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Multichannel in site hybridization of Drosophila embryo, McGinnis lab

Cell and Developmental Biology: Giving

James E. Wilhelm Memorial Fund

James E. Wilhelm and son standing in front of ancient ruins

This fund supports basic research into orphan genetic diseases (diseases that each affect fewer than 200,000 people in the USA). There are approximately 7,000 known orphan genetic diseases. Combined, these diseases affect 24 million people in the US and constitute a significant public health problem. Because an individual disease may only affect a handful of families, traditional research funding for any single disease has been extremely limited.

James E. Wilhelm died in 2017 from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Through his legal practice, he helped many families through difficult times. He worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone was protected and cared for. The James E. Wilhelm Memorial Fund was established to honor his commitment to helping families by supporting research into rare diseases that otherwise would go unexamined and provide insights that will help families afflicted with these diseases.


For gift-related inquiries, please contact Christopher Sickels, Senior Director of Development,