Tulane University’s Brain Institute received a $1 million pledge from the Priddy Family Foundation to endow and establish the Priddy Family Spark Research Endowed Fund. The fund will provide competitive awards to faculty for research support that advances the research priorities of the brain institute.
“We are excited about our involvement with the Tulane Brain Institute and are honored to be a part of such a great undertaking,” said Robert Priddy (UC ’68). “After years in venture capital, I know when I see a quality venture, and investing in early-stage scientific research at Tulane will have tremendous returns for humanity in the future.”
The criteria for awards from the Priddy Family Spark Research Endowed Fund will be based on the scientific merit of the project, the potential to elevate the national visibility and reputation of the Tulane Brain Institute, and the capacity for future support from competitive national funding agencies.
“Robert Priddy is one of our most distinguished and loyal alumni. He and his wife, Kikie, share a passion for encouraging academic excellence at all levels—from K–12 to graduate school and beyond,” said Tulane President Mike Fitts. “This latest act of generosity from the Priddy Family Foundation will provide opportunities for Tulane students to join the efforts of Tulane Brain Institute researchers in exploring age-related dementias and other neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, post-traumatic stress, autism, schizophrenia and a host of other issues critical to understanding the brain and improving lives worldwide.”
The awards will support early-stage research and bridge funding, including stipends for graduate and undergraduate research assistants.
“We are so grateful to the Priddy family for this incredible gift and their belief in the work that we are doing at the Tulane Brain Institute,” said Jill M. Daniel, the Gary P. Dohanich Professor in Brain Science and director of the institute. “Having this permanent source of research support for our faculty will enhance our ability to attract and retain the top neuroscientists in the country.”
“This remarkable gift will allow the Tulane Brain Institute faculty to take risks in their research as they test early-stage ideas and gather pilot data to increase their competitiveness for external funding,” said Laura Levy, vice president for research at Tulane. “The gift will provide long-term support for the kind of bold and innovative research that could lead to real breakthroughs in our ability to understand and treat brain disease.”