The New York Genome Center has announced gifts totaling $125 million from the Simons Foundation and Carson Family Charitable Trust to establish transformative collaborative research programs in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases and cancer.
To be distributed over five years, the gift includes $100 million from the Simons Foundation and $25 million from the Carson Family Trust to accelerate research into NYGC's key disease focus areas, including autism, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and dementia. Through the efforts of the NYGC ALS Consortium, a global research collaborative, the center helped uncover a gene associated with ALS; the gift will be used to apply that research to other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, Parkinson's, and Huntington's. In addition, researchers at the center will work to develop whole genome-sequencing methods for improved cancer diagnosis as well as innovative population-level cancer analytics that apply novel mathematical and statistical approaches to the understanding of the relationship between DNA sequence changes and disease.
Simons Foundation chair Jim Simons and Russell L. Carson, leader of the Carson Family Charitable Trust, helped establish NYGC in 2011 and serve on its board.
"We are enormously grateful to our longtime donors for this remarkable gift and for their generous philanthropy to the center since its founding," said NYGC scientific director and CEO Tom Maniatis. "This new gift will make it possible to accelerate research into our key disease focus areas, leveraging our strengths in whole genome sequencing, computational analyses, and development of new genomic tools."