Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute

One of the greatest challenges of our time is brain disease and injury and UT Southwestern is meeting that challenge head on with the Peter O'Donnell Brain Institute. The Institute is a comprehensive center dedicated to better understanding the basic molecular workings of the brain and applying those discoveries to prevention and treatment of brain, spine, nerve and muscle disorders.

Our Bold Mission

  • Develop new therapies to restore and improve brain function
  • Utilize new imaging technologies to directly visualize disruption of brain function and structure
  • Become a national center for excellence in the precise diagnosis and treatment of brain disorders
  • Understand how the nervous system generates integrative behavior and cognition

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 
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.