Mort Zuckerman pledges $200 M. to Columbia for brain-research institute

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Mortimer Zuckerman, owner of the Daily News and U.S. News and World Report, prominent real-estate baron and frequent TV-news talking head, has committed $200 million to Columbia University.

The money will found an institute at Columbia's new Manhattanville campus focused on study of the brain and mind, the University announced this morning.

From a press release issued this morning by the university:

A key goal will be facilitating translational programs focused on new therapies and potential cures for disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and Asperger’s, schizophrenia and mood disorders, memory loss, neurotrauma and stroke, decision making, theoretical neuroscience, sensory perception and neural stem cell biology.

The money will create 65 faculty members devoted to what is being called the Mind Brain Behavior Institute, and coordinate with other departments to bring in more than a thousand faculty university-wide.

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Zuckerman's philanthropy is well documented in Jewish and Israeli causes, but less famously has been a major funder for New York University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.