“It was by chance that I saw a newspaper article about Markus Heilig’s research into addiction, and I realised immediately that he was onto something incredibly important. The results of his research gave me consolation in a difficult period of grieving”, says Ingrid Bock.
Markus Heilig is professor of psychiatry and works at the Center for Social and Affective Neuroscience (CSAN) at Linköping University. He is a world-leading expert in addiction disorders, and one line of his research deals with finding new ways to treat alcohol dependence. By studying the processes that occur in the brains of people with addictive disorders, he hopes that new drugs can eventually be developed to help them keep their addiction under control. A great deal of suffering could be prevented in this way.
Ingrid Bock’s family has been hit hard by heredity, and several of her loved ones developed alcohol use disorder (AUD) when young. Some of them died from diseases related to alcohol. These included her nephew Andrew, who died suddenly in 2020, only 32 years old.
Andrew was particularly vulnerable, with a family history of alcohol problems on both sides of the family. Ingrid Bock was very close to Andrew. She came to be a second mother to him after both parents had died from alcohol-related diseases when he was young.
“I was always anxious for him and warned him from an early age about starting to drink. He was carrying a heavy genetic burden.”
“Andrew enjoyed school and college and achieved good results. He earned a master’s degree and started working as a financial analyst for the State of New York”, says Ingrid.
But in parallel with this, he was developing AUD.
“He sought help for this during his final years. But the help that was available through the 12-step programme didn’t appeal to him in the least.”
Honour the memory of Andrew
It was a shock and the start of a difficult period of grieving for Ingrid when Andrew died suddenly.
“I realised that the only way I could move on was to try to contribute to research and in this way maybe help to save other people’s lives. That’s why I’m so happy that I discovered Professor Heilig and his internationally renowned research. He seems to have deep sympathy for people who struggle with alcohol and does not take a moral stance about dependency.”
Ingrid Bock has therefore started a charitable fund in the US, the Andrew J. Bock Family and Friends Memorial Fund. This is to support Markus Heilig and his research, and contributions will be added each year on Andrew’s birthday, 6 April.
“Andrew was a generous person from the time he was a little boy. I’m sure that he would be glad to know that we're honouring his memory in this special way”, says Ingrid Bock.
Kristina Lyngenberg is a fundraiser at LiU Donation. She welcomes the donation from Ingrid Bock:
“This is not only a very generous donation and a captivating story. We believe that LiU’s new relationship with Ingrid will be very valuable and help us open doors for other American benefactors to donate to LiU.”
Donate tax-free from the United States
Linköping University is affiliated to the King Baudouin Foundation United States, a foundation that enables donors resident in the US to support non-profit initiatives in Europe. Donors based in the US can support research and education at LiU in a tax-efficient way by making a contribution to the “American Friends of Linköping University” at the King Baudouin Foundation United States (KBFUS).