With the support of a $5 million gift from an alumnus, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences announced Feb. 2 it will open the Herbert and Jacqueline Krieger Klein Alzheimer’s and Dementia Clinical Research and Treatment Center this fall.
Based at the Rutgers Brain Health Institute, the center will offer research 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.
The announcement said the center will also facilitate clinical research about Alzheimer’s that could lead to new treatments.
Former U.S. Rep. Herbert Klein, who represented New Jersey’s 8th District from 1993 to 1995, made the donation in September 2020 in memory of his late wife, Jacqueline Krieger Klein, who died in 2017 after battling Alzheimer’s disease. The Kleins are longtime Rutgers supporters, having made multiple gifts to the university through the years.
“My wife was a wonderful woman whose life was cut down by this disease,” Klein said in a statement. “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.”
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 190,000 people 65 and older are living with the disease in New Jersey.
“This center will bring new ideas and new approaches to understanding and eradicating Alzheimer’s disease and dementia,” RBHS Chancellor Brian Strom 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,” Strom added.
Michal Beeri was appointed director of the new center, effective April 15. Beeri will join Rutgers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, where she is a professor in the psychiatry department.
Beeri, who has been nominated as the as the Herbert C. and Jacqueline Krieger Klein Endowed Chair in Neurodegeneration Research, will be based at the Rutgers Institute for Health and will be a professor at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Department of Neurology and a member of the Brain Health Institute.
“Advancing our research into the underlying causes of dementia-related disease is an important step forward that benefits the residents of New Jersey,” said Amy Murtha, dean of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “The knowledge gained from this work will improve care and offer hope for our patients whose lives, and the lives of their loved ones, have been unequivocally altered by the devastating effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”