Julia (Lum) Dere and Willard Dere have been profoundly influenced by their parents who were deeply committed to education.
They met at UC Davis as undergraduates—Julia received her undergraduate and master degrees in education and Willard earned his medical degree—and both have had fulfilling and successful careers. Willard was an academician at University of Utah, and for the past 25 years, has played a leading role in bringing new therapies to the market at both his current employer and Eli Lilly. He is currently the international chief medical officer at Amgen. Julie became a teacher and administrator, and continues to be active in education.
Now decades later—as their own daughters pursue careers in science and medicine—the Deres have established endowments at UC Davis to honor their parents. Additionally, they hope to foster the spirit of philanthropy with their daughters.
The Lum and Dere Endowed Scholarship helps one or more medical students each year to defray debt and follow their health-care passion. The Lum and Dere Endowed Professorship in Translational Vascular Biology and Diabetes funds research on vascular disease and diabetes.
“This is an era where our understanding of human biology is deepening exponentially,” said Willard, who currently serves as an advisor to UC Davis School of Medicine. “The research community is at the cusp of making additional great discoveries which can enhance the greater public good and help individual patient lives, and we hope these endowments contribute toward these advances.”