The Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, California, has announced a five-year, $50 million endowment gift from South Dakota businessman T. Denny Sanford to expand and accelerate the institute's cutting-edge medical research.
With operations in California and Florida, the newly renamed Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute works to discover the fundamental molecular causes of diseases and devise innovative therapies to address them. Although the institute receives a large portion of its funding from the National Institutes of Health, it relies on philanthropic support for initiatives not typically supported by that government agency.
Since 2007, Sanford and the Sioux Falls-based Sanford Health system have given a total of $100 million to San Diego-area life science groups, including $20 million to the Sanford-Burnham institute to create the Sanford Children's Health Research Center and $30 million to the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, of which the Sanford-Burnham institute is a member, to construct a state-of-the-art stem cell research facility.
"Denny Sanford's continuing generosity will help us make a greater impact on human health," said John C. Reed, president and CEO of the Burnham Institute. "Medical research is changing rapidly. This gift provides a base that enhances our ability to innovate, allowing us to create and maintain technological capabilities that empower great science and also providing seed funding for new ideas that generate promising pilot results so critical for competitive grant applications. At the other end of the spectrum, this remarkable gift provides much-needed support for translating our discoveries into novel strategies for prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of diseases."