The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Unravelling the Mysteries of the Brain

UT Southwestern establishes the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

One of the greatest medical challenges facing society today is brain injury in its various forms. A new institute has been established at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center to help medical researchers and physicians make significant inroads in building brain injury awareness, while advancing research, treatment and education.

The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute at UT Southwestern, which was created with a $36 million gift from the O’Donnell Foundation, will be a comprehensive center dedicated to better understanding the basic molecular workings of the brain. The Institute will also serve to integrate advances in basic brain research and therapeutic care.

Peter and Edith O’Donnell believe that talent is the driving force that has helped build a great medical school in Dallas and that talent will build it even further in the future.

The O’Donnell Foundation has supported some of the most important research undertaken at UT Southwestern. In the 1980s the O’Donnell Foundation provided funds to support the research of Drs. Joseph Goldstein and Michael Brown.

Today, the foundation continues to support the work of UT Southwestern's Nobel Laureates and the many members of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine at the medical school. The O’Donnell Foundation also created the Endowed Scholars in Medical Science to help ensure financial support for UTSW to train and mentor the next generation of medical scientists.

“The gift enables UT Southwestern to accelerate progress in injury prevention, novel brain preservation strategies, and restoring brain function lost by injury and disease,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern.

The gift also gives UT Southwestern the resources it needs to retain and recruit world leaders in science and medicine. “UT Southwestern draws exceptionally talented investigators to a highly collaborative, technically sophisticated environment,”
said Dr. Podolsky.

“These investigators have consistently made groundbreaking discoveries in medicine, and now, thanks to the incredible generosity of the O’Donnell Foundation, they will be positioned to make even more dramatic advances throughout the entire realm of neuroscience.”

“UT Southwestern’s enormous talent in neuroscience and neurotechnology provides an important opportunity to invest in this critical field,” said Peter O’Donnell Jr. “The medical school consistently tackles some of the most difficult scientific challenges with enormous success, benefitting patients today and patients for generations to come. I have every confidence that the field of neuroscience will make great strides at UT Southwestern. I look forward to seeing the next discoveries that are made, and meeting the next extraordinary scientists and researchers who will be recruited to the Brain Institute.”

The new Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute will further UT Southwestern’s well-established foothold in neuroscience, including both basic and translational science, as well as clinical care, supported by its unique expertise in affiliated fields.

If you would like more information about how to start an endowment, please contact the Office of Development at ♦ (214) 648-2344.