Remembering Ted Stanley
We mourn the death of philanthropist Ted Stanley, who passed away on January 4. A successful entrepreneur, Mr. Stanley had a transformative impact on psychiatric disease research through his extraordinary generosity. He was a man of great humility and empathy, who made it his life’s cause to help the millions of people worldwide who suffer from serious psychiatric disease.
Mr. Stanley and his late wife Vada founded the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute in 2007. The center’s mission is to propel the understanding of the biological mechanisms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe mental illnesses and the translation of that knowledge into new diagnostics and therapies.
The Stanleys’ partnership with the Broad came at a time when many in psychiatric disease research were giving up on the prospect of finding the underlying biological mechanisms. But Mr. Stanley believed deeply that genomic medicine would hold the key to conquering these diseases someday.
Over time, Mr. Stanley gave $825 million to the Stanley Center. In turn, his commitment has changed the study of psychiatric disease into a molecular field based on rigorous analysis of the action of specific genes and proteins.
Just in the last two years, scientists at the Broad and their collaborators have identified the most significant molecular clues to date of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Such discoveries will ultimately point toward rational treatments that address the causes of serious psychiatric disease, rather than just alleviate the symptoms.
None of this would have happened without Ted Stanley. To honor his memory, we at the Broad Institute stand firm in our commitment to see this challenge through to successful completion.