updated 2/4/2009 10:57:08 AM ET 2009-02-04T15:57:08

A Massachusetts businessman is pledging $100 million to create a new institute that will search for vaccines for AIDS and other diseases.

Software entrepreneur Phillip T. Ragon announced the gift to Massachusetts General Hospital on Wednesday.

The hospital will get $10 million a year for the next decade to form a research institute bringing together doctors, engineers and biologists from Mass. General, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The 59-year-old Ragon is the founder and owner of Cambridge-based database software company InterSystems Corp.

The Boston Globe says Ragon decided to create the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute after witnessing the plight of AIDS patients in South Africa.

Bruce Walker, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has been named director of the institute.

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