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Posts Tagged ‘PgEd.org (since 2006 | Personal Genome Education project at Harvard Medical School |pretty colors+VERY poor writing but possibly good PR for Human Genome Project and getting ongoing volunteers for per

Who? (Besides Harvard, MIT and Other Boston-area Institutes) is Funding and Promoting/Soliciting for Personal Genomics (volunteer your personal, identifiable, genetic code for the PGP, a global database to be shared internationally) — GET Research (fine-tuning and equipping the Nature vs. Nurture debate) as Essential for Global Public Health? (publ. 7/31/17)

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Who? (besides Harvard, MIT and other Boston-based Institutes) is Funding and Promoting/Soliciting for Personal Genomics (volunteer your personal, identifiable, genetic code for a global database to be shared internationally) — GET Research (fine-tuning and equipping the Nature vs. Nurture debate) as Essential for Global Public Health Issue? (title’s short-link ends “-7m3”; published 7/31/2017)

[ “MIT” added to the title at some point, but not the internal record of the title.  With MIT’s involvement with both the Broad Institute (named on its corporate papers in MA) and the Whitehead Institute (which calls itself independent, but uses “MIT” in its website URL(!)), it’s “not just Harvard.”


Well, just the other day I learned more about one of the terms in the post title in the typical way — while updating one post, referring to one website in passing, I took a second, closer look at other parts of the website (“conferences” link), which revealed both the GET conferences and the name of a nonprofit sponsoring them. That’s how “GET” and “PersonalGenomes.org” came up to my attention.

So, in this post expect to hear about:

~|~ PgEd.org ~|~ PersonalGenomes.org/Open Humans Foundation ~|~  the GET conferences ~|~volunteer your personal genetics” solicitation as a recurring theme ~|~ (leaving aside the Broad Institute for a while) more on the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research (“Whitehead Institute”) ~|~ and Treatment Advocacy Center (“TAC”) associated with the Stanley Medical Research Institute (“SMRI”) ~|~ Which of the above have (as it applies) boards of director personnel, funders and/or it seems, well-coordinated purposes in common.

~|~ And several images + a table tax returns, because of their support of the Human (and “Personal”) Genome Project, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research (formed 1953, it says, in Camden, NJ). They provide the Biobank, cell lines (and more), funded by, currently it says, seven NIH awards.

I talk about and show some of their financials, and how at least one them went to special efforts NOT to show them, at least on the main website while promoting its cause, scientists, research, and outreach (and soliciting more support, preferably $10K at a time or more). I took a short enough (hopefully) look at the source of Whitehead wealth in the sale of the clinical diagnosis instrument company (“Technicon”) to Revlon in 1980, and what happened to Revlon not long after — because it’s interesting, and relevant.


When and Where? Of these, PersonalGenomes.org/Open Humans Foundation and The Whitehead Institute (“WI.MIT.edu) are in the Boston area (although one of their legal domiciles isn’t in MA but NC) and PgEd.org web page gives contact address at Harvard Medical School Dept. of Genetics (PgEd.org doesn’t appear to be a separate entity), SMRI is in Bethesda MD, TAC which SMRI supports, is in Arlington, Virginia, and the Coriell Institute in NJ (website + tax returns don’t match).

The oldest entity in the list (until I added Coriell to it!) seems to be the Whitehead Institute, (<= EIN#061043412, that’s a link to an older Form 990, which I’ll show below, at Nine Cambridge Center, Cambridge MA)(website says 455 Main now) started in, says its Form 990, 1982.  SMRI (per tax return) started in only 2001, and, which is interesting, the TAC, three years earlier, 1998.  Coriell started in the 1950s..

In this post, you will also hear about two more entities who have worked side-by-side for decades to shape government-sponsored research in particularly cancer (smoking cessation), heart disease, biomedical research into genetics, and to push for more and more NIH funding:  

~|~ Research! America (est. 1989), and ~|~ the Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation (it seems 1974)

Briefly, how they came up.

