Announcement of Don Brown’s gift to establish the Brown Center for Immunotherapy

Walther Hall Atrium
980 W. Walnut St.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Welcome and acknowledgements

Thank you very much, Dean Hess, and my thanks to all of you for joining us for this important announcement today. It represents a remarkable opportunity to make fundamental breakthroughs in biotechnology research with immense potential benefits for the state of Indiana and beyond.

Honoring Don Brown

On behalf of Indiana University, I want to first express our most sincere and grateful thanks to Dr. Brown for his extraordinarily generous gift of $30 million to establish the Brown Center for Immunotherapy.

This outstanding gift will immensely benefit the IU School of Medicine and patients in our state and beyond as it pioneers the development of innovative therapies that will stimulate and strengthen the immune system’s inherent ability to fight cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

We often hear about the impressive innovation that occurs in Silicon Valley on the West Coast, or in cities like Boston on the East Coast. However, throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Brown has demonstrated that innovation is not solely the purview of the coasts. He has helped put the state of Indiana on the map as a leader in the field of technology and software development.

Many of you are, no doubt, aware of his long tenure with Interactive Intelligence, the highly successful Indianapolis-based software company he founded in 1994.

With the remarkably generous gift that we have announced today, Dr. Brown is helping to ensure that Indiana University and the state of Indiana will continue to be leaders in the life-sciences.

Partnerships to foster economic development

Indiana University recognizes its responsibility to take a leadership role in improving health in our state. We continue to coordinate our efforts across the university and around the state to capitalize on the talent and expertise that exists in the Hoosier state to deliver results to patients.

Indiana has a number of important assets that position it well to support the commercialization of biotechnology products, including its central position in the region’s robust logistics infrastructure, its highly-engaged corporate partners, and its FDA-literate workforce.

The Brown Center for Immunotherapy will build upon all of this.

Engaging in vigorous partnerships with companies in the private sector, including pharmaceutical and biotech companies and hospitals here in central Indiana, will be a central part of the center’s mission.

We fully expect that the center’s work will foster the formation of new companies and lead to new jobs in the exciting and highly-promising field of immune-based biotechnology. Thus, it will make important contributions to the economic development of our state in the key area of health sciences.

Creating a healthier State, Nation and World

Dr. Brown’s gift will be a major contribution to IU’s “For All Bicentennial Campaign,” our extremely ambitious, and first-ever university-wide campaign that aims to raise $2.5 billion to support Indiana University’s enduring excellence as it enters its third century in 2020.

One of the central priorities of this campaign is to raise funds that will help IU create a healthier state, nation, and world. IU continues to strengthen its efforts to help address Indiana’s serious public health needs by investing in world-class research and training in selected areas of the health sciences to develop new and improved treatments and cures.

The Brown Center for Immunotherapy will make a vital contribution to this goal. As you have heard today, it will lead to new treatments that will deliver positive results for countless patients.

As a result, this is not simply a gift to the IU School of Medicine. It is not merely a gift to Indiana University. It is a gift for all Hoosiers and for patients well beyond Indiana. And its impact will be of enduring importance.

Announcing the IU match

As part of his gift, Dr. Brown is establishing five endowed faculty chairs that will be used to recruit the best and brightest immunotherapy researchers to Indiana University. These chairs are permanent, and they will ensure that IU remains at the forefront of the field for many years to come.

Because this work is so urgent, and because its potential impact is so great, I am very pleased to announce today that Indiana University will match funding from each of the five endowed chairs. As a result, we will effectively double the resources available to faculty members searching for cures.


Once again, let me say how deeply grateful all of us at Indiana University are for Dr. Brown’s extraordinarily generous gift.

The Brown Center for Immunotherapy will advance Indiana University’s mission to contribute to improved state, national, and global health. It will strengthen IU’s position as a leader in the growing field of immunotherapy. And it will make a major difference in the lives of countless patients.

Thank you very much.