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03/10/2004 - Fred Kavli And The Kavli Foundation Establish Seven Research Institutes To Advance The Fields Of Cosmology, Nanoscience And Neuroscience

March 10, 2004

Fred Kavli and The Kavli Foundation today announced the formation of seven new scientific research institutes at leading universities in the United States and Europe. The new institutes, together with two institutes established earlier by the Foundation, form a network of nine Kavli Institutes to address major challenges in the fields of cosmology, nanoscience and neuroscience.

"My goal in establishing these institutes is to support research at the frontiers of science" said Kavli Foundation Chairman and philanthropist Fred Kavli in a news conference in New York's Carlyle Hotel. "I feel that it is especially important to pursue the most far-reaching opportunities and challenges and to seek answers to the most fundamental questions. The Kavli Institutes will pursue science at astronomical scales—the universe; at the most infinitesimal scales---atoms and molecules; and in the most complex of all things--- the human brain." I have selected these three areas of emphasis because I believe they provide the greatest opportunity for major scientific breakthroughs and will have long range benefits for humanity." 

The Seven New Kavli Research Institutes Are:
     
  The Kavli Institute for Brain Science at Columbia University. Directed by Eric Kandel, this Institute emphasizes neural circuitry and investigates, for example, how various genetic components involved in generating neural plasticity are organized, coordinated and expressed within the complex geometry of a neuron and how the activity of individual nerve cells is linked to the neural circuits that mediate complex behaviors.
     
  The Kavli Institute for Neuroscience at Yale University, led by Pasko Rakic, focuses on the cerebral cortex, the crowning achievement of brain evolution and the substrate of human cognitive abilities. A multidisciplinary research strategy, ranging from molecular genetics to behavior, is used to explore the development, cellular organization and function of this complex structure that mediates our perception, memory, language and thought.
     
  The Kavli Institute at Cornell for Nanoscale Science. Research themes here are: (1) signal communication of cells, membranes, and proteins with deliberately fabricated microstructures; (2) the collective behavior of unique arrays of nanostructures; and (3) the spectroscopy of electric and magnetic signals obtained from single atoms or molecular clusters embedded in an electrical circuit. Director is Robert Richardson.
     
  The Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech emphasizes nanobiotechnology, nanophotonics, and large-scale integration of nanosystems. Led by Michael Roukes, it pursues a research agenda that, for example, interfaces living cells with large numbers of nanodevices to read the molecular signatures of gene and protein expression, in real time, and at the resolution of a single cell. Such technologies provide fundamentally unique scientific opportunities for decoding the molecular circuitry of a cell.
     
  The Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago. Led by Bruce Winstein, the Institute's aim is to elucidate the nature of dark energy and dark matter; test the inflationary cosmology hypothesis; resolve the mystery of the origin of the highest energy cosmic rays; understand the role of neutrinos in cosmology; and connect cosmology with string theory.
     
  The Kavli Brain & Mind Institute at the University of California, San Diego. Led by Nicholas Spitzer and Jeffrey Elman, this Institute advances our understanding of the origins, evolution and mechanisms of human cognition, from the brain's physical and biochemical machinery to the experiences and behaviors called the mind. It includes participants from the Salk Institute, The Scripps Research Institute, the Burnham Institute, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center.
     
  The Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at Delft University of Technology in Holland. Led by Hans Mooij, this Institute focuses on interdisciplinary research, tapping the fields of physics, chemistry and biology. State-of-the-art fabrication tools are being used, including bottom-up methods (starting with atoms or molecules) and top-down techniques (such as electron beam lithography). Challenges include: understanding protein nanomachinery in cells and exploring the coupling of biological systems to solid-state information processing; molecular electronics; and quantum information processing.
     
The Two Kavli Institutes Established Earlier Are:
     
  Named in December 2001, the mission of The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara is to broadly contribute to the progress of theoretical physics, especially in areas overlapping the traditional subfields such as cosmology, biophysics and condensed matter physics. Led by David Gross, its most significant characteristics are flexibility and responsiveness to perceived scientific opportunities. In line with its general purpose, the Institute provides an environment for the conduct of interactive research by both resident and visiting senior scientists, as well as younger postdoctoral members.
     
  Created in January 2003, The Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University focuses on recent developments in astrophysics, high-energy physics and cosmology and fosters collaborations between faculty from Stanford's Physics and Applied Physics departments, and the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), which is operated by Stanford for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A gift pledged by Pehong and Adele Chen in 2001 named and endowed the directorship, held by Roger Blandford. A recent gift from Pierre Schwob is being used to establish a center for computational astrophysics in the Kavli Institute.

Based in Oxnard, Calif., The Kavli Foundation was founded in December 2000 by Fred Kavli to advance science for the benefit of humanity and promote increased public understanding and support for scientist and their work.

The Foundation focuses its efforts on the areas of cosmology, neuroscience, and nanoscience. An international program of research institutes, prizes, symposia, and endowed professorships is being implemented to further these goals. Total commitments thus far exceed $100 million.

Fred Kavli is the founder, former chairman and CEO of Moorpark, California-based Kavlico Corporation, one of the world's largest suppliers of sensors for aeronautics, automotive, and industrial applications. He led the company to prominence before selling it in 2000. Subsequently he established two philanthropic entities: The Kavli Foundation and its sister organization, The Kavli Operating Institute, both committed to supporting scientific research for the benefit of humanity.

The Kavli Foundation does not award grants or respond to unsolicited proposals. Participation in Foundation programs is by invitation only. More information can be found on the Kavli Foundation web site at http://www.kavlifoundation.org

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