Rutgers to open Alzheimer’s and dementia clinical research and treatment center

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences recently announced it is launching the Herbert and Jacqueline Krieger Klein Alzheimer’s and Dementia Clinical Research and Treatment Center, thanks to a $5 million donation from Herbert C. Klein, an alumnus of the university and a former U.S. congressman who made the gift in memory of his wife, who died in 2017 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Based at the Rutgers Brain Health Institute and scheduled to open in fall 2023, the center will offer research expertise from the institute, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research as well as facilitate clinical research in Alzheimer’s disease that could result in new medical treatments.

An estimated 6.5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, which calls the disease “a growing public health crisis in New Jersey” that affects about 190,000 people over age 65 in the state.

“My wife was a wonderful woman whose life was cut down by this disease,” Klein said. “She suffered for nine years. Sadly, there was really nothing that could be done to treat her. I am very proud to associate her with Rutgers’ efforts to defeat this dreadful disease. The work by this center will have a tremendous effect in this fight.”

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

Michal Beeri, a global leader in Alzheimer’s disease clinical research, has been named the center’s director. Beeri, who will be based at the Rutgers Institute for Health, will be a professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Neurology and a core member of the Brain Health Institute.

Beeri also has been nominated as the Herbert C. and Jacqueline Krieger Klein Endowed Chair in Neurodegeneration Research, which is pending approval by the Rutgers board of governors.

“Dr. Beeri brings enormous enthusiasm and experience in building a research center focused on Alzheimer’s disease,” Gary Aston-Jones, director of the Brain Health Institute, said. “This new center will leverage multiple strengths in our biomedical research community to develop new understanding and novel approaches to treating this devastating disease.”