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$125 Million Goes to Harvard University's Wyss Institute!

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Harvard University has announced that their former student and Swiss entrepreneur, Hansjörg Wyss has given a second gift of $125 million to enhance the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in Boston, MA. Hansjörg Wyss received his MBA back in 1965 and funded the creation of the Wyss Institute back in 2009 with his first charitable contribution of another $125 million.

Wyss Institute Hansjörg Wyss
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has announced a $125 million gift from alumnus Hansjörg Wyss (pictured above).
This second gift of $125 million will allow the department to significantly increase their efforts in their mission to creating products that will help humanity and to solve complex bioengineering  matters.

“We wanted to create a place where the innovation and imagination of the world’s best minds could work beyond disciplinary boundaries to deliver life-changing medicines and technologies that are inspired by nature,” Wyss said. “I could not have dreamt of the institute’s remarkable discoveries thus far, and am proud and excited to help them continue to build, explore, and improve lives.”

This month they were involved in a study using clay to grow bone along with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Communications which is another Harvard University affiliate. Synthetic silicate (layered clay) is shown to cause stem cells to become bone cells in this study. The research that was done was recently published in Advanced Materials.

“Based on the strong preliminary studies, we believe that these highly bioactive nanoplatelets may be utilized to develop devices such as injectable tissue repair matrixes, bioactive fillers, or therapeutic agents for stimulating specific cellular responses in bone-related tissue engineering,” said Akhilesh Gaharwar of the BWH Division of Biomedical Engineering, the study’s first author and a visiting fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. “Future mechanistic studies will be performed to better understand underlying pathways that govern favorable responses, leading to a better understanding of how materials strategies can be leveraged to further improve construct performance and ultimately shorten patient recovery time.”

Philantropist, Hansjörg Wyss’s gifts are going to good use and could soon benefit the world in many ways. The institute focuses on six technology platforms for research: bio-inspired robotics, programmable nanomaterials, biomimetic microsystems, adaptive material technologies, anticipatory medical and cellular devices, and synthetic biology. 

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