February 9, 2021
They wanted to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus with the help of a Bremen-based institution that is strong in research, because they themselves are at home in the Hanseatic city. At Jacobs University, the young HAORI Foundation has funded its first major project – a research project investigating the significance of nerve cell antennas as a possible entry point for viruses such as the coronavirus.
HAORI – the name stands for Hans-Otto and Rita Busche. Many people will remember Hans-Otto Busche, who not only in Bremen made a name for himself as a sports journalist. Among other things, he was the editor of the "Sportschipper," a magazine for sailors, and of various books, such as a book about the local soccer club Werder Bremen. Hans-Otto Busche died in 2000 after a long illness.
The HAORI Foundation was founded by his widow, Rita Busche, who is now 88 years old. By awarding grants, the foundation aims to support projects in the fields of neuroscience, brain research, rare diseases and rheumatism research. "Rita Busche wanted to give something back that would have a long-term impact, which is why she established the foundation in 2013," said board member Joachim Lorentz, describing the motivation for the foundation's establishment and its purpose.
Joachim Lorentz, Astrid Lorentz and Rita Busche form the foundation's board of directors. "As a young foundation, we had to learn how to walk first," Joachim Lorentz explained. Initially, the HAORI Foundation supported smaller scientific projects, for example in rheumatism research, or financed individual, particularly talented students. But at the latest since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the desire arose to work together with a research-strong institution in Bremen on forward-looking research projects.
But which project makes the most sense? Lorentz contacted the international Jacobs University in Bremen, and the university’s fundraising office submitted three proposals to him. "All three were very interesting. We ultimately decided on Professor Brix's research project," Lorentz said. In a basic research project, cell biologist Klaudia Brix is investigating whether the coronavirus can enter cells via nerve cell antennae, known as cilia, and what the consequences of using certain inhibitors are for the cells.
The HAORI Foundation also wants to help in the future and, if possible, support one larger project per year. That depends in no small part on the financial scope. "In order for us to do good, we also solicit donations," explained Lorentz.
The HAORI Foundation is with its aim to contribute to society in good company. In Bremen, the density of foundations is above average compared to other German states. With 49 foundations per 100,000 inhabitants, the state is well above the national average of 28 foundations. A total of 335 foundations with legal capacity were registered in Bremen in 2019.
Further information on the HAORI Foundation:
Further information on Professor Klaudia Brix’s research project: