Mary and Mark Stevens. Photo by Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

Mark and Mary Stevens understand firsthand what neurologic conditions can do: Mark Stevens’ father has Alzheimer’s, and one of the couple’s sons has dyslexia. They know that advances in neuroscience could touch everyone, from children just beginning life to seniors approaching life’s end.

So when the couple got the opportunity to make a permanent mark on neuroimaging research—one of USC’s highest priorities and a point of distinction—they jumped on it. The Stevens family donated $50 million to endow and name the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute in March 2015.

Researchers at the USC Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute collaborate with researchers at USC and across the world in biostatistics, computer science, mathematics, pharmacology and other disciplines. Among many seminal achievements, the institute was first to map the spread of Alzheimer’s disease in the living human brain and also created the first digital 3- and 4-D brain atlases to examine the effects of neurologic diseases.

“The field of neuroscience represents the next great frontier of medical research in the 21st century,” says Mark Stevens ’81, MS ’84, a USC trustee. “We believe that the tremendously talented team and the interdisciplinary nature of the institute’s work will yield meaningful understanding of this frontier in the future.”

Mark and Mary Stevens have long given to USC in ways that reflect their passion for improving technology and the lives of others. Prior naming gifts include supporting the USC Stevens Center for Innovation and the Stevens Academic Center for student-athletes. The gift places the Stevens family among the ranks of the largest benefactors of the university in USC’s 135-year history.

Mark Stevens, the leader of venture capital firms S-Cubed and Sequoia Capital, has been a USC trustee since 2001 and sits on the USC Health System Board. He also has served on the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Board of Councilors for 18 years.

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