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Scripps Research Institute receives $5.65 million gift from philanthropist Helen Dorris

Scripps Research Institute

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IMAGE: Philanthropist Helen Dorris attends an event celebrating the Dorris Neuroscience Center on TSRI's California campus (shown here with the center's director Professor Ulrich Mueller, right, and Jim Paulson, TSRI acting... view more

Credit: Photo courtesy of The Scripps Research Institute.

LA JOLLA, CA - September 16, 2015 - The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) announced today that it has received a $5.65 million gift from Helen Dorris, a San Diego mental health advocate and founder of TSRI's Dorris Neuroscience Center.

"We are deeply grateful to Helen Dorris and her continued generosity in the support of neuroscience research at TSRI," said Acting President and CEO James Paulson. "Her gifts help make possible discoveries that deepen our understanding of the nervous system and underscores her belief that neurosciences is at the threshold of advancing new treatments for devastating neurological conditions."

"Thanks to Helen Dorris's generosity, we have made progress finding new approaches to diseases from hearing loss and pain to hydrocephalus, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's," said Ulrich Mueller, director of the Dorris Neuroscience Center. "The new gift ensures we will continue to forge new ground."

Dorris, who is a San Diego State University professor emeritus, founded a neuroscience center at TSRI in 1999 with a commitment of $10 million. The center was originally named the Harold L. Dorris Neurological Research Center, in her brother's honor. She later founded TSRI's Helen L. Dorris Institute for the Study of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders of Children and Adolescents. The two centers were consolidated in 2010 with an additional gift through The Harold L. Dorris Neuroscience Foundation.

The new gift will enhance the established endowment for the Dorris Neuroscience Center.

The Dorris Neuroscience Center brings together scientists early in their careers with established researchers in the field and provides them with high-end imaging technology and state-of-the-art genomic and genetic research tools to advance their research. Using diverse interdisciplinary biological, biophysical and chemical approaches, the researchers conduct investigations with particular strengths in sensory systems (including smell, hearing and pain), neuronal circuitry (including the systems that govern memory) and stem cell research.

In addition to Mueller, the center's faculty includes: Kristin Baldwin, Jerold Chun, Hollis Cline, Benjamin Cravatt, Sandra Encalada, Anton Maximov, Mark Mayford, Ardem Patapoutian, Michael Petrascheck, Supriya Srinivasan and Lisa Stowers. Many of these laboratories are located in the Harold L. Dorris Neuroscience Center Building, a 53,000-square-foot structure with cutting-edge facilities for imaging and behavior studies.

The Dorris Neuroscience Center also sponsors three Helen Dorris Scholars, an annual student award, a number of summer student internships and a distinguished lecture series.

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