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Kenneth Rainin Foundation Appoints Dr. Laura Wilson Director of Health Strategies and Ventures

Monday, June 13, 2016

Oakland, Calif. – The Kenneth Rainin Foundation announced the appointment of Laura Wilson, PhD, as its first Director of Health Strategies and Ventures. Wilson joins the Foundation from Barts Charity in London, where she was Director of Grants and Research Strategy, and managed a grants program that grew to over $40 million annually and supported innovative research in a variety of fields. 

Wilson will direct the Rainin Foundation’s Health program and work closely with leading medical and scientific researchers to inspire cutting-edge Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) research and facilitate connections among researchers. She will also lead the Foundation’s efforts to expand its grants portfolio to include complementary initiatives.

“Laura comes to the Rainin Foundation with a strong background in health research, scientific oversight and strategic program development,” said Dr. Jennifer Rainin, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation. “She will play a critical role in shaping the direction of the Foundation’s Health program. Her career reflects a deep understanding of the role of collaboration in research, which will further the Foundation’s work to make breakthrough advances toward our goal of transforming patient care and ultimately finding a cure for IBD.”  

During her time at Barts Charity and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, Laura managed and developed new grant initiatives that helped keep innovative research at the forefront.

“I am delighted and honored to be the new Director of Health, Strategy and Ventures. The focused vision of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation on people living with IBD is both appealing and inspiring,” said Dr. Laura Wilson. “My wish is to contribute to the scientific community by creating pathways for discovery through hypothesis-driven research and explore areas and people who can bring unconventional ideas and fresh thoughts to the field of IBD.”

Wilson holds both a doctorate in Immunology and a BS in Microbiology and Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Manitoba, Canada. She has received awards for exceptional leadership, distinguished performance, and research, and has authored or co-authored numerous publications.

About the Kenneth Rainin Foundation

Kenneth Rainin Foundation is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing quality of life by championing and sustaining the arts, promoting early childhood literacy and supporting research to cure chronic disease. Collaboration and innovation are at the heart of all our programs. Our vision is guided by the belief that change is possible through inquiry, creativity and compassion. The Foundation’s Health program funds groundbreaking research projects that transform diagnosing, treating, and curing Inflammatory Bowel Disease for an estimated 5 million people worldwide. Learn more at