Planned Gifts

Planned gifts allow you to make a significant gift while maintaining financial security for you and your family. Bequests, retirement plan designations, gifts of life insurance, gift annuities, and charitable trusts are just a few types of planned gifts. These gifts often provide attractive tax advantages and other financial benefits.

Helen Woodward Rivas Society

Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute began as the Medical Foundation of Buffalo thanks to the generous gift of $3 million from Helen Woodward Rivas in 1956. It was her philanthropy that set the foundation of what is today HWI as we know it- an institute committed to science and transformative research through education, discovery and innovation.

We honor her legacy that we hopes to inspire others to make lasting gifts like hers with the Helen Woodward Rivas Society. The Rivas Society allows longtime supporters to designate HWI in their estate planning. A charitable bequest that is included in your will is a simple way to make a lasting gift to for future generations to come and the helps further the mission of HWI.

For more information about the Helen Woodward Rivas Society please contact Lisa LaTrovato, Donor Relations Manager at 716-898-8624

Gifts of Appreciated Securities

This is a tax wise way to support the Institute. When making a gift of appreciated stocks, bonds, and stock options, the donor pays no tax on the capital gains.

Gifts of Real Estate

Real estate may be contributed as an outright gift or to finance a planned gift.

Gift of Personal Property

These gifts can include works of art, manuscripts, rare books, antique furnishings, jewelry and other personal items.

Retirement Plan Gifts

A donor can make a deferred gift by naming the Institute beneficiary of his or her retirement plan.

Life Insurance Gifts

A donor can name the Institute as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy.

Gift Annuities

A gift annuity is both a charitable contribution and an investment. The annuity provides guaranteed fixed income for the donor’s lifetime and/or for the lifetime of another beneficiary.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A charitable remainder trust generates income for the donor that is fixed or that fluctuates with market conditions and the growth of the trust. Income may continue through the donor’s lifetime or for a set term and benefit a charity upon death.


For many, this is the most significant gift that can be made. A bequest removes assets from the donor’s estate and reduces federal taxes.

Planned Gifts

Planned gifts allow you to make a significant gift while maintaining financial security for you and your family. Bequests, retirement plan designations, gifts of life insurance, gift annuities, and charitable trusts are just a few types of planned gifts. These gifts often provide attractive tax advantages and other financial benefits.


Don and Vicky Hess Endowed Chair

The Donald and Victoria Hess Endowed Memorial Fund was established to benefit the Hauptman-Woodward Institute and to honor the longtime contributions of Don and Vicky Hess.

The William L. Duax Endowed Chair in Crystallography

The purpose of the fund is to support the scientific work and teaching of Dr. William L. Duax, and of future generations of Hauptman-Woodward scientists.

Herbert Hauptman Nobel Laureate Endowed Chair

Hauptman-Woodward seeks your help in continuing Dr. Hauptman’s rare and powerful approach to biomedical sciences through the establishment of the Herbert A. Hauptman Endowed Chair Fund.

Stafford Fellows

The Stafford Fellowship was established by Emeritus HWI board chair, Constance Stafford Constantine, as part of Hauptman-Woodward’s plan to support young scientists. Mrs. Constantine is the granddaughter of Helen Woodward Rivas, Hauptman-Woodward’s founding benefactor.  The fellowship was funded by the Constance W. Stafford Trust (trustees: Walter F. Stafford III, Reid W. Stafford, Constance S. Constantine and Robert Plache), Walter & Sue Stafford, William and Margaret Constantine, and Walter and Constance Constantine. 

Donors who provide funds for endowments such as the Stafford Fellow Program receive satisfaction from the knowledge that their funds live on by providing ongoing funding to help support educating future scientists. 

The Stafford Fellowship is a permanent endowment.

For more information on how you can partner with this fund and support graduate education at HWI, please contact Lisa Latrovato at 716.898.8624 or email:

Brad Miller PhD

Graduated 2016, Mentor: Andrew Gulick PhD, Thesis title: Structural and functional characterization of nonribosomal peptide synthetases and MbtH-like proteins

Dr. Miller is the Bucher-Jackson Postdoctoral Fellow in the Sciences at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. He is working on the structural basis of cofactor specificity and feedback inhibition in the mevalonate pathway, best known as the target for statins and other cholesterol lowering drugs. He has produced structural insights into isoprenoid biosynthesis, the largest class of natural products, via X-ray crystallography structure determination and biochemical assays. He has improved the understanding of cofactor binding preference in key enzymes targeted by statins, and trained undergraduates in biochemical and structural laboratory techniques by solving several structures of isoprenoid-producing enzymes bound to ligands and measuring kinetic rates.

Paul Seidler PhD

Graduated 2014, Mentor: Daniel Gewirth PhD, Thesis title: Structural and biochemical studies of GRP94/protein interactions and paralog-specific hsp90 inhibitors

Dr. Seidler took a position as a postdoctoral scholar in the Molecular Biology Institute of the University of California in Los Angeles. He is conducting research on the biochemical and biophysical characterization of tau amyloids and oligomers, important in the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Kristin Sutton PhD

Graduated 2013, Mentor: Edward Snell, PhD

Dr. Sutton stayed in Buffalo as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute and then becoming the Laboratory Operations Manager for a small biotech startup company named HarkerBIO. She was one of the first staf at the company.

Today Dr. Sutton is a Senior Project Manager and Senior Scientist at HarkerBIO wearing many hats in a company that has grown by an order of magnitude since she started.

Carter Mitchell PhD

Graduated 2013, Mentor: Andrew Gulick, PhD

Dr. Mitchell took up a position as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma (2013-2015). Here he was involved with the development of a bacterial drug discovery pipeline, including isolation, fermentations, and bioactivty assessment. He was also involved with methods development for accessing cryptic biosynthetic operons in bacteria. X-ray crystallography structure solution when applicable.

He moved to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick Maryland where he is a postdoctoral research fellow involved in the development and management of the Anticancer Protein Pipeline that identifies bioactive proteins from marine aqueous extract. The project has received the NCI Director’s Innovation award and has identified ~150 extracts with potent and selective anticancer activities.

Kevin Maharaj PhD

Graduated 2012, Mentor: Daniel Gewirth, PhD.

Dr. Maharaj became a lab manager and teaching fellow at the University of Life Sciences in Philadelphia (2013). He was a corps member for Teach for America, also in the Philadelphia area (2013-2015).

He is currently the Science Department Head, School Data and Assessment Coordinator and Science Advisor at the Eastern University Academy Charter School.

Robert Huether PhD

Graduated 2011, Mentor:  William Duax, PhD. Thesis title: Structural and Bioinformatic Studies of Short-Chain Oxidoreductase Enzymes

Dr. Huether took up a position as a postdoctoral fellow in Computational and Structural Biology at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis (2011-2014) designing and analyzing a next generation sequencing (NGS) capture study of 1000 paired samples from 21 pediatric cancers based on 633 genes that influence the epigenom.  Advanced computational tools used across St. Jude’s to relate cancer associated variants to their function, pathway, and structural alteration.

He moved to Ambry Genetics in Aliso Viejo (2014-2016) as a Computational Structural Biologist leading a group of scientists in combining macromolecular structural analysis, population genetics, and next generation sequencing to understand and classify the functional impact of variants in Mendelian diseases.

Currently he is a senior computational biologist at Tempus Inc. in Chicago.

For more information on planned giving, please contact Lisa Latrovato at 716.898.8624 or email: