West coast philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad announced Thursday that they plan to give $400 million more to the Broad Institute, a genetics research center that is jointly run by MIT and Harvard.
In 2003, The Broads donated $200 million to establish the Cambridge-based facility. Their cumulative contribution was described by foundation officials as the largest gift in support of a university-based biomedical research facility in the world.
The Broad Institute convenes and supports 1,200 researchers with ties to Harvard, MIT or the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, also in Cambridge. Researchers are usually affiliated with one of the Institute’s Scientific Programs (e.g. cancer, psychiatric disease) and with one of its Scientific Platforms (e.g. genetic analysis, chemical biology) in order to foster idea cross-fertilization.
The Broad’s initial investment was designed to finance the institute for 10 years. There is hope the investment income generated by the new donation can sustain the Institute indefinitely after that.
The Broad Institute secures plenty of funding on its own. Less than a week ago for example, it landed an $86 million NIH grant to develop molecular probes to study biochemical processes that are fundamental to human health and disease.