Jim Hickey

Catherine Amodeo

Dee Hickmott

Sid Hickmott

James W. Hoerner

Anne Rossi

Marvin Hollemans

Shirley Roskam

Julie L. Holtrop

Philip & Marie Holtrop

Arthur T. Howson

Grace Bouwman

Carolyn Calcutti

Kay L. Hurt

William & Brenda Davidson

Charles Huffman

M. Terry & Joan Hurt

Pauline Mitchell

Robin Stiyer

Lyle R. Irish

Bernadine Aidif

Jason & Cindy Dawes

Randy & Betsy Smith

Martha Jackson

Dr. Bruce A. Jackson II

Robert Jarchow

Daniel Jarchow

Mary M. Johnson

Paul & Betsy Greenwald

Ondrea M. Kamps

William Stewart

Mary Jane & Jay Kanipe

Daniel & Karen Mott

Mark L. Kastner

Brenda Kastner

Marian Katzenstein

Dorothy Armstrong

Ron Kitchen

Maple Hill Golf Course, Inc.

Norman Klein

Dr. & Mrs. Thomas E. Klein

Larry Kneeshaw

Gerald & Tracy Kneeshaw

Charles Knop

Jacqueline Kozal

David Kosten

Michael DeBoer

Donald R. Kozal

Karen Best

Anne Kozal

Patricia R. Kozal

Karen Best


Memorials (continued)

