A Tulane alumnus and his wife recently made a lead gift to help start the Tulane Brain Institute, a new universitywide initiative that will provide the infrastructure to coordinate, expand and push neuroscience programs and research at Tulane to the next level.
Marta and Bill Marko say the Tulane Brain Institute will have an immediate impact on an area that means much to them.
Marta Marko’s parents both have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and suffer from dementia. She hopes the donation will help spark new collaboration and interdisciplinary study at Tulane.
“We love what Tulane as a university is doing and we’ve been really impressed with everyone involved,” she says. “There is no ‘I’ or ‘me,’ it’s a collective process.”
The Institute, with a fundraising goal of $50 million, will combine under one umbrella expertise from the Schools of Medicine, Science and Engineering, Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Liberal Arts and the National Primate Research Center. Jill Daniel, professor of psychology and currently head of Tulane's Neuroscience Program will serve as director.
“The Brain Institute has the potential to make Tulane a true national leader in brain science in terms of education, training and research,” Tulane President Mike Fitts said. “The beauty of Marta and Bill Marko's generosity is that it helps us expand in an area in which we already have demonstrated strength and in which more than 40 faculty members are currently engaged.”
The gift will help build out the administrative facility and Memory and Cognition Labs in Flower Hall for Research and Innovation. It will also support the Marko Spark Innovation Research Fund that encourages collaborative, risk-taking brain research studies across the university. The second part of the gift establishes an endowment to provide long lasting support to the Brain Institute’s Research Cluster on Memory and Cognition that will be named in the couple's honor.