The NSI is the culmination of numerous individual efforts and entities coming together under the auspices of one organization. We consider the original Byrd Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute (BACRI) to be the cornerstone of this new paradigm. Former Florida State Speaker of the House Johnny Byrd, Jr. realized the devastating effects that Alzheimer’s disease was having (and will continue to exact) on his citizens, and the country, back in 2007. Thousands of individuals and their loved ones are impacted by this dreadful disease. Without a viable treatment plan or cure, Speaker Byrd understood that the future economic and psychological toll from Alzheimer’s will overwhelm state resources.
The State assembly committed nearly $80M to address the looming crises of memory disorders by allocating $40M to construct a state-of-the-art facility on the edge of the USF campus in Tampa, FL. Another $40M was dedicated to start-up costs—hiring and funding the brightest minds in science. Over several years, the BACRI made tremendous strides in both traditional research discovery and establishing the industry standards for memory disorder patient care. Additionally, the varied leaders of the BACRI formed strong partnerships throughout the Tampa Bay region to ensure maximum efficiencies and effectiveness.
The BACRI forged ahead on its mission when in 2013 a group of Neuroscience scholars on the campus of USF decided that they too could improve their productivity (for other brain-related diseases) through a more collaborative approach to research and service. Thus, the Neuroscience Collaborative (NSC) formed to attract greater scientific contributions, funding and outcomes.
Several years later in the fall of 2016, the Chairman of the USF Department of Neurosurgery and the Dean of USF Health Dean conducted an analysis of assets and results for the various brain-related efforts including those associated with the BACRI and NSC. What they determined was that a more centralized infrastructure that married these entities could maximize utilization of the 100,000 square foot facility, reduce overhead costs and attract NIH caliber talent to the University.
Effective 1st January 2017, Dr. Harry van Loveren was named the new CEO of the BACRI and Chairman of the USF Health NSI Executive Committee. His mandate was to create an organizational structure that promoted world-class research while ensuring first-class patient care.