OHSU Receives Oregon's Largest Private Gift to Advance Alzheimer's Research

08/21/02    Portland, Ore.

$3 million endowment renames OHSU's Alzheimer's research center the C. Rex and Ruth H. Layton Alzheimer's Research Center at OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University Foundation today announced it has received Oregon's single-largest individual gift to benefit Alzheimer's disease research: $3 million from Rex and Ruth Layton.

"This is the kind of extraordinary gift that will help point the way toward cures," said OHSU neurologist Jeffrey Kaye, M.D., who heads the newly renamed C. Rex and Ruth H. Layton Alzheimer's Research Center at OHSU.

Researchers at the center are already building on developments in genetics that offer new insights into why certain people are more or less susceptible to Alzheimer's, and why the disease progresses more rapidly in some than in others.

With their gift, the Laytons hope to dramatically improve the outlook for the thousands of Oregonians and their families who must deal with the degenerative effects of Alzheimer's disease. Already today more than 45,000 Oregonians suffer from Alzheimer's or a related dementia.

"Of course we're hoping for cures," said Rex Layton, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's by Kaye. "And while I know that I won't benefit personally, it feels good knowing that the kind of research done here may one day benefit my own children or grandchildren - or those of people I'll never know."

The Laytons, who now live in Vancouver, Wash., were longtime residents of Salem, Ore., where Ruth's father, Bernard Mainwaring, published the Salem Capital Journal. In 1955 the paper merged with the Oregon Statesman and became the Statesman Journal. Rex and Ruth met in 1957 at Willamette University.

The neurosciences are one priority of OHSU's Oregon Opportunity campaign, a half-billion dollar public-private fund-raising drive to support and expand OHSU programs and initiatives. To support the neurosciences at OHSU, contact Maureen Bradley, director of development, at 503 494-7455 or bradleym@ohsu.edu.