BAR HARBOR — Dennis J. Paustenbach, a pioneer in the health and environmental risk assessment industry, has made a $1 million planned gift to The Jackson Laboratory to support cancer and immunology research. The gift will establish an endowment called the Paustenbach Family Cancer and Immunology Research Fund.
“I concluded JAX was the best equipped to take its eight decades of work with mice to make dramatic improvements in the way we treat or cure cancers,” said Paustenbach. “JAX can use the mouse to give us insights into diseases that other places can’t do. What is really special about JAX is its ability to use mouse genetics and immunology to get an upper hand on cancer.”
David Roux, chairman of the laboratory’s board of trustees, described Paustenbach’s gift as “extraordinarily generous” and an act of “real leadership.” Roux is a longtime friend of Paustenbach and introduced him to the laboratory, persuading him to become a JAX trustee and donor in 2013.
“I knew that he would be a diligent, committed and highly engaged board member and that he’d model the kind of behavior that we value so much and that is so important to the laboratory’s future,” said Roux. “He is generous with his time and his financial resources.”
Roux said Paustenbach’s gift underscores the importance of planned giving, a type of charitable contribution that provides donors with the opportunity to make a future gift to an organization through a range of vehicles that suit diverse financial situations and objectives.
Paustenbach said planned giving “ensures The Jackson Laboratory’s ability to lead the search for cures to the world’s most complex and devastating diseases today and in the future. I take great pleasure from knowing that my family and I are part of this important legacy.”
Paustenbach is a board-certified toxicologist and industrial hygienist with nearly 30 years of experience in industrial and environmental toxicology, occupational health and human risk assessment. He is the founder of ChemRisk, a human and ecological risk assessment firm. In 2012, ChemRisk merged with Cardno to form Cardno ChemRisk, a division of Australia-based Cardno ENTRIX. As president of the division, headquartered in San Francisco, Paustenbach oversees about 110 scientists and staff who serve clients in various industries around the world.
The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center based in Bar Harbor, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, Conn. It employs 1,700 staff, and its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.