Alida P. Kuipers

Edmund & Ann Anderson

Christopher & Sandra Bajema

John Boom

David Carlson & Elizabeth

VanBeek Carlson

Mark & Margaret Christensen

Larry & Barb Langshaw

Rose Mulder

Elsa Slomp

Harold & Fran Soper

Phyllis Van Andel

Paul & Crystal VanBeek

Michael & Peggy Vanhamersveld

Bruce D. Langlois

Joanne K. Langlois

Norma Leopold

Lawrence & Mary Lou Hicks

Wes & Roxanne Lake

Allan C. Lowe

Allan & Barbara Lowe

Wade Mackay

Jean Swaney

Thomas & Susan Swaney

Jessica Marcellino

Dean & Michelle Snow

Robert McDowell

Michael Hillman

Richard & Barbara Hillman

Burby Hillman

Leah Meldrum

Warren & Deborah Westerhuis

Shirley Meyer

Thomas & Barbara Jackoboice

James Mieras

Daniel Terry

Thaddeus Misiak

Greg & Debra Misiak

Jean R. Murphy

Jacqueline Kozal

Eleanore L. Nicolette

Anne Benson

Gary & Bev Brouwer

Loretta Cahill

Jerry & Suzanne Callahan

Paul & Constance Ceton

Jane Hondelink

Charles & Carole Johnson

Judson Lynch

Dawn McCotter

Steve & Laura Triezenberg

Gregory & Ingrid Vander Lende

Richard & Jill Zuker

Mary Nolan

Timothy Nolan

Tom Piazza

Joseph & Margaret Biersack

Denise Picardat

Bethany Mulligan

Frank Pinto


Paula Birlen

Edda Bossio

Luigi Bossio

Donna Doyle

Alfredo Eijan

Frank Franone

Debbie Grimm

Patti Janus

Viola Janus

Giacomino Mannarino

Virginia Marzec

Mario Naccarato

Diane Novak

Christine Pepino

Sal Provenzano

Nina Rizzo

Gina Sicoli

James Sicoli

Ortenzia Sicoli

Josephine Szczygiel

Gary Turner

Glen & Tracey Turner

Loraine Turner

Raymond Volpacki

Curtis Whitmore

Ernie Popiel

Joseph Popiel

Victoria Purgiel

Larry & Barbara Adamski

Patricia Cybert

James & Frieda Jaynes

Patrick Purgiel

David Raab

Diana Wales

Florence Rauser

Daniel & Elizabeth Alt

Leon & Diane Brechting

A. Christopher Engle

Kathleen Leavell

Florence Rauser

Dietrich & Betty Lou Roth

Louis Seguin

Kyle Razmus

Ivy Razmus

Glenn Rick

Brad & Julie Rick

Pauline Roskam

Shirley Roskam

Cynthia Santarelli

Arline Dzwonkowski

Margaret Saunier

Thea Scholten

Kimberly Wyngarden

Sharon Wynkoop

Dwight W. Sawyer

Jacquolyn Sawyer

Anita Scavelli

James Wright

Kathleen M. Schafer

Patrick & Angela Farrell

Alan & Dorothy Gould

Kehoe Family Protection Trust

Lake Michigan Insurance Agency

Jim & Norma Peterson

William & Linda Schafer

Dick & Carol Schermer

Lyn Cooper

Grandpa & Grandma


David DeJonge

Papa R. Schewe

Angie Adkin

Rick Schewe

Suzanne Brown

Amy Martin

Kathy Sturm

James R. Schmalz

Leslie Schmalz

Amy L. Schneider

Richard & Carol Briggs

James & Kathryn Coombs

Juniper Shores Association

Alonzo Keathley

Dorothy Schneider

Chester Schut

Clinton & Joanne Hop

Leon Schutter

Carol Schutter

Steve Sedlacek

Jessi Sedlacek

Carrie Shaver

Steven Ender & Karen Gislason


Chris Shaw

Tom & Barb Shaw

Wendy Simpson

Carole Yost

Don Slager

Kenneth & Judith Slager

Clarence Slomp

Jean Garehan

Fox Shawmut Hills

Gary & Ruth Kuipers

Meily Kuperus

Wayne & Marilyn Rietberg

Elsa Slomp

Terri Vanden Bos

Carolyn A. Smith

Kim Chrisman

Richard Stoops

Marlene Stoops

Madge Strikwerda

Dr. James L. Strikwerda

Billy Swaney

Thomas & Susan Swaney

Russel B. Swaney

Thomas & Susan Swaney

Daryl Ter Haar

Patricia Ter Haar

James R. Teunis

Kathleen Teunis

Larry Urban

Yvonne Urban

Jay Van Andel

Nancy Van Andel


Lois Van Dyke

West Michigan Tag & Label, Inc.

Hank Van Ee

Stephen Haarman

Dorothy Vande Woude

David & Susan Birdsall

Chris & Susan Braithwaite

David & Elaine Cain

David & Carol Van Andel Family


Jim & Gail Fahner

Ronald & Mary Frick

Steven & Brenda Heacock

Kelly Himelright-Nemzek

Stephen Hughes

Ramesh Kumar

Ray Loeschner

The Lowy-Mock Family

Charitable Fund

Gerilyn & Jamie May

Marianne K. Melnik, M.D.

Pamela Murray

Sara & Jay O'Neal

Ellen Pesto

Patrick & Alana Placzkowski


Kim Spolarich

Mark Stetter

The Right Place, Inc.

Carleton Woods

Yount, Hyde & Barbour, P.C.

Liam Sullivan & Linda Zarzecki

Martin Vanden Berg

Dr. James L. Strikwerda

Carl L. VanderZee

The Family of Carl VanderZee

Marlene Vis

Lonnie Vis

Marilyn Vos

Matthew & Shari Berger

Joanne K. Wallin

James & Frieda Jaynes

Lloyd B. Webb

Alice Antczak

Jean Henk

Fred Johnson

Michele Kladder

Dennis Malone

Moiron, Inc.

Steven & Sheila Paavo

Yvonne Webb

William Webber

Stephen Haarman

Rosalie Wila

Jacqueline Kozal

Jerome M. Willim

Hope Willim

Jane E. Wilson

Nancy Porter

Randy Winchester

Monica Dolce

Nona Wirt

Howard Wirt

Doc Withey

Jean Swaney

Debbie Wittenbach


Drs. David & Heather May

Jeffery & Brenda Pouliot

Terry Pulling

Carl & Kimberly Rossi

James & Randi Wilson

Craig A. Wood

Ronald & Frances McKellar

Herb Zeitter

Shirley Zeitter

Henry F. Zeman

Paul & Julie Carufel

Jerome Ziomkowski

Jacqueline Kozal

Merle & Maxine Varty

Robert Varty


Signature Special Event Sponsors

We are fortunate to have extraordinarily dedicated signature event sponsors.

Thank you for partnering with us and supporting our mission throughout the year.

