Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire, is giving some $74 million to genomics research, building on a $65 million gift he gave in 2010, to the Broad Institute, according to Forbes and a press release from the Broad. The grant is to finance genomic research in non-European populations.
The program, called SIGMA, began in 2010 and brought the Broad together with the Carlos Slim Health Institute and the National Institute of Genomic Medicine of Mexico. The first phase focused on uncovering identify genes linked to cancer, diabetes, and kidney disease in Latin American populations — work that uncovered a diabetes risk variant, the Boston Globe notes— and the second one is to work on translating those findings to the clinic.
"I try to support this kind of project — that is for the interest of everyone in the world, but with some focus in Mexico and Latin America," Slim tells the Globe.
Forbes notes that Slim has also given money to train researchers in Mexico and Latin America.