When the Whitehead Institute’s famous founder is looked at, and through basic Google search on my part (I didn’t know who he was…), this also brings up his participation/founding of Research! America (inc. 1989, a VA-based entity with a D.C. legal domicile — and apparently some legislators (or at least “Hon.’s”) on its board over time)*, with its push for doubling NIH funding for biomedical research in five years, and in general PR for BioMedical Research (incl. on stem cells) as a public and global health benefit.

I put that discussion (several annotated images from its timeline) towards the bottom of the post, but it will pull together, I believe other parts of the narrative in a timeline. The website gives a timeline of events, and shows how many other foundations (incl. Bill & Melinda Gates, Robert Wood Johnson, and others, and not a few Congressmen, were involved, and spinoff organizations (at least two 501©4s) in pulling this off.  Where I found this information was on a multi-page, all-text, highly linked (although some have expired) and detailed tracking of networked families, companies and foundations, especially related to the anti-smoking campaign (American Cancer Society), America Heart Association, and pushing money towards biomedical research.  I spent hours (in fact, a full work day just reading, not writing) looking at this after the first exposure nearly a week ago, when I looked at certain parts of it.

It challenges the paradigm — the public promoted website purposes– but in the process uses some volatile and at times offensive language (bilge, shucksters, Nazi fascism of the health system, pseudoscience and more), BUT it also resonates and as an interpretation makes sense with information outside the website, and my strong gut instinct that some things are drastically wrong with the overall picture.  It definitely got me looking further, and more understanding on previously covered topics, as well as on new ones.  I have a title (short version, long version) and a start on that write-up (post in draft status Now Published), at:

 

Much as I enjoy looking at the detailed and colorful photos of cells, or hearing about the discoveries in scientific fields, including genetics…and in part because of the prominence of the Whitehead Institute (and with it, Edwin C. Whitehead, his surviving son John, and other siblings till on the institute’s board of directors (Susan, Peter), I still feel responsible to bring up alternate views of both the above organizations, and their founders’ (and friends’) overall purposes, and how they achieved them.

* (by recall from review of the Research! America returns)

  • the Hon. Paul G. Rogers (d. 2008)
  • the Hon. John Edwards Porter
  • the Hon. Louis H. Sullivan
  • not to mention also former US Surgeon-General, C. Everett Koop.

About Whitehead Institute (pausing to note its website is at MIT):

Whitehead Institute is based at MIT,** but as a separate nonprofit; famous originally for its major contribution to the Human Genome Project.

**Notice MIT’s “About” page (READ!!) mentions the Human Genome project and CRISPR, also its summary of current initiatives and projects, and estimate of $1.9 trillion annual revenue generated by its alumni (over 130,000 — MIT started in 1861 –). That was a 2014 estimate. )

Current research and education areas include digital learning; nanotechnology; sustainable energy, the environment, climate adaptation, and global water and food security; Big Data, cybersecurity, robotics, and artificial intelligence; human health, including cancer, HIV, autism, Alzheimer’s, and dyslexia; biological engineering and CRISPR technology; poverty alleviation; advanced manufacturing; and innovation and entrepreneurship.)

So Whitehead Institute’s location within MIT as a free-standing 501©3 school is a very big deal!)

Another on-line source referencing Mr. Whitehead’s work mentioned the Albert & Mary Lasker Foundation (est, 1974?) as involved in some of the same politics and public health promotions (although around a different cause), so within the past few days, I was also looking at its website, board of directors, and you betcha, tax returns.


BLOGGING CONTEXT/TIMELINE ON THESE TOPICS:

Over time and two related (but not consecutive) FamilyCourtMatters.org posts I have shown several of these institutes’ (entities’) tax returns in table format, so people might see:  Total Assets, State, and (if they clicked through) on page 1 of any individual return, (for Form 990 filers, and only FY2008ff for them — Form 990PFs for private foundations don’t show this, or Form 990EZs…) a year of incorporation and related website if identified on the Form990’s header info.), and quickly (from page 1 summary) whether its main revenues were contributions, program services revenues, or something else (such as investment-related income, whether from dividends or sale of assets at a profit).  In general this locates any organization in time, space, characteristics and size, activities as told the IRS (not the public) including whether it bothered to follow IRS form instructions.  It also reveals if looked at further, or earlier returns are checked out, subcontractors, if there are grantees, related organizations, and where they are holding their assets.