A Charmed Life Nail Salon

Alliance Beverage Distributing


Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

Aon Risk Services


Steve & Kathryn Bandstra

Bank of America Charitable


Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Barracks 616



Belwith Products, LLC

Berends Hendricks Stuit

Insurance Agency Inc.

Matt & Sheri Berger

David & Jill Bielema


Blank Rome LLP

Bluewater Technologies

Chuck & Christine Boelkins

Bowers Harbor Vineyards

Brothers Leather Supply Co.

Bruce Heys Builders, Inc.

Brush Studio

Mark & Jennifer Bugge

Buist Electric

Allison Burr

Jerry & Suzanne Callahan

Calvin College

Scott & Heidi Campbell

Cancer & Hematology Centers

of Western MI, PC

Cascade Rental Center

Chemical Bank

The Chop House

CitySén Lounge

Natalie Cleary

Colliers International

CrossFit Luminary

The Crown Jewel Spa & Salon

Crystal Clean Auto Detailing

Crystal Mountain Resort

Cumulus Broadcasting

Custer, Inc.

CWD Real Estate Investment


Cynthia Kay & Company

Czech Assest Management

Davenport University

David & Carol Van Andel

Family Foundation

Dear Prudence


Design 1 Salon Day Spa

Aaron & Afton DeVos

Dick's Sporting Goods


Jeffrey & Mary Dixon

DK Security

The Douglas & Maria DeVos


Droscha Sugarbush

Eastbrook Homes

Eenhoorn, LLC

Eileen DeVries Family


Ellis Parking


Ferris Coffee & Nut Co.

Ferris State University

Fifth Third Private Bank

FireKeepers Casino Hotel

First National Bank of Michigan

FOODesign by Chef Brech

Foot & Ankle Specialists of

West Michigan

Fred L. Hansen Corporation

Frederik Meijer Gardens &

Sculpture Park

Dan & Lou Ann Gaydou

The Gilmore Collection

Golf Galaxy

Goodwill Industries

Dan & Magee Gordon

Wes Gordon

Gordon Food Service Inc.

Grand Rapids Christian Schools

Grand Rapids Community


Grand Rapids Symphony

Grand Valley State University

Granger Group

Grey Skies Distillery

Martin & Peggy Greydanus

Jana Hall

Harvey Automotive

Paul & Sheryl Haverkate


Hotel Walloon

Howard Miller

The H.T. Hackney Co.

Huizenga Group

Ice Sculptures, Ltd.

The I.C.N. Foundation

Michael & Susan Jandernoa

Jandernoa Foundation

Jeffery Roberts Design

Kathi A. Wilson, DDS


Andy & Christina Keller

Kendall College of Art & Design

John & Nancy Kennedy

Craig & Debra Kinney

The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck

Al & Robin Koop

Lacks Enterprises, Inc.

Lake Michigan Credit Union

Ray & Jeannine Lanning

Joe & Amanda Lanser



Life EMS

Lighthouse Insurance Group, Inc.

Little River Casino Resort

Long Road Distillers

Love's Ice Cream

Gary & Vicky Ludema


Macatawa Bank

Maple Hill Golf Course, Inc.

McAlvey, Merchants &


M.C.L. by Matthew Campbell


McShane & Bowie, PLC


Mark & Mary Beth Meijer

Merrill Lynch - Bank of America


Metro Health Hospital

Michigan State University

College of Human Medicine

Mika Meyers, Beckett &

Jones, PLC

Jamie Mills & Jim Nichols

The Mitten State

MLive Media Group

Modern Day Floral

Mike & Rachel Mraz

My Auto Import Center

National Christian Foundation

West Michigan

Neiman Marcus

New Holland Brewing Co.

Norris Perne & French

Northern Cross Foundation

Northstar Commercial

Lee & Alexandra Perez

Peter C. & Emajean Cook


Pine Rest Christian Mental

Health Services

Pioneer Construction

Pitsch Companies

Posh Petals

Preusser Jewelers

Priority Health

RE/MAX of Grand Rapids, Inc.

Regal Financial Group LLC

Deidre & Jeff Remtema

Reserve Wine & Food

The Richard & Helen DeVos


Brenda & Tom Rinks

Rockford Construction

Sarah & Todd Rollman

John & Therese Rowerdink

Rowerdink, Inc.

