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$650 million commitment to Stanley Center at Broad Institute aims to galvanize mental illness research
Date:7/22/2014

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Broad Institute today announced an unprecedented commitment of $650 million from philanthropist Ted Stanley aimed at galvanizing scientific research on psychiatric disorders and bringing new treatments based on molecular understanding to hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The Stanley commitment – the largest ever in psychiatric research and among the largest for scientific research in general – will support research by a collaborative network of researchers within the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute, a biomedical research institution that brings together faculty from MIT, Harvard University, the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and collaborators worldwide.

Stanley's commitment to support the work of the Broad Institute will consist of annual gifts during his lifetime followed by a bequest, with a total current value exceeding $650 million. Taking prior gifts into account, Stanley's philanthropy in support of the Broad Institute's work totals more than $825 million.

The biological causes of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have mystified scientists for decades; in the last five years, however, understanding has accelerated dramatically, driven by advances in human genomics. Because researchers cannot study the biochemistry of the living human brain, the genes that predispose people to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder represent the best way to gain molecular insights into these disorders. The discovery of specific genes associated with these disorders provides significant clues to their biological basis and points to possible molecular targets for novel therapies.

Since 2004, Ted Stanley and his late wife, Vada Stanley, have been instrumental to the progress made thus far in identifying
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