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July 07, 2014

Simons Fund Donates $50-Million for Biology Research

Mathematician-turned-financier James Simons and his wife, Marilyn, are giving $50-million to expand big-data-driven biological research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, writes The Wall Street Journal.

The contribution from the Simons Foundation will enlarge Cold Spring Harbor's Simons Center for Quantitative Biology, which brings together scientists from various disciplines for studies of population, disease, and genetic disorders. Ms. Simons is vice chairwoman of the laboratory's board.

Mr. Simons, a leading patron of scientific work, pioneered the use of quantitative strategies in investing as the founder of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies. He told the Journal his $2-billion foundation is "backing down from broad institutional support" such as the Cold Spring Harbor grant and will be "moving in the direction of collaborative, goal-driven science."