Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation commits $220M to Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance

The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, officially announced at a gala dinner on Tuesday, is a collaboration between the Tsai’s Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, Georgia State University and The Regents of the University of Georgia. The Alliance is focused on improving the performance of students in order to help them graduate with higher GPAs.

The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation, a California-based philanthropic organization that was created by the husband and wife team of Joe Tsai and Clara Tsai in 2011, has partnered with the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance (Wu Tsai HPA) to provide $220 million in funding. The Wu Tsai HPA is a nonprofit organization that aims to develop the next generation of world-class athletes and scientists by cultivating the next generation of human performance superstars.


The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation launched a first-of-its-kind collaborative partnership Wednesday with the goal of transforming global human health by studying and sharing information on human performance.

The foundation established the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance, which brings together six public and commercial organizations to research the basic concepts that contribute to peak athletic performance.

The Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty, San Diego Seals, and the Barclays Center are all co-owned by Clara Wu Tsai, creator of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance.

Wu Tsai’s proximity to the experiences of injured athletes and the uncertainties they face when it comes to healing and recovery is critical to the Alliance’s mission. While the Alliance envisions its scientific contributions extending beyond the world of elite athletes to athletes of all ages and levels, Wu Tsai’s proximity to the experiences of injured athletes and the uncertainties they face when it comes to healing and recovery is vital to its mission.

Joe and Clara Tsai believe that the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance will aid in the discovery of basic human performance principles and the development of new technology that will revolutionize how people train, heal, and perform. The Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance provided this image.

“You start to think, ‘How could it have been prevented?’ when you’re close to these athletes and see what they’re going through.” When is the best time to start playing again? What is the best way to recover, taking into account food, time, and sleep?” Wu Tsai expressed his thoughts. “And if it isn’t science-based, it becomes anecdotal and less trustworthy.” I believe we should apply scientific rigor to the process so that the regimens we put them through become standard.

“We simply thought that this was a position where we should step up, seeing how terrible these injuries can be for players as individuals, but also for the team as a whole.”

The Alliance will explore a series of scientific “moonshots” to discover the basic principles of human performance and pioneer new technologies to change how individuals train, recover, and perform throughout their lives, thanks to a $220 million charitable commitment from the foundation. The aim is to uncover the biological principles that control optimal performance, from the molecular level to the entire body, by examining athletes of different ages, genders, ethnicities, talents, and disciplines.

In the medical field, Wu Tsai pointed out how their method varies from conventional scientific research. “Traditionally, scientific funding has been concentrated on illness research,” she said. “We’re adopting the opposite approach, researching the human body at its healthiest and most essential state in order to allow everyone to thrive.”

The following projects will be prioritized by Alliance members Stanford University, Boston Children’s Hospital (a Harvard Medical School affiliate), University of California San Diego, University of Kansas, University of Oregon, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:

  • The Stanford-based Digital Athlete will develop predictive computer models to assist athletes with training and therapy, as well as enhance human health in general.

  • Regenerative Rehabilitation, headquartered in Oregon, will combine regenerative treatments and rehabilitation procedures to help injured tissues regain function and avoid harm.

  • The Salk Institute’s Molecular Athlete will map the molecules and gene expression of human performance in order to improve training, healing, and recovery.

  • The Multiscale Athlete, headquartered at UC San Diego, will use computer modeling to predict molecular and cellular states of tissues and their impacts on whole body performance by combining experimental data across various biological scales.

  • The Female Athlete Program, which will be headquartered at Boston Children’s Hospital, will concentrate on female-specific translational research to address basic physiological issues that are critical for enhancing the health and performance of girls and women.

The work’s translational effect is crucial to the Alliance members’ goal. The moonshots will be supported by a network of innovation centers at Alliance member institutions, with the goal of bridging the gap between laboratory discoveries and clinical application for athletes and non-athletes alike. The emphasis, according to Wu Tsai, is on “finding with a purpose,” adding that many clinical practitioners are looking for more science-based treatments in the field of human performance.

“Everything should be considered in terms of its human and societal effect.”

One of the Alliance’s missions is to disseminate its results; to that end, all of the Alliance’s scientific findings will be publicly accessible to everyone through its website. Agility projects will finance innovative ideas from collaborators from many disciplines, institutions, and nations, resulting in a worldwide collaborative effort to improve the science of human performance.

In the field of sports medicine and human performance, companies have historically been hesitant to share best practices due to perceived competitive advantage. This collaborative and open institutional connection, according to Wu Tsai, extends to anybody who is interested in participating in their process or just obtaining their findings.

“This isn’t about the Nets’ charity…. This is a project based on cutting-edge research. We invite anybody who is interested in learning more about healthy bodies and helping to advance this area to join us.”

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