Tulane graduates Steve and Jann Paul have made a $10 million gift to support construction of a new School of Science and Engineering building at Tulane University.
Work on the four-story, 36,000-square-foot Steven and Jann Paul Hall for Science and Engineering is scheduled to begin by the end of 2019. The building, which will be located between Stanley Thomas Hall and Flower Hall on Tulane’s uptown campus, will include classrooms, labs and collaborative spaces for increased student and faculty interaction. The donation serves as a lead gift in a fundraising campaign for the building.
Dr. Paul said working in the laboratory of Tulane professor Merle Mizell as an undergraduate in the basement of Dinwiddie Hall was the inspiration for his gift.
“I look back at those days and see the foundations for my own career, and I want to contribute to similar formative experiences of other students,” said Paul, who, as president and CEO of the clinical-stage gene therapy company Voyager Therapeutics, helps develop life-changing gene therapies for central nervous system diseases.
Paul said he was also impressed “by the bright, curious and creative Tulane School of Science and Engineering students,” who, he believes, deserve the best resources possible.
“Dr. Paul is the embodiment of the intellectual entrepreneur. When I think about the vision for Tulane’s future, his career – located at the intersection of health, medicine, science and business – is the epitome of our direction. He understands the promise of Tulane and, in giving back, is helping to ensure we remain a home to innovative discovery and creative exploration,” Tulane President Mike Fitts said.
Fitts added that the leadership and vision of Nick Altiero, who served as the School of Science and Engineering’s first dean from 2006 until stepping down last year, was instrumental in creating an environment that attracts such generous support.
Paul said this environment features the integration of life sciences and physical sciences with engineering, offering the best hope for breakthrough discoveries, treatments and cures.
“If the last 50 years have taught us anything, it’s that the greatest advances happen at the interface of scientific disciplines,” Paul said.
Before founding Voyager Therapeutics and Sage Therapeutics, both biotech companies based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Paul spent 17 years at the Eli Lilly Research Laboratories, where he was head of research and development. A psychiatrist, Paul also was scientific director of the National Institute of Mental Health as well as a laboratory/branch chief at the National Institutes of Health.