MIT uses $29 million gift to launch Down syndrome research center

MIT is launching the Alana Down Syndrome Center with a gift from the Alana Foundation.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a received a nearly $29 million gift the university says will be used to enhance research and improve the lives of people with Down syndrome.

MIT in an announcement Wednesday said the $28.6 million gift from the Brazil-based Alana Foundation to establish the Alana Down Syndrome Center will combine the expertise of scientists and engineers in an effort to increase understanding of the biology and neuroscience of Down syndrome.

The center and an associated technology-development program will work to accelerate the generation, development, and clinical testing of novel interventions and technologies into the disorder.

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The Alana Foundation is a nonprofit started by Ana Lucia Villela and Marcos Nisti, of Sao Paulo, Brazil, who have a daughter with Down syndrome.

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