The facility, which houses the UF Health Neuromedicine – Williston Road practice, significantly expands the previous center’s space to 24,700 square feet, 28 exam rooms and seven therapy rooms — including three clinical trials rooms and a telemedicine room.
“The mission of the Fixel Institute is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people with complex neurological disorders through interdisciplinary care, innovative research and the teaching of the next generation of practitioners,” said Foote, co-director of the Fixel Institute.The facility incorporates indoor and outdoor rehabilitation, spaces to meditate, a clinical trials center and five laboratory spaces for researchers.
“This new facility is going to not only deliver medicine, but facilitate the healing process,” said Okun, executive director of the Fixel Institute. “We often forget that it’s not just the medicines and therapies, it’s patients and families who need to heal, and we need to have the right team members to help them live happy and meaningful lives despite the presence of neurological disease.”
The Fixel family’s gifts have prompted a search to bring the world’s top talent to Gainesville along with their related programs. Over the past six months, four renowned neuroscientists from leading research institutions have committed to join the Fixel Institute. The new researchers are: Matthew Farrer, Ph.D., from the University of British Columbia, who directs UF’s Clinical Genomics Program; Malú G. Tansey, Ph.D., from Emory University School of Medicine, who directs UF’s Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, or CTRND; Matthew LaVoie, Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School, who will co-direct the CTRND upon his arrival in 2020; and Stefan Prokop, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania, who directs UF’s Neuromedicine Brain Bank.
“We are thinking broadly and establishing a coordinated approach to improvement of clinical care, drug discovery, as well as gene and neuromodulatory therapy,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “Our outstanding team of experts will continue to push the boundaries in identifying new, game-changing approaches to treating neurologic disease.”
In addition to these faculty hires, the newly created Fixel Scholars Endowment will be used to support fellowship and postdoctoral researchers, all with a primary focus on Parkinson’s disease and dystonia. Prokop is the first designated Fixel Scholar, and Farrer, Tansey and LaVoie are the first endowed chairs of the Fixel Institute.
“The generosity of the Fixels will aid in providing superb clinical care, allowing even more patients to participate in clinical research studies and enhancing our collaborative basic research efforts throughout the university,” said Todd E. Golde, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute of UF. “It will bolster our search of translational therapies to change the lives of millions of patients suffering from neurological diseases and conditions.”