Rappaports Lend Their Name, Endowment to Basic Neuroscience at McLean

June 30, 2021

Phyllis and Jerome (Jerry) Lyle Rappaport have made a generous gift to endow McLean Hospital’s Basic Neuroscience Division, now called the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Center of Excellence in Basic Neuroscience Research. Also, in connection with their gift, the Rappaports have established the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, currently held by Bill Carlezon, PhD, as the inaugural incumbent.

The Phyllis & Jerome Lyle Rappaport Foundation’s latest gift to the hospital comes after a decades-long relationship with McLean. In 2000, the Rappaports established the Rappaport Mental Health Endowed Fellowship. They were founding members of the McLean National Council, which was established in 2002 to help McLean broaden its donor base nationally and thereby grow its resources to enhance McLean’s mission impact, reputation, and reach.

Helping McLean Meet Future Mental Health Needs

The Rappaports said they recognized many years ago that McLean’s success at translating world-class research into effective treatments was a big part of why the hospital is considered a national and international leader in its field. They also recognize that McLean is now at a pivotal point in its history.

McLean is seeking significant philanthropic investments to upgrade its physical plant, reinforce its specialized clinical and research programs, and pursue innovative applications of technology.

The Rappaports look at their gift as a means of fortifying McLean’s thriving basic neuroscience research, which is so critical to McLean’s leadership in the field. “Funding the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Center of Excellence in Basic Neuroscience Research at McLean is a way of supporting the hospital’s needs while fulfilling our foundation’s mission of supporting emerging leaders and researchers,” explained Jerry.

Bill Carlezon, PhD
Bill Carlezon, PhD

“For over 20 years, our foundation has supported young researchers at McLean in their pursuit of cures for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and other mental illnesses, as well as basic neuroscience research into the brain” said Jerry.

Phyllis added, “We have been pleased with the hospital’s outstanding selections of researchers, how the individuals have leveraged their grants, their subsequent growth and accomplishments, and finally, McLean’s impressive success in retaining them to continue their careers.”

A Leader To Follow

Occupying an endowed chair is one of the greatest honors for any leader in academia. And the Rappaports are pleased that someone of Carlezon’s caliber was available to be named as the first person to hold the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Endowed Chair in Psychiatry.

“We first met Dr. Carlezon when he presented at a National Council event,” said Jerry. “He gave one of the best presentations we’ve ever encountered. The foundation funds talent, and Dr. Carlezon is a talented researcher, well-known for his work on the neurobiology of depression and addiction. As the chief of the Basic Neuroscience Division at McLean, he has provided crucial support to our Rappaport fellows over the years. His energy, enthusiasm, and generative style make him a natural educator and mentor.”

A Successful Past and Future

The Rappaports’ support of and confidence in McLean continues to be personal.

“Our contributions to McLean reflect our respect for the critical role that the hospital has played in leading the fight to treat and cure the myriad forms of mental illnesses and diseases for all ages and genders,” added Phyllis. “We are grateful for the important guidance and treatment that McLean has played in our family now for three generations, and we are confident the hospital will continue to grow and expand its impact.”

“Jerry and Phyllis have been trusted friends and supporters of McLean for two decades,” said Scott L. Rauch, MD, president and psychiatrist in chief. “They have an astute understanding of how vital it is to invest in talented, young investigators in the quest to advance scientific discoveries more broadly. This insight—backed by their generosity over the years—has been extraordinary. This latest gift is a tremendously meaningful way to amplify their profound impact on McLean and basic neuroscience research in perpetuity.”

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