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UMass Chan Medical School gets $15M gift to support research

February 3, 2022 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — The UMass Chan Medical School has received a $15 million gift that will boost research into ALS and neuroscience, school officials announced Thursday.

The donation from alumni Dan and Diane Casey Riccio includes $10 million for what will be named the Riccio ALS Accelerator Initiative and $5 million to expand and endow the Riccio Fund for Neuroscience.

It is the third and largest gift to the school from the Riccios.

“Dan and Diane Riccio truly understand the impact of philanthropy on advancing research that will improve the quality of life for people with neurodegenerative diseases,” Chancellor Michael Collins said in a statement. “Their generosity is unparalleled and, as an institution, we feel privileged to be the beneficiaries of their incredible and inspiring support.”

The Riccio ALS Accelerator Initiative will take aim at a range of ALS mutations by targeting 10 to 15 genes with the goal of developing novel therapeutic approaches.

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The gift to endow the Riccio Fund for Neuroscience will generate a pool of funds in perpetuity that will be made available to disperse in the form of grants to research faculty.

“UMass Chan researchers have made exciting progress and we hope this support brings us closer to new therapies,” Diane Riccio said.