Gilbert Family Foundation Invests $18M Toward Gene Therapy Initiative

Author: Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News
Published On: 05/02/2022

The Gilbert Family Foundation, a private fund established by Dan and Jennifer Gilbert, announced Thursday it is funding more than $18 million in grants toward NF1 research.

The money will fund a three-year campaign as part of the organization's Gene Therapy Initiative. Four grants totaling $4.4 million will be invested into further developing research that initially began in 2018, while the additional $13.8 million will be invested into 12 new research projects. 

Commonly referred to as NF, neurofibromatosis is a condition that causes tumors to form on nerves anywhere in the body. Type 1 usually appears in childhood, while type 2 and Schwannomatosis appear in early adulthood.

The Gilberts have been passionate advocates in the fight to end NF since their oldest son, Nick, was born with NF1. Diagnosed at 15-months, Nick has suffered through multiple brain surgeries, loss of vision and rounds of chemotherapy. In 2018, he underwent an eight-hour operation and spent more than a month in recovery. The disease can be inherited, but none of the Gilbert's other four children have been diagnosed.

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