$16.5m brain boost thanks to Hugh Green Foundation
25 November 2019
Anyone who met Hugh Green will remember his big personality.
For a modest man he lived on a large scale, coming from an Irish family of eight children, farming large cattle, making his fortune from big property development projects after settling in New Zealand.
So it’s appropriate that the Hugh Green Foundation has now made the biggest-ever single donation, of $16.5 million, to the University of Auckland.
Before Hugh’s death in 2012, he came to greatly admire the work of Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull and his team at the Centre for Brain Research (CBR).
The Hugh Green Foundation’s first donation had helped Professor Mike Dragunow establish the Hugh Green Biobank in 2011 and he is still director there. One of a handful of institutions worldwide that’s able to grow human brain cells, the Biobank uses these cell-culture methods to develop new drugs to treat brain disorders, such as Huntington’s disease.
In late October, the Foundation signed a gift agreement for $16.5 million to fund the Hugh Green Biobank in perpetuity, and for a new Hugh Green Foundation Chair in Translational Neuroscience. The significant donation will allow the CBR to develop a brain-drug discovery facility, using human brain-cell cultures to identify and develop effective medications for brain disorders.
The University sincerely thanks the Hugh Green Foundation for its partnership and generosity. Researchers look forward to developing new treatments to help the millions of people living with brain diseases.
Hugh’s largesse continues with his family and the Foundation’s commitment to philanthropy. He once said: “My real happiness is family, the farms, the cows and people.
“You come in with nothing and you go out with nothing and you just need the bare essentials while you’re here. And that’s how I’ve lived my life.”