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The Making of Medicine

$30 Million Gift Advances Alzheimer’s Research

A generous $30 million gift from the family of the late David and Mary Harrison, two of UVA’s most generous benefactors, will provide a huge boost to our Alzheimer's research.

The donation will fund a new translational research program devoted to developing the next generation of treatments for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. It will be housed in the upcoming Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology, now being constructed at Fontaine Research Park.

The center, to be called The Harrison Family Translational Research Center in Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases, will serve as a vital link between the Manning Institute and the UVA Brain Institute, which encompasses all neurological research at UVA.

In addition to establishing the translational research center, the Harrison family also has donated $25 million to fund an Olympic sports center in the Department of Athletics. The Harrison Family Olympic Sports Center will feature a performance training center, strength and conditioning facilities and tutoring and academic support spaces, as well as a hall of champions.

“The Harrison family’s incredibly generous commitments will provide robust support for UVA students and faculty and will help foster and coordinate important work on neurodegenerative disease,” UVA President Jim Ryan said in announcing the donation. “I’m deeply grateful to the Harrisons for their decades of giving to UVA and for their investments in key areas of the strategic plan. The impact of their giving will be felt on Grounds for generations to come.”

Speaking on behalf of the family, Marjorie Harrison Webb, president of the Harrison Foundation, said: “We are pleased to lend our support to two areas of the University that will increase opportunities for students and faculty to thrive. Student-athletes embody the full promise of a UVA education, while a research center devoted to the understanding and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases will allow UVA researchers to lead the way in the fight against these devastating illnesses.” 

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