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April 10, 2015

Broad Institute Effort Links Researchers to Budding Donors

A research incubator operated by the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Mass., is connecting up-and-coming scientists pursuing relatively low-cost projects with well-paid young professionals taking their first steps into philanthropy, writes The Boston Globe.

Since its launch in September, BroadIgnite has raised $200,000 from at least 20 donors to fund five $40,000 projects involving promising, early-stage research at the institute, which was endowed by Eli and Edythe Broad to bring together Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology on cutting-edge biomedical research.

The incubator grew out of a presentation that institute President Eric Lander gave to employees at Boston hedge fund Baupost Group, whose head, Seth Klarman, gave the research center $32.5 million in 2012. "We’re taking a chance with what we view to be relatively small amounts of money — 20, 30, 40 thousand dollars — on young scientists and their ideas relatively early in their careers," said Sharmil Modi, a 38-year-old Baupost Group analyst who helped spark BroadIgnite.