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The McKnight Brain Research Foundation Establishes Endowed Chair at the University of Miami McKnight Brain Institute.

Published: December 1st, 2014

Category: News

A generous gift to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF) will go a long way to promote research aimed at understanding how aging influences memory.

The $2 million dollar gift will establish the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair for Learning and Memory in the Aging. The purpose of the gift is to support medical research of the brain, principally with clinical application, to alleviate age-related memory loss. The funding is in support of Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

The inaugural chair holder will be Clinton Wright, M.D., M.S., Scientific Director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.

“The trustees of the MBRF are pleased to make an additional gift to the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine establishing the Evelyn F. McKnight Chair in Learning and Memory in the Aging,” said J. Lee Dockery, M.D., trustee of  the McKnight Brain Research Foundation. “This gift complements, and reinforces, the strong research partnership with the University of Miami, which began with a gift of $5 million in 2002, and was matched by the University, leading to the establishment of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute (EMBI).  The trustees have every confidence that Dr. Clinton Wright, in collaboration with other research scientists, will advance the understanding and alleviation of age related memory loss.”

Under Wright’s leadership, the Institute has expanded its programs to include epidemiologic research, as well as basic science research for furthering its mission of understanding and treating cognitive decline.

I am truly honored to receive this chair and the recognition it brings our Institute.  I look forward to working with the interdisciplinary team and further building the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami

I am truly honored to receive this chair and the recognition it brings our Institute.  I look forward to working with the interdisciplinary team and further building the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of MiamiI am truly honored to receive this chair and the recognition it brings our Institute.  I look forward to working with the interdisciplinary team and further building the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami

“I am truly honored to receive this chair and the recognition it brings to our Institute,” said Wright, who is also associate professor of Neurology and Director of the Division of Cognitive Disorders. “I look forward to working with the interdisciplinary team and further building the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Miami.”

“I am grateful to the McKnight Brain Research Foundation for this generous gift,” said Ralph L. Sacco, M.D., M.S., professor and Chair of Neurology, the Olemberg Family Chair in Neurological Disorders, and Executive Director of the Institute. “Dr. Wright has done an outstanding job since he joined the Department of Neurology in 2008. I can think of no one more deserving of this honor.”

The $2 million gift from the MBRF matched a 2013 grant provided through the generosity of the Bernard and Alexandria Schoninger Foundation, Inc.  The foundation’s funds were used to endow the Alexandria and Bernard Schoninger Professorship in Memory Disorders in the Department of Neurology.

Evelyn F. McKnight was a nurse who established the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation in 1999. She and her late husband, William M. McKnight, chairman of the board of the 3M Corporation for 59 years, were interested in the effects of aging on memory. That interest inspired her to establish a legacy of support for research of the brain to alleviate the influence of age-related memory loss.

In addition to UM’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, the Foundation supports three other McKnight Brain institutes at the University of Alabama, the University of Arizona, and the University of Florida.  Combined, they have invested more than $70 million in support of research in cognitive aging and memory loss associated with the aging process.