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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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MIT Gets Big Brain-Research Donation
28 February 2000 7:00 pm
In one of the largest gifts ever to a U.S. university, a high-tech couple will give $350 million to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to found a new brain research center. The new institute, announced today by MIT President Charles Vest, will be led by Nobel laureate Phillip Sharp, a molecular biologist.
The donors behind the new McGovern Institute for Brain Research are Patrick and Lore Harp McGovern. Patrick McGovern is an MIT alumnus who studied neuroscience and later founded the International Data Group, a $2.6 billion computer publishing company that produces nearly 300 magazine titles worldwide, including PC World. Lore Harp McGovern is a computer entrepreneur who has chaired the board of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge for the last 3 years. The pair said their gift, which will be paid out over the next 20 years, was motivated by the belief that neuroscientists are poised to "address the daunting complexity of the mammalian brain and to begin to understand the biological basis for human thought, language, and behavior."
Among the new center's first priorities will be hiring new faculty. Institute director Sharp, whose discovery of gene splicing helped win him a 1993 Nobel Prize, will initially assemble an interdisciplinary team of 16 McGovern Investigators, including 10 new faculty. The new hires will be spread among a number of academic departments, including biology, computer science, and linguistics.
The donation presents a "remarkable opportunity" says Edward Jones, director of the neuroscience center at the University of California, Davis. The donors, he notes, "recognize that there are tremendous rewards to be reaped from this kind of investment," from a better understanding of genetic defects to new treatments for mental illnesses.