One grant will establish an infectious disease institute at Rockefeller University, with the goal of fostering “international scientific collaborations that advance basic research, translate it into practical benefits for people, and can respond quickly to pathogens of concern,” according to the press release. It will be headed by Nobel laureate Charles Rice, the chair of New York State’s COVID-19 clinical advisory task force.
“We are deeply grateful to SNF for its extraordinary generosity,” said Rockefeller University president Richard Lifton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the critical need for investment in infectious disease research to understand the biology of pathogens and their interactions with host species to enable development of broadly effective and durable vaccines and therapeutics.”
A separate $75 million grant will go to Columbia University for the creation of the SNF Center for Precision Psychiatry and Mental Health, which will focus on using genomics to improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of psychiatric disorders.
“The insights provided by genomics and precision medicine are proving of tremendous value in improving people’s health and lives,” said Columbia University president Lee Bollinger. “Through this new center, our researchers can meet an urgent human need by harnessing precision medicine to promote mental health for all.”