Saturday, August 29, 2009

University of Miami School of Medicine receives $20 million for research into autism, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's

From The Miami Herald:

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine announced August 27 that it received a $20 million gift that will be used for research into the causes, prevention and treatment of autism and other common but complex diseases.

The gift is being made by the John P. Hussman Foundation.

As a result, the Miami Institute for Human Genomics will be renamed the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, UM officials said.

On hand for the announcement was UM President Donna E. Shalala, Miller School Dean Dr. Pascal J. Goldschmidt, Dr. John P. Hussman of the Hussman Foundation and Dr. Margaret Pericak-Vance, director of the Miami Institute for Human Genomics.

UM officials said Dr. Hussman and his foundation have a long-standing partnership with Dr. Pericak-Vance and the human genomics institute to identify genetic factors involved in autism.

The money is also expected to bring jobs to Miami-Dade County.

``The new financial support will allow the world-renowned genetic researchers to accelerate autism research through the use of the very latest in genotyping technology,'' UM officials said in a prepared statement. ``Using the next generation of advanced genomic analysis platforms, the researchers will sequence regions of DNA from families and individuals with autism.''

UM officials said the funding also will be used to do research into the genetics of other diseases, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.