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Broads Donate $100 Million to Namesake Institute

By Anneli L. Tostar, Crimson Staff Writer

Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad have donated $100 million to their namesake institute for biomedical research, the pair announced on Thursday. The gift brings the Broads’ total contribution to the institute to $700 million since its initial launch in 2003, according to a press release.

The Broad Institute, which brings together faculty and scientists from Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard’s affiliated teaching hospitals, has focused its research on addressing challenging medical problems including OCD, Tourette syndrome, and skin cancer.

“We’re more than pleased with the progress they’ve made in the first 10 years, and we thought they needed more unrestricted money,” Broad told the Boston Globe. “We thought this would induce others to contribute.”

The most recent contribution will be allocated to research projects in $20 million increments over the next five years, according to the Boston Globe. Research in the next decade is expected to focus on more effective treatment options for patients, according to a press release from the Institute.

“With their generous gift, the Broads are making possible an entirely new approach for understanding, diagnosing, and treating human disease,” said University President Drew G. Faust in the press release.

The Broad Institute has built on the work of the Human Genome Project to find solutions for human disease. Its partners include researchers from many of Harvard’s laboratories, including the Sabeti, Rinn, and Balskus labs.

“This award is deeply meaningful,” said Pardis C. Sabeti, associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, “both because of the science it will enable and because it signifies the Broads’ reaffirmed commitment to the Institute’s next 10 years.”

Eric S. Lander, the institute’s founding director, could not be reached for comment.

Eli and Edythe Broad, whose fortune comes from investments in real estate, have donated to support the arts, education, and science sectors. In the field of scientific research, they have taken particular interest in investing in human genomics, stem cell research, and inflammatory bowel disease.

“The legacy of collaboration across disciplines coupled with transformative talent, technology, and resources will endure far beyond the next decade,” said Broad in the institute’s press release.

“Edye and I can’t wait to see what they will tackle next.”

This contribution makes the Broads the second most generous donors to a university, hospital, or research institute for biomedical research.

According to Forbes, Eli Broad, 80, has a net worth of $6.9 billion.

—Staff writer Anneli L. Tostar can be reached at anneli.tostar@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @annelitostar.

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