Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute

The Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute aims to understand normal changes in the brain as it ages, in the hopes of developing practical lifestyle recommendations and treatments that will lead to better memory, and longer, fuller cognitive lives for all.

The McKnight Brain Research Foundation honors William and Evelyn McKnight’s interest in age-related memory loss. Evelyn was a nurse and William spent his 59-year career with 3M Co., where he served as president for 20 years and chairman of the board for 17 years.

Today, the Florida-based foundation supports research of the brain in the aging, making key investments in top-tier research institutions, including the University of Arizona. The Foundation has specifically invested in the work of Carol Barnes, UA Regents' Professor of Psychology and director of the UA’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute.

With support from the Foundation, the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Arizona was founded in 2006 to explore the mysteries of the aging brain and to serve as a national hub for high-level neuroscientific research.

The innovative work of McKnight Brain Institute researchers including Barnes has shown that the brain adapts continually throughout life. McKnight Brain Institute researchers are developing new technologies that can provide a clearer view of the world’s most condensed mystery.

In 2014, the McKnight Brain Institute received a $5 million gift from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation, challenging other philanthropists to match the amount to help support ongoing funding for its work in the field of neuroscience.

The Foundation has committed greater than $11 million to the UA’s Institute since 2006.