Azrieli Foundation donates $50m. to Weizmann Institute for new neuroscience center

The funds will be used to found the Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences, which will conduct neuroscience research at Weizmann's Rehovot campus.

Weizmann Institute of Science. (photo credit: MICHAEL JACOBSON/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Weizmann Institute of Science.
(photo credit: MICHAEL JACOBSON/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

The Azrieli Foundation has donated $50 million to the Weizmann Institute of Science, the institute announced on Tuesday. The funds will be allocated toward launching the Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences, which will conduct neuroscience research at the Weizmann Institute campus in Rehovot.

The new facility aims to advance research in the field through interdisciplinary cooperation and produce tangible results with "high clinical relevance," according to Weizmann Canada, which fundraises and hosts events on behalf of the Weizmann Institute.

"In addition to Weizmann’s outstanding record in science writ large, and neuroscience specifically, we are excited that this new institute will facilitate and amplify collaborative work across 40 groups in multiple disciplines," said Azrieli Foundation chairwoman and CEO Dr. Naomi Azrieli.

The building will host all neuroscience researchers from the Weizmann Institute, who will collaborate in order to better understand brain function and development, Weizmann Canada said.

The Azrieli Institute plans to focus on several topics, including neural network development, theoretical and computational neuroscience, perception and action, memory and cognition, mental health, brain injury and regeneration, neurodegeneration and the effects of aging on the brain and neurotechnology.

 Prof.Alon Chen with Danna Azrieli Israeli President Isaac Herzog. (credit: WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE) Prof.Alon Chen with Danna Azrieli Israeli President Isaac Herzog. (credit: WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE)

"I’m confident that this new and unique research environment will enable the next major leap in brain research,” Weizmann Institute president Prof. Alon Chen said.

Though the Azrieli Foundation has shared a partnership with the Weizmann Institute and Weizmann Canada for years, Weizmann Canada noted that the donation for the Azrieli Institute will be "among the largest of its kind."

Weizmann Canada CEO Susan Stern expressed her gratitude for the Azrieli Foundation's donation, as well as its partnership with her organization, adding that the foundation's “leadership through this new magnanimous gift will benefit humankind by furthering the collective global understanding of the brain."

“Our mission is to open doors for people, from the most vulnerable to the most exceptional," said Danna Azrieli co-chair of the Azrieli Foundation Israel.

"As builders, we open doors literally and metaphorically, so we are thrilled that the Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences will enable these brilliant scientists to explore brain research. We look forward to seeing what lies ahead through the doors of this new Azrieli Institute of Brain and Neural Sciences.”