By Julia Karow
The University of Miami said last week that a $20 million gift to its medical school's Miami Institute for Human Genomics will contribute to a large-scale autism sequencing project.
"The application of next-generation genomic sequencing technology to the [institute's] extensive autism family dataset will give institute researchers data that will implicate genes responsible for autism risk and explain how those genes cause autism," said a statement from the university.
The $20 million gift to the institute comes from the John P. Hussman Foundation. Its founder, John Hussman, whose son was diagnosed with autism 12 years ago, is president and principal shareholder of Hussman Econometrics Advisors, an investment advisory firm that manages the Hussman Funds. Previously, he was a professor of economics and international finance at the University of Michigan.
The institute, which was founded two years ago and was recently renamed the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, had previously received an $80 million economic grant from the State of Florida, and funds from the new gift will go toward matching that grant. In addition, the institute has received support from the Dr. John T. Macdonald Foundation.