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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Dedicates the Senator William H. Hernstadt ’57 and Jerene Yap Hernstadt Gallery

Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies Gallery Named in Recognition of $1 Million Gift

October 15, 2013

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute today dedicated the gallery in the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS) as the Senator William H. Hernstadt ’57 and Jerene Yap Hernstadt Gallery in honor of their $1 million unrestricted gift to the Rensselaer endowment.

The Hernstadt Gallery, located outside of the CBIS auditorium, provides an open space for the Rensselaer community to congregate and engage in discussions regarding the variety of interdisciplinary lectures occurring in the auditorium.

“The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies was designed to advance the extraordinary opportunities for discovery and innovation at the intersection of the life sciences with engineering, the physical and computational sciences, and technology, particularly in areas related to health and energy security,” said Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson.  “One never knows where the next research breakthrough will come from, but conversation is key to expediting serendipity.  The gallery space outside of the CBIS auditorium has become a vital hub for the exchange of ideas and the fostering of innovation. For that reason, it is the ideal place to honor the generosity of the Hernstadts.”

“Senator William Hernstadt and Jerene Yap Hernstadt’s gift to Rensselaer, in support of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, is most welcome and comes at a time during which we are enhancing the pace of basic research in CBIS and translating our findings to develop diagnostic tools and treatments for some of the most challenging public health issues of our times, including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis,” said Deepak Vashishth, director of CBIS.

“I am pleased with the growth of Rensselaer throughout the years, particularly under the leadership of Dr. Jackson,” William Hernstadt said. “Rensselaer has played an important role in my life, and I hope that my gift supports future generations in their pursuit of a high-caliber, technological education.”

Hernstadt, who graduated from Rensselaer with a degree in physics in 1957, has had a long and varied career as a radio and television station owner, recruiting company founder, and mining company investor.  He also served as a Nevada state senator from 1977 to 1984. He currently resides in Singapore with his wife, Jerene. The Hernstadts have been longtime supporters of Rensselaer and are members of the Stephen Van Rensselaer Society of Patroons.

CBIS opened in 2004 and supports several leading-edge research cores that are available to all Rensselaer faculty, staff, and students, and also to external academic and industrial collaborators and researchers. Today, these research cores include: analytical biochemistry, bioimaging, bioresearch, cell and molecular biology, microbiology and fermentation, microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, proteomics, and stem cell biology.


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