Madoff fraud closes Picower Foundation

21 12 2008

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The Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme has claimed a victim close to Neuroscience.  The Boston Globe reports that the Picower Foundation had a substantial amount of their endowment invested with Madoff and the losses are suffiecient to  shut down the foundation’s operations immediately. In 2002, the Picower Foundation gave the largest single gift MIT had ever received to that time, $50 million, which currently supports neuroscience research at the  Picower Center for Learning and Memory. I did two years of undergraduate research at the Center for Learning and Memory (the pre-gift name) and Brain Windows has featured research by current PCLM faculty.

The PCLM should be ok, as it appears the gift has been financially mangaed by MIT since 2002.  However, a recurring $200,000 annual gift for support of underrepresented minorities in their doctoral studies in science at MIT will not continue.