University News

Kennedy appointed visiting fellow

Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Correction appended.

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., accepted a two-year appointment yesterday as a visiting fellow in the Brown Institute of Brain Science through 2013.

He will have an office in the institute’s headquarters and will give two annual lectures, according to a University press release.

Kennedy has had a long-standing relationship with the University and has “been a tremendous supporter” of its research in the neurosciences, said Edward Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences.

Kennedy “is committed to research and care for people with mental illnesses,” Wing said, adding that he is “very excited” about the appointment.

“Millions of people live with disorders of the brain and central nervous system, and hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and veterans have suffered traumatic brain injuries,” Kennedy said in the press release. “Finding treatments and cures for their suffering is a national emergency with a scientific challenge akin to our efforts to go to the moon that galvanized the country half a century ago. I can imagine no better place to pursue this mission than from within the thriving community of brain science researchers and clinicians at Brown.”

Kennedy retired from Congress last year after his eighth term in office. During his tenure, he was active in advocating for veterans with mental illnesses to receive the same health insurance coverage as veterans with other illnesses. After his retirement, he helped create the One Mind for Brain Research campaign. He is also organizing the Next Frontier Conference, which will bring together scientists, politicians, academics, philanthropists and patients to discuss neurological disorders in Boston May 23-25, on the 50th anniversary of his uncle John F. Kennedy’s P’83 “moonshot” address.

A previous version of this article incorrectly quoted Edward Wing, dean of medicine and biological sciences, as saying that Patrick Kennedy “is committed to research and care for people with medical illnesses.” In fact, Wing said that Kennedy “is committed to research and care for people with mental illnesses.” The Herald regrets the error.