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Atlantic Philanthropies Gives $177 Million to Establish Global Brain Health Institute to Tackle Dementia

Resource type: News

The Atlantic Philanthropies |

The Atlantic Philanthropies is giving $177 million to Trinity College Dublin and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) to establish the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI), a groundbreaking initiative that aims to tackle the looming dementia epidemic and improve health and dementia care worldwide.

This landmark grant — the largest program grant Atlantic has ever made — embodies the commitment of Atlantic and its founder, Charles “Chuck” Feeney, to address global challenges with big, bold initiatives that will serve society for generations to come.

“Our goal is to create a generation of leaders around the world who have the knowledge, skills and drive to change both the practice of dementia care and the public health and societal forces that affect brain health,” said Christopher G. Oechsli, president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. “By doing so, we hope to reduce dramatically the number of older people who develop this disease, which affects disproportionally those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and consumes not just the millions directly afflicted, but their families and caregivers as well.

“We have been working for several years in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to develop and implement their national strategies to combat dementia, and we are ready to extend and expand that successful effort.”

Imagine if we could tackle dementia, and age with healthy minds. Read our CEO’s latest message >


Learn More

> Trinity College Dublin press release

> UCSF press release

> Global Brain Health Institute website

> Atlantic’s Focus on Dementia Goes Global: An Update from our CEO

Media Coverage

> Chuck Feeney, The Billionaire Who Wasn’t, Pledges $177 Million To Universities To Fight Dementia,Forbes, 16 November 2015

> Atlantic Philanthropies gives €138m grant to tackle dementia, The Irish Times, 17 November 2015

> Atlantic Philanthropies Invests $177 Million in Brain Health Institute, The Wall Street Journal, 16 November 2015

> This Irish-American billionaire has made the biggest philanthropic donation in Irish history,, 17 November 2015

VIDEO: GBHI will train at least 600 global leaders over 15 years in the United States, Ireland and around the world to carry out dementia research, deliver health care, and change policies and practices in their regions.

About UCSF

At UCSF, the GBHI program will be located within the Memory and Aging Center at the Mission Bay campus and will be led by Miller, Victor Valcour, MD, PhD, and Rosalie Gearhart, RN. The Memory and Aging Center is a world leader in research, treatment and education about age-related brain disorders and has 30 full-time faculty members who will contribute to the GBHI.

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.

About Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

At Trinity College Dublin, the GBHI will be housed in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. It will be led by Professor of Psychology, Ian Robertson, and Conolly Norman Professor of Old Age Psychiatry, Brian Lawlor.

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, founded in 1592, is Ireland’s oldest university and today has a vibrant community of 17,000 students. It is recognised internationally as Ireland’s premier university. Cutting edge research, technology and innovation places the university at the forefront of higher education in Ireland and globally. It encompasses all major academic disciplines, and is committed to world-class teaching and research across the range of disciplines in the arts, humanities, engineering, science, social and health sciences. Its historic campus is situated in the centre of Dublin, Ireland’s vibrant capital city.

About The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to advancing opportunity, equity and human dignity. Established in 1982, when Chuck Feeney quietly committed virtually all of his assets to the foundation, Atlantic has since made grants approaching $8 billion. In keeping with Mr. Feeney’s “Giving While Living,” big-bet philosophy, Atlantic invests in systemic change to accelerate improvements in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The foundation, which has operated in Australia, Bermuda, Cuba, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam, will complete all grant making in 2016 and conclude operations shortly afterward.

Related Resources


Aging, Dementia

Global Impact:

Republic of Ireland, United States


GBHI, Global Brain Health Institute