With a $400 million gift to his namesake research institute in Cambridge, Mass., Los Angeles billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad is banking that genomics-based medicine is the wave of future for attacking a host of human diseases.
Broad and his wife Edythe said on Thursday that they are increasing their endowment at the Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology-affiliated Broad Institute to a total $600 million. The institute also relies on federal grants and other private donors.
Cambridge is considered the leading genomics research center due to its concentration of researchers and institutions that helped map the genetic makeup of humans. The Broad Institute was launched in 2004 after the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation pledged $100 million to establish the institute, adding another $100 million the following year.
"It's been a bet that's really paid off," said Broad in a phone interview, noting the numbers research papers that have been generated by institute-affiliated scientists.
The Broads also have made significant medical research investments on the West Coast over the years. Ground broke Wednesday on the Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of Southern California 's Health Science Campus in Boyle Heights.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine awarded USC nearly $27 million for the new facility, supplemented by $30 million gift from the Broad Foundation. Voters passed Proposition 71 in 2004 to borrow and spend $3 billion over 10 years to support stem cell research, which is allocated by CRIM.
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