The University of Georgia’s campaign to create the Johnny Isakson Chair for Parkinson’s Research and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar position reached its goal of $4.5 million in private commitments, and the final contributor was the former U.S. senator for whom the chair is named.
The Isakson Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar position will help UGA attract a leading authority on brain disorders — with an emphasis on Parkinson’s, with which Isakson was diagnosed in 2015 — to engage in teaching, research and public service. Fundraising for the chair attracted a variety of donors including individuals, businesses and foundations.
A major supporter of the position is the Georgia Research Alliance. GRA grows Georgia’s economy by expanding university research capacity and seeding and shaping startup companies around inventions and discoveries. UGA has 18 GRA Eminent Scholars on faculty, and a 19th is set to join the university this fall.
The Isakson Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar will also be the director of UGA’s forthcoming Center for Brain Science and Neurological Disorders. Fundraising efforts are underway for the center.
Isakson, who lives in east Cobb, served as a U.S. representative from 1999 to 2004 and served in the U.S. Senate until his retirement in 2019.