Made as part of a $5 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign, the gift includes $20 million in unrestricted funding to be used at the discretion of psychiatry department chair and Oberndorf Family Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry Matthew State. The remaining $5 million will support translational research projects in psychiatry and the neurosciences.
As chair, State has worked to strengthen connections between the university's departments of psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, and the basic science community and advance the psychiatry department's public mission of addressing substance use and mental health issues in vulnerable populations. He is also known for his research on Tourette syndrome and the genetics of autism spectrum disorders.
Susan Oberndorf is chair of WNC Corporation, the Oberndorf Foundation, and the Delbert Coleman Foundation, while her husband chairs Oberndorf Enterprises, the UCSF board of overseers, and the American Federation for Children.
"The truly remarkable support from Susan and Bill has allowed us to lay the groundwork for all we’re doing at UCSF to better understand and treat mental illness," said State. "It's especially important and gratifying that this new gift includes discretionary funds, as this gives our department a nimbleness and flexibility that is crucial when determining priorities in a field as broad and diverse as ours."