$2.85 million gift to boost Alzheimer’s research at USF

Recent polling by the Alzheimer’s Association concluded that one out of three people know someone with Alzheimer’s disease. With statistics such as this, the need for advancements in Alzheimer’s research is of obvious importance.

A $2.85 million gift given by the James and Martha Porter Charitable Lead Annuity Trust will bring the USF’s College of Medicine and the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer’s Center and Research Institute one step closer to the aforementioned goals in Alzheimer’s research. The donation, awarded Dec. 8, was inspired by Martha Porter’s own battle with Alzheimer’s.

“It’s a fabulous day for Alzheimer’s research in the Tampa Bay area,” said Huntington Potter, the CEO of the Byrd Institute and a USF neuroscientist.

Potter said the gift was very generous advancing the long-term goals being “to find new treatments and hopefully one day a cure, done in collaboration with USF and the Byrd Institute.”

Two institutions will benefit from this gift increases the chances for advancement in Alzheimer’s research. The “purpose of the gift is to increase the speed (with which) the research is done,” Potter said.

In August 2003, the Archives of Neurology published a report stating that, “the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s has more than doubled since 1980.” Considering that number is growing steadily, it is clear that more time-efficient research is in high demand, Potter said.

The collaboration between the USF College of Medicine and the Byrd Institute in combination with the Porter gift offers great potential for cutting-edge Alzheimer’s research.

Potter said he hopes the combined efforts in research will also “serve as a model for other researchers.”