UCSF gets $185 million donation for neuroscience research

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- UCSF received the biggest donation in the school's history getting $185 million to go specifically to fund research into neuroscience.

It comes from Joan and Sandy Weill, who freely admit that they have been fortunate in life.

"Joan and I decided we wanted to give away as much of our money as we can," said Weill.

He's the former president of American Express, a CEO of Travelers and City Group. They're giving that money for neuroscience research, a six-story building and talent from around the world to staff it.

"My mother had Alzheimer's, my father had depression," shared Weill.

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Some of the direct benefits will be in labs, where professors and students are studying the electrical insulation surrounding brain cells. Their goal is to cross pollinate what had been independent fields of brain study. Mental illness, depression, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis are among the diseases that will be studied thanks to the money.

"Funding. just being able to have the funds to do the work, to hire good people, to have good space," are all benefits, explained Sonia Mayorall, a post-doctorate student.

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