The Needleman Center for Neurometabolism and Axonal Therapeutics was established in 2019 through a generous gift from Philip and Sima Needleman, part of their ongoing commitment to advance human health, particularly in the domain of neurodegenerative and aging-associated disease. It continues the Needleman’s long professional and philanthropic relationship with Washington University: Philip chaired the Department of Pharmacology for over a decade and later served as both an associate dean and trustee of the School of Medicine; Sima was a highly-respected volunteer leader at the Brown School of Social Work.

Research supported by the center capitalizes on a recent wave of exciting discoveries connecting cellular metabolism to axon degeneration, a central process common to many debilitating neurological conditions including chemotherapy and diabetes-related peripheral neuropathy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), frontotemporal dementia, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and traumatic brain injury. Given the preponderance of significant breakthroughs in this field made by School of Medicine investigators, the center is well-positioned to channel its unique concentration of talent and expertise to develop novel therapeutics to benefit the hundreds of millions who suffer from these devastating ailments world-wide.