Saint Mary's Health Care

SecurAlarm Systems

The Sharpe Collection

Sip Organic Juice Bar


Slows BarBQ

Sobie Meats

Spectrum Health

Rob & Susan Stafford

Standard Lumber

Steelcase Inc.

Stephen Klotz Family Foundation

The Steve & Amy Van Andel


Tom & Mary Stuit

Sweetie-licious Bakery Café

Taconic Charitable Foundation

Steve & Cheryl Timyan

Todd Wenzel Automotive

Townsquare Media

Tre Cugini

Truscott Rossman

Twisted Rooster

Urban Institute for

Contemporary Arts

U.S. Bank

Van Eerden Food Service

Dave & Beth Van Portfliet

Brian & Lori Vander Baan

Marsha & Larry Veenstra

The Veldheer, Long, Mackay &

Bernecker Group of Merrill


Russell & Christine Visner

Waddell & Reed - Aaron DeVos

Wallinwood Springs Golf Course

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

Wells Fargo

West Michigan Women



Scott & Rebecca Wierda

Williams Kitchen & Bath

Greg & Meg Willit

Bob & Karen Wiltz

Wolverine Power Systems

Wolverine Worldwide

Women's Lifestyle

Aaron & Amanda Wong

Wuskowhan Players Club

XS Energy Drink

Your Shower Door

Jim & Jane Zwiers


Institute Leadership Team

“From our founding, early

development and growth

into a global institute, our

most important asset has

always been abundantly


David Van Andel

David Van Andel

Van Andel Institute Chairman & CEO

David Van Andel is Chairman and CEO of Van Andel

Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is also an

entrepreneur involved in several other business interests

in the natural and life science products industries.

The son of Jay Van Andel, founder of the Van Andel

Institute and co-founder of Amway Corporation, he

is currently a member of Amway’s Board of Directors

and serves on its Executive, Governance and Audit

committees. Prior to leading Van Andel Institute, he had

been in various positions at Amway since 1977, including

chief operating officer of Amway’s Pyxis Innovations

Business Unit and he was senior vice president–Americas

and Europe, overseeing Amway business activities in

North America and 22 European and 11 Latin

American affiliates.

Jerry Callahan, M.B.A., Ph.D.

Vice President, Innovations & Collaborations

Jana Hall

Chief Operations Officer

Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Chief Scientific Officer, Van Andel Research Institute

Timothy Myers

Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Terra Tarango

Director & Education Officer,

Van Andel Education Institute

Steven J. Triezenberg, Ph.D.

President & Dean,

Van Andel Institute Graduate School

Linda Zarzecki

Vice President of Human Resources


Board and Council Members

Van Andel Institute Trustees

David Van Andel

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Van Andel Institute

John Kennedy

President & Chief Executive Officer, Autocam Medical

Mark Meijer

President, Life E.M.S. Ambulance

Van Andel Research Institute Trustees

David Van Andel

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Van Andel Institute

Tom R. DeMeester, M.D.

Professor & Chairman Emeritus, Department

of Surgery, Keck School of Medicine, University of

Southern California

James B. Fahner, M.D.

Chief of Hematology and Oncology,

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Michelle Le Beau, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine, Section of Hematology/Oncology;

Director, University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer

Center; Director, Cancer Cytogenetics Laboratory,

University of Chicago

George Vande Woude, Ph.D.

Distinguished Scientific Fellow, Founding Research Director,

Van Andel Research Institute

Ralph Weichselbaum, M.D.

Chairman, Department of Radiation; Head, Ludwig Center

for Metastasis Research, University of Chicago

Max Wicha, M.D.

Distinguished Professor of Oncology, Department of

Internal Medicine; Founding Director, University of

Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Van Andel Education Institute Trustees

David Van Andel

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Van Andel Institute

James E. Bultman, Ed.D.

Former President, Hope College

Donald W. Maine

Former President, Davenport University

Juan R. Olivarez, Ph.D.

President, Aquinas College

Gordon L. Van Harn, Ph.D.

