The University of California, San Francisco has announced an unrestricted gift of $25 million from the Bill and Susan Oberndorf Foundation to advance basic research in psychiatry and the behavioral sciences.
Over the next decade, research in the field is expected to revolutionize understanding of the most serious psychiatric illnesses, including autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. Longtime supporters of UCSF, the Oberndorfs have helped support several capital projects at the school, including the UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, the Sandler Neurosciences Center, and the UCSF Helen Diller Family Cancer Research Building. Their latest grant builds on an earlier $5 million gift for a distinguished professorship in psychiatry, which has helped advance UCSF's leadership in the field and provided resources for the creation of a world-class neuroscience program on campus, including the recruitment of Matthew W. State, a renowned child psychiatrist and internationally recognized expert on the genomics of autism and Tourette syndrome.
"UCSF is determined to be at the forefront of this revolution, creating a community of the very best young minds focused on this mission and allowing them to do their most creative work, embedded in an extraordinarily strong and collaborative neuroscience community," said State. "An unrestricted gift of this magnitude will be a game-changer in our ability to recruit and support outstanding scientists in what is an extremely challenging funding climate. We will be able to give them the freedom they need to pursue work that promises not only to unlock biological secrets, but to change the way that society views mental illness."