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$10M gift supports study of brain disorders


Toronto, ON – CIFAR, the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, has received a $10 million gift for the study of brain disorders from the Azrieli Foundation. The organization says it is the largest it has ever received from a philanthropic foundation in its history.

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Dr. Alan Bernstein, president and CEO of CIFAR. Image courtesy of CNW Group/Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

The funding will support the Azrieli Program in Brain, Mind & Consciousness, a cutting-edge research program that brings together leading researchers from around the world to explore the biological basis of human consciousness. The program draws on researchers from across multiple disciplines, whose work will have important implications for understanding brain disorders.

The gift also enables the launch of the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program, which helps early career scholars build their research networks and develop essential skills to become leaders in global research.

“I want to express my sincere thanks for this amazing gift,” said Dr. Alan Bernstein, CIFAR president and CEO, at a reception to announce the gift. “The Azrieli Foundation is one of Canada’s pre-eminent philanthropic institutions. They have a special emphasis on brain science, and they share with CIFAR the visionary philosophy of investing in research areas with the potential for transformative change.”

“The Azrieli Foundation seeks opportunities to foster excellence in science, investing in the work of both outstanding senior researchers and early career scholars,” said Dr. Naomi Azrieli, chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation. “CIFAR’s multi-disciplinary and global approach to addressing the world’s most complex issues makes them a perfect home for the collaborative research that can bring about breakthroughs in brain research.”

The Azrieli Foundation supports and operates a range of initiatives in various fields, including the promotion of excellence in education and access to education, scientific and medical research, Holocaust education, and the advancement of excellence in architecture and the arts.