Sergey Frolov and Vincent Liu Receive Kaufman Foundation Inaugural Award

The Charles E. Kaufman Foundation, part of The Pittsburgh Foundation, today announced its first series of grants – amounting to almost $1.6 million – to support cutting-edge scientific research at institutions across the State of Pennsylvania.

A New Initiative grant was awarded to Sergey M. Frolov and W. Vincent Liu, who receive $242,310 over two years ($121,155 per year) for research on “Topological Quantum Wire Emulators.”

A total of eight grants were awarded to leading researchers at five Pennsylvania universities: Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Philadelphia’s Drexel and Temple universities.

The new grantmaking program, which becomes one of the major resources for scientific research in the State of Pennsylvania, will award funding annually and has been made possible through the biggest bequest to The Pittsburgh Foundation in its 68-year history.

Charles Kaufman passed away in September 2010, shortly after his 97th birthday, leaving his estate of almost $50 million to the Foundation, of which approximately $40 million was assigned to the Charles E. Kaufman Foundation to support new research initiatives at Pennsylvania institutions of higher learning in chemistry, biology and physics “for achievement in and contribution to the field and humanity.”

A former chemist, Mr. Kaufman amassed most of his wealth following his retirement, all of which he dedicated to his heartfelt ambition for his philanthropy to one day help fund breakthrough scientific research and, he hoped, Nobel Prize-winners whose scientific accomplishments would contribute significantly to the betterment and understanding of human life.

"The Pittsburgh Foundation worked with Mr. Kaufman on this incredible idea to use science and the power of research to drive innovations for humankind," said Grant Oliphant, The Pittsburgh Foundation’s President and CEO. "Mr. Kaufman was truly remarkable, his gift was extraordinary and we are privileged to carry forward his vision to advance the scientific frontiers in a variety of fields."

Under the leadership of a seven-member Board of Directors, supported by a specially-appointed seven-member Scientific Advisory Board, systems and processes have been established to administer the Kaufman Foundation’s grantmaking program. More than 170 applications were received from institutions throughout Pennsylvania when the first requests for funding were invited earlier this year.

In this, its first series of grants, the organization awarded funding to five initiatives in a New Investigator Research category and three grants in a New Initiative Research category.

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