McKnight Brain Research Foundation Increases Support
(Left) MBRF board members: (front row) Teresa Borcheck, Nina Ellenbogen Raim, and Henry Raattama; (back row) Lee Dockery, Michael Dockery, and
(Not pictured) Judith Salerno
In their continuing partnership to help fund research efforts, UAB and the McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF) are establishing a $10 million endowment for the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at UAB, to support both the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute and the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair for Learning and Memory in Aging. The endowment is made possible by a $5 million gift from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation and a $5 million matching contribution from UAB and other donors.
“This generous gift from the MBRF will enable the institute and the endowed chair to exist in perpetuity at UAB,” says Robert Rich, M.D., senior vice president and dean of the UAB School of Medicine. “We are incredibly indebted to the trustees of the foundation for their investment in UAB’s research to better understand age-related memory loss.”
The institute was established at UAB with an initial $5 million gift from the MBRF in 2004, followed by an additional $1 million in 2005. The total amount of the new gift is $6 million, including $5 million for the endowment and an additional $1 million for operational funding, also to be matched by UAB. These new gifts provide for faculty salaries, purchase of laboratory instruments, pilot research funding, and other scholarly activities.
David Sweatt, Ph.D., chair of UAB’s Department of Neurobiology, is the director of the institute and holder of the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair for Learning and Memory in Aging. The institute occupies 75,000 square feet of research space on three floors of the Richard C. and Annette N. Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building.
Established in 1999 by Evelyn Franks McKnight, the MBRF supports research toward the understanding of memory and the specific influences of aging on memory. “The population is growing daily, and by the year 2030, it is estimated that nearly 25 percent of Americans will be 65 or older with millions suffering some form of memory loss,” notes J. Lee Dockery, M.D., one of the trustees of the MBRF. “Finding the answer to this health-care problem potentially can have a tremendously beneficial influence on every member of society. The partnership between the MBRF and UAB, under the proven leadership of Dr. Sweatt, has enormous potential to advance our understanding and treatment of age-related memory loss.”
Maintaining the Momentum / Winter/Spring 2010