$400 million for genomics institute

In the largest act of US philanthropy for biomedical research, Eli and Edythe Broad have donated $400 million to the Broad Institute, a joint project between Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The gift builds on the $200 million with which the linkurl:Broads first funded the genomics institute;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21404/ in 2003 and 2004. "We're now making a $600 million dollar bet in total that this will be the place where the world's greatest scien

Alla Katsnelson
Sep 3, 2008
In the largest act of US philanthropy for biomedical research, Eli and Edythe Broad have donated $400 million to the Broad Institute, a joint project between Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The gift builds on the $200 million with which the linkurl:Broads first funded the genomics institute;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21404/ in 2003 and 2004. "We're now making a $600 million dollar bet in total that this will be the place where the world's greatest scientific discoveries will take place," Eli Broad said in a press conference today (September 4). The Broads' original donation, made just after the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, was a 10-year gift, meant to be used in its entirety within that time, said linkurl:Eric Lander,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/20348/ founding director of the institute, in the press conference. The institution was meant to be an experiment in collaboration between different academic institutions, researchers across disciplines, and industry and...
between Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The gift builds on the $200 million with which the linkurl:Broads first funded the genomics institute;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21404/ in 2003 and 2004. "We're now making a $600 million dollar bet in total that this will be the place where the world's greatest scientific discoveries will take place," Eli Broad said in a press conference today (September 4). The Broads' original donation, made just after the completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003, was a 10-year gift, meant to be used in its entirety within that time, said linkurl:Eric Lander,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/20348/ founding director of the institute, in the press conference. The institution was meant to be an experiment in collaboration between different academic institutions, researchers across disciplines, and industry and academic researchers. With the additional funds announced today, "we shift the nature of that experiment," said Lander. Many of the institute's projects, including the linkurl:HapMap;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23052/ project, the linkurl:RNAi Consortium,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/52978/ and investigations of cancer genomics, will require several years to yield results. "This allows scientists to take on problems of a ten-year horizon" and beyond, Lander explained. Currently, the Broad is considered a part of MIT for administrative purposes, but is jointly governed by MIT and Harvard, who share overhead costs for the institute. It will continue to be governed by both institutions, but will transition out of MIT's purview to independent status as a nonprofit organization. Can the Broad's collaborative model be more widely adopted by other institutions? "I've given it a fair amount of thought, and it is my belief that the strength represented by Harvard, MIT, Whitehead, and the surrounding hospitals, would be very hard to reproduce anywhere else," linkurl:David Baltimore,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13725/ President Emeritus of the California Institute of Technology, said in the press conference. Correction (September 5): A previous version of this post incorrectly stated David Baltimore's position at CalTech. The Scientist regrets the error.

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