£50m: not bad for a study grant

Lily Safra is funding a new brain research centre at the Hebrew University

Lily Safra is funding a new brain research centre at the Hebrew University

The Hebrew University is to be the new home for a world-beating $130 million brain research centre, primarily funded by a UK-based Jewish philanthropist.

Lily Safra, whose late husband Edmond Safra was killed in an arson attack in Monaco 10 years ago, was in Israel this week announcing plans for the Edmond and Lily Safra Centre for Brain Sciences.

The foundation in her late husband’s name, which she runs, is providing $50 million for the centre and the rest will come from donors, other foundations and Israeli government grants.

It is hoped that the centre will spearhead research on treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.

Mrs Safra spoke of the importance of “supporting our partners in Israel especially during these hard times, when so many foundations are being forced to reduce the scope of their work”.

During her visit, she also inaugurated the Edmond J Safra Centre for the Study of Learning Disabilities at Haifa University. The Safra Foundation has recently made an additional grant to Haifa for an educational programme to benefit Israel’s Arab community.

    Last updated: 9:39am, June 4 2009