The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust Gives $45 Million to the University of Iowa to Support Iowa Neuroscience Institute

Date: Monday, November 28, 2016

Gift is the largest to the For Iowa. Forever More. campaign

The Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust has committed a transformational $45 million grant to the University of Iowa that will allow for the creation of a comprehensive and cross-disciplinary neuroscience center within the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. The new Iowa Neuroscience Institute will conduct research to find the causes of, and preventions, treatments, and cures for, the many diseases that affect the brain and nervous system.

In recognition of the gift, the UI has requested that the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approve the permanent naming of the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at its December 5 meeting. Approval of the official name ensures that no future individual or corporate name can be attached to the institute.

“The Carver Charitable Trust’s unsurpassed and unwavering support for the University of Iowa over nearly 30 years has made an indelible impact on the UI Carver College of Medicine,” said UI President Bruce Harreld. “The Carver name is forever linked with significant scientific discoveries and advanced treatments to cure diseases and transform lives. This new grant furthers that legacy, benefitting Iowans and the world.”

The Carver Charitable Trust and Roy and Lucille Carver are the largest donors to the UI, with their collective giving totaling more than $195 million. This gift from the Carver Charitable Trust also is the largest in the UI’s For Iowa. Forever More. fundraising campaign, which started in 2008 and continues through December 2016. Following Board of Regents approval, the $45 million gift will be added to the campaign total, which is currently $1.85 billion. 

“This funding will provide program and endowment support that is intended to bring greater attention to the exceptional neuroscience programs already existing on campus, as well as assist in facilitating a coalescence of these programs around the newly named institute director,” said Troy Ross, executive administrator of the Carver Charitable Trust. “In addition, we anticipate that this investment will serve as a magnet, of sorts, to attract additional, accomplished investigators to the university to form an influential core group of scientists with the potential to substantially advance this emerging field of research over the next decade and beyond.” 

“We are profoundly grateful to the Carver Charitable Trust for their vision and support, which allows us to continue our leadership role in biomedical discovery,” said Jean Robillard, M.D., vice president for medical affairs and dean, UI Carver College of Medicine. “It is a privilege to work in partnership with the Carver Charitable Trust and to embark on a new era of scientific innovation made possible through this grant.” 

The $45 million grant will elevate the university’s brain research center, already one of the foremost in the world, by creating a new interdisciplinary institute and bringing together top scholars from across the UI. Researchers—including biologists, computer scientists, neuro-psychologists, engineers, fundamental chemists, biochemists, geneticists and more—will tackle some of the toughest problems in the neurosciences. The grant will support the creation and maintenance of core neuroscience laboratories; Research Programs of Excellence awarded to institute members demonstrating outstanding research leadership; and five faculty chairs, four professorships, and ten junior-level investigators. 

Ted Abel

The Iowa Neuroscience Institute will be led by Ted Abel, Ph.D., who announced he will join the UI faculty in January 2017 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he serves as the Brush Family Professor of Biology in the Penn School of Arts and Sciences and co-director of the Biological Basis of Behavior Program. 

“As the largest donor to the UI, and the largest donor to our For Iowa. Forever More. campaign, the Carver Charitable Trust has a profound impact on our university, ensuring that we remain on the forefront of medicine and discovery,” said Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the UI Foundation. “A top priority of the For Iowa. Forever More.campaign is to ensure a healthier and more sustainable world through discoveries in medicine, and this extraordinary gift will allow us to do just that.”  

Muscatine businessman and philanthropist Roy J. Carver, who died in 1981, and his wife, Lucille Carver, were generous UI contributors during their lifetimes. The Carver Charitable Trust, founded after Roy Carver’s death, provides crucial support to UI biomedical research initiatives and other programs and facilities throughout campus. In 2002, the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine was named in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Carver and the more than $90 million in gifts supporting medical research. The Carver Charitable Trust has continued to provide leadership support for research in the UI Carver College of Medicine leading to breakthroughs in the neurosciences, cardiology, metabolism and obesity, gene therapy, pulmonology, and cancer. 

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the UI, and its mission is to promote the University of Iowa’s commitment to excellence through engagement and philanthropy. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

For more information on the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, please visit

Story Source: UI Health Care Marketing and Communications, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

Media Contact: Dana Larson, executive director, communications and marketing, the University of Iowa Foundation; (319) 467-3661; Press center: