NY Genome Center Offered $100M “Challenge” Grant by Two Charities

The New York Genome Center (NYGC) said today it has been offered a “challenge” grant of a combined $100 million from two charitable organizations led by directors of the center.

The challenge grant will consist of $80 million from the Simons Foundation, with the other $20 million coming from The Carson Family Charitable Trust. The organizations have pledged to match dollar-for-dollar whatever NYGC raises over the next three years, up to $100 million.

Simons Foundation Chairman James H. Simons, Ph.D., is a director of NYGC’s board, while The Carson Family Charitable Trust is led by Russell L. Carson, a co-chairman of the Center’s board since its creation.

“We are enormously grateful to Russ and Jim for their ongoing dedication to the New York Genome Center, including this remarkable gift,” NYGC Founding Director and CEO Robert B. Darnell, M.D., Ph.D., said in a statement. “It’s an incredible vote of confidence in NYGCs efforts to foster a thriving clinically focused genomics community in New York. This kind of support will enable discoveries in a broad range of diseases, including cancer, neuropsychiatric, and inflammatory diseases, that can help patients today.”

NYGC said funds from the grant will be used to support its work. The Center is an independent, nonprofit consortium of academic and medical institutions, as well as corporate partners, focused on translating genomic research into clinical solutions for serious disease.

“By matching all philanthropic donations to the New York Genome Center over the next three years, we hope to inspire those who have already been generous and also attract new donors,” Carson said.

With the challenge grant, the Simons Foundation’s philanthropic support of the Genome Center will have exceeded $100 million, continuing the foundation’s distinction as being NYGC’s largest donor. According to the Center, Dr. Simons has been a staunch proponent of its work and its focus on clinically actionable genomics.

The challenge grant is the second eight-figure award for NYGC in as many weeks. On January 14, NYGC was awarded $40 million to support one of four Centers for Common Disease Genomics to be launched by NIH, with $260 million funded through its National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).