Columbia's $200 Million Gift: President Lee C. Bollinger Announces Funds for New Institute

Columbia's President Lee C. Bollinger has announced that a $200 million gift would be given by Mortimer B. Zuckerman to endow a Mind Brain Behavior Institute in support of interdisciplinary neuroscience research and discovery by scholars across the University.

Monday's announcement came following a morning forum at Columbia University, which was attended by both Bollinger and Zuckerman. The forum featured the Institute's founding co-directors, Thomas Jessell and Nobel laureates Richard Axel and Eric Kandel, and was used to discuss plans for the Institute.

When the announcement was made, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was also in attendance. He hear Zuckerman say:

"This country has provided me with extraordinary opportunities, and I am glad for the chance to support scientific leadership in a field I believe is so essential to all our lives.

"With an inspiring team of neuroscientists at its core, Columbia's Mind Brain Behavior Institute is not only researching vital questions about diseases of the brain, especially as we age, it is bringing together talented researchers across many academic fields to address the central questions we face as a society.

"At its root, this is an investment in accomplished scholars whose collective mission is both greater understanding of the human condition and the discovery of new cures for human suffering. I can hardly think of anything more important than that. I feel deeply privileged to participate in this path-finding venture."

The Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute will look to build upon Columbia's past works in biological and physical sciences, as well as to compliment its medical research.