The University of Texas at El Paso’s (UTEP) College of Science received a $3 million gift from alumnus Larry Wollschlager and Wolf Energy Inc. to fund research in sustainable resources and health disparities.
Wollschlager is the founder and president of Wolf Energy.
The Larry Wollschlager Science Initiatives Fund, created by the largest philanthropic gift ever dedicated to the College of Science, will help UTEP develop the Center for Integrative and Translational Research and establish the Interdisciplinary Institute for Strategic and Sustainable Resources.
“This endowment will allow us to do research on health disparities in the region and advance our understanding of sustainable resources,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. “We are deeply grateful to Larry for his generosity.”
The goal of the Center for Integrative and Translational Research is to develop the first comprehensive data library integrating determinants of health (conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life risks and outcomes), biological measures and other factors to understand and subsequently prevent and address Hispanic health disparities.
This initiative will serve as a focal point in the region for education and biomedical research that addresses health issues affecting people living on the United States-Mexico border region. It will also provide a platform to educate students and develop interdisciplinary research teams that can address increasingly complex and impactful health questions.
“The Center for Integrative and Translational Research will establish UTEP at the leading edge of biomedical research associated with Hispanic health disparities,” said Robert Kirken, Ph.D., dean of the College of Science. “Hispanics suffer from extensive health disparities and inequities that results from complex interactions between socio-behavioral, environmental and physiological factors. Our researchers are committed to addressing these disparities by understanding the intersection of multiple variables at deep levels of integration and sophistication.”
Investigators in the Interdisciplinary Institute for Strategic and Sustainable Resources will perform research and train a workforce in the critical materials supply chain, including exploration, extraction, material and product development, produced water reuse, manufacturing, recycling and outreach. The institute will seek to accomplish these goals by bringing together stakeholders in business, government agencies and the public.
“It’s amazing to be able to help others and actually make a difference in their lives,” Wollschlager said. “Being part of the UTEP family changed the course of my life, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to help others benefit from this wonderful University.”
Wollschlager graduated from UTEP with a biological science degree in 1971 and a master’s degree in geological science in 1975. During his time at the University, Wollschlager was an outstanding wrestler – winning Western Athletic Conference titles in 1969 and in 1970. He was honored as a Gold Nugget recipient by the Alumni Association in 2009.