Q&A with John and Sarah Lechleiter

IBRI was the beneficiary of tremendous generosity from our friends and IBRI founders last year.

In recognition of these gifts, we asked John and Sarah Lechleiter of Indianapolis, who donated $2.5 million toward a $5 million challenge gift, why they give to IBRI.


Question: Why is it important to you to donate to the IBRI?

Answer: There are many worthy causes Sarah and I could support. We choose to contribute to the IBRI because it represents a unique opportunity for Indiana to differentiate itself by building on our formidable strengths in the life sciences.

Plus, it’s fun to be part of a start-up and to help nurture its growth!


Question: John, you've been called the inspirational leader for the IBRI. As you inspire others, how would you describe the personal satisfaction of giving to the IBRI that you have experienced?

Answer: I was pleased to play a part at the inception of the IBRI, along with many organizations and individuals, including other corporate leaders, the Lilly Endowment and our governor. Since that time, it’s been energizing to get people excited about the IBRI and its promise.

It’s also been heartening to see the IBRI grow to a mid-sized nonprofit on the verge of moving to new state-of-the-art facilities in the 16 Tech Innovation District later this year. Speaking personally, as someone trained as a scientist, it gives me great pleasure to know that our support goes directly to funding important scientific research.


Question: What excites you and Sarah the most about the work IBRI is doing?

Answer: We’re most excited about the cutting-edge work IBRI scientists are doing in diabetes, population health and addiction—things that matter to the health of Hoosiers and all our fellow citizens.

The IBRI will always be more than a research institute. We believe it will be a force for good.


Question: What is your vision for the IBRI in 2020 and beyond?

Answer: Our vision for the IBRI is grounded in what has already been accomplished. In a relatively short time, the IBRI has been instrumental in building and strengthening connections between the corporate life sciences community and our major research universities. It has gained the support of major benefactors, including the Lilly Endowment and the State of Indiana.

Our vision is that the IBRI continue to play the role of convener, catalyst and champion for the life sciences in our state. We hope that in 10 years, we can point to a number of important accomplishments in the life sciences sector and say, “This would not have happened if not for the IBRI.”