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Unprecedented Donation Made by Mrs. Lily Safra to the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders in Paris

PARIS, July 8, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Professor Gerard Saillant, President of the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders (ICM), announced today an unprecedented donation of EUR8,000,000 from Mrs. Lily Safra. It is the largest single donation made by a private individual to the ICM.

Professor Saillant will officially thank Mrs. Safra for this generous donation at an event today at the Hopital de la Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris. Mr. David de Rothschild, ICM co-president, and founding members of the Institute, Mr. Jean Glavany and Mr. Maurice Levy, will also be present, along with professors Olivier Lyon-Caen and Yves Agid.

With this exceptional donation, the Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders will be able to continue important research on diseases of the brain and the central nervous system at its new, state-of-the-art facility, which is to set to open its doors in September of this year. The ICM will gather doctors, patients and 600 researchers at the Hopital de la Pitie-Salpetriere in Paris, with a mission to find new and effective treatments for these illnesses.

"From the very beginning, when the ICM was nothing more than a dream, Mrs. Safra has supported us. Her confidence in the Institute and unfailing generosity have enabled us to develop ambitious research programs that will allow for the accelerated discovery of innovative treatment options from the very minute our new institute opens its doors," said Professor Gerard Saillant. "It is for this reason we would like to offer our sincerest gratitude to Mrs. Lily Safra."

Mrs. Safra commented: "When my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson's, he, like so many others, benefited from the expertise and the compassion of physicians at the Salpetriere. It is a privilege to support these brilliant and dedicated men and women, who bring tremendous hope every day to families around the world praying for treatments and cures for these terrible diseases. I have great confidence that this new Institute will be the source of extraordinary discoveries and therapies, and I am so proud to be among its loyal friends."

This latest giving continues a long tradition: together with her husband, Mrs. Safra has been a generous and steadfast supporter of medical research, particularly neuroscience. She also contributes to humanitarian, religious, educational and cultural causes the world over, as Chairwoman of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation. The Edmond J. Safra Foundation was one of the first major donors to the ICM at the project's inception.

About Mrs. Lily Safra

Mrs. Lily Safra shared her commitment to caring for the less fortunate with her husband, Mr. Edmond J. Safra, one of the 20th century's most accomplished bankers and founder of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation. Since 2000, she has chaired this Foundation, which supports hundreds of projects related to education, science and medicine, religion, culture, and humanitarian relief in over 50 countries. Both the Foundation's work and her personal philanthropy have advanced research in neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, at dozens of hospitals and institutes around the world, in places as varied as Natal (Brazil), New York, Grenoble, and Jerusalem. Mrs. Safra is a member of the Board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (USA). In recognition of her work, she has been awarded honorary doctorates from a number of universities, and she was made Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.

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SOURCE Institute for Brain and Spinal Cord Disorders (ICM)
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