Institute for Systems Biology Receives $6 Million Gift from Anonymous California Donor

SEATTLE, WA , March 8, 2010 – The Institute for Systems Biology, an independent, non-profit biomolecular research institute, has received a $6 million gift from a California venture capitalist and philanthropist to support strategic organizational objectives.

The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, is designating his gift over a period of five years to:

  • facilitate ISB's move to a new building that will double space for research and core technology facilities;
  • recruit additional faculty; and
  • provide unrestricted support for research in areas including P4 medicine, biofuels, and global health, and for transferring new knowledge to society.

The gift comes on the heels of an international report from the Spain-based Scimago Research Group that found ISB research papers have the highest scientific impact in the United States and the third highest in the world. The report analyzed the impact of scientific papers published by more than 2000 research institutes around the globe between 2003 and 2007. Reviewed institutions represent 84 countries and five continents.

"This outstanding philanthropic leadership provides critical support for truly revolutionary advances in science," said Lee Hood, MD, PhD, co-founder and president of ISB. "Government funding and industry collaborations succeed in advancing science, to be sure," Hood said, "but that funding is often restricted to the support of highly prescribed research programs focused on incremental advances."

"Visionary donors such as this wonderful friend of ISB understand the importance of unrestricted support in the pursuit of scientific ideas that can literally change the world. We are truly grateful," Hood said.

When launched 10 years ago, ISB was in and of itself a revolutionary concept. It was the first institute in the world dedicated to using systems approaches to unravel complex biological systems, generating knowledge that would enable physicians to diagnose and treat disease prior to the development of symptoms, and some day, prevent disease from occurring at all.

"When we launched ISB the scientific community was skeptical of the approach and of enabling biologists, technologists, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, geneticists and others to work side by side to solve biological problems," Hood said. "Now practically every elite academic institution in the US is using systems approaches, and scientists around the globe look to our research when conducting their own."

"This gift strengthens ISB's ability to continue changing the world."

About the Institute for Systems Biology

The Institute for Systems Biology (ISB) is an internationally renowned, non-profit research institute headquartered in Seattle and dedicated to the study and application of systems biology. Founded by Leroy Hood, Alan Aderem and Ruedi Aebersold, ISB seeks to unravel the mysteries of human biology and identify strategies for predicting and preventing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and AIDS. ISB's systems approach integrates biology, computation and technological development, enabling scientists to analyze all elements in a biological system rather than one gene or protein at a time. Founded in 2000, the Institute has grown to 13 faculty and more than 300 staff members; an annual budget of nearly $50 million; and an extensive network of academic and industrial partners. For more information about ISB, visit http://www.systemsbiology.org.