Russian-Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich donates $20 million to fund nuclear medicine research


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Russian-Jewish billionaire businessman Roman Abramovich donated $20 million to fund a research center for nuclear medicine at an Israeli hospital.

Abramovich, who owns Britain’s Chelsea soccer club, made the donation to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, located near Tel Aviv to fund the cutting-edge research center.

Nuclear medicine can be used for the diagnosis and treatment of a range of diseases including heart disease, cancers, strokes and Alzheimer’s.

Sheba has submitted its permit application to build a new 21,500-square-foot, three-floor, diagnostic and research center for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.

The entire basement floor will be dedicated to housing a cyclotron, a special nuclear reactor, which will produce small quantities of nuclear isotopes for use in molecular imaging, the medical center said in its announcement.

Abramovich has donated a total of $57 million to projects at Sheba, including to the Sheba Cancer and Cancer Research Centers, the Pediatric Middle East Congenital Heart Center and the Sheba Heart Center.

In 2017, Forbes estimated Abramovich’s net worth at $9.1 billion, making him the 139th richest person in the world. He is Russia’s 12th richest person.

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