Reaching Out to Children in Need

Mabee Foundation makes $2 million matching grant to neurological research


By Whitney Spencer

The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation has made one of its largest gifts to Texas Children’s Hospital—a generous $2 million challenge grant for the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute, one of the hospital’s most pronounced priorities in its Heal Sick Children campaign. The contribution supports the build-out of the institute’s 22,700-square-foot neurophysiology laboratory.

To meet the “challenge,” Texas Children’s must raise $2,000,000 by January 13, 2011, and the foundation will match that amount, bringing the total potential gift to $4,000,000. The cost for the build-out of the laboratory space is $10,000,000, and the hospital has raised $6,000,000 to date.

Ed Jones, board member of the Mabee Foundation and cofounder of Torch Securities, L.L.C., said, “The foundation seeks out all possible places to find a quality and unique purpose for the funds. We are exited about contributing to the success of the Heal Sick Children campaign, and the global impact of the institute’s research was something that attracted the foundation.”

In the last several years, neurophysiology—the study of nervous system function—has emerged as a field that is critically important to the understanding of mechanisms underlying neurological disorders.

According to Huda Y. Zoghbi, M.D., institute director, the neurophysiology core laboratories will be an especially critical resource for the institute’s epilepsy researchers. This multifaceted facility will allow in-depth analyses of cellular and molecular abnormalities and is an important part of our efforts to rapidly move treatments from the animal model to patients.

“The Mabee Foundation’s commitment runs parallel to the institute’s core goal of collaboration,” said Zoghbi. “This gift of physical space will help connect and bring researchers together in an environment specifically designed to foster open dialogue and active exchange of ideas needed to achieve our ultimate goal—accelerating the translation of laboratory discoveries into new, effective treatments for patients.”

The Oklahoma-based organization was founded in 1948 by John E. Mabee and his wife, Lottie, and has given more than $370 million in charitable donations to organizations in Texas, including a previous gift of $800,000 to Texas Children’s to help expand the cardiac catheterization unit in the Heart Center.

“The foundation’s primary focus is to give to children who need help,” said Jones.

The recent gift helps ensure many children suffering from neurological disorders will get the help they so need and deserve.

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