Announcing the next phase of The New England Food System Resilience Fund. Learn More

The John Merck Fund

Program Areas

Grantee Profiles

  • David R. Hessl, PhD, MIND Institute, University of California, Davis

    In 2012, The John Merck Fund awarded a $1 million, four-year grant to the University of California, Davis, for Principal Investigator David Hessl’s research project, “Cognitive Training for Fragile X Syndrome.” Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited cause of autism.  Prevalence estimates are 1 in 4,000 to 8,000.  The phenotype associated with FXS includes both behavioral and cognitive deficits in addition to physical features.  The behavioral phenotype typically includes attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and intermittent aggression, which can cause significant difficulties for families.  Individuals with Fragile X Syndrome demonstrate profound executive function deficits that interfere with learning,…

  • Migrant Justice’s Milk with Dignity Campaign

    “Milk with Dignity will bring about a new day for dairy workers. Ben & Jerry’s is just the beginning. Company by company, we the workers—whether parents working to provide for their children, or youth dreaming of a brighter future—will transform this industry and win our human rights.”  –Enrique Balcazar, Migrant Justice Farm Worker Member* Migrant Justice was formed in 2009 in response to the death of a young Vermont dairy farm worker by a diverse alliance of farm workers and concerned Vermonters, with the goal of allowing farm workers the opportunity to gather, discuss community problems, and envision solutions and…

  • Environmental Health Strategy Center

    For the past fifteen years, the Environmental Health Strategy Center has inspired groundbreaking state policy and innovative market-based campaigns to phase out some of the most toxic chemicals from household goods and baby products. The Environmental Health Strategy Center (EHSC) was founded in 2002. Through its campaigns and partnerships, the center works to ensure that all people are healthy and thriving in a fair and healthy economy. EHSC Executive Director Mike Belliveau is widely recognized for his leadership in the environmental health community and received The John Merck Fund’s Frank Hatch Award for Enlightened Public Service, or “Sparkplug Award,” in…

  • NHSEA Works Across the Aisle to Strengthen New Hampshire’s Clean Tech Industry

    The New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association is the oldest and largest member-based nonprofit dedicated to improving New Hampshire’s clean energy economy. The John Merck Fund began supporting the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association (NHSEA) in 2013, when its talented board chair, Kate Epsen, took the helm as executive director. Thanks in large part to Kate’s skills at coalition building and coordination, NHSEA is now seen as a hub for innovative energy initiatives across New Hampshire and boasts a diverse membership of hundreds of businesses and individuals. Its New Hampshire Clean Tech Council represents seventeen different economic sectors, and the council’s top…

Why we’re going out of business

Children with developmental disabilities, victims of climate disruption, families suffering from air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals, and communities without access to healthy food should not have to wait for small incremental progress. That’s why we adopted a “spendout” strategy in 2012.