Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Asher Center for the Study and Treatment of Depressive Disorders

About Our Benefactors

The Asher Center for Research and Treatment of Depressive Disorders at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine dates back over 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, the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Feinberg, and the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. 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 post-doctoral fellows have been trained in the assessment and treatment of mood disorders through the center, along with numerous psychiatry residents.

Helen and Norman Asher: Northwestern Alumni

Helen Asher received her bachelor’s degree from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences in 1935. Norman Asher earned his law degree at Northwestern in 1927.

Legacy of Generosity

The Northwestern community is grateful for the Asher Family’s continued support and friendship.  Building on the efforts of Helen and Norman Asher, Don Asher and his wife Carol have generously supported the advancement of the Asher Center’s research programs over the years.