Penn Medicine Receives $16 Million Gift for Neuroscience Initiative


December 21, 2011

WHYY

Penn Medicine received an anonymous gift of $16.3 million to start the Neuroscience of Behavior Initiative. The donation is the single-largest gift to support neuroscience research and practice in Penn Medicine’s history. The new initiative will focus primarily on research in three different areas: addiction, depressive disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Brian Strom, MD, PhD, chair and professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Penn, and vice dean for Institutional Affairs, will lead the project. In an interview with WHYY Newsradio, Dr. Strom said all three disorder areas affect a lot of people, have behavioral symptoms, but are understood to be biological in origin. "The question is understanding biologically what causes them, the basic neuroscience, to potentially developing new drugs to treat them," explained Strom. Strom says along with learning the causes for these disorders, researchers will look at who is at risk for these disorders. He says the university is looking to hire a group of top-notch experts in diverse fields: "Part of the goal here is to get people in different area of science to work together on common problems." The anonymous donor is expected to make other major gifts to this initiative down the road... Read More