Neurobiology News

Ashton Wheeler Wins Summer Internship

Ashton Wheeler of the Lubin lab has been awarded a United Negro College Fund-Merck summer internship for 2012! Ashton will participate in Neuroscience research at a Merck facility in either Boston or New Jersey for 10-12 weeks over the summer. The award amount is up to $25,000 and will cover all tuition and fees for the upcoming school year. In addition, the Neurobiology department is now eligible for a $10,000 grant as well.

Congratulations Ashton!

McMahon Appointed Associate Director of CFA

Dr. Lori McMahon, professor and director of the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center, has been appointed as an Associate Director of the UAB Center for Aging (CfA). Lori will direct the Neuroscience and Aging program, and serve on the CfA Executive Committee. Dr. McMahon is a secondary faculty member in the Department of Neurobiology and the McKnight Brain Research Institute.

Cuddapah Wins Top Award

Vishnu Cuddapah has been chosen to be recognized as both the most outstanding graduate student in the Neurobiology graduate program and for being the JHS Dean’s Award recipient for 2012. The Honors Convocation (at which students who have been chosen to receive “outstanding student” awards) will be held at the Alys Stephens Center on May 11, 2012. Congratulations Vishnu!!

Nadendla Outstanding Student

The Neuroscience Program's Outstanding Student, Kavita Nadendla, will also receive the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Award as the Outstanding Undergraduate Student. Kavita will graduate this spring with a double major in Neuroscience and Biology and is a member of the University Honors Program and the Early Medical School Acceptance Program. She has never made less than an A in her life!  Kavita has received excellent research training, first in Jim Meador-Woodruff's lab and now with Rajesh Kana. Kavita will attend medical school next year, hopefully at UAB!

It should be noted that this is, in effect, two in a row for the neuroscience program. Last year, Caitlin Aamodt, received the CAS Award as an Anthropology major before transferring to the Neuroscience program. She is currently working in Dave Sweatt's lab.

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Brenner Honored with Mentorship Award

At a ceremony on April 2, 2012, Michael Brenner was one of 20 recipients of the 2011 Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship.  The award recognizes exceptional faculty mentorship and demonstrates that UAB is a university that values the commitment to excellence in mentorship that is exhibited by its faculty, says Bryan Noe, Ph.D. dean of the Graduate School.  “This award recognizes faculty who have been outstanding mentors, advisors and role models to the students and trainees with whom they have worked,” Noe says. 


Heaven Wins Big

Mike Heaven, a Biochemistry grad student, won an award in the Alabama Launchpad competition for a method he developed for quantifying mass spec data. 

Mike is co-founder of Proteomic Profiling Technologies, which has developed a method to identify causes of disease by observing samples such as blood and protein.  Funding totaling $22,000 from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama in a proof of concept competition Tuesday. It was one of four start-up companies associated with Alabama universities that split $100,000.


Lubin, Korf, and Keyser Win HSF Awards

Farah Lubin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Neurobiology, has received a $118,000 grant for a high resolution melt instrument and its pyrosequencing workstation to perform quantitative real time polymerase chain reactions. HRM provides a high-throughput method for identifying DNA segments that have undergone methylation changes.

Bruce Korf, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair of the UAB Department of Genetics, has received a $200,000 grant for equipment purchases and increasing research capacity at the Wallace Tumor Institute.

Kent Keyser, Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Vision Sciences and director of the UAB Vision Science Research Center, has received a $151,160 grant for a Nikon LiveScan Swept Field Microscope that will allow researchers to observe cellular processes through live-cell imaging.


Epigenetics Retreat

The inaugural UAB Epigenetics Retreat will take place Wednesday, July 11 in the Finley Conference Center. This free event is a great opportunity for faculty and trainees to introduce their work and learn about the resources available to researchers in the epigenetics field.

Registration for event may be completed at the following link:

For more information contact Michelle Amaral at