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About Our Benefactors

We are very grateful for Donald and Carol Asher’s support as ongoing champions of our clinical research. We are deeply committed to fulfilling their goals of promoting education, new research and excellent clinical care for people with depression, and the Ashers are great partners in this ambitious endeavor.”

Katherine L. Wisner, MD
Director, Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders
Norman and Helen Asher Professor

The Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine dates back more than 20 years. Its existence today is thanks to the commitment and dedication of Helen and Norman Asher. Understanding that depressive disorders and related diseases have a devastating consequence on our society, and believing that the most effective future treatment of these disorders would be found by searching for the origins and processes of these diseases, the Ashers pledged a generous transformational $3 million gift in 1991. Three years later, the Ashers established the Norman and Helen Asher Professorship in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences to support the center director, which, at the time, was Dr. William T. McKinney.

The Asher Center’s important work today is a testament to the Asher’s vision for Feinberg’s goals to continue to perform research leading to better understand the treatments of depression and to be an important resource to the community.

In 1995, the Asher Clinical Program, the center’s clinical treatment and research arm, was established as a collective operation that benefits from contributions of the Asher Center and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. The result is a high-quality, contemporary psychiatric care facility for the diagnosis, treatment and study of depressive disorders.

Today, the Asher Center operates as a multidisciplinary facility combining clinical psychiatry and basic science research efforts to better understand and treat depressive disorders. The center has treated more than 2,500 individual patients who suffer from depressive disorders. Numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have been trained in the assessment and treatment of mood disorders through the center, along with numerous psychiatry residents.

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