PRESS RELEASE: Pershing Square Foundation Establishes $10 Million Endowment to Support CSHL Life Science Research

COLD SPRING HARBOR, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) announced today that The Pershing Square Foundation (PSF) has awarded the institution $10 million to support its leading biology and genetics research and education programs. The uniquely structured grant reflects a commitment by The Pershing Square Foundation to support exceptional leadership and innovative organizations that are catalyzing change in their respective industries.

The principal of the fund will be managed as an endowment by Pershing Square Capital Management. CSHL will receive an annual income of 5% of the principal to support its cutting-edge research and education. In 2040, the appreciated principal will be released to CSHL as an unrestricted endowment named the Pershing Square Innovation Fund to support research at CSHL in perpetuity.

“This important gift perfectly addresses the need for flexibility in funding contemporary science,” said CSHL President & CEO Bruce Stillman, Ph.D. “With unrestricted endowment, we can be nimble in our decisions to support pioneering projects and game-changing discoveries to improve human health. We are grateful to have Bill and Karen Ackman and The Pershing Square Foundation as our partners in advancing basic science.”

“As one of the leading biomedical research centers in the world, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory deeply understands the investments and calculated risks necessary for breakthrough discoveries in the life sciences,” said Bill Ackman, co-founder of The Pershing Square Foundation and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. “With this long-term investment, CSHL will have the freedom and flexibility to pursue bold research that would not have been possible within a traditional funding structure.”

Jamie C. Nicholls, CSHL Chairman, said, “We thank The Pershing Square Foundation and Bill and Karen for their leadership and long-term commitment to CSHL. This uniquely structured donation leverages the strengths of both organizations and will advance CSHL’s ability to recruit and support the best and the brightest scientists far into the future.”

The grant marks an ongoing collaboration between both organizations. In 2014, CSHL’s cancer researcher Dr. Lloyd Trotman won The Pershing Square Sohn Prize for his work on understanding the genetic changes that occur during prostate cancer. Trotman has developed unique technology that recapitulates a human model of prostate cancer and visualizes it in live animals. This breakthrough technology can be used as a platform to determine how mutations cause cancer and to test potential treatments. Additionally, CSHL’s Dr. Christopher Vakoc was awarded special funding as a finalist of the 2015 Pershing Square Sohn Prize for his work on potential leukemia therapies.

About The Pershing Square Foundation

The Pershing Square Foundation is a private family foundation, based in New York, founded in December 2006 by Karen and Bill Ackman. The Foundation has committed close to $350 million in grants and social investments to support exceptional leaders and innovative organizations that tackle important social issues and deliver scalable and sustainable impact. Bill is the CEO and portfolio manager of Pershing Square Capital Management, L.P. For more information visit:

About Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory is more than 600 researchers and technicians strong. The Meetings & Courses Program hosts more than 12,000 scientists from around the world each year on its campuses in Long Island and in Suzhou, China. The Laboratory’s education arm also includes an academic publishing house, a graduate school and programs for middle and high school students and teachers. For more information, visit


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Dagnia Zeidlickis, 516-367-8455