Supporting the best in medical research
Their parents were immigrants from Poland at the beginning of the 20th century who left behind a comfortable life. Nat and Teresa had to leave school at the age of 13 and 14. Nat worked in a market, then in retail and he subsequently bought a big building to expand his manufacturing business, which brought him into the property and finance field.
Over the years, the business was successful and the Rosetrees Trust was born. Teresa wanted to fund social care programmes and when Nat died in 1990, Teresa decided to make a major contribution in memory of her husband of 53 years to Rosetrees, a state of the art care home.
Serendipity led to the first cutting edge project for cancer targeted treatments and supporting cutting edge medical research became Rosetrees’ focus. Richard (Nat and Teresa’s son and Chairman of Rosetrees) applied the lateral thinking he learned from his father to greatly expand funding into dementia research and other medical conditions. Today Rosetrees funds some 300 projects at any one time including work of the late Professor Raisman at UCL who, with surgeons in Poland, gave a paralysed man the ability to walk again.
Other projects include research into using the immune system to beat cancer, clinical trials testing the use of stem cells to treat wet macular degeneration and the application of high-throughput genetic sequencing for disease diagnosis in new-borns.
Rosetrees has evolved from a grant giving charity helping scientists test new ideas which will lead to new treatments in the future, to translational research into areas like heart, stroke and diabetes, with more immediate clinical benefits.
Rosetrees now has a new team of 12 working together to find, fund and follow the best medical ideas, advised by some of the UK’s leading scientists. Nat’s entrepreneurial approach has been applied by Richard to support the best research. Rosetrees focuses on helping those with the best ability, whether professors or young talented researchers, to advance medical science.
In the last few years over 100 people with interests in a particular illness have co-donated with Rosetrees (relying on Rosetrees expertise which is provided free) and this has multiplied the amount available to fund research. This approach has helped Rosetrees researchers apply to large organisations like Wellcome Trust and The European Research Council for large grants, which in total is approaching £1 billion.
From little acorns, oak trees grow. Nat and Teresa rose from humble beginnings and the fruits of their success have passed to Rosetrees to provide entrepreneurial philanthropy to help fund better medical treatments, sometime cures, which have the potential to benefit everyone on this planet.