Brigham and Women's Hospital to Use $100M Gift for Immunology, Inflammation Research

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital plans to use a $100 million gift to establish a new institute to study immunology and inflammation, hospital officials announced Wednesday.

The gift from biotechnology entrepreneur Gene Lay, though his Laygend Foundation, is the largest in the history of the hospital, which traces its roots to 1832.

Lay, the founder and CEO of San Diego-based BioLegend Inc., said he has always been fascinated by the immune system’s ability to heal the body.

“With this gift, I am bringing together the best scientific minds I know to translate research discoveries into therapies for immune-mediated diseases rooted in chronic inflammation,” he said.

The Gene Lay Institute of Immunology and Inflammation's primary areas of research will include basic understanding of immune-mediated diseases, aging and cancer, with the goal of developing new immunotherapies, the hospital said.

Dr. Vijay Kuchroo, an immunologist and principal investigator at Brigham and Women's, will serve as director of the institute, in conjunction with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Chronic inflammation is a root cause of many diseases, including allergies, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases, Kuchroo said in a statement.

BioLegend, founded in 2002, develops and makes antibodies and proteins and other reagents required for research and diagnosis.

Brigham and Women's is a founding member of the Mass General Brigham health care nonprofit, a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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