Emeritus Provost & Professor of Biology, Calvin College


Van Andel Research Institute

Board of Scientific Advisors

Michael Brown, M.D.

Paul J. Thomas Professor of Genetics & Director of the

Jonsson Center of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas

Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas

Richard Axel, M.D.

Professor of Neurosciences, Columbia University

Joseph L. Goldstein, M.D.

Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics,

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center – Dallas

Tony Hunter, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular & Cell Biology Laboratory; American

Cancer Society Professor; Renato Dulbecco Chair; Director,

Salk Institute Cancer Center

Philip A. Sharp, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology & Head of the Cancer Center,

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Van Andel Research Institute

External Scientific Advisory Board

Tony Hunter, Ph.D.

Professor, Molecular & Cell Biology Laboratory; American

Cancer Society Professor; Renato Dulbecco Chair; Director,

Salk Institute Cancer Center

Marie-Francois Chesselet, M.D., Ph.D.

Charles H. Markham Professor of Neurology; Distinguished

Professor of Neurology and of Neurobiology, Reed

Neurological Research Center

Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D.

Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs; Dean of Medicine,

University of California Irvine

Theresa Guise, M.D.

Professor of Medicine; Jerry W. & Peg S. Throgmartin

Professor of Oncology, Department of Medicine, Division of

Endocrinology, Indiana University

Rudolph Jaenisch, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

(MIT); founding member of the Whitehead Institute for

Biomedical Research at MIT

Max S. Wicha, M.D.

Distinguished Professor of Oncology; Professor,

Department of Internal Medicine; Founding Director,

University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Van Andel Education Institute

Advisory Council

David Van Andel

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Van Andel Institute

Nancy Ayres

Former General Manager, Flexco

James Boelkins, Ph.D.

Former Provost, Hope College

Joseph Krajcik, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Teacher Education at Michigan

State University

Carol Van Andel, B.A.

Executive Director, David & Carol Van Andel

Family Foundation

Van Andel Institute Graduate School

Board of Directors

James Fahner, M.D.

Chief of Hematology & Oncology, Helen DeVos Children’s


Thomas Haas, Ph.D.

President, Grand Valley State University

Peter Jones, Ph.D., D.Sc.

Chief Scientific Officer, Van Andel Research Institute

Michael J. Imperiale, Ph.D.

Director, Doctoral Program in Cancer Biology; Associate

Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology,

University of Michigan

Pamela Kidd, M.D.

Hematopathologist & Medical Director of the Hematology

& Flow Cytometry Laboratories, Spectrum Health & Helen

DeVos Children’s Hospital

Lynn Matrisian, Ph.D.

Vice President, Scientific and Medical Affairs, Pancreatic

Cancer Action Network

Gordon Van Harn, Ph.D.

Emeritus Provost & Professor of Biology, Calvin College


Board and Council Members


Thank you, Board of Governors.

As members of the Van Andel Institute Board of

Governors, your support of the Institute helps advance

our efforts to improve the health and enhance the

lives of current and future generations. Thank you for

being our partners, serving as our ambassadors and

contributing significantly to our success.

