Alzheimer's disease research at UAB has a long and distinguished history. Important discoveries made at UAB over the years include:
  • One of the four papers published in the spring of 1986 showing that neurofibrillary tangles in the brains of AD patients are composed of tau, led by the late Dr. Skip Binder.
  • The original publication showing that tau is hyperphosphorylated in AD, also by Dr. Binder in collaboration with Drs. Inge and Khalid Iqbal.
  • Seminal work on tau phosphorylation by Dr. Gail Johnson.
  • Pioneering work on changes in the cholinergic system in AD by Dr. Lindy Harrell.
  • Studies of functional decline in financial capacity and medical decision-making capacity in persons with MCI and AD by Dr. Dan Marson.



lindy harrellDr. Lindy Harrell was the founding director of the UAB Alzheimer's Disease Center.  She joined the UAB faculty in 1983 as the fourth member of the new Department of Neurology.  She established a thriving program of research and clinical care in Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, leading the Board of Trustees to approve creation of the UAB Alzheimer's Disease Center in 1991, which she led until 2005.  Dr. Harrell retired in 2013 and is now Professor Emerita of Neurology. In recognition of her leadership and contributions, the department hosts a distinguished expert in AD research annually as the Harrell Lecturer in Alzheimer's disease.