Christine E. Lynn Donates $10M to The Miami Project

Donation names and funds the Human Clinical Trial Initiative now in translational stage.

Coral Gables (April 11, 2011) — Nick and Marc Buoniconti hosted a dinner on April 7 honoring philanthropist extraordinaire Christine E. Lynn’s $10 million donation to name the Christine E. Lynn Human Clinical Trials Initiative at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The contribution matches the largest gift ever given to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Miami Project.

The gift will not only name but also fund the human clinical trials initiative at The Miami Project. Research that is part of this initiative is in the translational phase and is being readied for clinic by undergoing the rigorous United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval process. Currently, Miami Project researchers are in the process of seeking FDA approval for the first ever Phase 1 clinical trial involving Schwann cell transplantation.  These funds will go a long way in moving this important research forward and to laying an important foundation for future clinical trials.

“I have supported The Miami Project and The Buoniconti Fund for many years and it gives me great pride and pleasure to be a part of this most wonderful cause,” said Lynn. “I know how close they are to finding a cure for paralysis, and I believe that when you have talent and support, miracles can happen. It gives me great satisfaction to name the Christine E. Lynn Human Clinical Trials Initiative at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.”

Helping those less fortunate is nothing new to Lynn. Her name has long been synonymous with outstanding generosity and humanity in the world of philanthropy. She has dedicated her entire life to improving the health, education, and welfare of the people of south Florida and around the world.

“Christine has spent a lifetime helping others and giving to others in need,” said Miami Project founder Nick Buoniconti. “She personifies the philanthropic spirit and has been a true friend to the Buonicontis, The Miami Project, and the entire spinal cord injured community, and for that we are eternally grateful.”

Lynn has been and remains an active chairperson and volunteer for many charitable organizations and events. Her good works are legendary and reflect her belief in and passion for nursing, which is her background, as she understands the importance of quality health care. Through her good works, she is leaving a legacy that will benefit humanity for decades and decades to come.

“Mrs. Lynn is like an angel that was sent to The Miami Project,” said Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti. “She has stood by our side for so many years and continues to help us take the critical steps needed to help us change the lives for millions around the world suffering from spinal cord injuries.”

Lynn has been an exceptional and longtime supporter of The Miami Project and serves as a Buoniconti Fund board member. In 1999, Lynn and her late husband Eugene granted funding to build the lobby at the Lois Pope LIFE Center, which houses The Miami Project. In January 2003, Lynn, endowed The Christine E. Lynn Distinguished Chair with a $2.5 million gift to fund spinal cord regeneration research in Mary Bartlett Bunge’s laboratory and has had a profound impact and significantly advanced progress in regeneration research at The Miami Project. Lynn also gave an additional $2 million to start the Human Clinical Trials Initiative, paving the way for the most cutting-edge research project in The Miami Project’s history. Over the years she has contributed more than $15 million, making her the largest individual donor in the history of The Miami Project.

In 2008 Lynn was awarded The Buoniconti Fund Award at the 23rd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner. In 2004, she was honored as a “Woman of Substance and Style” at The Buoniconti Fund’s Destination Fashion event at Bal Harbour Shops for her outstanding generosity to so many worthy causes. In 2000, the University of Miami inducted her into the IBIS Society, and in 2002 she was given permanent recognition by the University of Miami when she was elected to membership in the George E. Merrick Society. In addition, Lynn was inducted into the Gables Society of the University of Miami in 2005, which recognizes those who have contributed $5 million and above to the University.

A native of Norway, but born in Denmark, Lynn was trained as a registered and surgical nurse in Oslo, Norway, starting her on a path to promote excellence in medical research and care. She is a longtime resident of Boca Raton. In December 2008 Boca Raton Magazine referred to Lynn as its “Hometown Hero” for her outstanding generosity and love for her community. The Lynn name appears on buildings as well as entire institutions. Lynn University, formerly The College of Boca Raton, was renamed Lynn University in 1991 in recognition of the Lynns’ long years of support. She currently serves as chair of the Board of the Lynn Insurance Group and chair of the Lynn University Board of Trustees. Because of her strong background in nursing, The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing was established at Florida Atlantic University. The Christine E. Lynn Center for Caring and The E.M. Lynn Foundation Congenital Heart Disease Research Program are both also based at FAU.

Lynn also has been a major donor to Stetson University, Hospice By The Sea, the Center for Group Counseling, the YMCA, the Florence Fuller Child Development Center, The ARC, and The Junior League.


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From left to right, Barth Green, professor and chair of neurological surgery; Christine E. Lynn; Miami Project President Marc Buoniconti; UM President Donna E. Shalala; and Miami Project founder Nick Buoniconti.

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