[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 18-Nov-2010
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Contact: Aaron Blank
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

First Allen Distinguished Investigators named

Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announces seven grants totaling $9.4 million for scientific research

SEATTLE, Wash. – November 18, 2010 – The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation today launched a program to advance important neuroscience and cellular engineering research. The Allen Distinguished Investigator Awards will fund seven researchers at universities and laboratories in Washington, California, Massachusetts and New York.

The grants total $9.4 million and will be paid over three years.

"A year ago, I started searching for programs with potential for major breakthroughs but which had struggled to find funding through traditional sources," said Paul G. Allen. "The inaugural Distinguished Investigators are working on some of the most exciting research in biology and neurology and I'm proud to be able to help keep that work going."

The grants are awarded to the institutions where the researchers work; the University of Washington, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Award recipients and projects funded include:

Susan M. Coliton, Vice President of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, said, "One of the Foundation's goals is to support projects that create new knowledge about ourselves and our universe. Making investments in early stage, cutting-edge research leverages both our funding and the intellectual capital of talented scientists. We couldn't be more thrilled about the potential of this inaugural group of Allen Distinguished Investigators."

The research also complements work being done by the Allen Institute for Brain Science. The Institute is conducting leading-edge research, including development of a 3-D genetic map of the human brain. The data, made available to researchers without cost, will shed light on many neurologically based conditions, including behavioral dysfunction and diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Earlier this year, Allen said that he will leave a majority of his estate to philanthropy, including to continue the work of the brain institute and the family foundation.


2010 Marks 20th Anniversary of Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Over the past 20 years, Paul Allen's contributions to the Foundation have resulted in more than 3,000 grants totaling over $400 million. In addition to contributions to his family foundation, he has provided $600 million directly to nonprofits he has founded, including the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Experience Music Project, for a total of over $1 billion in personal giving.

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation is a longstanding supporter of nonprofit organizations focused on making positive and measurable change. The Foundation's vision for transforming lives and building healthy communities guides its five priority program funding areas, which include nurturing the arts, engaging children in learning, addressing the needs of vulnerable populations, advancing scientific and technological discoveries, and providing economic relief amid tough economic times.

You can learn more about the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation at www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.

To read a special report celebrating the Foundation's 20 years of giving, go to: http://www.pgafamilyfoundation.org/decadereport/

More about the inaugural Allen Distinguished Investigators research projects:

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