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UTSW Names the First Director of the O’Donnell Brain Institute

UT Southwestern Medical Center has named Dr. William T. Dauer the first director of the Peter O’Donnell Brain Institute. The neurologist and researcher will also be a professor of neurology and neurotherapeutics, and will begin in July.

Dr. William T. Dauer (Courtesy of: UTSW Medical Center)

Dauer is known for his research into dystonia and Parkinson’s disease, has discovered novel treatments for the involuntary movements associated with the diseases. He is currently is the Director of the Movement Disorders Group and Director of the Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research at the University of Michigan, where he teaches neurology and cell and developmental biology.

The institute was established in 2015, and connects over 500 doctors and researchers to better understand how the brain works and apply the discoveries to treating brain, spine, nerve and muscle disorders. They study autism, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, psychiatric disease, sleep disorders, stroke and traumatic brain injuries. The institute will be housed in the 12-story tower atWilliam P. Clements Jr. University Hospital, which is should be complete in 2020. There is an additional nine-story tower being built to house research facilities as well. The building will have 590,342 square feet, an estimated cost of $453.8 million, and should be complete in 2022.

“Dr. Dauer’s broad experience as a neurologist and a scientist positions him to provide strong leadership as the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute works to accelerate the translation of fundamental discoveries into cutting-edge treatments for a broad spectrum of brain disorders,” said Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost and Dean of UT Southwestern Medical School via release.

“The personal and societal burden of neurological and psychiatric disease is great and increasing. The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute represents the bold and visionary commitment of UT Southwestern President Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky and the medical center’s leadership to tackle the challenge of improving the lives of individuals with brain disease,” Dauer said via release. “The success of the Institute is uniquely possible at UT Southwestern because of its world-leading scientific culture and unprecedented institutional commitment to brain science and clinical care. I am extraordinarily honored and excited to direct the Institute and to join the remarkable UT Southwestern community.”

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