Summer Program in Neuroscience (SPIN)
The Summer Program in Neuroscience (SPIN) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) originated from a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site with support from the National Science Foundation. It is now jointly sponsored by the Department of Neurobiology, the Civitan International Research Center and the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center at UAB.
The primary goal of SPIN is to provide motivated undergraduates who have demonstrated excellent scientific aptitude with the opportunity to experience independent research in neurobiology. SPIN is designed to increase student competitiveness for entry into graduate education leading to careers in biomedical research. Special emphasis is given to students with limited research opportunities at their home institutions. Students entering their junior or senior year by the start of the program are particularly encouraged to apply.
Under the supervision of a faculty member, students will have the opportunity to learn the basic skills necessary to contribute to a research program. Students will participate in both the intellectual and practical aspects of daily laboratory work. Students will be trained in research methods, data analysis, attend lab meetings, and create written and oral presentations of their results at a research forum. Students will attend weekly seminars from program faculty to obtain a wider perspective of neurobiology research. As well students will participate in professional development sessions designed to prepare them for the graduate school admissions and interview process.
Research in neuroscience at UAB uses a variety of tools to study the molecular, cellular and network bases of the structure and function of the nervous system, including molecular genetics, single cell patch- and voltage-clamp recording, high resolution imaging, confocal and electron microscopic and X-ray microanalysis, heterologous protein expression, high performance liquid chromatography neurochemistry, site-directed mutagenesis, in vivo electrophysiological analysis, biomedical engineering techniques, computer simulations and mathematical modeling. Research in the Department of Neurobiology also addresses major issues in neurological health and disease, including epilepsy, primary brain tumors (gliomas), addiction, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Alexander disease, brain/spinal cord injury, mental retardation/developmental disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, movement disorders, perceptual disorders, stroke, and learning and memory disorders.
Past Participating Mentors
SPIN program mentors come from several UAB departments associated with the neurosciences. Please follow the links below to the web sites of the participating faculty to learn about their research interests.
Sweatt, Ph.D. J. David Professor and Chair