Selim Zilkha, whose funding and vision played an indispensible role in developing and launching the Zilkha Neurigenetic Institute, died in September at the age of 95 from natural causes.

Zilkha had already established a reputation as a generous philanthropist when he approached the Keck School of Medicine of USC with his idea for a special research facility for Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative neurological disorders. Both his mother and older brother suffered from Alzheimer’s, inspiring his personal dedication to finding better treatments and a cure. After the institute’s launch in 2003, he continued to play an active role with frequent visits, offers of further assistance and a willingness to ask questions and provide feedback on the direction the research was taking.

Even though he is gone, faculty and staff at the institute stated that Zilkha will continue to be a wellspring of inspiration for all of those he worked with.

To read his full obituary from the Keck School, click here.