“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal. I resolved not to take my eye off the goal.” Peter O’Donnell Jr.
Persistence lies at the heart of progress, and the generous hearts of our community are sometimes willing to go against the grain for big ideas that they believe in. In the early 1980s, philanthropist Peter O’Donnell Jr. stuck beside his goal to bring the Center for Human Nutrition to life at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“The idea wasn’t resoundingly endorsed at first,” O’Donnell said. But O’Donnell was determined to help put the field of human nutrition on firmer scientific foundation. With state funds and an endowed chair from O’Donnell, the Center opened in 1981. Nobel Laureates Drs. Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein recruited Scott Grundy, MD, PhD, to direct the new facility, who was well known at the time for his work focused on cholesterol. Additional community support, led by Vin Prothro and The Friends of the Center for Human Nutrition, later joined startup funding for the massive effort.
UT Southwestern was only the second medical school in the nation to begin such a center, and its impact on the community continues to be profound. Read more in Perspectives Magazine.