- Billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, on Wednesday launched a new $100 million bioscience research initiative, which will fund research projects as well as two new Allen Discovery Centers over 10 years.
- Branded The Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, the initiative’s first awards with go to four scientists, including Jennifer Doudna at UC Berkeley, to support innovative early stage research.
- Additionally, two newly created Allen Discovery Centers at Stanford University and Tufts University will receive $30 million each over eight years to investigate macrophage infections and morphogenics, respectively.
Paul Allen has been a champion of innovative research for a long time, including founding the Institute for Brain Research in Seattle in 2003. With this new funding, Allen aims to push research and money into underfunded, potentially innovative areas.
“To make the kind of transformational advances we seek and thus shape a better future, we must invest in scientists willing to pursue what some might consider out-of-the-box approaches at the very edges of knowledge," Allen said.
As part of the Frontier’s Group initial commitment, Allen awarded Ethan Bier at UCSD, James Collins from MIT, the aforementioned Doudna, and Bassem Hassan at the French Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière with grants of $1.5 million each.
As for the Discovery Centers, Stanford researchers will be focusing on how Salmonella bacteria interact with the immune system and how that relates to drug resistance—a hot topic in virology, bacterial science and tropical medicine. The team at Tufts will be focusing on unlocking the 'morphogenic' code, which orchestrates the internal signaling that turns nascent cells into functional organs.