The Weizmann Institute of Science received a lead philanthropic donation of $50 million from the Azrieli Foundation, to enable catalytic brain research with the establishment of The Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences. The donation is among the largest of its kind for the Foundation. The Azrieli Foundation is a longstanding supporter of research at the Weizmann Institute, and this generous donation adds to its past philanthropic investments of nearly $30 million towards Weizmann research facilities and faculty and student fellowships.
Weizmann’s Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences, which will be located at the Weizmann Institute campus in Rehovot, Israel, will promote the full spectrum of neuroscience research, from basic, curiosity-driven studies to translational work of high clinical relevance, with global impact. The donation will enable the construction of a new building that will serve as a hub for neuroscience activities, facilities, and state-of-the-art technologies.
“The new Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences embodies one of the Weizmann Institute’s fundamental values – interdisciplinary collaboration. It will create a home for all the Weizmann researchers studying neuroscience, who will, under one roof, work together to gain a detailed understanding of how the brain develops and how it functions. I’m confident that this new and unique research environment will enable the next major leap in brain research,” said Weizmann Institute President, Prof. Alon Chen. “The Azrieli Foundation’s commitment to the Weizmann Institute is extraordinary and we are deeply grateful for their longstanding support and partnership.”
“The Azrieli Foundation seeks to nurture networks of excellence and out-of-the-box thinking, and we are passionate about supporting the next generation of researchers. 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. This is how breakthroughs in brain research will happen,” said Dr. Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation.
The Weizmann Institute is a close-knit, agile and flexible community that is home to the brightest young stars and leading minds in multiple fields. The Weizmann Institute’s unique model has made it one of the highest-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions in the world (ranked second globally on the Nature Index of research quality in 2019, and eighth for research quality by the Leiden 2021 ranking), with many world-renowned, award-winning scientists, including Nobel Prize and Turing Award laureates.
The Azrieli Institute will focus on cutting edge research in the following areas: the development of neural networks; perception and action; mental and emotional health, positive neuroscience; learning, memory and cognition; the aging brain; neurodegeneration; injury and regeneration; theoretical and computational neuroscience; development of innovative neurotechnologies; and integrative brain disorders.
The Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary institutions of basic research. Weizmann Institute scientists have made a global impact in a variety of areas ranging from health and medicine to alternative energy and security and technology. Their specific impact includes being credited for inventing amniocentesis, developing a blockbuster drug for multiple sclerosis, and developing encryption technology to power the internet and smart cards.
With a firm belief that everyone, from our most vulnerable to our most exceptional, has a contribution to make, the Azrieli Foundation has been opening doors, breaking ground and nurturing networks for over 30 years. As the largest non-corporate foundation in Canada, they fund institutions and operate programs in Canada and Israel.