PhD honoris causa recipient: Stephen Grand
American real estate developer and philanthropist
People behind the science
Stephen M. Grand grew up in Detroit, Michigan. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Michigan's School of Engineering and, after his studies, spent a year in Israel.
Back in Michigan, he began his business career, as president and owner of Deco-Grand, a large manufacturer of precision components and assemblies for diesel engines and automotive industries, which he owned and operated for 20 years, after succeeding his father, the late Sam Grand, a great supporter of Israel. In 1990, Grand embarked on a successful real estate development career, serving as president and partner of Grand- Sakwa Properties, one of southeastern Michigan’s major developers of residential and retail properties.
Stephen Grand and his wife, Nancy, now live in California's Bay Area, where they are deeply involved in numerous philanthropic activities, supporting the global Jewish community, and the world of science and medicine throughout the United States and in Israel. These include the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. The couple established Family House in San Francisco, which provides temporary lodging to low-income families of pediatric cancer patients, enabling them to remain near their children while they are undergoing treatment as well as the Jewish Cultural Center in Odessa, Ukraine. They also support research on cancer, alternative and renewable energy sources, the arts and culture, job training for the homeless, global Jewish needs, and science.
Mr. Grand believes that understanding the human genome and finding cures for many diseases can be accomplished today with three components: brilliant scientists, infrastructure, and financial resources. He overcame multiple myeloma with help from what he describes as a “breakthrough drug based on Israeli research.” That experience inspired the couple to make a transformational gift in support of cutting-edge biomedical research, through the Nancy and Stephen Grand Israel National Center for Personalized Medicine at the Weizmann Institute of Science, giving hope and optimism to numerous people around the world.
Through its advanced research facility, the Center provides Israeli academic, medical, and biomedical industry researchers with access and guidance to state-of-the-art genomics, protein profiling, drug discovery and bioinformatics research platforms. By doing so, the Center strives to catalyze new scientific discovery by traversing interdisciplinary boundaries in order to advance healthcare for the future.
Previously, the couple established the Nancy and Stephen Grand Center for Sensors and Security on campus, which develops new types of sensors and ways to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of sensing methods, including biosensors, biomedical sensors, and experimental technologies needed to make sensors smaller, more accurate, and capable of detecting minute quantities of substances noninvasively.