The McKnight Brain Research Foundation Announces Angelika Schlanger, PhD, as Executive Director

Valerie PatmintraPress Release

The McKnight Brain Research Foundation (MBRF) is pleased to announce the appointment of Angelika Schlanger, PhD, as its Executive Director effective, August 15, 2022. Dr. Schlanger is an accomplished leader with more than 15 years of diverse experience spanning the academic and social impact sectors.

Dr. Schlanger replaces the McKnight Brain Research Foundation’s Executive Director, Amy Porter, who announced her retirement from the Foundation in March. Ms. Porter is retiring after an impressive 30-year career as a nonprofit professional with the last 20 years spent leading the Foundation for National Institutes of Health and the National Osteoporosis Foundation before starting as the MBRF’s first Executive Director in 2018. 

Dr. Schlanger most recently served as the Director of The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, one of Florida’s largest family foundations. As its leader, Dr. Schlanger was instrumental in transforming the foundation from a relatively unknown entity in Florida into a driving force for collaborative impact. During her four-year tenure, Dr. Schlanger and her team implemented effective strategies for grantmaking and cultivated powerful partnerships across nonprofits, community leaders and experts, positioning The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation as one of the most trusted and well-recognized philanthropic institutions in the South Florida region. 

Prior to joining The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, Dr. Schlanger served as a Regional Public Health Specialist for the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program across five counties. In this role, she coordinated community initiatives, developed collaborations, and drove school-based policies and strategies to increase access to healthy foods, nutrition education and physical activity for low-income youth and families.

“We are thrilled Dr. Schlanger has accepted the challenge of directing the McKnight Brain Research Foundation,” said Michael L. Dockery, MD, Chair, McKnight Brain Research Foundation. “With Dr. Schlanger’s personal and professional commitment to improving quality of life for older adults, we are confident she is the right person to lead the Foundation as we work to uncover new research and better understand how to prevent cognitive decline and memory loss associated with the aging process.”

With cognitive changes due to the normal aging process affecting nearly 87 percent of people age 65 and older, the McKnight Brain Research Foundation is the nation’s only private foundation dedicated exclusively to solving the mysteries of the aging brain and helping people achieve a lifetime of cognitive health. As Executive Director, Dr. Schlanger will serve as chief management officer of the MBRF, working in collaboration with the Board of Trustees as the Foundation supports research specifically targeting cognitive aging, age-related cognitive decline and memory loss, and works to educate the public on the steps that can be taken to maintain cognitive and brain health. 

Dr. Schlanger completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree with Distinction in French and History. She received her Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a PhD with Distinction in Political Science from Yale University. During her studies, she was the recipient of numerous awards and research scholarships.

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