The two related posts (I’ll link to these again further below, in the same format):


These are my most closely related recent posts: #1 posted 7/23 and updated 7/24-76:


With similar, multi-component title reflecting how many components (institutes, websites, elements) there are to these situations, although two university names continue to come into play: Harvard, and UCBerkeley,  #2, posted 6/18/2017:

Related post name and shortlink Speaking of Projects and Nonprofits Funded by The Broad Foundation…. How about The Broad Institute (and its role in waging Patent Wars over CRISPR (Gene Perturbation, RNA/DNA cutting-edge research) with UCBerkeley?)(case-sensitive short-link ending “-720” that “0” is a zero, not O as in “Ohio.”).  (Published 6/18/2017)

…..And of course, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Whitehead Institute

Just one of its tax returns gives several points of reference you won’t find on “Wikipedia,” or most likely analyzed on its own website. Patience, please! with a bit of tax return show-and-tell. These “factoids” shown from Forms 990 provide a series of good mental “memory tags” helpful in putting time, size and place on any organization points of comparison (like an “LCD,” lowest common denominator) relative to other institutes/nonprofits and its position relative to public funds.

  • Without objective, basic “quantifiable” points of comparison outside the self-descriptions on the websites, or personal knowledge (eyewitness) experiential information of the programming or professors, directors (etc.) of ALL members of the entities working the field, how can they be understood, outside of hearsay and PR? They are not “the whole story,” but they give all other stories a basic structure.  “Read my lips!  Read the 990s
  • WITH such points of comparison, there is at least a basis for conversation or discussions with people who may not share common experiences, or outside one’s professional niche/s or “expertise.” It’s a descriptivevital language (including vocabulary) for transmission of meaning across time and distance. It helps with categorization and understanding of reality — including the reality of public economic support of private infrastructure.  This language is apparently NOT meant for common understanding across the US population.  Instead, we are often given promotions and propaganda to justify public policy and the costs. (This point added post-publication during a review).
  • What’s in common with other for-profit industries working with the organizations towards a global or public health goal? For assembling any concept of who’s been doing what, and to a degree, how (financially) and under what cause (which any public (vs. private foundation) 501©3 must state as its program purpose, that is, reason for existing in the first place), getting to the tax returns before the website rhetoric cannot hurt.
  • One thing I also tend to notice on any “for the public good” organization website is how forthcoming is it about its own financials (especially the 990s) as opposed to advertising “G&S” (Goods & Services) and soliciting donations or participants, i.e., selling.

The Whitehead Institute hasn’t posted an annual report since FY2014 (I write in nearly August 2017) and not one Form 990 is shown.  Getting even to the Annual Reports is a reach, and there are no posted audited financial statements anywhere on the site, that I can see.   Look at the top and bottom of the home page; between this like a newspaper layout of awards or recognitions for its famous people involved or their accomplishments.  I have no problem with that — BUT not when financials are omitted, or even a reference to the EIN#.  Many organizations will post this — why doesn’t this one?

To show this, I’ve annotated the next two images from the top and the bottom of the main page, one from the donor form, and a single image from their magazine which “special” donors (who give from $2.5 – $10K) get.

The website has beautiful, colorful and intriguing images from their research, and plenty of their people also.  My annotations on the image obscure much of that.  If you want to see the vivid pictures without all my notations, go to the main website which is easy to remember:  WI.MIT.edu!

To ensure I wasn’t making a false claim either here, or on the annotations about the “MIA” financials, I went also again to the “Support” Page (another place sometimes an EIN# may be mentioned).  Of course I have their EIN# already, but the point here is, does the W.I. think it’s worth a token gesture or not?  That answer is:  “Not!”  Even a link labeled something like “Financials 2014” under that Support menu looks like a single page (fine print) from the Annual Report, with two piecharts and a list of personnel.  That is not the only place some of the labeling and statements are vague and misleading.

