News and analysis
March 21, 2012

Paul Allen Pledges $300-Million to Brain Research

Paul G. Allen, the Microsoft co-founder, today announced that he plans to commit $300-million to the brain-science research center he founded in 2003 to expand its programs and staff. The multibillionaire has previously provided $200-million to the Allen Institute for Brain Science, in Seattle.

Mr. Allen’s pledge, to be paid over four years, will support the first phase of a 10-year program the center will undertake to study how the brain processes information, the basic elements of brain function, and what goes wrong in brain cells to create neurological disorders and diseases.

The center also plans to double its staff of 350 employees.

Speaking to reporters, Mr. Allen said he would evaluate the center’s progress after four years and determine what kind of research demands more or less support. “There is no shortage of challenges,” he said. “This will be a long, long, long project.”

Mr. Allen has a personal connection to the center’s research­: His mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Last year, Mr. Allen gave $70-million to the institute for neuroscience and genomics-research programs. That gift, along with more than $300-million he donated to other causes, put him in the No. 3 place on The Chronicle’s Philanthropy 50, the annual ranking of the most-generous donors in America.

Send an e-mail to Caroline Bermudez.