BU Establishes Health and Science Research Center with Massive Donation

Alumnus Rajen Kilachand gave the school $115 million.

Kilachand Center

Photo by Janice Checchio for Boston University Photography

The largest gift in Boston University’s history helped establish a brand new facility dedicated to bridging the gap between life sciences, medicine, and engineering.

Fueled by a $115 million donation from 1974 alumnus Rajen Kilachand, BU on Thursday opened the Rajen Kilachand Center for Integrated Life Sciences & Engineering, which is dedicated to discovery in the fields of human health, energy, and the environment. BU also spent $135 million on the project.

“Rajen Kilachand’s gift establishes an endowment that will support research in perpetuity,” BU President Robert Brown tells BU Today. “It will support hundreds of scientists, researchers, and graduate students working on research that will affect the human condition through research as varied as direct applications to human health, sustainable methods for producing organic materials, food security, and understanding the impact of climate change on all life.”

Roughly 160 researchers and 270 graduate students from Boston University’s main campus and its South End medical campus will use the 170,000-square-foot building, which sits at 610 Commonwealth Avenue. Most of Kilachand’s gift—$100 million—supports their work, while the remaining $15 million helped defray construction costs.

Kilachand, who is the chairman of the Dubai-based conglomerate Dodsal Group, is a familiar name at BU. He gave $25 million in 2011 to establish the Kilachand Honors College, and $10 million the next year to renovate Kilachand Hall. His latest gift, however, is of a totally different scale.

“I believe from the bottom of my heart that this will become one of the leading research institutes on the planet,” he told BU Today.