McKnight Brain Institute
In 1991, the UF, through its Health Science Center, College of Medicine and its teaching hospital, Shands at UF, made a strategic decision to create a unique campus-wide program to harness and to enhance the multidisciplinary research, clinical care and educational skills of the entire university and thus maximize the ability to confront the awesome challenges brought on by nervous system disorders. This program was named the University of Florida Brain Institute (UFBI). With a $36,000,000 initial investment (grant plus a University match) and another $20,000,000 DOD grant for the project, it was erected on October 22, 1998. The Institute was renamed the Evelyn F. & William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida (MBI-UF) to celebrate and commemorate a $15,000,000 gift from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation. At the time this award was the largest cash gift in UF history and it was matched by the State of Florida to help create an over $30,000,000 permanent endowment devoted to fundamental research on the mechanisms underlying the formation, storage and retrieval of memories, the impairments in these processes associated with aging, and the development of therapeutic strategies for the prevention and/or alleviation of these impairments in humans. The “Brain Institute” membership in 1992 was approximately 144 faculty from 8 colleges and 33 departments and it has continued to grow with over 300 affiliated researchers on campus. Six platform programmatic research initiatives have been established to bring together scientists and clinical investigators working in age-related cognitive decline; brain cancer; central nervous system injury; chronic neurological diseases; development, regeneration and rehabilitation; and, mental health, neurobehavioral sciences, and addiction.