The has announced a ten-year, $20 million gift from investment fund manager John P. Hussman to support the .
The gift will support a large-scale autism sequencing project and additional research into the genetics of other disorders, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. In recognition of the gift, the institute will be renamed the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics.
Established two years ago, the institute recently received an $80 million grant from the state of Florida and additional support from the Coral Gables-based . The Hussman gift, which will be disbursed through the , will go toward matching the state grant.
Hussman, president of Hussman Econometrics Advisors, received a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and taught economics and international finance at the University of Michigan. For several years, he has provided financial and data mining support for the work of geneticist Margaret Pericak-Vance, who directs the institute and has produced some of the most important discoveries in the field of autism genetics, including the identification of a common risk variant for autism earlier this year.
Hussman has a fifteen-year-old son who was diagnosed with autism at age three. "I am convinced that the research underway at the institute will lead to further breakthroughs in our knowledge of autism," he told the Associated Press. "Simply put, I don't expect that autism will be cured, but I do expect that this research will lead to interventions that will significantly improve the lives of children and adults with autism."