The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center has announced a $25 million gift from Dallas entrepreneur and philanthropist Lyda Hill to establish a bioinformatics department.
The Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics will be dedicated to developing UT Southwestern's capability to manage and analyze the extremely large data sets that increasingly are critical to addressing important scientific and medical challenges. To that end, the funds will support the recruitment of faculty in neuroinformatics and related areas; investments in modern computing infrastructure; and the integration of bioinformatics faculty members into complementary research programs through joint faculty appointments and training programs. Dr. Gaudenz Danuser, professor of cell biology, the Patrick E. Haggerty Distinguished Chair in Basic Biomedical Science, and a Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Scholar, has been selected to chair the department.
Lyda Hill is president of LH Holdings and the founder of the Lyda Hill Foundation, which aims to make transformational advances in nature and science research and improve local communities. Among other things, Hill founded the Oklahoma Breast Care Center and funded and launched Remeditex Ventures, LLC, an early stage biotech venture capital fund. With her latest commitment, Hill has contributed or committed more than $37.5 million to UT Southwestern for a broad range of research.
"We are deeply grateful for this transformative gift from Lyda Hill, which underscores her role in supporting and promoting Dallas's reputation as a growing center for biotechnology and medical innovation," said UT Southwestern president Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky. "By establishing the Lyda Hill Department of Bioinformatics, UT Southwestern will significantly expand our existing expertise in this critical field."