Feinberg receives $10 million to develop treatments for neurological diseases

Neya Thanikachalam, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern University trustees Louis Simpson (Weinberg ‘58) and Kimberly Querrey donated $10 million to the Feinberg School of Medicine to help treat neurological diseases, the University announced in a news release Tuesday.

The gift is for a specific center, which will be renamed the Simpson Querrey Center for Neurogenetics. It is meant to help scientists create advanced treatments for genetic neurological conditions, like Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative disorder that affects movement.

Scientists have already started work on different treatments, which are supposed to be individualized to better treat patients.

Neurology Prof. Dimitri Krainc leads the center and has researched the effect gene mutations have on degenerative neurological diseases. One of his notable studies, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that if a person has a mutation in a specific gene, then there is a higher risk that they develop Parkinson’s.

Krainc has also done work on how patient-derived neurons are more effective than mice-derived neurons when developing drugs for neurological diseases.

The gift is also meant to fund other programs, such as pilot studies, recruitment and seminars.

Simpson and Querrey have been giving aid to Northwestern for over a decade. They recently donated $10 million to the University’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics, which creates technology that works with the body to track health. In 2015, they donated $92 million to build the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, which opened in June, and to expand Feinberg’s biomedical research programs.

“I am extremely grateful to Kimberly Querrey and Lou Simpson for their visionary and generous gift that will support development of personalized neurology at Northwestern,” Krainc said in a University news release. “The center will bring together experts in genetics, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry, biomedical engineering, clinical trials, biomarkers, and cell and molecular biology to translate fundamental discoveries into clinical practice.”

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