Hilton Garden Inn - Stony Brook

$5M gift to SBU hospital to fight Multiple Sclerosis

Robert and Lisa Lourie gave $2.5 million to Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital. Photo from SBU
April 18, 2012 | 04:33 PM
A $5 million gift will mean research and clinical care will be advanced at the National Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center at Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital.

Robert and Lisa Lourie have donated $2.5 million and with a $2.5 million matching grant from the Simons Foundation, a new state-of-the-art imaging center will be established. The Pediatric MS Center will be renamed the Lourie Center for Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis historically has been viewed as an adult-onset disease. But according to the National MS Society, about 8,000 to 10,000 children in the nation have MS. The disease in children can be difficult to diagnose. The advent of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other ways to detect MS lesions have helped to secure the MS diagnosis in children. But because little is yet known about the impact of the disease on children, neurologists and other MS experts still seek a consensus on MS diagnosis and treatment in children.

The Lisa and Robert Lourie Imaging Suite will include new imaging technologies that will help Stony Brook's neuroscientists understand more about the brain and spinal cord in relation to MS, epilepsy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurological disorders.

"The Louries' extraordinary gift will enable us to provide the resources and environment needed to support the best researchers, and to reach new heights in pioneering research," SBU President Dr. Samuel Stanley said in a release.

Robert Lourie is a physicist and head of futures research at Renaissance Technologies in Setauket. Lisa Lourie is a nurse who has worked in intensive care units and with AIDS patients.

"There are a lot of known, valuable uses for this technology," Robert Lourie said in a release. "But it is new enough that I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the most significant things that come out of it haven't been thought of yet."

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