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Houston hospital lands $10 million grant to launch new neurological lab

The gift will create the John M. O’Quinn Foundation Neurodegenerative Disorders Laboratory at Houston Methodist. Photo via

Houston Methodist announced that it has received a $10 million gift from the The John M. O’Quinn Foundation to support research into neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and others.

The gift will create the John M. O’Quinn Foundation Neurodegenerative Disorders Laboratory at Houston Methodist, which will be led by Dr. Jun Li, who chairs the department of neurology at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute. The NIH-backed researcher and his team will provide care, clinical trial opportunities and subspecialty programs through the lab, according to a release from Houston Methodist.

The funds will also be used to recruit neurodegenerative disorders specialists to lab by creating endowed research chairs, research fellowships and funding for pilot studies.

"Many neurodegenerative diseases are chronic and significantly impact the quality of life, causing pain, weakness, loss of ambulation and sensory loss,” Li says in a statement. “Our team is committed to working with patients to help make their lives better through treatment, and this generous gift fuels our determination to do even more and to help find therapies for these neurological diseases. This commitment from The John M. O’Quinn Foundation will support an interdisciplinary team of neurologists and neuroscientists to further explore treatment options.”

The O'Quinn Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the hospital group, according to Houston Methodist, and has had members of its organization suffer from neurodegenerative disorders.

"As our population continues to live longer, we believe it’s critical to help now, and we know Houston Methodist is best positioned with its renowned researchers and clinicians like Dr. Li to help those with neurodegenerative diseases to have a better quality of life, and ultimately, a treatment for these diseases that impact so many,” President and Executive Director of the foundation Robert C. Wilson III says in the statement.

Earlier this year, Houston Methodist also received a $1 million grant from Susan and William “Dub” Henning, Jr. to support Alzheimer’s research at the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at the hospital. It created the Susan and William Henning Jr. Neurodegenerative Research Endowment.

Meanwhile, over the summer, a Houston clinical-stage biotech that treats neurodegenerative diseases company went public. The company, Coya Therapeutics (Nasdaq: COYA), has developed a biologics therapy that prevents further spreading of neurodegenerative diseases by making regulatory T cells functional again and closed a $15.25 million IPO in January. Click here to learn more about the company's treatments for ALS and Alzheimer's.

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