A huge educational foundation that has given millions to promote biomedical research and human rights says it will close, a victim of the alleged financial fraud orchestrated by Bernard Madoff.

The Picower Foundation's grant-making will cease "effective immediately," Barbara Picower said Friday. She wrote in a statement that the "act of fraud has had a devastating impact on tens and thousands of lives."

The foundation has given millions to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Human Rights First and the New York Public Library.

The foundation was established in 1989 by Barbara Picower and her husband, Jeffry Picower. Madoff managed its assets. He's accused of swindling investors of $50 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme.