UABCGBM-logoThe overall mission of the Center is to develop a comprehensive University-wide program to support basic and clinical research on the Biology of Glial cells (nervous system support cells). Dysfunction of Glial cells has been recognized to be of critical importance in many devastating neurological disorders including but not limited to glial-derived brain tumors (glioma), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Periventricular Leukomalatia, injury to the brain or spinal cord, developmental disabilities, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Diseases. The Center is the first of its kind in the United States. It provides scientists with unique scientific preparations and research infrastructure as well as access to local pharmaceutical and research institutes. It also provides training, leadership and support to seek extramural grant support, and particularly to compete for recently earmarked NIH funds for this emerging field of scientific study. The Center, in collaboration with the Departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Rehabilitation Medicine has begun to step up recruitment efforts of new faculty to the institution. We expect to hire 8 new faculty members over the next 3 years. The goal of the center is to become a leader in this emerging field of study that crosses the boundaries of clinical Neurology/ Surgery/ Rehabilitation Medicine and Basic Sciences in these disciplines. Six to eight faculty will be housed and work closely with each other in the Civitan International Research Center.

UAB currently has 29 Principal Investigators working on glial biology yet their efforts are not coordinated. The Center has begun to contact these laboratories. Through their association with the Center, they will gain a forum for education and dissemination of knowledge, as well as access to equipment and instruments that are not widely available. We will organize a bi-annual international conference on Glial Biology in Medicine in the Birmingham area. This will enhance our visibility and will further improve our chances to establish a unique scientific center and hence facilitate further recruiting and success regarding extramural funding for UAB and the state as a whole.

For more information about the Center for Glial Biology in Medicine visit their website.