The Azrieli Foundation, one of Canada’s largest foundations, has donated $10 million to fund innovative research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s newly inaugurated Azrieli Center for Stem Cells and Genetic Research. The funds will also support Israeli doctoral students and young research faculty, and Canadian post-doctoral students.
Led by Dr. Nissim Benvenisty, one of the world’s leading stem cell pioneers, working in collaboration with laboratories in Boston, New York and Los Angeles, the new center will be home to one of the largest repositories of stem cells carrying genetic diseases and chromosomal disorders in the world. This uniquely positions the Azrieli Center to study and develop cures for a wide variety of genetic disorders.
Focusing on modeling human diseases without the use of animals, the center will study Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, hereditary diabetes, and will pay special attention to Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes intellectual disability and behavioral challenges and is linked to autism in boys. Researchers will focus on developing novel therapies to treat these diseases.
Azrieli Foundation chair and CEO Dr. Naomi Azrieli said, “This donation will take stem cell research to the next level on a global scale. Scientists at the Azrieli Center will be able to expand their work and impact in material and meaningful ways, studying multiple disorders and paving the way for therapies that may offer hope to people and families all over the world.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 4, 2015
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