Donation of £31m enables establishment of world class brain research centre in Israel

Donation of £31m enables establishment of world class brain research centre in Israel

News (International)

A $50m (£31m) donation will make the aim to build a new world leading brain research centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem a reality.

The $130m (£81m) Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences (ELSC) has been established following the lead donation from the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation. The university will now seek additional funding.

The decision to invest in a centre for brain sciences is based on the findings of an international monitoring committee, whose members include two Nobel Laureates. The committee found that a new centre would enable the Hebrew University to be ranked in the top five in the world in this field, a university spokesperson said.

“Understanding the brain is the premier challenge of our time, and I am confident that the Hebrew University’s investigators and students will make a profound impact,” said Lily Safra, president of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation.

Professor Menachem Magidor, president of the Hebrew University, said, “Thanks to the leadership of the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation, the university will be able to help solve one of the key scientific questions of the 21st century - how the human brain works.”

The ELSC will pursue five different inter-cooperative fields of brain research:

  • Genes, molecules and nerve cells in the brain
  • Structure and function of local neuronal circuits
  • Electrical activity and the communication between different brain areas
  • Cognitive processes and aspects of human brain focus
  • Theoretical fields, computational aspects and building models of the nerve system

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