Don Mattes began contributing to the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT before he himself was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Since his death in 2020, his wife, Glenda, has continued Don’s passion for her work. “My wish is that no one has to go through the horrors of Alzheimer’s again,” says Glenda. Matteses has also supported the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT.
Legacy sparks hope. An early key employee of Andover Controls who later ran the company’s European operations, Don visited six continents with Glenda during their 30-year marriage — often to slip snow or cycling. “Don’s was a good life, just too short,” says Glenda. The couple made provisions in their legacy plan to support the Picower Institute. After Don’s death, Glenda donated any property to MIT. estate to set up a foundation and the foundation is currently there to support research into Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases Glenda is a cancer survivor, and The gift was also given to a foundation in the couple’s name at the Koch Institute.
Amazing discoveries are being made at MIT: “Don always said that the best thing he got from MIT was being taught how to think,” says Glenda. “MIT is a wonderful place. Picower Institute director Li-Huei Tsai and her team are doing more than finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. They are looking for the root cause of the disease. I also enjoy Koch’s combination of engineering and biology. The chance that they will one day solve the problem of cancer is very high.”
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