Vitalik Buterin’s Balvi Filantropic Fund Donates Over 15M in USDC to UCSD


The University of California San Diego (UCSD) announced on Mar. 7 that it had received a donation of 15 million USDC from the Balvi Filantropic Fund, which is directed by Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin. The foundation was established to provide rapid deployment of funds to high-value COVID projects that are typically overlooked by traditional institutional and commercial funding sources. This is reportedly the largest gift of its kind to a U.S. university.

The funds from the Balvi Filantropic Fund will be used to establish the newly created Meta-Institute for Airborne Disease in a Changing Climate, also known as “The Airborne Institute”. The purpose of this institute is to study airborne diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, and COVID-19, in order to develop new treatments, vaccines, and diagnostics for these viral ailments. Buterin commented on the development:

“I am pleased to support the creation of this new institute at UC San Diego, which will work to grow our scientific knowledge about airborne disease and share it freely, enabling changes to infrastructure and policy that benefit people around the globe.”

The institute will be located in the UC San Diego School of Biological Sciences and will be researching how airborne diseases are spread and how to develop better methods to treat and prevent them. The research results will be published in open-access journals, as well as other data, while any intellectual property developed by The Airborne Institute will be submitted to the public domain. An atmospheric chemist and professor at UCSD shared the following:

“Working together with health care experts, […] we will be developing state-of-the-art measurements and computational tools to study these problems. A major goal is to develop a better understanding of the production and sources of airborne bioparticles and how long they remain infectious.”

Researchers associated with the institute recently published a study showing that nearly three-quarters of the aerosols near Imperial Beach contained bacteria associated with the raw sewage in the Tijuana Estuary (UCSD)

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