Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

One of the greatest challenges of our time is brain disease and injury in its various forms: those that affect the brain, spine, nerve, and muscle. UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute has established multidisciplinary teams focused on sleep and circadian rhythms, brain injury, neurodegenerative diseases, neuromodulation, neurorepair, neuro-oncology, cerebrovascular disease, neuromuscular disorders, epilepsy, movement disorders, spine, and psychiatric disorders. These groups are aggressively tackling neurological illnesses and conditions in their various forms through:

  • Cutting-edge research to determine the biological basis for neurological and psychiatric disorders
  • Groundbreaking new treatments and patient-centered care
Campaign for the Brain: Leading Transformative Change at Medicine's Ultimate Frontier
The Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute leverages UT Southwestern’s basic research and clinical expertise to provide the nation’s best and most comprehensive brain care.

Our Extraordinary Team

The O’Donnell Brain Institute serves as an umbrella that brings together UT Southwestern Medical Center’s historic advances in basic research and therapeutic care. The Institute includes internationally recognized experts from UT Southwestern’s departments of Neurosciences, Neurosurgery, Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Pathology, Ophthalmology Otolaryngology, Pathology, and Radiology.

Promising New Therapies

A discovery about neurodegeneration could revolutionize therapy

Researchers in our Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases have developed a new therapeutic antibody for common disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease that traps pathological protein aggregates as they move between cells, leading to their clearance from the brain. This therapeutic antibody is the first of its kind in clinical trials for patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

Neuromodulation shows promise for targeted recovery from brain diseases and injuries

Neuromodulation therapies such as deep-brain stimulation — used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, pain, and depression — show promise for targeted recovery in traumatic brain injury, stroke, and other acquired, neurodegenerative, and developmental brain diseases.

The regeneration of neurons provides hope for treating ALS

At our Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine, researchers have taken one kind of cell and, through various manipulations, turned it into a motor neuron — the cell from the spinal cord that is involved in directing muscle movement. Someday it may be possible to regenerate neurons from the body’s own cells to treat conditions such as ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or multiple sclerosis.

A therapeutic agent preserves brain function after injury

Investigators in the Department of Biochemistry are working on novel agents that have been shown in preliminary studies to mitigate the cascade of brain deterioration that occurs in the days and weeks after traumatic brain injury.


Regeneration of Neurons 
Therapeutic Agent