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Faculty Excellence Chris McCauley November 07, 2023

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences has named Rajesh K. Kana, Ph.D., as the inaugural Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education.

Photo of Rajesh K. Kana, Ph.D.Kana earned his Ph.D. in the Humanities and Social Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India, then later pursued postdoctoral training in neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kana has been a full professor in the University of Alabama’s Department of Psychology since 2019, and, for the past year, has served as the Marilyn Williams Elmore and John Durr Elmore Endowed Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. At UA, he was instrumental in establishing the Center for Innovative Research in Autism (CIRA), the MRI Center, and the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program.

From 2007-2019, Kana taught and researched within UAB’s Department of Psychology. While at UAB, he was instrumental in establishing the Cognition, Brian, and Autism Laboratory, and being active in the Civitan International Neuroimaging Lab (CINL) and in collaboratively directing the Undergraduate Neuroscience Program.

“I am excited to be back at UAB,” said Kana. “I am also eagerly looking forward to working with Dean Thomas and her team in developing new directions in graduate and continuing education in the College of Arts and Sciences and beyond. It is an honor to take up a leadership role with this wonderful team with a clear vision.”

Kana’s research focuses on investigating the diagnostic utility of neuroimaging-based inferences in developmental disorders and in testing the effectiveness of behavioral intervention on the brain in autistic children and adolescents. Kana has published extensively in the field of neuroscience and autism, received numerous grants for his work, and has mentored many Ph.D. and undergraduate students. In addition, he has been a William Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellow and has received the McNulty Civitan Scientist Award.

In his new role, Kana will support academic departments within CAS as they develop viable graduate degrees and programs, including interdisciplinary programs, online programs, and certificates. In addition, Kana will collaborate with graduate program directors on recruitment efforts, as well as on conducting annual evaluations and supporting graduate students with career and professional development opportunities.

Kana will work alongside Dean Kecia M. Thomas, Ph.D.; Catherine Daniélou, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Yogesh K. Vohra, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Innovation; and John K. Moore, Jr., Ph.D., Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs.

“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Rajesh Kana back to UAB and to CAS as the inaugural Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education. The UAB community knows Dr. Kana for his outstanding research in Autism as well as his prior leadership of the collaborative Undergraduate Neuroscience Program,” said Dean Thomas. “Throughout his career, he has also established an exemplary record of doctoral student mentoring and research supervision as well as grant writing to support those students’ retention and success. I am looking forward to the significant impact he will have as the College pursues new academic programs and funding streams for graduate students and for adult learners earning credentials to advance in their careers.”

Kana will start in his new role on January 1, 2024.

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