Yale Receives Major Gift from Dr. Raymond and Beverly Sackler to Launch New Institute for Biological, Physical & Engineering Sciences
Research collaboration among scientists working in the traditionally unrelated fields of biology, physics and engineering will accelerate at Yale, thanks to a gift from Dr. Raymond and Beverly Sackler.
“As a physician, I have believed that biomedical research could be accelerated by the application of tools routinely used by physicists and engineers,” Dr. Sackler said.
Leading researchers from three different faculties at Yale – the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering and the faculty of Arts and Sciences – will be brought together through the programs of the new Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences. Dr. Lynne Regan, who holds Professorships in both Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Chemistry, has been appointed by the Provost to be the first Director of the Institute.
The institute will be organized around several overlapping and interconnected research thrusts. Each multidisciplinary group will address different aspects of a common quest: predicting biological behavior - at the molecular, cellular and whole organism levels.
There will be multiple components of the Institute when it is launched, including graduate fellowships for students interested in pursuing Ph.D. degrees which straddle the physical and life sciences, visiting scholars to bring faculty to Yale from other institutions engaged in interdisciplinary research, and intensive short courses in the summer to teach the multiple techniques which are used across the different disciplines.
“The Sackler Institute will bring together faculty from departments across the university and enable transformative research and teaching initiatives” Dr. Regan said. “We are very excited by the new opportunities this gift brings to Yale.”
The fact that Yale had a track record for collaborative research is what appealed to the Institute’s benefactors. “I have had valuable experiences at various universities in and outside the US, with scientists in the physical and biologic areas,” Dr. Sackler said. “Several years ago, we established an Institute of Biophysics at Tel Aviv University, which has led to collaborative innovative and productive research amongst the physical, biological and engineering disciplines.”
Interdisciplinary research has been a major focus of Yale’s science, medicine and engineering efforts, according to University President Richard C. Levin. “The timing of this gift is perfect,” Levin said. “The Sackler Institute will provide a tremendous boost to the cross-disciplinary interactions that have been growing at Yale among physical scientists, engineers, and life scientists. There is great potential in research and education that crosses the traditional boundaries of departments and disciplines.”