The largest single donation in the 22-year history of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas will enable pioneering advances in brain health and performance, center leaders announced Thursday.

The dollar amount of the donation, which was described as a “transformational investment in the future of brain health,” was not disclosed.

The Center for Brainhealth says the donation will “energize” its pioneering work to protect, strengthen and restore brain health.

Naming the Sammons BrainHealth Imaging Center

In honor of the multi-year gift from Dallas-based Sammons Enterprises, the center’s imaging facility with its two 3 Tesla MRI scanners, considered the “gold standard” in the field, will be named the Sammons BrainHealth Imaging Center.

“The pandemic has brought brain-related challenges into stark reality, creating a global brain health crisis like never before,” said Sandra Bond Chapman, chief director of the Center for BrainHealth and distinguished professor at the School. of Behavioral and Brain Sciences from UTD. “

Chapman sees the need to act “boldly and urgently” to provide access to proven, proactive brain health measures that benefit everyone.

Yolanda Brown, Kevin Ann Marcyes and Jen Bare are part of Sammons Leadership along with Bart Rypma (director of the Sammons BrainHealth Imaging Center) and Sandi Chapman (chief director of the Center for BrainHealth) [Photo: Jason Voinov]

The donation will impact research in three main areas:

  1. Brain physiology by enabling state-of-the-art imaging techniques to visualize brain systems in real time and assess the impacts of therapeutics and cognitive training;
  2. neuroinformatics, which uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict an individual’s brain health trajectory so problems can be addressed early; and
  3. Data visualization to show individuals how their brain is changing as it improves. Information from all three will be used to develop models to prevent or detect problems early so that interventions can have the greatest impact.

Doubling our peak brain years

“We must tackle brain health with unprecedented focus, determination and funding to double peak brain years to match our longer lifespan, which has been achieved in large part by doubling the heart health,” Chapman said.

Brain health chief wants to help ensure our best brain years are ahead of us: “We are only beginning to truly understand and harness the techniques, strategies and technologies that are most effective for each of us in our context. unique individual,” she said. noted.

Sammons’ donation is a milestone in the campaign

Sammons’ donation is part of the LIMITLESS Comprehensive BrainHealth campaign, which is currently in its silent phase and 60% of a $50 million goal. The campaign, which aims to transform the way people take care of their brains and improve them through actionable strategies, will be open to the public in the coming weeks, according to UTD officials.

A call to action

Chapman hopes the generous donation from Sammons Enterprises will motivate other philanthropic investors to “join the urgent efforts to improve the world of BrainHealth.”

Heather Kreager, CEO of Sammons Enterprises, a holding company with businesses in financial services, industrial equipment and services, real estate and infrastructure, said, “The men and women of Sammons Enterprises are delighted to support cutting-edge science-backed work. from the Center for BrainHealth, whose team is showing the world how to move from identifying problems to capitalizing on opportunities that will lead to healthier outcomes, improved quality of life, and strong societal benefits.

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  • Brain health is at the forefront of an increasingly knowledge-based economy. With innovation spanning from precision diagnostics and matching treatments to innovative economic policies and investment models, there is a “golden opportunity” to lead the brain health revolution. “Dallas is uniquely positioned to lead the way for the state, the country and the world,” according to these experts in science, politics and finance.

  • The late Fort Worth billionaire’s foundation is making new strides in neurodegenerative brain disease research with the announcement of a partnership with CurePSP. Together, they aim to make it easier for researchers to access brain tissue and data and move the world towards treatments for these currently deadly diseases.

  • Four grant-winning teams will create the AHA’s tenth “Strategically Focused Research Network”. The collaboration will focus on health technologies and innovation.

  • The National Institutes of Health award will help HSC lead the AI/Machine Learning Consortium to Advance Health Equity and Researcher Diversity, or AIM-AHEAD, program. The effort will bring together experts in community engagement, AI/ML, health equity research, data science training, and data infrastructure.

  • The 20-year energy savings performance contract will focus on a cooling demand modernization project at the university’s health research laboratories.


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