Brown University receives $100M donation for brain disease research

One of the largest gifts in Brown University history is intended to quicken the pace of neuroscience research in Rhode Island, with the potential to develop new treatments and cures for such devastating conditions as Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Announced Wednesday afternoon, the $100-million gift to Brown’s Institute for Brain Science from Brown graduate Robert J. Carney and his wife, Nancy D. Carney, is expected to raise the school’s profile as a leader in university-based neuroscience study.

“This is a signal moment when scientists around the world are poised to solve some of the most important puzzles of the human brain,” said Brown president Christina Paxson. “This extraordinarily generous gift will give Brown the resources to be at the forefront of this drive for new knowledge and therapies.”

“Nancy and I have long been impressed by the phenomenal research and education of bright young minds that we see at Brown,” said Robert Carney, a Brown trustee and founder and chairman of Houston-based Vacation Publications Inc. “We are excited to see the brain institute continue to grow and serve society in ways that are vitally important.”

With the gift, the name of Brown’s brain institute will be changed to the Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science.

“The gift will allow the Carney Institute to accelerate hiring of leading faculty and postdoctoral scholars in fields related to brain science, supply seed funding for high-impact new research, and also fund essential new equipment and infrastructure in technology-intensive areas of exploration,” Brown said in a statement.

“Core areas of research at the institute include work on brain-computer interfaces to aid patients with spinal injury and paralysis; innovative advances in computational neuroscience to address behavior and mood disorders; and research into mechanisms of cell death as part of efforts to identify therapies for neurodegenerative diseases that include ALS and Alzheimer’s.”

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Articles , Clinical