Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announced a $50 million gift from Jim and Marilyn Simons to establish the Simons Center for Quantitative Biology.
The Simons Center for Quantitative Biology brings together experts in applied mathematics, computer science, theoretical physics, and engineering to further basic research and investigation into illnesses including cancer, autism, bipolar disorder and depression. To chair the Simons Center, CSHL has recruited Adam Siepel, Ph.D. from Cornell University, where he directs the Ph.D. program in Computational Biology and is associate director of the Cornell Center for Comparative and Population Genomics. Dr. Siepel will join CSHL in September. The Center’s faculty includes Drs. Gurinder Atwal, Ivan Iossifov, Justin Kinney, Alexei Koulakov, Alexander Krasnitz, Dan Levy, Partha Mitra and Michael Schatz.
“Jim Simons used his mathematical expertise to change the way the world thinks about financial markets, and he is now profoundly changing the world of science through philanthropy,” said CSHL Chairman Jamie C. Nicholls. “Jim and Marilyn Simons’ longtime support for scientific research is empowering breakthrough discoveries at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and beyond. We are deeply grateful for this transformative gift.”
“Jim and I have been consistently impressed by the commitment of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory’s board, management and faculty to excellence in biological research and education,” said Marilyn Simons. “We are proud to provide financial support that allows this institution to recruit outstanding scientists like Dr. Siepel to pursue the most innovative research in cancer, neurobiology, genomics and quantitative biology. I am confident that our gifts to CSHL will lead to a deeper understanding of our world and greatly benefit mankind.”
“The pace of modern science and the vast amount of data being generated, both in genomics and imaging, has necessitated an expansion of our research to include scientists with expertise in quantitative analysis” said Bruce Stillman, President and CEO of CSHL. “I thank Jim and Marilyn for their most generous support, which has enabled the addition of a new, fundamental research program to our world-leading institution.”
Marilyn Simons, Ph.D. is Vice Chairman of the CSHL Board of Trustees, and Jim Simons, who founded Renaissance Technologies, is a CSHL Honorary Trustee. Together they started the Simons Foundation in 1994 with the mission to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and science, including a major initiative in autism on which major work is being carried out at CSHL. For their pioneering philanthropy to science, Jim and Marilyn Simons were awarded CSHL’s Double Helix Medal in 2008.