Craig Powell, M.D., Ph.D.

Photo of Dr. Craig PowellDr. Craig Powell has been named director of the Civitan International Research Center (CIRC) and chair of the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine. Powell is a national leader in research pertaining to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and intellectual disability.

Powell comes to UAB from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, where he is the Ed and Sue Rose Distinguished Professor in Neurology as well as director of Preclinical Research in Neurology and chief of Developmental Brain Disorders Section in Neurology.

Powell earned both his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and M.D. with Honor at Baylor College of Medicine in 1994 and 1997 respectively. His graduate work was among the first to measure lasting biochemical changes during long-lasting synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. After his medical internship year at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Powell trained at the University of California San Francisco Neurology Residency Program. In his final year, he was selected as Chief Resident at UCSF. From there, he returned to UT Southwestern Medical Center as a professor and served in several roles before holding his current leadership positions.

“With my laboratory’s longstanding focus on autism, intellectual disability, and cognitive dysfunction in general, the opportunity to lead the UAB Civitan International Research Center is a great honor,” said Powell. “As a physician and a scientist, I am uniquely poised to leverage the existing clinical research strengths at UAB and Children’s of Alabama to move our neurobiology discoveries out of the laboratory and into the clinics to help patients and their families.”

The Civitan International Research Center (CIRC) was established in 1989 on the campus of UAB with the support of Civitan International. The CIRC has grown to over 100 faculty members. CIRC faculty have received numerous national and international awards recognizing excellence in research and training.

“Dr. Powell is the ideal person for this significant leadership role,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president for medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. “His extensive research and laboratory experience will be vital in helping guide the pursuit of new discoveries and future treatments for individuals who are suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders. He is an outstanding addition to the UAB team as well as the Birmingham community.”