By Michelle Koidin Jaffee
Kevin St.P. McNaught, Ph.D., has been named chief science officer for neuroscience research at UF Health.
McNaught, who previously served as executive director of the Foundation for Research & Education in Eating Disorders at Walden Behavioral Care in Massachusetts and as executive vice president of the Tourette Association of America in New York, will have a number of responsibilities in this new role supported by the Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute at UF. He will work closely with numerous stakeholders and the leadership of the MBI, the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Health and affiliated departments and centers to help formulate and execute a bold and ambitious strategic plan for neuroscience and neuromedicine research at UF Health.
A native of Jamaica and the United Kingdom, McNaught earned a bachelor’s degree and a doctorate in pharmacology at King’s College London. From an early age, he dreamt of becoming a medical research scientist and, as an undergrad, drew inspiration from the world-renowned British movement disorders expert C. David Marsden, whom he had the opportunity to meet and publish with during his studies.
In 2000, McNaught moved to the U.S., where he began conducting research in neurological disorders at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital and then at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He transitioned out of direct research into research management in 2009 at the Tourette Association of America, where he oversaw the development of national and international research and treatment programs for people with Tourette and tic disorders. In 2017, Dr. McNaught joined the Foundation for Research & Education in Eating Disorders, where he oversaw a redevelopment and relaunch of the organization.
In addition to his initial role of developing strategic plans to further neuroscience research at the MBI and the Fixel Institute, Dr. McNaught will help direct institutional operations at the MBI to meet efficiency, outcome and impact targets; guide the acquisition of funding and other resources to support the mission of our larger neuroscience and neuromedicine research operation at UF Health; and foster internal and external collaborations and teamwork.
In his free time, Dr. McNaught volunteers as an EMT, and he served as a first responder in the early days of the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in New Jersey. A father of three, Dr. McNaught is also very engaged with his church and enjoys playing the bass guitar.