A good question might be:  If this is how the institute handles communications and solicitations — i.e., misleading statements and labels, missing information which the public deserves to know — how reliable is their scientific statements and information? (I have the same issue with more than one organization in the “~|~” -marked list, above). Of course, I have no scientific expertise to judge, or reason to suspect that the science behind this institute is less then stellar.  BUT, my other comments stand.  Its failure to divulge financials I believe is odd and inappropriate. Having looked at the tax returns already, I suspect that one motive might be not wishing the public who might donate more to comprehend just how much public financing is already involved. Its failure to provide CURRENT annual reports as well (at least) is also disrespectful, and the organizational history narratives, spread over many pages, are designed not to go very far in depth, and are notably absent backup links.  

I noticed this tone and quality on the website from the start; it bothered me knowing what level of diligence and detail must occur for the level of science (and technology) taking place both here, and at the prestigious MIT.  I think it is disrespectful overall, and smacks of arrogance and condescension — while I am, as who wouldn’t be, still interested in the discoveries and descriptions of those discoveries in the field.

This is NOT a valid format OR substance for presentation of significant financial information. Nor is any offer made how to contact the organization and get these.  Apparently, we’re not supposed to think about these things, but what a privilege it is to be involved, and support it out of pocket. The impact of this will be seen when (a) you look at the Whitehead Institute’s tax return (one provided below), and (b) when you read about Research! America’s push for doubling that NIH funding within five years (said to have been achieved by 2003). It’s entirely fair, when being solicited in conditions like this, and honest, for any U.S. citizen to say, “I already gave at the office!” because we did!

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Written by Let's Get Honest

July 31, 2017 at 9:01 pm

Posted in 1996 TANF PRWORA (cat. added 11/2011)

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Speaking of Projects and Nonprofits Funded by The Broad Foundation…. How about The Broad Institute (and its role in waging Patent Wars over CRISPR (Gene Perturbation, RNA/DNA cutting-edge research) with UCBerkeley?) [Publ. June 18, 2017]

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Speaking of genetics, here’s the geneaology of this post Speaking of Projects and Nonprofits Funded by The Broad Foundation…. How about The Broad Institute (and its role in waging Patent Wars over CRISPR (Gene Perturbation, RNA/DNA cutting-edge research) with UCBerkeley?) (case-sensitive short-link ending “-720” that “0” is a zero, not O as in “Ohio.”).  

My unpaid, ad hoc “developmental editor” (sounding board for coherence, flow, and how it communicates the central ideas, not personally involved in the primary content I report on, by now familiar with the blog and my writing style), suggested I not dilute the middle of the previous (parent) post (“Why Bother to Unravel….”) with this fascinating information on another Broad Foundation project at Harvard & MIT.

I didn’t want to add this fascinating information to the end of the “Why Unravel…?” post (full title and starting sentences — see image below left)  — it was too relevant and interesting to be that far down — so a new post it is as of June 15, 2017 (so far). (and now published..//LGH)

I already had a second, more detailed (older sibling?) post** started on the same topic, so this can stand in as a preview. (**The Broad Institute (MIT,Harvard, TBF*, 2008) and Stanley Family Foundation (see MBI, Inc.)-funded Psychiatric Research (“schizophrenic, bi-polar”) Testing & Treatment Advocacy (TAC) and Gene-Editing (CRISPR-Cas9) USPTO Patent Wars with UCBerkeley et al. (case-sensitive short-link ending “-71z” and post started June 14, 2017, currently in draft published in July). I’ll post the link again at the bottom.

After following that ad hoc editor’s advice, I then somewhat ignored it by still leaving in a shorter section, (a “footprint”– image below-right with extended caption) then expanding further upon another of the organizations of the type I was blogging, that is, upon the Council of State Governments, an association of the same generic “type” as the one which had received a $10.5M grant long ago for a MIA (“Missing-In-Action” that is, not to be found in anything resembling $10.5M worth of product, or as described) project by the Council of Chief State School Officers.  From the earlier version of The Broad Foundation (dba of “The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.”)

