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New Brunswick

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Clinical Research & Treatment Center to Open

An estimated 6.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, which describes the disease as “a growing public health crisis in New Jersey,” affecting approximately 190,000 people over the age of 65 in the state.

The center is supported by a $5 million donation from Herbert C. Klein, a Rutgers graduate student and former US Congressman, who made the gift in memory of his wife, Jacqueline Krieger Klein, who died in 2017 after battling Alzheimer’s -disease died.

“My wife was a wonderful woman whose life was devastated by this disease,” said Klein, a longtime donor who supports Rutger’s leadership in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease and other devastating neurodegenerative diseases. “She suffered for nine years. Unfortunately there was really nothing that could be done to treat them. I am very proud to associate them with Rutgers’ efforts to defeat this terrible disease. The work of this center will have a tremendous impact in this fight.”

“This center will bring new ideas and new approaches to understanding and eradicating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” said Brian Strom, Chancellor of RBHS. “Mr. Klein’s vision and generosity, combined with the expertise and dedication of Rutgers researchers, can help restore the life these conditions are stealing from patients and their families.”

Michal Beeri, a world leader in Alzheimer’s clinical research, has been appointed director of the center. She was also nominated for the Herbert C. and Jacqueline Krieger Klein Endowed Chair in Neurodegeneration Research, pending approval by the Rutgers Board of Governors. Beeri, who will join Rutgers on April 15, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She developed the Joseph Sagol Neuroscience Center at Sheba Medical Center in Israel, a successful center for research into Alzheimer’s disease.

Beeri, who will be based at the Rutgers Institute for Health, will be a Professor in the Department of Neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a Core Member of the Brain Health Institute. She will develop a cohort of hundreds of potential clinical trial subjects for Alzheimer’s disease and lead some of these trials to understand the causes of this disease and to develop novel therapeutics to treat it.

“DR. Beeri brings tremendous enthusiasm and experience to building a research center focused on Alzheimer’s disease,” said Gary Aston-Jones, Director of the Brain Health Institute. “This new center will leverage several strengths in our biomedical research community to develop new insights and novel approaches to treat this devastating disease.”

“Advancing our research into the underlying causes of dementia is an important step forward that will benefit New Jersey residents,” said Amy P. Murtha, Dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “The knowledge gained from this work will improve care and bring hope to our patients whose lives and the lives of their loved ones have clearly been transformed by the devastating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

According to Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, joint chair of the department of neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, the center’s capabilities will be expanded to include the faculty of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

Herbert and Jacqueline Krieger Klein’s Alzheimer’s and Dementia Clinical Research and Treatment Center is the latest in a series of major Rutgers Centers of Excellence at the heart of the university’s academic health care system. Centers aiming to develop personalized and novel therapies for neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders include the Center for Advanced Human Brain Imaging Research, Rutgers Addiction Research Center, Rutgers University Center for Autism Research, Education and Services (all am Brain Health Institute), the Advanced Addictions Treatment Center, and the Brandt Behavioral Health Mood and Anxiety Treatment and Residential Center for older adolescents and younger adults.

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