CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 4, 2008 Declaring the success of an unprecedented experiment in science and philanthropy, Los Angeles-based philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad announced today that they have increased their total gift to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to $600 million. Adding to their previous gifts totaling $200 million, the Broads today gave an endowment of $400 million to convert the Institute, which had been launched as a 10-year "venture" experiment, into a permanent biomedical research organization aimed at transforming medicine.
This unprecedented gift is remarkable in several ways. The $600 million commitment is the largest to support biomedical research activity at universities anywhere in the world. Beyond its magnitude, however, the gift reflects a new model for venture philanthropy, for collaboration among universities, and for doing biomedical science.
The Broad Institute was launched in 2004 in the wake of the Human Genome Project (HGP) with the mission of fulfilling the promise of genomics for medicine and the goal of sustaining the collaborative spirit that propelled the HGP. The Institute aimed to bring together scientists to tackle major interdisciplinary problems related to cancer, metabolic diseases, infectious diseases, psychiatric diseases, and other conditions.
Rather than being established at a single university, the Broad Institute was launched as a new kind of research organization spanning the entire MIT and Harvard communities, including the 17 Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals. As a result, scientists from the various institutions and from diverse disciplines, including biology, medicine, chemistry, and computer science, created collaborative teams to tackle problems beyond what any of them could do alone. The Broad Institute was also committed to scientific openness, including rapid and free sharing of data and research tools. Today, more than 1200 scientists and professional staff
|Contact: Nicole Davis|
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard