Former Google CEO gives Broad Institute $150M for new machine learning, biology innovation center

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, have gifted $150 million to Cambridge, Mass.-based The Broad Institute to launch a new research center focused on biology and machine learning innovations.

In recognition of the  gift to establish the Schmidt Center, the Broad Foundation put up an additional $150 million endowment gift to support the new center, according to a March 25 news release.

The center will serve as a collaboration hub for researchers to pursue data and life sciences innovations in biology and human health. Inspiration for the center falls on two main reasons: the exponential growth and widespread adaptation of data technologies such as machine learning and cloud computing as well as advances in generating massive amounts of data on living systems through DNA sequencing, single-cell genomics and medical imaging, according to the news release.

"Biology is now producing data at previously unimaginable scales — but our ability to understand and interpret that data hasn't kept pace," Broad Institute Director Todd Golub said in the news release. "Adapting the methods of machine learning for biology will give scientists the chance to understand the programs of life, and the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Center will enable new partnerships between academia and industry that can greatly accelerate our progress."

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