Columbia University has received a $175 million gift to launch a biomedical research institute, the university announced Monday.
The gift aims to allow PhD students to pursue "the most creative, potentially disruptive ideas in biomedical science," the press release says, and to help physician-scientists translate scientific discoveries into practical tools and methods for patient care.
The gift comes from prolific donors Roy and Diana Vagelos, who met on the Columbia campus in 1951, when Roy was a medical student and Diana was attending Barnard College. The new institute will be known as the Vagelos Institute for Biomedical Research Education.
The bulk of the gift—$125 million—will establish an endowment to help fund PhD students. The remaining $50 million will support physician-scientists seeking to develop expertise in fundamental biology and clinical medicine.
“The financial support provided by Roy and Diana Vagelos to Columbia has been extraordinary, and so too is the leadership they provide through the values embodied in their philanthropy,” said Katrina Armstrong, Dean of the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and EVP for Health and Biomedical Sciences. “The Vagelos Institute for Biomedical Research Education will have an enormous impact in harnessing the power of science to transform clinical care, and I believe we will see similar initiatives started at other university medical schools. The reward for this effort will be unprecedented strides forward in curing disease and treating illness. It’s an opportunity—and a responsibility—we must embrace.”
(This item has been updated to reflect the latest gift.)