You and UTD, End of Campaign Report
You and UTD, End of Campaign Report
Researchers from multiple schools and disciplines work together to create new biomedical technology and therapies in the Texas Biomedical Device Center.

THE IMPACT OF YOUR GIVING:

Innovation

Over the course of the campaign, donors committed $45.8 million to research.

This support helped fund the study of space weather, criminology, nano-electronics, brain health and biomedical devices, as well as interdisciplinary collaborative work between the sciences and the arts and humanities. "In the end, training and educating students is the primary output of the University," said Dr. Bruce Gnade, vice president for research. "Our students are the motivation for doing great research and recruiting great faculty."

Researchers from multiple schools and disciplines work together to create new biomedical technology and therapies in the Texas Biomedical Device Center. The center launched in 2012 with $13 million from Texas Instruments and an anonymous donor, plus matching funds provided by The University of Texas System Board of Regents.

CAMPAIGN RESULTS: $45.8M SUPPORT FOR RESEARCH

The Center for BrainHealth, led by founder, chief director and Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair Sandra Chapman, addresses solutions to brain injury and disease.

CENTER FOR BRAINHEALTH

Over the course of the campaign, the Center for BrainHealth raised $38 million to support research efforts aimed at understanding, protecting and healing the brain. Researchers at the center are making strides in improving brain health and identifying and treating brain injury and disease over a wide range of vital areas such as addiction, Alzheimer's disease, social cognition and stroke. More than 60 programs include work on new ways to stave off dementia, vital research into care for traumatic brain injury in children and a comprehensive scientific study dedicated to sports-related brain injuries. Community supporters helped raise funds to launch and break ground for the new Brain Performance Institute, which includes the Warriors' Initiative aimed at helping veterans and their spouses or caregivers as they transition back to civilian life. Recent gifts also will allow for the expansion of the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative, which has already helped more than 38,000 students.

The Center for BrainHealth, led by founder, chief director and Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair Sandra Bond Chapman, addresses solutions to brain injury and disease.

Frontiers of Research

Dr. Roger Malina

ART AND SCIENCE

An anonymous gift in 2010 created the Arts and Technology Distinguished Chair, held by Dr. Roger Malina, a champion for interdisciplinary academics. A physicist, astronomer and executive editor of Leonardo publications at MIT Press, Malina serves in two of the University's schools, as a distinguished professor in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication (ATEC) and as a professor of physics in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. His research focuses on connections among the natural sciences and arts, design and humanities. In 2013, he founded the ArtSciLab in ATEC. The aim of the lab is to carry out research that results in art works and scientific data analysis tools, while serving as a technology testbed.

Dr. Margaret Owen

CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Dr. Margaret Owen, a professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences who specializes in children's development in the context of family relationships, was named the Robinson Family Professor in 2012. An anonymous gift established the professorship to honor former UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa and to support the research and scholarly activities of the director of The Center for Children and Families. The center offers an array of clinical and community outreach activities organized around three initiatives: parenting healthy families, strengthening interpersonal relationships, and enhancing thinking and learning.

Dr. Robert L. Rennaker II

VAGUS NERVE STIMULATION

In addition to serving as the director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center, Dr. Robert L. Rennaker II, a neural engineer, is also part of the team of researchers and clinicians who developed a new method for using vagus nerve stimulation to address such conditions as tinnitus, chronic pain, stroke, Alzheimer's and more.

"My roles at the University are about bringing together diverse groups of researchers — mechanical and electrical engineers, neurologists, neuroscientists, biologists, computer scientists, materials scientists and physicists — to solve clinically relevant problems," Rennaker said. "With Texas Instruments and UT Dallas investing in us and the initiatives that we're moving forward with, I think that we're going to change the world, and we'll see it in our lifetime."

Dr. Bart Rypma

MEMORY AND AGING

Dr. Bart Rypma, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology, was named to the Meadows Foundation Chair in Behavioral Brain Science in 2014. A principal investigator at UT Dallas' Center for BrainHealth, Rypma is studying the mental processes involved in human memory and how those processes change during aging and disease. His advanced research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has allowed him and his colleagues to observe the brain activity of younger and older adults as they perform cognitive tasks. Rypma's investigations are leading to important strides in understanding the neurological basis of mild cognitive impairment, multiple sclerosis and Gulf War Illness. They have attracted funding from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Robert Wallace

INTEGRATED CIRCUITS

In 2011, the Erik Jonsson Distinguished Chair was established to support research and scholarly activities of a faculty member in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. The position was quickly filled by Dr. Robert Wallace. A leader in research and development at Texas Instruments, Wallace established the University's materials science and engineering program. His research in advanced nanoelectronic materials pushes the physical limits of integrated circuits, which are used in nearly all modern electronics. Wallace and his colleagues are investigating ways to replace conventional integrated circuits, currently made from silicon transistors, with nanoscale substances that increase the speed of computing done in electronics while consuming less energy.

Dr. Roderick Heelis

PLANETARY ENVIRONMENTS

An anonymous gift received in 2009 established the Distinguished Chair in Natural Sciences and Mathematics held by Dr. Roderick Heelis, professor of physics and director of the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences. Heelis is an expert on the interaction between the sun and planetary environments, as well as the dynamics of charged particles in the Earth's upper atmosphere. He and his colleagues measure turbulence and other activity in these regions — so-called space weather — with sophisticated instruments that fly on satellites. They then create computer models designed to predict space weather disturbances, which can interfere with GPS navigation. Heelis and his colleagues recently were chosen to design and build an experiment that will fly onboard a new NASA satellite mission called the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON), due to launch in 2017.

Dr. Paul Fishwick

MODELING LIFE

Dr. Paul Fishwick holds dual appointments as a professor of computer science and the ATEC (arts, technology and emerging communication) Distinguished University Chair established by an anonymous gift. Fishwick, who joined UT Dallas in 2013, is focused on bridging science, computing and engineering with the arts and humanities. He leads the Creative Automata Laboratory, where research is aimed at bringing human elements to the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). In the lab, he and his students create physical models that illustrate difficult and abstract concepts in science and mathematics. Fishwick says models are designed and constructed to help us understand a breadth of subjects, from extreme weather to business trends. "Creating a model is really an artistic process, so what we're doing in the lab fully embodies the spirit of the arts and technology program," he said.

CVL co-directors Denise Park (far left) and Michael Rugg (far right) were joined by advisory council member Sallie Asche, Jim Bartlett, interim dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and advisory council member Mary Susan Barnhill at the 2011 Dallas Aging and Cognition Conference.

CENTER FOR VITAL LONGEVITY

Led by Dr. Michael Rugg, the Center for Vital Longevity (CVL) at UT Dallas was established in 2010 by Dr. Denise Park. Park, an expert on the aging mind, leads the research arm at the CVL and is a UT Regents' Research Scholar. Rugg is a leading researcher in cognitive neuroscience and human memory. Both Park and Rugg hold Distinguished Chairs in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, each established by anonymous donors in 2009.

The center brings together faculty, scientists and students who use advanced brain-imaging technologies and research techniques in cognitive neuroscience to understand, maintain and improve the vitality of the aging mind. Center scientists are working to identify a neural signature in middle-aged adults that will help predict who will and will not age well cognitively and who might be at risk of Alzheimer's disease long before symptoms appear.

CVL co-directors Denise Park (far left) and Michael Rugg (far right) were joined by advisory council member Sallie Asche, Jim Bartlett, interim dean of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and advisory council member Mary Susan Barnhill at the 2011 Dallas Aging and Cognition Conference.