The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research has announced gifts totaling $6.5 million from Lily Safra and the Edmond J. Safra Philanthropic Foundation to help accelerate medical breakthroughs and a cure for Parkinson's disease.
A two-year, $4.5 million pledge from the foundation and a personal gift of $2 million from Lily Safra, board chair of the Safra Foundation and a board member of MJFF, boosts Safra's and the foundation's combined support of MJFF to nearly $20 million since 2001. The gifts were timed to maximize the benefit of the Brin Wojcicki Challenge, which ended on December 31 after two years, and helped the organization surpass its $50 million fundraising goal.
In recognition of the Safra Foundation's support, the Edmond J. Safra Conference Room at MJFF was officially dedicated in late 2012; in 2008 MJFF renamed its core grantmaking programs the Edmond J. Safra Core Programs for PD Research. Other MJFF programs made possible by the Safra Foundation include the LEAPS (Linked Efforts to Accelerate Parkinson's Solutions) initiative and the Edmond J. Safra Global Genetics Consortia.
"Mrs. Safra and the Edmond J. Safra Foundation have been among our most important and steadfast supporters since day one," said Michael J. Fox Foundation CEO Todd Sherer. "Beyond financial support, they are consistently enthusiastic about our ideas — including our pursuit of high-risk, high-reward projects with great potential to impact patients' lives."