T. Boone Pickens Donates $5 Million
To UT Dallas to Advance Brain Health

January 22, 2007

Dallas businessman and philanthropist T. Boone Pickens has donated $5 million to The University of Texas at Dallas to fund educational and research initiatives in the area of brain science.

“We are deeply grateful for Mr. Pickens’ generosity and for the confidence he has placed in UT Dallas’ ability to create breakthrough results in brain science,” said UT Dallas President David E. Daniel.  “This gift will enhance our ability to link advanced brain imaging technology with ground-breaking cognitive treatments.” 

“You can’t help but be impressed by the research going on at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth and their commitment to lead the way nationally in this very important field,” said Pickens, who is making the gift through his newly formed charitable foundation. “Top to bottom, I think they are putting in place the team that will lead to new breakthroughs in autism, attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s and other significant brain issues.”

Pickens has supported numerous institutions involved in health and medical research and care, many of which are located in Texas.  Pickens believes brain research is one of the keys to quality of life now and for future generations.

Center for BrainHealth Director Dr. Sandra Chapman called the gift “transformational.  Its impact will be far reaching and provide hope to thousands of children and adults and their families.”

Pickens’ gift to UT Dallas will  enhance the faculty, facilities and research programs housed at the soon-to-be dedicated Frances and Mildred Goad Building, which will be the new home for the Center for BrainHealth, Chapman said.  The center, part of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, has gained national visibility and scientific recognition in recent years because of its innovative approach coupling
pragmatic solutions in clinical care for children and adults with research on brain function, brain injury, brain disease and other factors that affect mental function.  According to Chapman, the donation from Pickens will fund:

  • The T. Boone Pickens Distinguished Chair in Clinical Brain Science.  Establish one or more endowed faculty chairs to support clinical research in brain science at the UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth, enabling the university to recruit and retain outstanding senior faculty who have achieved international distinction.
  • The T. Boone Pickens Virtual Learning Center.  Develop, equip and operate a one-of-a-kind computer learning facility employing software programs for interactive learning.  The center will house leading-edge programs that seek to potentially “re-wire” the brains of children and adults with various brain diseases such as autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, brain injury and bipolar disorder as well as serve as a learning center for healthy seniors to engage in brain-related education and training.
  • Center for BrainHealth facilities and research programs.   Complete improvements to the Center for BrainHealth site and facility, located on Mockingbird Lane in Dallas, and provide program support for clinical research and treatment.

Center for BrainHealth Advisory Board Chair Debbie Francis called Pickens “a true visionary whose generosity is transforming the face of the Dallas community.  This gift is monumental, and will enable the Center for BrainHealth to pursue some of the most exciting and innovative research answers in developing better treatments of a wide range of brain maladies.”

The Center for BrainHealth’s unique mission is to unite brain research and brain therapies in an active partnership to build healthy minds and restore health to injured and diseased minds. No other institution in the country has undertaken such a comprehensive approach to define brain health measures and to support cognitive brain health across the life span.  The center is currently working on more than 35 research projects in all areas of brain health.

Pickens founded Mesa Petroleum Co. in 1956, and grew the company into one of the nation’s largest independent oil and gas firms.  He left the company in 1996 and founded BP Capital, one of the nation’s most successful energy investment firms and consistently ranked as one of the most successful hedge funds in the U.S.  His recently updated 1987 autobiography, Boone, was listed for 15 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.

Pickens has been inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the Texas Business Hall of Fame and was recently named Philanthropist of the Year by the Dallas Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

About the Center for BrainHealth

The Center for BrainHealth has a unique mission:  to unite brain research and brain therapies in an active partnership to build healthy minds and restore health to injured and diseased minds.  No other institution in America has undertaken this dual mission.  The center, a scientific institute of The University of Texas at Dallas, is dedicated to understanding the brain’s ability to restore or protect healthy function, protect the brain through preventive measures for people of all ages and healing the brain through treatments that regenerate brain function.  For more information about the Center for BrainHealth and its work, please visit the organization’s website, www.centerforbrainhealth.org.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at www.utdallas.edu.


Contact Steve McGregor, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2293, smcgreg@utdallas.edu

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