PORTLAND, ORE. — Bob and Charlee Moore, founders of Milwaukie, Ore.-based Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, have made a $25 million commitment to Oregon Health & Science University (O.H.S.U.). The Moores’ $25 million commitment will establish the Bob and Charlee Moore Institute for Nutrition and Wellness at O.H.S.U., and it will be used to create permanent change in nutrition through research and community outreach.

“Charlee and I have always been inspired by challenge,” Mr. Moore said. “I can’t think of a tougher challenge than changing people’s behavior when it comes to their diets, so I feel very inspired to be part of this institute. Working together we can rise to that challenge and motivate people — especially mothers-to-be — to make the kinds of changes that promote their own and their babies’ health. I’m very excited about what we can achieve.”

Joe Robertson, president of O.H.S.U., added, “The Moores’ passion and common-sense philosophy about better health through wholesome foods aligns perfectly with O.H.S.U.’s mission to create a healthier world for future generations. The partnership made possible by their philanthropy will be a vehicle for those positive changes, and we are profoundly grateful.”

The Moore Institute will be located within the O.H.S.U. School of Medicine, and it will provide a unifying structure and intellectual leadership for five broad areas of research, clinical care and education, including:

  • Childhood obesity
  • Women’s health and maternal/fetal medicine
  • Research into epigenetics and the developmental origins of health and disease
  • Community outreach and translation of research into effective public programs, and
  • Graduate education and post-graduate training of physicians, nurses, dentists and allied health professionals.

"Just as the healthy benefits of whole grain come from the way its individual components work together in the body, the strength of the Moore Institute will come from bringing everyone in the nutritional arena together under a set of common goals,” said Mark A. Richardson, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the O.H.S.U. School of Medicine. “Through this potent blend of basic science, clinical care, professional education and community advocacy, the institute will become the epicenter of irrefutable evidence that will change how health care providers, policymakers and the general public approach the subject of healthy eating.”

Part of the $25 million commitment will be used to endow the Bob and Charlee Moore Chair for Nutrition and Wellness. This yet-to-be-appointed faculty leader will spearhead initiatives in science and policy as O.H.S.U.’s top nutrition leader, the O.H.S.U. said. The institute’s reach will extend across the university and to other area institutions, such as the National College of Natural Medicine and Oregon State University, where the Moores have made other investments in nutritional health and science programs.