Snapshot of my June 16 2017 post, the section referring to The Broad Institute (involving Harvard, MIT & The Broad Foundation) and their recent patent wars with UCBerkeley over CRISPR processes), and the “footprint” of Broad Institute info left at the “Why Unravel” 6/16/2017 post more on private associations named after public officials or entities (State legislators, Governors, Mayors, City Managers, School Facilities Planners, or, case in point, Chief State School Officers).


But first, a bit of “genealogy” of The Broad Foundation, or as they now say “The Broad Foundations.” (their financial statements identify what’s meant by that — includes one related to art).

I’ll pick up the narrative with a reminder below this section.

First, A Bit About The Broad Foundation

(Some consciousness-raising from its website, global financial history events in mainstream media about an insurance company it bought for $52M, sold for $18B a generation later, after which the US Taxpayers had to bail out the insurer for $85B, AND they also paid some of its CEOs $165M to stay on and straighten out the mess they’d made, and pay a nearly $1 billion settlement to shareholders.  As I’m reviewing this, and the startup of the Broad Institute at JUST ABOUT the same time, I’m also remembering how the Broad Foundation (will summarize below again) switched its EIN# and corporate Entity#s, moving assets smoothly from one to another, while persuading the IRS it wasn’t a real termination of the earlier one.

In addition (as it reminds me) exceptions were made for their “Broad Center” (with both old and new nonprofits focused on training urban education leaders) on its 990s, despite being primarily funded by The Broad Foundation (old & new EIN#s both) in stating that the major philanthropic foundation wasn’t “really” a related entity (as the IRS form prompts to reveal), despite being the major funder and having major overlap of board of directors in common (typical indicators).  I won’t post that info here (might have previously), or it might overburden this post, but will respond to any comment asking for the details.  Or, you can go through the process I did, and read the involved Form 990s of all four entities around the time of transition.  I posted some of it near the bottom of my recent (June 16, 2017) post.)


“Broad” in this foundation is not pronounced like a derogatory term for women, but to rhyme with “road” or “Rhodes” as in a Rhodes scholarship.  

Current website features education first (Education, Science, and the Arts) and uses very large font, many pictures and bright colors, while (as I found with theBroadCenter.org) no easy link to find the financials. A link to “Foundation Report” will instead lead to descriptions of their projects.  No audited financial reports and certainly no Form 990PFs (next two images).

It also has the short version of their astounding success from humble origins (Detroit Public Schools, Michigan State, married straight out of college, Eli Broad went from CPA to homebuilder [nationwide AND France], making homes without basements therefore more affordable to young people, Kaufman & Broad for a while, also purchasing SunLife (retirement savings for the Baby Boomers he was already selling homes to), and moving to Los Angeles by 1963:

In 1971, Eli acquired SunLife, a small insurance company founded in 1890, for $52 million and transformed it into a new business that would answer another essential public need: offering secure retirement savings to aging Baby Boomers—the same customers who bought homes from Kaufman and Broad. SunAmerica, as Eli renamed the company, provided retirements for a generation of Americans. The company was the best-performing on the New York Stock Exchange for a decade, brought thousands of jobs to Los Angeles and created wealth for its employees, shareholders and Eli’s family when he sold the company to AIG for $18 billion in 1999.

AIG was world’s largest insurer.  Only nine years later, after the Broads got out of it, with MAJOR profits creating no doubt debt to be funded, in 2008, the U.S. taxpayers bailed out AIG…. Wall Street Journal article (see image.  Unfortunately, WSJ  wants a subscription to read it all; but I’ll bet most of my readers over the age of 20 may remember events of 2008).  (U.S. to Take over AIG in $85 Billion Bailout: Central Banks Inject Cash as Credit Dries Up | Emergency Loan Effectively Gives Government Control of Insurer; Historic Move Would Cap 10 Days That Reshaped U.S. Finance)

WSJ on AIG Takeover (date: Sept. 2008)Click image if needed to read the preview shown

An April 11, 2017 retrospective in “The Balance.com” by Kimberly Amadeo, recounts how the AIG bailout made (then-chairman of the Federal Reserve) Benanke angrier than anything else.  A good reminder of how it happened and how many were involved, I’d read it…
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June 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

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Journalist specialising in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa

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