SARANAC LAKE - Trudeau Institute announced Thursday that Betsy Lowe is the newest member of its Board of Trustees.
The nonprofit biomedical research center, founded in 1884 by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, does world-class research on immunity to diseases such as cancer, tuberculosis and influenza. It employs about 100 people in Saranac Lake and is seen as a hub for local efforts to attract biotech businesses.
But it has been going through a prolonged crisis as its federal grants diminish and after a failed effort by top administrators to move it elsewhere, possibly to Florida. Director David Woodland, who led that effort, departed last year, and now with the institute's endowment and morale diminished, its board is reportedly close to hiring a new top executive.
(Enterprise file photo)
Lowe, who lives in Lake Placid, is widely known for energetically laying the groundwork for The Wild Center, also known as the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks. She was its primary founder and its managing director before Gov. Eliot Spitzer appointed her as director of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Region 5 office, based in Ray Brook. She held that job from May 2007 to November 2011, when she resigned, citing vague reasons. She had worked for DEC for 20 years before The Wild Center project as well.
"We are delighted that Betsy Lowe has agreed to join our board," Trudeau board Chairman Benjamin Brewster said in a press release, the headline of which called Lowe an "Adirondack visionary."
"Betsy is a well-known and admired visionary in the region," Brewster added. "Her extensive experience with the Wild Center, from its very inception to its place today as one of the region's treasures, will be of tremendous benefit to the Trudeau Institute as we plan our future here in Saranac Lake."
Lowe also serves on the boards of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, Lake Placid-North Elba Historic Society and The Wild Center, and as an advisor to the Adirondack Park Institute, which helps provide educational programs at the formerly state-owned Visitor Interpretive Centers in Paul Smiths and Newcomb. She formerly served on the board of the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce and the executive committee of the New York State Biodiversity Research Institute.
Lowe has family ties to the Adirondacks dating back a century, according to Trudeau Institute. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Skidmore College with a double major in biology and music, and a master's degree in regional planning from Cornell University.
"I am honored to serve on the board of this important institution," Lowe said in the release. "The Trudeau Institute plays a valuable role in the region from a variety of standpoints, as well as being important worldwide with its immunological research. I look forward to the possibilities ahead for the institute to evolve and contribute to important scientific research and discovery in the future."
The other members of Trudeau's board, according to its website, are Brewster, Vice Chairman Maury Pages, Helen Baumeister, David A. Beach, Diana Bourke, G. Alexander Carden, Dorothy Swern Federman, Henry "Sandy" Fenn Jr., Joseph M. Fernandez, Vince Fischetti, Raymond N. Johnson, Robert Keet, Patrick R. McDonald, Linda F. Powers, Marcene S. Sonneborn, Ursula Wyatt Trudeau, Patricia Y. Tsien and Tielman T. Van Vleck.