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Committed stem-cell-research donor sets up third named funds

Behind each named fund is a special story, but it is not often that, having already set up two very personal funds, a donor chooses to make a third contribution to Leiden’s research. In the Faculty Club Dining Room, donor and alumnus Hans van der Valk signed the agreement establishing the ‘Lingling Wiyadharma Fund for the Practice of the Natural Sciences’.

This third named fund is a loving tribute to Van der Valk’s late wife Lingling Wiyadharma. A common thread running through the various funds, her memory is thus kept alive. A select group of guests including Lingling’s sister Fifi and her husband, researchers young and old and representatives from the LUF and Leiden University toasted the new named fund and celebrated the special ties between donor and alma mater.

The hunt for stem cells

The new fund will make crucial research possible by Professor Micha Drukker and his team. They are working on an in vitro stem cell model that represents the neuromesodermal stem cells from the caudal embryo (axial stem cells). This model will be used to generate peripheral nerves and other cell types for both fundamental research and clinical applications. ‘Through Mr Van der Valk’s generous donation, our research will increase our knowledge about new stem cells that create our peripheral nervous system, with nerve and spinal cord generation as the ultimate goal.’

If you are considering setting up a named fund or contributing to an existing one, see this page. And if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Eliane Cohen at e.c.cohen@luf.leidenuniv.nl.

Header photo: Annetje Ottow, Hans van der Valk and Lilian Visscher

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