The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation received an anonymous $300,000 donation in support of shark genomic work being done at the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University in Florida.
GHRI said it has successfully decoded the entire white shark genome, which could have major implications for human health. Sharks’ genetic makeup makes them predisposed to low cancer rates, rapid wound healing and anti-aging characteristics.
“We are only beginning to understand the evolutionary traits that have made sharks such incredibly successful species and how those traits might impact human health. However, this work is very expensive,” said GHOF chairman Guy Harvey in a statement. “Without the support of generous individuals like this, none of this groundbreaking work would be possible.”
The donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has committed $100,000 a year over the next three years to continue and expand this genomic research.
“It is my great honor to help support the GHOF shark genomic research,” the donor said in a statement. “The decoding of the shark’s genome is a momentous scientific achievement, and I believe further research will prove useful in applications to human medicine in combating weak immune systems, cancers and age-related diseases. Knowing how these genes protect the shark from cancer will be a huge benefit for humans. Further research is imperative. It is therefore, my hope that my donation will inspire other philanthropists to join me in my support of this exciting and life-changing endeavor.”