The Los Angeles-based W.M. Keck Foundation has announced a $1.8 million grant to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to create the W.M. Keck Center for the Rational Design of Biologically Active Molecules at the university's School of Medicine. The funding will support the design and application of synthetic molecules for biomedical research and training.
Technological advances in biomedical research — coupled with recent advances in genetics, genomics, cell biology, and biochemistry — have led to optimism that incurable diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, and neurodegenerative diseases will one day be defeated. The Keck Center will provide the physical and intellectual framework at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to foster interdisciplinary inquiry. The grant from the foundation will also be used to recruit new faculty and launch a post-doctoral training program.
"The Keck Foundation has shown enormous vision and insight in advancing the frontiers of medical discovery. This gift will not only greatly impact our work at Johns Hopkins, it will have a positive effect on biomedical research around the world," said Philip A. Cole, director of the school's Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences. Dr. Cole will head the new center.