PROVIDENCE, RI, February 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — EpiVax, Inc. (“EpiVax”) announces the establishment of the Vax Gives Back Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation, a step to continue the strong tradition of corporate responsibility and community service at the company.

EpiVax has a long standing commitment to charitable giving since the company’s inception in 1998. Dr. Annie De Groot, Co-founder and CEO/CSO, has led these efforts with a focus on local and global organizations.

Dr. De Groot founded the GAIA Vaccine Foundation in 2001, and continues to serve as Scientific Director, making frequent trips to Mali to work at the foundation’s medical clinic. GAIA‘s mission is to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases that disproportionately impact the world’s poorest communities.

In 2007, De Groot and other medical volunteers founded Clínica Esperanza / Hope Clinic, a free medical clinic for uninsured residents of the Valley, Olneyville, and surrounding neighborhoods in Providence, Rhode Island. The clinic has become a community pillar, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers provide free testing services and have administered over 15,000 vaccine doses to date.

EpiVax formalized their charitable giving programs in 2017 with the formation of the “Vax Gives Back” initiative. Led by EpiVax employees, Vax Gives Back allows employees to direct where charitable donations should be made. EpiVax gave 1.5% of gross income to charitable institutions in 2021, a higher percentage than most corporations.

The new Vax Gives Back Fund sets aside a yearly budget for EpiVax employees to distribute to local non-profit organizations throughout the year. EpiVax Human Resources Manager, Leaya Martelli, who leads Vax Gives Back, said “The new fund will help EpiVax contribute to the community and access the Rhode Island Foundation’s charitable expertise for years to come. “

Vax Gives Back supported the following organizations in 2021:

Providence Animal Rescue League (PARL)

Rhode Island Community Food Bank

Children’s FRIEND

Woonasqatucket River Watershed Council

JA Inspire

AIDS Care Ocean State

Providence Promise

Boston’s Children Hospital (Every Child Fund)

Korean American Association of Rhode Island

Rhode Island Afghan refugees (Dorcas International)

Rhode Island Youth Pride

Southcoast Hospitals Group

Rhode Island Hospital (Heroes Ball)

The Jim Carney PA Student Society

Clínica Esperanza / Hope Clinic


Our Neighborhood Builders

American Heart Association

GAIA Vaccine Foundation


Gloria Gemma Foundation

Habitat for Humanity

Rhode Island ASPCA

Rhode Island Running Start


About EpiVax:

EpiVax is a biotechnology company with expertise in T cell epitope prediction, immune modulation, and rapid vaccine design. EpiVax’s immunogenicity screening toolkits for therapeutics and vaccines, ISPRI and iVAX, are employed in advancing the research of a global roster of companies.

For more information about EpiVax, visit

About Rhode Island Foundation:

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit

Press Contact:

Katie Porter, Business Development Manager


Source: EpiVax, Inc.