A Brief History

WCG Foundation (WCGF) was established in 2014, and launched a year later, with the goal of improving lives worldwide by delivering on the promise of research.

The Foundation takes its name from its founding organization and sustaining donor, WIRB-Copernicus Group, the world’s largest provider of regulatory and institutional review board (IRB) services for research involving human participants. Despite this early connection, WCGF is an independent nonprofit entity—a 501(c)(3) public charity.

As such, WCGF seeks support from individuals, institutions, and foundations that share our priorities. The Foundation is led by an executive director and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.

WCGF is the brainchild of Donald A. Deieso, Ph.D., WIRB-Copernicus Group chairman and CEO, who knows firsthand what patients and families go through to pursue expanded access. When a family member became ill with cancer, “I was the one requesting experimental medication. I would have done anything for one more chance,” he says.

That experience, along with Dr. Deieso’s belief in the responsibilities of leadership and the transformative potential of an independent public charity, spurred the founding of WCGF.

Dr. Deieso feels strongly that WIRB-Copernicus Group has a philanthropic responsibility as the industry leader. At the same time, he recognizes that, as a public charity, WCGF can attract additional supporters, raise more funds, and have a larger impact.

“WCGF has the potential to reach significantly more donors and multiply existing charitable efforts many times over,” he says. “Think of the difference that it could make for desperately ill patients, research professionals, and research participants.”