University of California, San Francisco & Trinity College Dublin Collaboration

Trinity College Dublin campanile
UCSF Sandler Neurosciences Center

The Atlantic Philanthropies (Atlantic) was founded in 1982 by philanthropist Chuck Feeney, driven by a belief that the best use of one’s wealth is to help people. The self-made Irish-American businessman has dedicated his life’s work and fortune to advance fairer, healthier, and more inclusive societies.

These values reflect the foundation of the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI). In 2015 Atlantic gave a generous grant to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Trinity College Dublin (Trinity) to establish GBHI to address the global dementia challenge.

The landmark grant — the largest program grant Atlantic has ever made — embodies the commitment of Atlantic and Chuck Feeney to address the rise in dementia through knowledge exchange, advocacy, and by training and connecting a new generation of leaders worldwide.  

A Values-Driven Partnership 

UCSF and Trinity have formed a strong partnership based on shared values and vision. This values-based approach is what makes the collaboration successful—guiding each organization and unifying not only our goals but how we achieve them.

The two-site model leverages and amplifies the experience and expertise of two of the leading institutions in the world in aging, brain science, and dementia. It also increases collaboration and accountability while drawing upon complementary strengths to enhance the interprofessional and transdisciplinary nature of the program. 

Despite being 6,000 miles apart, GBHI’s sites at UCSF and Trinity have been at the forefront of embracing remote technology, maintaining a largely virtual working relationship since its inception. However, it’s our shared beliefs and drive for positive change and making a difference for people with dementia that keeps us connected both on and offline.

Through our collaborative efforts, we are committed to educate 600 global leaders, known as Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health, across the world to carry out research, deliver health care, train and educate, and change policies and practices in their regions.

Both UCSF and Trinity emerge from an outstanding foundation of basic and clinical neuroscience, aging, and dementia with a clear emphasis that science must make a difference to society. This foundation not only serves to ground our training in a way that ensures propagation of findings that are evidence-based but also allows a platform for new discoveries to be implemented at all stages of evaluation, including scalable interventions.

The scientific and evidenced-based approach, complemented by strong values and a focus on equity, is what makes our program truly unique—a model that has become an exemplar for many other institutions around the world.

Launch event for the Global Brain Health Institute

About the University of California, San Francisco

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational, and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco. At UCSF, GBHI is housed in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.

About Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin (Trinity), founded in 1592, is Ireland’s oldest university and today has a vibrant community of 17,000 students. It is recognized internationally as Ireland’s premier university. Cutting edge research, technology, and innovation places the university at the forefront of higher education in Ireland and globally. It encompasses all major academic disciplines and is committed to world-class teaching and research across the range of disciplines in the arts, humanities, engineering, science, social, and health sciences. Its historic campus is situated in the center of Dublin, Ireland’s capital city. At Trinity, GBHI is housed in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. Its main teaching hospitals are St. James’s University Hospital and Tallaght University Hospital. 

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