The most impressive endeavors that cannot be accomplished by isolated individuals are made possible when people cooperate and combine their efforts and expertise. Scientific discoveries are made, impressive new technology is designed, and other horizons of human achievement are conquered when professionals with a diverse skillset work together. The School of Molecular and Theoretical Biology (SMTB) is no exception, requiring the participation of faculty and students to perform the experiments, internal management to organize each season, scientific institutions like the CRG and UPF to provide laboratory space, and the generous financial support of the Zimin Foundation to make all of the activities possible.
Occasionally, new challenges emerge that require a different set of expertise than is present among the organizers and participants of SMTB. Such a challenge emerged after the closure of the Dynasty Foundation left us without an organizational basis to function. In 2016, the Centre for Genomic Regulation generously provided a temporary solution by accepting the legal responsibility for SMTB. However, it became clear that it was necessary to register a new organization that would be responsible for executing the school season every year.
The legal challenges associated with the creation of a new organization for SMTB were clearly beyond the capabilities of a few science nerds. Luckily, we had the help of Steve Lessard and Mikhail Usubyan from Orrick (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP), who defined the appropriate form for the new SMTB organization, aided us with the documentation required for registration, and acted as our legal representatives in the process of filing the paperwork. Only thanks to the contribution of the expertise of Steve and Mikhail we succeeded in obtaining the 501(c)(3) resolution from the IRS, granting us the status of a charitable educational organization. Thank you, Steve, Mikhail, and Orrick, for your help and contribution! All of us can now focus on fulfilling our primary mission of research-oriented education.