Love and science

“I wanted to create a memorial to a man who was so kind, so loving, so generous.”
Photo of Sylvia Liwerant
Sylvia Liwerant

Jaime and Sylvia Liwerant had a rare kind of love. “We always said magic was there,” says Sylvia. “Even after 63 years, we would watch TV holding hands. He gave me a wonderful life.”

When Jaime Liwerant passed away in 2019, Sylvia wanted his community to remember who he was and what he stood for. Jamie was born in Mexico in 1931. He trained as a civil engineer at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and moved to San Diego in 1974 with Sylvia and their sons, Maury and Gery. He was known for co-founding the Sylmar Development Company—and for his humor and warmth.

“I wanted to create a memorial to a man who was so kind, so loving, so generous,” says Sylvia.

Through the Jewish Community Foundation, Sylvia was introduced to the mission of La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI). “I was looking for a place where I could honor my husband’s memory,” she says. “LJI has a purpose that is hard to beat.”

In September 2021, Sylvia and her friends and family gathered at LJI for a heartfelt memorial service and presentation in honor of Jaime. Sylvia also shared with LJI a generous donation, of an undisclosed amount, to support biomedical science for decades to come.

The new Liwerant Family Endowed Research Technology Fund at LJI will provide critical support for the technology and tools used in all 21 labs and four research cores at the Institute. These tools include high-resolution imaging equipment, sequencing platforms, and much more.

“This gift supports the technology that makes discoveries possible,” says LJI President and CEO Erica Ollmann Saphire, Ph.D. “When we can see further, when we can see at higher resolution and see cells we’ve never seen before, it’s because of these instruments.”

Jaime and Sylvia Liwerant’s love and legacy will be woven into countless studies, advancing research into cancer, autoimmune diseases, allergy, and some of the world’s most devastating pathogens.

“What better way to help others,” says Sylvia.

Photo of LJI hallway with signage for the Liwerant Family Endowed Research Technology Fund. In Memory of Jaime Liwerant."
The Liwerant Family has made it possible to advance research through state-of-the-art technology