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Seattle BioMed Offers the Gift of Hope for Mother's Day

Rather than chocolate, Seattle BioMed's Gift of Hope campaign encourages giving the gift of research to save lives everywhere.

(PRWEB) March 26, 2010 -- Flowers and chocolates are fleeting. But the gift of hope can endure. This Mother’s Day, there might be no better way to honor the most important women in your life than by giving life and hope to another mother and her child in a place where help is needed most.

Instead of material gifts, Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed) is providing the opportunity to give The Gift of Hope, an investment in global health research conducted by researchers who are also mothers. Go to to learn more about Seattle BioMed’s research from the scientists themselves, and then make a gift on behalf of your mom or another significant mother in your life.

“Researchers at Seattle BioMed believe every mother deserves a healthy child, and that every child deserves a healthy mother,” said Ken Stuart, president and founder at Seattle BioMed. “In fact, some of our best researchers are mothers themselves who are focused on discovering new life-saving solutions and inspired by the greatest gift of all: hope for a healthy future. But devastating infectious diseases— HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis—often stand in the way.”

The Gift of Hope: A Mother’s Love is Global campaign will run from Thursday, March 25, through Monday, May 10, and features three mothers and Seattle BioMed researchers: Kristi Guinn, Helen Horton and Marissa Vignali, who focus on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria, respectively. Each has a unique story to tell about her passion for global health:

  • Kristi Guinn loves her work because every day is different, bringing new and interesting challenges. She loves the nature of academic research, seeking answers to novel questions.

“In global health, there is an additional level of satisfaction knowing that the answers our research uncovers can improve people's lives around the world,” Guinn explains. “My personal goal is to find out how tuberculosis kills 2 million people every year.”

  • Helen Horton took some time off to travel the world after completing her postdoctoral studies. During her travels, one African villager spotted her t-shirt emblazoned with “Dr. Horton’s World Tour” and, honing in on the word “doctor,” asked if she could explain HIV/AIDS.

“After that conversation, I knew that researching HIV/AIDS was the most important contribution I could make,” Horton said.

  • Marissa Vignali can’t bear that infectious diseases seem to inordinately target mothers and children. She is trying to figure out why some children develop severe malaria—a very serious disease that kills 1 million children under the age of 5 every year—while others experience a much milder form of the disease. This particular statistic concerns her most, as Vignali’s own daughter just turned 6.

“Infectious diseases don’t respect borders,” Vignali said. “It is my personal crusade to develop a vaccine that reduces the enormous morbidity and mortality of severe malaria in children.”

The Mother’s Day campaign is designed to raise visibility of the need to improve women’s and children’s health, while also providing the opportunity to make a lasting and meaningful Mother’s Day gift that will benefit children and women around the world. Those giving gifts will receive a special Mother’s Day card featuring photos of moms and children from around the world to share with the person they gave in honor of.

“The old cliché is true: every bit helps. At Seattle BioMed, we believe that everyone has a role to play in improving the health of mothers and children,” said Michael Podlin, vice president of institutional advancement of Seattle BioMed. “Your gift has added power when it’s combined with support from other contributors. By giving a gift—of any amount—you are supporting our vital research, which ultimately results in the best gift of all: the gift of hope.”

Connect with Seattle BioMed and the Gift of Hope initiative on Facebook (!/pages/Seattle-Biomedical-Research-Institute/66677864590?ref=ts) or Twitter ( to share stories about why you chose to honor your mother with a gift of research this Mother’s Day.

About Seattle BioMed
Seattle Biomedical Research Institute (Seattle BioMed) is the largest independent, non-profit organization in the US focused solely on infectious disease research. Our research is the foundation for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that benefit those who need our help most: the 14 million who will otherwise die each year from infectious diseases, including malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Founded in 1976, Seattle BioMed has nearly 350 staff members. By partnering with key collaborators around the globe, we ensure that our discoveries will save lives sooner. For more information, visit


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