Van Andel Institute Board of Governors

Alice Andrews

R. Tony & Kathleen Asselta

Nancy Batts

Paul Becker & Eve Rogus

David & Jill Bielema

Charles & Christine Boelkins

James & Martha Bultman

Jerry & Suzanne Callahan

John & Marie Canepa

Mike & Kim Carnevale

Ron & Lori Cook

Dave & Karen Custer

Stephen C. Czech

Mark & Mary Jane de Waal

Robert & Allison DeVilbiss

Douglas & Maria DeVos

Richard & Helen DeVos

Daniel & Pamella DeVos

Dick & Betsy DeVos

Eileen DeVries

Randall & Terri Disselkoen

Michael & Lynette Ellis

Jim & Gail Fahner

David & Judy Frey

Dan & Lou Ann Gaydou

Gene & Tubie Gilmore

Gary & Pam Granger

Martin & Margaret (Peggy) Greydanus

Jim & Kathy Hackett

Jana Hall

Lewis & Teresa Hendricks-Pitsch

Paul & Rose Heule

Dirk Hoffius

J.C. & Tammy Huizenga

Allen & Helen Hunting

Bea Idema

José & Sue Infante

Earle & Kyle Irwin

Michael & Sue Jandernoa

Sidney & Cate Jansma

Peter & Veronica Jones

John & Deb Kailunas

David & Nancy Kammeraad

John & Nancy Kennedy

Craig & Debra Kinney

John Knapp

Diane Kniowski

Tim & Kimberly Long

Gary & Vicky Ludema

Don & Peg Luy

Donald W. & Kathleen Maine

Hank & Liesel Meijer

Lena Meijer

Mark & Mary Beth Meijer

Rusty & Jenn Merchant

R. George Mickel

Jack H. Miller

Jamie Mills & James Nichols

Louis & Nancy Moran

Mark & Elizabeth Murray

William & Sandi Nicholson

Juan & Mary Olivarez

Richard Pappas

Dale & Sonja Robertson

John & Therese Rowerdink

Martin D. Sass

Mike & Cindy Schaap

Peter & Joan Secchia

Blair & Michelle Sharpe

George & Linda Sharpe

George & Missy Sharpe

Budge & Marilyn Sherwood

Brent & Diane Slay

Peter Stamos & Soonmee Cha

Robert & Susan Stafford

Tom & Mary Stuit

Duke & Sue Suwyn

Renee Tabben

Steve & Laura Triezenberg

David & Carol Van Andel

Steve & Amy Van Andel

Michael & Michelle Van Dyke

Dan & Ann Van Eerden

George & Dot Vande Woude

Gordon & Mary Van Harn

Brian & Lori VanderBaan

Stuart & Nelleke Vander Heide

Michael & Gayle VanGessel

Dave & Beth Van Portfliet

John Veleris

Geoff & LeeAnne Widlak

Greg & Meg Willit


JBoard Ambassadors


Thank you, JBoard members.

As JBoard members, you are leaders who exhibit the

power of young professionals to make a difference.

We appreciate the energy and dedication you bring

to the Institute. Thank you for your vision and your

friendship in our efforts to fight disease and advance

our mission.

Natalia Alejos

Zeke Alejos

Lisa Alles

Timothy Alles

Jennifer Baldini

Charles Bassett

Lindsay Benedict

Angie Bissell

Brandon Bissell

Brian Blodgett

Heidi Campbell

Scott Campbell

Don Carlson

Heather Carlson

Heather Christmann

Natalie Cleary

Matthew Cook

Paige Cornetet

Blake Crabb

Aaron DeVos

Afton DeVos

Samuel DeVries

Christa Disselkoen

Stephen Disselkoen

Kaitlyn Disselkoen Swan

Lindsey Dubis

Bo Fowler

Jennifer Fowler

Kevin Gardenier

Linsey Gleason

Andrew Grashuis

Nicole Haglund

Hailey Harold

Brandi Huyser

Eric Jones

Katie Kileen

Kevin Kileen

Eric Kovalak

Michael Lomonaco

Erica Lonn

Kimberly Loomis

Jack Lott

Geoff Ludema

Kate Meyer

Phillip Mitchell

Caitlin Mlynarek

Evan Mlynarek

Mike Mraz

Rachel Mraz

Alyssa Nance

Chris Nance

Kendra Osowski

Matt Osterhaven

Gregory Paplawsky

Alexandra Perez

Leland Perez

Laurie Placinski

Nicole Probst

Deidre Remtema

Jeff Remtema

Charlie Rowerdink

Tanya Rowerdink

Lindsay Slagboom

Meriden Smucker

Timothy Streit

Libby Stuit

Paul Stuit

Amber Sturrus Hoover

Justin Swan

Charity Taatjes

William Templin

Trevor TenBrink

Jane Tomaszewski

Sarah Tupper

Aaron Van Andel

Chris Van Andel

Jesse Van Andel

Kyle Van Andel

Daniel VandenBosch

David Vanderveen

Sarah Vanderveen

Marc Veenstra

Alison Waske Sutter

Amanda Whowell

MeiLi Wieringa

Lisa Wolf

Nathaniel Wolf

Charlie Wondergem

Brian Yarch

Courtney Yarch

Lisa Zigterman

Megan Zubrickas


333 Bostwick Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 | P 616.234.5000 | vai.org

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