Hope in Action

Building a Better Future Together

Over the last quarter century, thousands of people have walked through the doors of Van Andel Institute. Researchers, educators, staff, community members, young professionals, Institute supporters and business leaders connect at the Institute every day, combining their individual insights in the hope of building a better future.

That shared hope is often ethereal, an invisible thread that unites us in the face of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases. Here, we shine a spotlight on the personal stories that fuel VAI’s mission.


Karen Custer

“It gives me hope to have an institute and research facility in our own backyard.”

Watch her story

Ann Schoen

“I saw how the incredible talent we have here is dedicated to helping everyone with cancer, Parkinson’s and other disease.”

Read her story

Eli Bieri

“We were out in the field, doing real science, and that’s the kind of thinking that translates into a career.”

Read his story

Leena Kariapper

“The problem-based learning system and the supportive environment at VAI has further leveraged my ability to conduct good science.”

Watch her story

Support Van Andel Institute

Personal stories are at the core of the Institute’s work, inspiring scientists, educators, staff and students to create a better future through curiosity and discovery. Your support fuels these efforts and much more. 100% of your donation goes directly to biomedical research and science education at the Institute.