The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced on Thursday a new center for autism research, launching with $20 million in initial funding courtesy of Broadcom (brcm) chief executive officer and MIT alum Hock Tan and former investment banker Lisa Yang.
The Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research, which will fall under the rubric of MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research, will investigate “the genetic, biological, and neural bases of autism spectrum disorder,” according to MIT. An estimated one of 68 children (and one in 42 boys) in the U.S. are affected by autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control.The Institute draws researchers not only from MIT ranks but from Harvard, biotech companies, and other local institutions, she said. “There’s a collaborative spirit and a lot of cross-pollination with the medical schools. It is not territorial.”
The benefactors, who are parents of two children on the autism spectrum, hope their donation will ignite more support and research for more understanding of the disorder and alleviate its impact on those affected, according to MIT’s statement.