By Luke Netzley
Contributing editor of the weekly Pasadena
An a crucial time when personal health and well-being are paramount, the Huntington Medical Research Institutes have appointed Jocelyn Ferguson as Director of Development.
The newly created position will see Ferguson working with the management team, board and staff of the Pasadena-based biomedical research organization to develop its development and communications programs in support of HMRI’s mission. .
“Guided by our mission to ‘Improve Lives Through Patient-Centered Scientific Research’, one of the things I want to accomplish is to fully integrate our development, community engagement and communications to create meaningful connections. with our community that foster pride in our mission and philanthropic support to accelerate our research, ”says Ferguson.
“The three main areas of research at HMRI are neuroscience, neurovascular and cardiovascular research. HMRI has conducted a study of brain aging over the past 20 years, looking for Alzheimer’s disease. I think many of us have family members or friends who are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, so trying to better understand this progressive and irreversible disease and its risk factors can have an impact on our community. For cardiovascular research, one of the goals is to reduce the size of heart attacks in order to increase a person’s chances of survival. I believe that research in these two areas will directly benefit our community here in Pasadena. “
As a seasoned professional in philanthropy, Ferguson brings to HMRI nearly 20 years of in-depth fundraising experience in the nonprofit sector, with a focus on biomedical research, healthcare and research. Higher Education. Most recently, she worked with City of Hope, a nonprofit medical and biomedical research center in Duarte.
“We are delighted to welcome Jocelyn to our team as CDO,” said Dr Julia E. Bradsher, President and CEO of HMRI. “Jocelyn’s leadership and proven track record in developing fundraising programs that advance biomedical research, patient care, community health programs, higher education, and first-generation student programs – Combined with her passion for everything HMRI does and represents – make her a perfect partner for the role and an invaluable asset as we continue to chart strategic avenues for our future growth and impact. “
In addition to HMRI research, Ferguson was drawn to the organization because of its commitment to educational programs.
“Two of my passions are higher education and healthcare, and I believe everyone deserves access to highly skilled healthcare, as well as great educational opportunities,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson is excited about HMRI’s summer education programs, when the organization will host its undergraduate research scholarship program as well as its high school STEM program. The latter is open to students of the Pasadena Unified School District, while students in its postdoctoral fellowship program continue to advance their scientific research conducted throughout the year.
“It’s exciting that we are working to inspire the next generation of scientists and physicians,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson’s higher education began with a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Washington in Seattle before earning a PhD. program in the same discipline at the University of California at Berkeley.
Although she has a great love for the arts, Ferguson has been passionate about healthcare since childhood and visits her father at work as an oral surgeon, dentist, and orthodontist in the US Air Force.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I visited my late father at his desk in a hospital or clinic,” Ferguson explained.
“While in the Air Force, my father had a large service population spanning several countries, and he was also involved in the University of Washington dental school for many years. These experiences, along with my healthcare philanthropy, have shaped my life and make me feel very comfortable in a medical environment.
Outside of work, her love for art and art history drew her to the museums and galleries of Pasadena, especially the Norton Simon Museum. She also sits on the board of directors of the Junior League of Pasadena, whose goal is to promote and perpetuate social change by providing valuable leadership training and empowering women.
“Before my father passed away, he said, ‘I know your heart is in California and you have my blessing if you want to go back to California,'” Ferguson recalls. “He said, ‘You’re a great fundraiser. You should go and do what you love where you love to. And that’s how I ended up here in Southern California.
“Several years ago I was fundraising in the performing arts and made the very conscious decision to move into higher education and health care philanthropy, which is very dear to me. I believe in the power of philanthropy to change lives. A philanthropic investment of $ 2 million can accelerate our cardiovascular research, leading to groundbreaking discoveries impacting millions of people, while a donation of $ 25,000 can fund four undergraduates in our scholarship program. summer research and help launch the career of a future scientist. In order for me to be in this role now, I am living one of my passions, which is to accelerate scientific discovery through philanthropic investments and to see how these innovations are made accessible to people and impact their lives.
Forward-looking, Ferguson aspires to use his vast expertise in leadership, fundraising and donor relations to support HMRI’s mission.
Huntington Medical Research Institutes