SWMed_PowellThe Lowe Foundation has donated $1 million to Southwestern Medical Foundation to establish the Erma Lowe Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UT Southwestern.

The latest gift follows a $1 million donation made by the Lowe Foundation in 2008 that created the Erma Lowe Laboratory in Alzheimer’s Research and supported the work of Dr. Craig Powell, Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics and Psychiatry. The most recent gift upgrades the Laboratory to a Center.

“As a result of the Foundation’s initial gift, researchers in Dr. Powell’s lab, collaborating with other researchers at the medical center, have developed a novel genetic vaccination method that appears in initial studies to clear specific toxic peptides from the brains of an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model without harmful side effects. This latest gift will enable Dr. Powell to continue the development of this vaccine,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, President of UT Southwestern.

The Lowe Foundation was established in 1988 by civic leader Erma Lowe and her daughter, Mary Ralph Lowe, who has carried on her mother’s commitment to the health and educational needs of women and children. Since its inception, the Lowe Foundation has assisted more than 400 organizations throughout Texas.

Erma Lowe was a dedicated volunteer and philanthropist, known for her tireless efforts on behalf of Cook Children’s Medical Center and numerous other charities. She served on the Texas Christian University Board of Trustees and was an honorary trustee for more than two decades. Her husband, Ralph, was a Texas wildcatter who earned a reputation as one of the state’s most respected members of the oil and gas industry. Among his many entrepreneurial enterprises were farming, ranching, real estate, and thoroughbred racing.

Mary Ralph Lowe is CEO of Maralo LLC, a Houston-based oil and gas exploration and acquisition company founded by her father in the early 1940s. She serves on the boards of TCU, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. She also is active in numerous civic organizations, including the Texas Ballet Theater, the Fort Worth Zoo, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.

“Alzheimer’s research is an area upon which we have chosen to focus,” said Clayton Maebius, Lowe Foundation trustee and overseer of the Foundation’s work for her mother, Mary Ralph Lowe. Mrs. Maebius also is President of Maralo. “We are very impressed with Dr. Powell and want to help him continue his research efforts. We have visited with him two or three times during the past several years and were definitely impressed with his research findings.”

A longtime supporter of UT Southwestern, the Lowe Foundation established the Lowe Foundation Center for Women’s Preventative Health Care at UT Southwestern in 1999. It also established two professorships: the Lowe Foundation Professorship in Pediatric Neuro-Oncology and the Lowe Foundation Professorship in Pediatric Critical Care Research. The Foundation also supported the Innovations in Medicine campaign with a major contribution to help endow the George N. Peters, M.D., Center for Breast Surgery and to provide support for early detection of breast cancer.