[caption id="attachment_57323" align="alignright" width="360"] Buck Institute for Research on Aging facility in Novato[/caption]

NOVATO -- The Buck Institute for Research on Aging today said it received a $5 million donation from architecture entrepreneurs M. Arthur Gensler Jr. and Drucillia Cortell Gensler of Mill Valley.

Ms. Gensler is president of the Gensler Family Foundation and was an early supporter of the institute, serving on the first advisory committee. 

Mr. Gensler has served 11 years as a Buck trustee, joining in 2000 just as the institute’s first two research buildings were being completed.

The gift will be honored by naming the institute’s offices the Arthur and Drue Gensler Building.

As chairman of the construction committee, Mr. Gensler played a crucial role in the development of the open laboratory plans, which have been incorporated into the institute’s laboratory expansion.

“It’s an honor to support scientists who care so much about improving the health of people everywhere, and it’s a thrill to witness the progress that has been made since the institute opened its doors just 13 years ago,” Mr. Gensler said in a statement. “I hope this donation will encourage others to appreciate how much the Buck enhances both our local and global communities and to share my enthusiasm for its mission to extend healthspan, the healthy years of life.”

Mr. Gensler was also actively involved in the planning and construction of the institute’s new Regenerative Medicine Research Center, which opened in April. He also helped champion the new geothermal heat-exchange program, which allows the The Buck to cut $436,000 per year from its energy bills. In addition to his service as chair of the construction committee, Mr. Gensler also has served on the board’s executive and marketing committees.

“Art Gensler’s hands-on commitment to the Institute can be seen throughout our buildings and in our labs,” said Brian Kennedy Ph.D., chief executive officer and president. “It has been our good fortune to have Art in our corner, and we are truly grateful to him and Drue for this gift. The Buck Institute has a special relationship with Art that I am sure will continue for years to come."

The Genslers established the Gensler architectural firm in 1965. Since then, it has become one of the largest international architectural design firms, with more than 3,500 employees in 42 locations across the U.S., Europe, Asia-Pacific and Africa.