PASADENA—The W. M. Keck Foundation has awarded Caltech $5,000,000 to support interdisciplinary research projects on biological systems. The funding will establish a Discovery Fund in Basic Medical Research.
As Caltech begins a new emphasis on the biological sciences, the Discovery Fund will support interdisciplinary academic research and education. With this funding, the Institute can use its expertise in merging computing, physics, engineering, and chemistry with biology to address some of the most complex and intriguing biomedical problems that are likely to arise from such initiatives as the genome project and the burgeoning understanding of human development and neural function.
"The W. M. Keck Foundation Fund for Discovery in Basic Medical Research will give our talented and creative faculty the opportunity to form collaborations to look at research from new and untested perspectives," says Caltech's vice president and provost, Dr. Steve W. Koonin. "Indeed, the very existence of such funding at a place like Caltech, with its tradition of working across disciplinary boundaries, will stimulate a whole new dimension of thinking and discussion among our faculty."
Two- to three-year grants will be awarded to the most promising research projects submitted semiannually by the faculty.
Beginning in 1999, three biennial symposia will be held at Caltech to provide public presentations of the work supported by the Discovery Fund.
The W. M. Keck Foundation, one of the nation's largest philanthropic organizations, was founded in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The foundation's grant making.