At PNRI, our scientists explore genetic research in a daring way — by asking different questions that lead to new solutions to human health. PNRI leader John Wecker shared this idea at our annual fundraiser, An Evening of Wine, this past September. The event brought over 300 attendees together to support our important work.
Whether or not you were able to attend the event, read below to see what John said about our visionary, creative, and daring researchers.
Adapted from John’s speech:
For most of us, the idea of daring is mingled among some of our earliest memories.
For me, I go right back to the playground: I dare you; I double-dog dare you. And, if you’re like me, those kinds of dares usually didn’t start from good places and they often didn’t lead to good outcomes.
As we grow into adulthood, we face decisions with much greater consequences for our lives. Decisions that require that we be truly daring. These kinds of daring behaviors become milestones, the markers we measure the course of our lives by: life before we decided to go ‘all in” and then life after.
Take a few seconds and think back to a time in your life when you took this kind of dare – choosing a field of study, asking that person to marry you or saying yes, starting a family, opening a business. Daring to live life fully in the face of a chronic disease.
Think back on how it felt. Was it excitement imagining a wonderful future full of opportunity? Maybe you felt fear about possible rejection or failure. Perhaps you felt the need to dig deep inside yourself to find your courage and your conviction. Was it the power of going ‘all in’?
The people we most admire, the people whose accomplishments inspire us – entrepreneurs, explorers, artists, athletes, scientists – they all take risks. And, along the way, they all experience failure, but they keep going. They go ‘all in’ because creativity and innovation never happen without it. Because they know that progress depends on daring.
“I am privileged to work with a group of scientists daring to ask questions — really important questions that no one has asked before.”
At PNRI, we embrace a culture of daring. In fact, we encourage one another to be daring. I am privileged to work with a group of scientists daring to ask questions — really important questions that no one has asked before, like how our genes keep us healthy despite the genetic risk that we all carry. Scientists pursuing research that has the potential to redefine how we understand the role of genetics in maintaining our health and, with it, drive progress against a whole range of inherited diseases. Scientists who experience setbacks and, like all innovators, go right back into the lab. Scientists who by their nature go ‘all in’, every day.
For those of you here tonight being introduced to PNRI, I hope that we have made a strong first impression. For those of you who are old friends, please know how much we appreciate and we count on your continuing belief in our work. For everyone, your generous financial support of PNRI is what makes it possible for us to be daring.
John Wecker, PhD
President & CEO