MIT and Harvard Broad-based Broad Institute will use these funds to build a new institution that will bring together academics and industry to combine the two approaches in an effort to make people healthier.
“So far, these sectors have been very much the same,” the Broad Institute said in a statement Thursday. “Their integration will create a new era of biology, which is expected to produce a deeper understanding of biological processes, with the ultimate goal of improving human health by preventing disease, diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.”
Experts say the program sets the example for many multidisciplinary research institutes.
“There is a great need in the field of biology to bring in computer science and data technology,” said Peng Qiu, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology who is researching the subject, adding that the need to integrate the two fields “was well known in the research community.”
The endowment gift is the greatest gift the couple has ever given to Schmidt Futures, their latest donation of science and technology. The Schmidts have other charitable arms, including the foundation of their family, and are listed as one of the top donors in the United States.
The center on Thursday said it had received an additional $ 150 million from the Broad Foundation, an organization that helps the needy Eli and Edythe L. Broad. The couple helped build the center in 2003, and their foundation has pledged more than $ 1 billion at the research center.
“Like Eli and Edye Broad have seen the possibility of creating a Broad Institute, Wendy and I believe the institute has the promise to create a new science field that can help people’s lives in ways we can never imagine,” Eric Schmidt, a member of the institute’s board, .
“The epidemic has shown that prioritizing science, innovation, and research is one of the biggest investments we can make in the future,” he added.
Called Schmidts, the center will work with experts from a wide range of fields from Google, Microsoft and AstraZeneca, as well as educational institutions including Oxford University and the Mayo Clinic.
“Gift gifts like these have the potential to change the world for scientific discovery,” said R. Patrick Bixler, professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service. He notes that doing this work “with a network of colleagues working in different fields will undoubtedly lead to the emergence of internal medicine and public health.”
Schmidt served as CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, a period of rapid growth for a technology company based in California. He later became the CEO of Google, and in 2015, at a new parent company, Alphabet, before resigning as chairman in 2018.