USF Health's Dr. Klasko named CEO of Byrd Alzheimer's Institute

Click here for Dr. Klasko’s presentation to the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute Board of Directors.

Tampa, FL (Aug. 22, 2008) — The Johnnie B. Byrd Alzheimer’s Center & Research Institute’s Board of Directors today unanimously approved a new CEO — Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, dean of the University of South Florida College of Medicine and senior vice president for USF Health.

Dr. Klasko’s was named CEO immediately following the Board’s approval of the affiliation agreement intended to help the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and USF move together in advancing Alzheimer’s research and treatment. The day before, Aug. 21, the same affiliation agreement was signed by USF President Judy Genshaft and affirmed by the USF Board of Trustees executive committee.

“Collaboration has been the key for the Byrd Institute and we will continue to move forward under that model. Synergy is a remarkable force, and I am eager for us to accelerate that process,” Dr. Klasko said.

Huntington Potter, PhD, the center’s first CEO, has signed an offer from USF to remain as a senior scientist at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute and tenured professor in the USF Department of Molecular Medicine. Dr. Potter is also the Pfeiffer Endowed Chair in Alzheimer’s Disease Research at USF and principal investigator for the prestigious Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) grant obtained from the National Institute on Aging. “Dr. Potter is definitely very important to continuing the great work begun by the Byrd Institute,” Dr. Klasko said.

Dr. Stephen Klasko

Dr. Klasko will meet with all Byrd Institute staff on Aug. 25 and introduce the team that will provide transition support for the Institute. At a combined meeting of the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute Board of Directors and its Joint Affiliation Board in October, Dr. Klasko will present a blueprint for strategic action intended to consolidate resources and services and leverage the talent of both institutions.

“We will look at every opportunity to generate revenue by attracting more NIH research support and tapping into entrepreneurial funding,” Dr. Klakso said. “At the same time, we’ll work to reduce administrative expenses, because every expense takes dollars way from what we can spend on Alzheimer’s research, patient care and education.”

“My role as CEO is to assess our joint potential, address the realities and lead so we can achieve our goals,” Dr. Klasko said. “I am truly committed to helping the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute become one of the best in the world for outstanding research with the goal of discovering a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. I believe we can successfully do that together.”

– About the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute –

The mission of the Johnnie B. Byrd, Sr. Byrd Alzheimer’s Center & Research Institute is to collaborate with researchers throughout the State of Florida and the wider global research community to develop treatments to cure and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. The Institute provides a physical location—the world’s largest freestanding research center dedicated to Alzheimer’s research—that conducts state-of-the-art research, in addition to serving as the site for coordinating and facilitating Florida’s various efforts to diagnose, treat and prevent the disease.

– About USF Health –

USF Health is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With $308 million in research funding last year, USF is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of Florida’s top three research universities.