URI Unveils $15M Brain Research Center

Nov 14, 2013

The University of Rhode Island plans to unveil a new neuroscience research institute, thanks to the single largest private donation in university history. The institute will add to the Ocean State’s growing expertise in brain science.

Former CVS CEO Tom Ryan at URI's unveiling of his $15 million donation for brain science research.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

URI graduate and former CVS Caremark president and CEO Tom Ryan and his wife Cathy have donated $15 million dollars to establish the George and Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, named for Tom Ryan’s parents. The institute will draw on dozens of URI researchers already studying the brain in a variety of disciplines. And its research will focus primarily on brain diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. The investment may boost Rhode Island’s profile as a center for brain science. But donor Tom Ryan says that’s not the point.

“We’re not doing this for economic development," said Ryan. "We’re doing this to solve a health care crisis and find a way to slow down and eradicate these diseases.”

The institute joins a growing landscape of brain research and treatment in Rhode Island – including centers at Brown University, Rhode Island Hospital, and the Providence VA.