Kent State alumnus pledges $2 million to the Brain Health Research Institute

Kelly Krabill, Managing Editor

Kent State alumnus Earl K. Miller and his wife, Marlene M. Wicherski, pledged $2 million to support research programs and students in the recently established Brain Health Research Institute, according to a press release.

The institute focuses on research and education around the impact of brain health through each stage of life, gaining knowledge into the prevention and treatment of brain disease. 

“Kent State gave me so much, and I am grateful for the opportunity to give back,” Miller said in the press release. “I am excited by the innovative plans for the Brain Health Research Institute. I am sure it will be a big success, and I hope my gift will help.”

The gift will support:

  • The creation of a Brain Health Research Institute Endowed Directorship that will further its efforts to hire top leadership.
  • The Brain Health Research Institute Undergraduate Fellows Program, which is for first and second-year students who want to pursue careers in neuroscience research, education, healthcare or related areas.

The couple previously found The Earl K. Miller Medallion Scholarship, The Earl K. Miller Professorship of Neuroscience, The Earl K. Miller First-Generation Scholarship and The Earl K. Miller Last Dollar Scholarship.

“On behalf of the Kent State community, I would like to express deep gratitude to Dr. Earl Miller and Marlene Wicherski for their continued support of our university,” President Todd Diacon said in the press release. “Their generous gift will help advance our elite Brain Health Research Institute and further opportunities for our amazing students.”

Miller received his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Kent State in 1985 and continued his education at Princeton University, receiving a Master of Arts and a doctorate in psychology and neuroscience, according to the press release. 

He is a cognitive neuroscientist. He is also a Picower Professor of Neuroscience with the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Wicherski owns the Marlene Wicherski Research Consulting company, according to the press release. She formerly worked for the American Psychological Association as a research officer.

Kent State’s Brain Health Research Institute collaboratives across eight campuses, according to the press release. The departments include science, special science, the arts and humanities. Undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows train at the institute.

“We know our potential is unlimited,” Michael Lehman, the inaugural director of the Brain Health Research Institute, said in the press release. “This gift will allow us to continue to conduct groundbreaking research and train the next generation of neuroscientists.”

Kelly Krabill is managing editor. Contact her at [email protected]