Arizona State University gifted $50M for dementia research

Mar 26, 2019, 4:51 AM
(Facebook/ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation)...
(Facebook/ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation)
(Facebook/ASU College of Nursing and Health Innovation)

PHOENIX — Arizona State University will receive a $50 million donation that will be used to fund advancement in dementia research, it was announced Monday.

The endowment, one of the largest the university has ever received, was made by Charlene and J. Orin Edson.

The money will be divided evenly between the Biodesign Institute and the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, which will be renamed after the Edsons.

Joshua LaBaer with the Biodesign Institute told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the funding will help the research center on two levels.

It will be used to research the biology that understands the disorder to understand what is wrong in order to advance and treat diagnoses and come up with better solutions to help patients and families cope.

“Part of the goal of the funding is to hire scientists and engineers who are coming up with creative and innovative ways to help patients manage what they have,” LaBaer said.

At the nursing college, the funds are expected to go toward bolstering programs and faculty.

That includes fellowships to train clinician-researchers and the creation of a chair who will work toward making the university the lead in nursing education and health care simulations.

“The Edson family’s generous gift helps to position ASU as a leader in tackling one of the most challenging health issues of our time,” President Michael Crow said in a press release.

“Our belief is that it will serve as an example of how investing in research for the common good makes possible new breakthroughs, better outcomes and faster progress on a whole host of important problems facing society.”

The couple already runs a foundation that supports the Mayo Clinic and the ASU Foundation and a cancer research center in Seattle, according to nonprofit filings.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Arizona State University gifted $50M for dementia research