Director, Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center

Arizona State University (ASU) is seeking a director for our new Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC) in the Biodesign Institute. ASU and our clinical partners are intent on creating one of the largest and most impactful neuroscience research centers in the world.  The director of the NDRC will be a global leader in basic and translational neuroscience research with the proven ability to lead and motivate faculty, scientists, and staff.

The director will lead, conceptualize, design and build the NDRC. We seek a global leader in basic and translational neurobiology or genetics, and have allocated sufficient resources to ensure global prominence in the field. The director may specialize in any of the leading causes of neurodegeneration (including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and FTD), with senior researchers to be recruited in the others. The NDRC will foster an academic environment for training the next generation of scientific leaders.

The NDRC director will report directly to the executive director of the Neuroscience Initiative and to the executive director of the Biodesign Institute.  As part of the Biodesign Institute, the center director and faculty will have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and best-in-class support and infrastructure for advancing their research programs.

Working with Biodesign and ASU leadership, the NDRC faculty, clinical partners and collaborators, and other allied constituents, the NDRC director will

  • lead, conceive, grow and direct the NDRC;
  • provide administrative and managerial leadership for the Center;
  • define the vision and mission of the Center;
  • define a communications and marketing strategy for the Center;
  • play a lead role in recruiting additional faculty to the NDRC and ASU;
  • mentor junior faculty;
  • solidify and enlarge the collaborative neuroscience research network in the Valley and beyond;
  • identify, pursue, win and execute grants and contracts;
  • create a business model for the center that moves it toward sustainability and self-sufficiency;
  • pursue intellectual property based on research discoveries;
  • translate discoveries to clinical application; and
  • Interface with academic units to expand and diversify the neuroscience-related curricula.


Minimum Qualifications
Ph.D in neuroscience, genetics or related field

Five plus years of experience in research leadership and management within a research enterprise of significant scope and size and a distinguished record that merits national/international credibility in research

An established neuroscience research program

OR any equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge, skills and abilities have been attained.


Desired Qualifications
An active lab and grant portfolio in basic or translational research.

Demonstrable experience building a research group, center or institute

Recognized global leadership in neurobiology or genetics

Experience recruiting outstanding faculty members to a Research I university environment

Success in translating research discoveries to the marketplace and clinic.


Information about the Neuroscience Initiative

In 2015 ASU and Banner Health entered into an agreement whereby very substantial resources, in the form of funding, faculty lines and space, have been committed to establish and grow a leading neuroscience center. We have launched an initiative to collaborate on clinical, translational and basic research to advance the scientific and medical fight against Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases and to make meaningful contributions to the understanding and promotion of healthy aging.  Our joint “Banner-ASU Neuroscience Initiative” (“the Initiative”, Eric Reiman, Executive Director) bridges the gap between discovery and delivery of health care to affected populations. We intend to discover and deliver drugs and other therapies that will slow and eventually stop the tragic dementia and movement disorders epidemic that afflicts ever-increasing numbers of patients and their families, threatening to bankrupt our healthcare system.

The Initiative comprises two major components, one clinical and one basic and translational.

The clinical component is led by Banner Health and housed at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, the Banner Sun Health Research Institute  and the Banner University Medical Center ( ). The agreement is non-exclusive, and a number of outstanding partners, including the Mayo Clinic ( ), Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI; ), Dignity Health ( ) and the University of Arizona College of Medicine ( ), are all participating. Combined, these partners treat thousands of patients each year presenting with all manner of neurodegenerative conditions. Our clinical partners, many of whom will have joint appointments at ASU in the NDRC, are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), in addition to Alzheimer’s. BAI is renowned for imaging biomarkers and the extraordinarily early detection of Alzheimer’s. The Brain and Body Donation Program at BSHRI is one of the largest and best of its kind, with the world’s shortest time from death to organ (brain and other) preservation.

The basic and translational research component of the Initiative, the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC), is part of the Biodesign Institute ( located on ASU’s Tempe campus. The NDRC (the Institute’s 15th research center, resourced to eventually become its largest) will serve to nucleate world-class basic and translational research addressing challenges in the etiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.  The NDRC will be highly integrated with the outstanding neuroscience researchers already on the ASU faculty, existing research enterprises in informatics, bioimaging and aging at ASU, the clinical and brain imaging research programs at BAI, and the clinical research and brain-and-body donation programs at BSHRI. 


Information about the Biodesign Institute

The Biodesign Institute at ASU represents Arizona’s largest single investment in bioscience research infrastructure. We address today’s critical global challenges in healthcare, sustainability, and security by developing solutions inspired from natural systems and translating those solutions into commercially viable products, services and clinical practices. As a premier research and technology-development enterprise, the Biodesign Institute delivers innovative solutions in healthcare delivery, environmental protection and sustainability, and national biosecurity. Our goals include expanding our research enterprise, delivering high-caliber education and training opportunities, deploying and commercializing technologies, and increasing revenue generation to ensure long-term sustainability. This flagship institute is a signature activity of the University and a catalyst for use-inspired research and economic impact in the Phoenix area.

The Institute is a manifestation of President Michael Crow’s vision of the New American University, exemplifying a charter that calls for ASU to be a “comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.”

The Institute
· comprises fifteen research centers led by world-renowned faculty, including a Nobel Laureate and members of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering;
· occupies over 300,000 square feet of state of the art research space in two existing buildings, with a third building under construction slated to open in spring 2018 adding over 190,000 square feet; and
· garners support from regional, state and national agencies, laboratories, corporations, medical facilities, academic institutions and civic organizations.


Information about Arizona State University

Arizona State University, located in Tempe, Arizona, is a top-tier, Research I public university, enrolling over 85,000 full and part-time students on five metropolitan-Phoenix campuses. Its research, teaching, and community-oriented programs are central to the emergence of one of the fastest growing counties in the country.

Recently ranked the #1 Most Innovative School by the U.S. News & World Report, ASU is undertaking a bold reinvention of higher education as the New American University ( In the last decade, ASU has developed new programs and units that bridge disciplinary boundaries to enable the exploration and discovery of new knowledge, while developing practical solutions for the good of Arizona and the world.

Committed to educational access and to research and teaching excellence, ASU serves one of America's largest, youngest and fastest growing cities. We challenge the traditional model of American higher education. As the New American University, ASU pursues a strategy steadfast in its promotion of exemplary academic performance, broad student access, diversity, and creation of opportunities for every qualified resident to obtain a rigorous education. This strategy is built upon intellectual fusion, use-inspired research, and scholarship that addresses the most challenging and complex societal problems of our time.

Since 2002 ASU has recruited an exceptional faculty, built 10 million square feet of state of the art space, and grown sponsored research from $123 million to more than $450 million, making it one of the fastest growing research universities in the country. The university is ranked 93rd in the world (SJTU Academic Ranking of World Universities), 47th among U.S. universities, and 25th among public U.S. universities.


Information about Phoenix and Tempe

For overviews of Phoenix and Tempe visit and


To Apply

Please email a cover letter and CV, including names and contact information for three references (specifying their relationship to you), to  Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

References will not be contacted until permission has been granted by potential finalists with whom a conversation has been initiated.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. Employment may be contingent upon successful passing of background and fingerprint checks.


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