RICHARDSON, Texas (Sept.12, 2005) — The University of Texas at Dallas’ nationally recognized Center for BrainHealth has received a $2-million gift from a Dallas couple, Jane and Henry J. (Bud) Smith, to endow a chair for the center’s medical director, and UTD has hired Dr. John Hart, a neurologist from The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, to fill that key position.
Hart, director of the Cognition and Brain Imaging Laboratory at the Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging and a nationally recognized expert in the rapidly expanding field of cognitive neuroscience, will join the Center for BrainHealth as its first medical director in November. He also will be the first person to hold the newly established Jane and Bud Smith Distinguished Chair for the Medical Director for the Center for Brain Health. Hart is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, where he did his residency in neurology and went on to become a member of the faculty in the School of Medicine.
Dallas philanthropists Jane and Henry J. (Bud) Smith said they decided to endow a chair for a medical director and provide the Center for BrainHealth with a $2-million endowment because brain research was “one of the frontiers of science that hasn’t been given enough attention or money.”
The Smiths said they decided to establish the chair and provide it with a $2-million endowment because brain research was “one of the frontiers of science that hasn’t been given enough attention or money.”
“The more we heard about the Center for BrainHealth and the magnificent work Sandi (Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, executive director of the center) and her team were doing, the more excited we got about it,” Smith said, adding that he and his wife of 53 years were “extremely impressed by the quality of research and clinical talent the center attracts” and were drawn by “the excitement of backing a new venture that is poised for growth.”
UTD President Dr. David Daniel thanked the Smiths for their “extraordinary generosity” and said, “ Jane and Bud Smith's gift will have an immediate and lasting impact on the work being done at an important stage in the center’s development. Their gift endows a critically important position and was instrumental in enabling us to attract a person of Dr. Hart’s abilities and reputation to fill that position and become the center’s first medical director.”
Dr. Bert Moore, dean of UTD’s School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, of which the Center for BrainHealth is a part, said the hiring of Hart, coupled with the Smiths’ endowment of a chair, ultimately had the potential “to help us identify better ways of achieving brain repair and brain health in children and adults and of dealing with such illnesses as dementia, stroke, attention deficit disorder, autism and schizophrenia, as well as normal aging.”
Hart said he was “very familiar with the burgeoning national reputations of both the Center for BrainHealth and The University of Texas at Dallas” and that he was “tremendously looking forward to coming on board as medical director and beginning to make an important contribution to improving brain health in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. I am honored and extremely grateful for the Smiths’ generosity and support of this exciting initiative.” Hart said that having the additional resources the Smiths’ chair will provide would be “a huge asset” in helping him perform his duties for the center and its many clients and patients.
Hart has published extensively in his field and is a member of numerous medical societies. He currently serves as president of the Behavioral Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology and president of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience. His has done research on memory and cognition in healthy aging and on a broad spectrum of brain maladies, including Alzheimer’s Disease, West Nile Virus, Gulf War Syndrome and psychiatric disorders, to name just a few.
Dean Moore said UTD also had recruited a second “superstar” in the field of neurology. Dr. Mark D’Esposito of the University of California at Berkeley will become a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and will engage in collaborative research initiatives with faculty and students in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences and, along with Hart, will help develop the university’s brain-imaging collaborations with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. D’Esposito, director of the Brain Imaging Center at U.C. Berkeley and editor-in-chief of the prestigious Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, is one of the nation’s leading experts on functional brain imaging and how that technology can be harnessed to understand how the normal brain works and how disease impairs its function.
“The additions of Dr. Hart and Dr. D’Esposito greatly amplify the power and possibilities of the Center for BrainHealth, and we are very excited about their joining us,” Moore said.
Mr. Smith went to the University of New Mexico and is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. He also is a member of the James Madison Council (Library of Congress) and a member of the board of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA); the International Forum and Wycliff Resources. .
About the Center for BrainHealth
The Center for BrainHealth integrates research, treatment, academic training and community outreach and is one of the few facilities in the United States to provide continued follow-up to enhance and monitor functional recovery in children and adults with brain injury, brain disease and complications of normal aging. Through this innovative approach, the center is discovering commonalities across brain maladies that are yielding similarities in brain repair mechanisms and resulting in new treatments for improving life for patients with brain injuries and diseases. One of the center’s top priorities is achieving healthy mental aging by translating scientific findings into treatment. For more information about the center and its work, please visit www.centerforbrainhealth.org.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.