UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation Receives $1 Million Gift from Alba Tull to Benefit Children’s Neuroscience Institute

April 21, 2022

The Gift Will Advance Crucial Research for Children’s Brain Health

PITTSBURGH UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation today announced it has received a $1 million gift from Alba Tull to advance pediatric neuroscience research, education and patient care at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Children’s Neuroscience Institute (CNI).

The gift builds upon Tull’s deep commitment to neurological research, specifically in the greater Pittsburgh area. Last year, she worked with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to create the Alba Tull Center for Neuro Imaging and Therapeutics. The Center is dedicated to designing and expanding imaging technologies for patient care to produce a new, sophisticated understanding of the brain to develop anti-aging therapeutics. Today’s gift will now help bring that same commitment of pursuing innovative neuroscience research and treatment to children.

“The past few years have truly highlighted that medicine is the backbone of our future, which is why supporting leading research and developments in health care – especially for those who are most precious, children – is one of my top priorities,” said Alba Tull, philanthropist and founder of First Light Capital Group. “I continue to be inspired by UPMC Children’s work, especially in neuroscience. I am proud to continue to support and work alongside CNI as they continue to make monumental advancements in their innovative research and new discoveries for pediatric neuroscience.”

Tull is a long-time supporter of UPMC Children’s. Her involvement began several years ago with her gift to support research and Creative and Expressive Arts Therapy, and she has long served as a member of UPMC Children’s Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Her involvement with CNI began last year when she pledged her support for the hospital during its DVE Rocks Children’s Radiothon. After meeting with several neuroscience and research leaders at UPMC Children’s, she decided to designate the donation for CNI.

“Today’s children are tomorrow’s future, and we are tremendously grateful for the generous support from Alba Tull, who is advancing our vision to build a premier destination for pediatric neuroscience research, education, and care,” said Terence Dermody, M.D., chair of pediatrics at UPMC Children’s. “We are thrilled about the research this gift will enable CNI to undertake. Funding for pediatric research, including children’s brain health, is an area of tremendous need. This extraordinary gift will help us fulfill our mission, investing in the science of brain health and disease that will improve the lives of children in Pittsburgh and throughout the world. We are very thankful to Alba Tull for continuing to support the important work of our team and hospital.”  

The largest donation in CNI’s history, the gift will provide flexible research funding to address some of the most pressing priorities of the program, including research infrastructure, pilot grants, and training future leaders, all of which will help generate new breakthroughs in pediatric neuroscience. In particular, it will be used to help progress the understanding of neurological illness, discover and develop personalized therapies for children with neurological diseases or impairments, as well as innovate diagnostic medicine and find ways to translate research directly to patients.

CNI continues to grow and make cutting edge-advancements in the field of neurological disorders. To that end, the research team will continue to prioritize connectivity, neurodevelopment, neonatal and fetal stroke, and lipidomics, a new and quickly growing field of research.

CNI is led by Hülya Bayır, M.D, an award-winning and international leading physician-scientist who has spent decades studying pediatric neurocritical care and traumatic brain injury. With the support from Alba Tull, Bayır will be equipped to bolster’s CNI’s efforts towards translating innovative research more quickly to patients.

About UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation

UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation is the catalyst that unites communities and contributors to create healthier futures for all children through life-changing care and cutting-edge research. As the sole fundraising arm of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, we support their vision of being the world leader in pediatric health care, education, and discovery. The Foundation is a public charity under 501(c)(3) and 170(b)(1)(A) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. For more information, visit www.givetochildrens.org

About Alba Tull

Alba Tull is a leading female philanthropist, accomplished multi-disciplined photographer and film producer, and leading investor. She is the founder and Managing Director of the First Light Capital Group, the technology-informed investment firm and female entrepreneur seeder. She also serves as the chairperson of Tull Investment Group, a privately held investment fund that manages an array of real estate holdings and interest in companies including Genies, Pinterest, Zoox, and Oculus Rift.

Outside of her professional work, Tull is the chair of her family’s philanthropic organization, the Tull Family Foundation (TFF), and serves on the board of many leading organizations, including UPMC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Science Center, The Rett Syndrome Research Trust and The Jackie Robinson Foundation. She is also a member of Carnegie Mellon University’s Highlands Circle and is a life-long supporter of the United States Navy, where she is currently serving as the sponsor of the next-generation ship, the USS Cooperstown LCS 23.

Andrea Yorchuck (Kunicky)
Senior Manager

Chelsey Rovesti