March 25, 2021

U-M Depression Center to be named for Eisenberg family, in recognition of $30M in giving

Nation’s first center focused on depression and bipolar illnesses enters 20th year with transformational gift and enhanced capacity for scientific advances to improve knowledge and care

Kenneth and Frances Eisenberg

The University of Michigan Board of Regents today (March 25) approved the renaming of the U-M Depression Center for Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg and their family, in recognition of their transformational $30 million total giving to depression research and scholarship.

The center will be known as the Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg and Family Depression Center.

The Eisenbergs’ philanthropy toward the center includes earlier support for advanced science in the field of mood disorders and a professorship now held by the center’s new director, Srijan Sen, M.D., Ph.D.

“Thanks to the Eisenbergs’ extraordinary commitment to moving depression and bipolar illnesses out of the shadows and into the sunlight of advanced scientific research, discovery and evidence-based care, our university will be able to accelerate the pace of prevention, detection, treatment and support,” said U-M President Mark S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D. "It's hard for me to imagine a more important and timely investment in medical research than what is being made by the Eisenberg family."

“With the pandemic, we are finally talking about how central mental health is to our everyday lives,” said Kenneth Eisenberg. “There is a growing awareness about how pervasive conditions like depression are across the nation. There’s promise in that awareness. Depression, in all of its forms, has robbed millions of people of joy, purpose, relationships, and even lives.

“Frances and I wanted to provide a gift that would exponentially grow the potential to change millions of people’s lives for the better, as well as provide momentum to the incredible work that the Depression Center is doing in this area,” he added. “It’s a message of hope and promise of better lives for millions.”