The University of Minnesota has announced a $35 million gift from Minnesota Masonic Charities to establish an interdisciplinary initiative focused on the early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders in early childhood and adolescence.
To be led by the university's Medical School and College of Education and Human Development, the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain will bring together researchers and clinicians who study how the brain grows and develops during early childhood and adolescence, when the brain is most receptive to positive intervention, with a focus on disorders such as autism, ADHD, drug addiction, and severe depression. The institute is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021 at the site of the former Shriners Healthcare for Children campus in Minneapolis, forming a research triangle with M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital and the university's Biomedical Discovery District.
The new institute also has received philanthropic investments from the Lynne & Andrew Redleaf Foundation, Otto Bremer Trust, Blythe Brenden-Mann Foundation, and Drs. Gail A. Bernstein and Thomas J. Davis Trust.
The University of Minnesota's largest single donor, Minnesota Masonic Charities previously committed $65 million in 2008 to name the Masonic Cancer Center, $10 million to build the Masonic Cancer Clinic, and $25 million in 2014 to enhance pediatric research and care at the Masonic Children's Hospital.
"Early support of brain health sets the stage for everything to come in life," said University of Minnesota president Joan T.A. Gabel. "Thanks to the Masons' transformative gift, the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain will help ensure that children have the strongest start for a safe, happy, and productive life....Our work in interdisciplinary training, telehealth, and community outreach will increase access to families and serve as a model for collaboration."