Wells Fargo Foundation announces grant for Van Andel Institute study

$8,000 grant will support research of rare genetic disorders

St. Louis, January 22, 2013 – Wells Fargo Foundation announced recently an $8,000 grant awarded to Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The grant will help fund the research of rare disorders being conducted at Van Andel Institute (VAI) in cooperation with clinical providers of Spectrum Health.

The objective of this research effort is to identify causal mutations for rare diseases. Individuals afflicted by rare disease are routinely encountered within the Spectrum Health system. According to the National Organization of Rare Diseases (NORD), there are approximately 7,000 conditions that qualify as being rare. The genetic basis for many rare diseases is unknown but, if known, would greatly enhance diagnosis, treatment, and patient counseling.

The study will be conducted by Bart Williams, Ph.D., Head of Van Andel Institute’s Laboratory of Cell Signaling and Carcinogenesis, and Matt Steensma, M.D.  Dr. Steensma is a fellowship-trained, orthopaedic oncologist with the Spectrum Health Medical Group.  He holds a joint appointment as the Assistant Professor and Director of VAI’s Laboratory of Muskoskeletal Oncology, and as an assistant professor in the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine Department of Surgery.

The grant is one of nearly three hundred local needs grants being made throughout the U.S.  by Wells Fargo Foundation  as part of the firm’s Investing in Our Communities initiative. Wells Fargo & Company has a strong legacy of giving to the community.  In 2011, the combined company contributed more than $219 million in grants and sponsorships to nonprofit organizations and 1.3 million team member hours volunteering in communities across the United States.

“Wells Fargo Advisors is committed to building strong and vibrant communities, improving quality of life, and making a positive difference where we live and work,”  said Danny Ludeman, president & CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors. “As a leader in our industry, we recognize that investing in our communities is a responsibility we have as a result of doing business there, and we understand that our firm is only as strong as the communities where we are located.”


Van Andel Institute
Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, Van Andel Institute is an independent research and educational organization based in Grand Rapids, Mich. Through biomedical research and science education, Van Andel Institute is committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Find out more about Van Andel Institute or donate by visiting www.vai.org

About Wells Fargo Advisors
With $1.2 trillion in client assets as of September 30, 2012, Wells Fargo provides investment advice and guidance to clients through 15,167 full-service financial advisors and 3,110 licensed bankers.  This vast network of advisors, one of the nation’s largest, serves investors through locations in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (members SIPC).  Statistics include other broker-dealers of Wells Fargo & Company.

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.  CAR#0113-01654