Foundation turns 45 – Backs education, genetic research

By Todd Cohen

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — The Burroughs Wellcome Fund marked its 45th birthday with a new home and some big new grants.

At a May 25 ceremony, the $700 million-asset foundation dedicated its new $14 million, 43,000-square-foot headquarters facility in Research Triangle Park.

The foundation also announced a $1 million grant to support education in North Carolina and $3 million in grants to support genetic research throughout the United States.

The education grant will support the Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, a group of 15 Tar Heel science museums, aquariums and zoos that have teamed up on science programs for youngsters, teachers and families.

The collaborative will be based at the N.C. State Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

The genetics grants are going to scientists throughout the U.S. working in the new science of functional genomics. The grants aim to speed the application of genetic sequence information into practical uses to help prevent and treat disease.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, which is not connected to Glaxo Wellcome Inc., is a private foundation dedicated to advancing the medical sciences by supporting research and other scientific and educational activities.

The foundation awarded $47 million in grants last year.

Most of its grants are designed to support the career development of young scientists and to strengthen research areas that the fund believes are undervalued or in need of support.

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