The History of the Roskamp Institute

The Roskamp Institute, the world renowned research facility located in Sarasota, has made important discoveries with profound clinical implications for the millions of Americans with neurological disorders.

The Roskamp Institute established its research facilities and team of scientists in Sarasota in 2003. At that time the Sarasota-based Roskamp Foundation provided the administrative and organizational structure for the innovative Institute. Now, the Institute has become firmly established as a leading not-for-profit, independent body in the international research community with its programs and projects supported by the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration, the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme and several other national and international peer reviewed agencies.

In 2010, the Foundation’s governing board determined that the growth of the Roskamp Institute could be accommodated by a change in status from a private operating foundation to an independent public charity. This autonomy allows the Institute to continue to build its research program and secure a broader range of grants and charitable gifts to support our mission to conduct scientific and clinical research to discover therapies to treat diseases of the mind, including Alzheimer’s Disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Gulf War Illness and Traumatic Stress. The development of new drugs and therapies to treat neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, head trauma, Gulf War Illness, Autism, drug addiction and Tourette’s Syndrome.

With this change in structure, the Roskamp Foundation’s two principals, Bob and Diane Roskamp, made an important gift to the world health community, providing substantial resources to aid the discovery in new drugs and treatments for debilitating diseases of the brain.

‘Through the years, Diane and I have been privileged to participate in many wonderful opportunities to make the world a better place. Our passion lies most directly with using our time and resources to find a cure for diseases of the mind. We believe that through the continued and expanded work of the Roskamp Institute, Alzheimer’s Disease and many other debilitating disorders of the brain will soon be understood and cured.’ – Bob Roskamp

The Roskamp Institute of Sarasota, Florida was established with the goal of becoming a primary international site for leading-edge research on neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Today, the Roskamp Institute is recognized as a leader in the global effort to better understand and ultimately cure debilitating diseases of the mind.

The groundwork for the Institute’s research programs was laid more than two decades ago by Roskamp’s two lead researchers, Dr. Michael Mullan and CEO and President, Dr. Fiona Crawford, who were part of a pioneering team of scientists at London University.  This group identified the pathogenic mutations in the APP gene responsible for early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  The groundbreaking research work of this team discovered that such mutations facilitate an enhanced cleavage mechanism on either side of the β-amyloid region of APP, increasing the rate of β-amyloid desposition in the brain resulting in the development of familial early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

In the course of their research, the Institute’s scientists discovered that inflammation in the brain is directly associated with many other neurodegenerative disorders. The research team has also made progress in the development of medications and therapeutic treatments that will reduce or slow the toxic accumulation of beta-amyloid and its associated inflammation.

In June 2011 it was announced that an international research consortium led by Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and the Roskamp Institute has been selected for funding by the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme for a large-scale European clinical trial on Nilvadipine, an Alzheimer’s Disease drug developed at the Roskamp Institute. This grant of $8.4 million has allowed more than 500 Alzheimer’s patients across Europe to participate in the multicenter Phase III clinical trial designed to study the effectiveness of the drug on humans, with results expected at the end of 2016. This is but one aspect of the Institute’s work battling the debilitating and deadly diseases that afflict so many Americans and others worldwide.