NYU Langone Medical Center Receives $17 Million Gift From The Steven A. And Alexandra M. Cohen Foundation For Study Of Post-Traumatic Stress And Traumatic Brain Injury Affecting Veterans
Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center to Conduct Biomarker Research for Accurate Diagnosis of “Invisible Injuries of War”
Funded by what is believed to be the largest private donation to post-traumatic stress research, NYU Langone Medical Center is establishing a new veterans’ mental health research center to study post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury (TBI) and conduct biomarker research necessary to accurately diagnose these conditions.
The center, made possible by a $17 million lead gift from the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, will be led by Charles Marmar, MD, the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Psychiatry and chair of NYU Langone’s Department of Psychiatry, who is known for his long-standing work in these fields. Dr. Marmar also heads NYU Langone’s Military Family Clinic, established in July 2012 to fill the gap in mental health care for Afghanistan and Iraq war veterans and their families in the New York City region.
The center will be named the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Veterans Center for the Study of Post-Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury (“Cohen Veterans Center”) in recognition of the grant from the Cohens.
“The Cohens’ investment will turbo-charge research conducted on these conditions,” said Dr. Marmar, “and reflects the Cohens’ dedication to helping preserve the mental and physical health of veterans.
“Without objective biological tests, the diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and TBI is incredibly difficult to get right,” said Dr. Marmar, noting the long-term effects of these conditions include depression, substance abuse, family turmoil and suicide. “We thank Steven and Alexandra Cohen for their generous gift which will allow us to accelerate the discovery of biomarkers to identify PTS and TBI, create lab tests for these disorders, and ultimately use this knowledge to develop novel treatments including targeted medications and other therapies.”
NYU Langone Medical Center is one of a limited number of places in the country to simultaneously focus on both conditions under one roof. The Cohen Veterans Center will work with leading psychiatrists and neuroscientists at institutions around the country on biomarker identification in addition to the ongoing research NYU Langone conducts as a result of its long standing relationships with two large urban VA hospitals in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Immediate Past Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and retired Navy Admiral Michael Mullen will serve as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the new Center.
“We cannot understate the importance of this project,” said Steven Cohen. “Every veteran deserves access to treatment for the trauma he or she experienced while defending our country. Our hope is that new, objective diagnostic tests and treatments for post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury will emerge from the Cohen Veterans Center that will have far-ranging effects on the care of these heroic veterans and provide them with the opportunity to lead a normal life."