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Press Release | News From The Institute | Donor Spotlights
The Weizmann Institute of Science receives $50 Million (USD) from The Azrieli Foundation to help humanity unlock the mysteries of the brain
Rendering of the future home of the Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences (Skorka Architects)

This donation — among the largest of its kind for the Foundation — will establish The Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences at The Weizmann Institute of Science.

“This is how breakthroughs in brain research will happen.”
— Dr. Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation

TORONTO, ON (November 9, 2021) The Weizmann Institute of Science and Weizmann Canada are thrilled to announce a lead philanthropic donation of $50 million USD from the Azrieli Foundation, to enable catalytic brain research with the establishment of The Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences. The donation is among the largest of its kind for the Foundation. The Azrieli Foundation is a longstanding supporter of research at the Weizmann Institute, and this generous donation adds to its past philanthropic investments of nearly $30 million USD towards Weizmann research facilities and faculty and student fellowships.

Weizmann’s Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences, which will be located at the Weizmann Institute campus in Rehovot, Israel, will promote the full spectrum of neuroscience research, from basic, curiosity-driven studies to translational work of high clinical relevance, with global impact. The donation will enable the construction of a new building that will serve as a hub for neuroscience activities, facilities, and state-of-the-art technologies.

“The new Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences...will create a home for all the Weizmann researchers studying neuroscience, who will work together to gain a detailed understanding of how the brain develops and how it functions.”
— Prof. Alon Chen, President, Weizmann Institute of Science

“The new Azrieli Institute for Brain and Neural Sciences embodies one of the Weizmann Institute’s fundamental values – interdisciplinary collaboration. It will create a home for all the Weizmann researchers studying neuroscience, who will, under one roof, work together to gain a detailed understanding of how the brain develops and how it functions. I’m confident that this new and unique research environment will enable the next major leap in brain research,” said Weizmann Institute President, Prof. Alon Chen. “The Azrieli Foundation’s commitment to the Weizmann Institute is extraordinary and we are deeply grateful for their longstanding support and partnership.”

The Weizmann Institute of Science, Weizmann Canada and the Azrieli Foundation have maintained a special partnership over many years, supporting a spectrum of biomedical and life science research from systems biology to neuroscience and beyond.

Naomi Azrieli, DPhil. Chair and CEO, Azrieli Foundation Canada and Co-Chair, Azrieli Foundation Israel at the November 7, 2021 announcement in Montreal occurring concurrently with an announcement in Rehovot, Israel. (Photo credit: PBL Photography; credit for background art: Pascal Grandmaison, VOIR LA NUIT, 2021, Impression au jet d’encre sur toile / Inkjet print on canvas, 84 x 224 in.)

“The Azrieli Foundation seeks to nurture networks of excellence and out-of-the-box thinking, and we are passionate about supporting the next generation of researchers. In addition to Weizmann’s outstanding record in science writ large, and neuroscience specifically, we are excited that this new institute will facilitate and amplify collaborative work across 40 groups in multiple disciplines. This is how breakthroughs in brain research will happen,” said Dr. Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation.

“We are incredibly grateful for our longstanding partnership with the Azrieli Foundation,” said Susan Stern, CEO of Weizmann Canada. “Their leadership through this new magnanimous gift will benefit humankind by furthering the collective global understanding of the brain through Weizmann’s world-leading neuroscience research.”

The Weizmann Institute is a close-knit, agile and flexible community that is home to the brightest young stars and leading minds in multiple fields. The Weizmann Institute’s unique model has made it one of the highest-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions in the world (ranked second globally on the Nature Index of research quality in 2019, and eighth for research quality by the Leiden 2021 ranking), with many world-renowned, award-winning scientists, including Nobel Prize and Turing Award laureates.

“The Azrieli Foundation's...leadership through this new magnanimous gift will benefit humankind by furthering the collective global understanding of the brain through Weizmann’s world-leading neuroscience research.”
— Susan Stern, CEO, Weizmann Canada
From left: Weizmann Institute President, Prof. Alon Chen; Danna Azrieli, Co-Chair, Azrieli Foundation Israel and Chair, Azrieli Group; and, H.E. Isaac Herzog, President of the State of Israel at the November 7, 2021 announcement in Rehovot, Israel occurring concurrently with an event in Montreal, Quebec. (Photo credit: Weizmann Institute of Science)

The Weizmann Institute is a close-knit, agile and flexible community that is home to the brightest young stars and leading minds in multiple fields. The Weizmann Institute’s unique model has made it one of the highest-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions in the world (ranked second globally on the Nature Index of research quality in 2019, and eighth for research quality by the Leiden 2021 ranking), with many world-renowned, award-winning scientists, including Nobel Prize and Turing Award laureates.

The Azrieli Institute will focus on cutting edge research in the following areas: the development of neural networks; perception and action; mental and emotional health, positive neuroscience; learning, memory and cognition; the aging brain; neurodegeneration; injury and regeneration; theoretical and computational neuroscience; development of innovative neurotechnologies; and, integrative brain disorders.

(video credit: Eclipse Productions)

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Read select news coverage about the announcement in Yahoo News, The Jerusalem Post, TheJ.ca, The Westmount Independent and the Montreal Gazette

ABOUT WEIZMANN CANADA

Since 1964, Weizmann Canada has partnered with individuals, families, foundations, and the business community to develop funding for the Weizmann Institute of Science; sharing the Institute’s research with the Canadian public; and promoting science literacy and educational programs across all age groups. From coast to coast, Weizmann Canada hosts meetings and interactive events with Weizmann Institute Scientists; provides opportunities for participation in educational programs for high school students and young adults; and brings Canadians a front row seat to research that has – and will continue to – change the world. weizmann.ca

ABOUT THE WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE

The Weizmann Institute of Science, located in Rehovot, Israel is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary institutions of basic research. Weizmann Institute scientists have made a global impact in a variety of areas ranging from health and medicine to alternative energy and security and technology. Our specific impact includes being credited for inventing amniocentesis, developing a block buster drug for multiple sclerosis, and developing encryption technology to power internet and smart cards. weizmann.ac.il

ABOUT THE AZRIELI FOUNDATION

With a firm belief that everyone, from our most vulnerable to our most exceptional, has a contribution to make, the Azrieli Foundation has been opening doors, breaking ground and nurturing networks for over 30 years. As the largest non-corporate foundation in Canada, we fund institutions and operate programs in Canada and Israel. www.azrielifoundation.org

 

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