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Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute

The Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute embodies a unified scientific and clinical focus on aging-related memory dysfunction, and also houses a core of investigators of the absolute highest quality.

This provides the initiative and momentum for the continued development of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute as a pre-eminent locale for aging-related memory research in the US.

Future Goals of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute

Within UAB, our vision is to build upon the already-existing strengths in basic and translational neuroscience by establishing new relationships with clinical departments, working toward the establishment of a vertically-integrated enterprise encompassing molecular science to clinical trials. To facilitate this larger focus, the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute at UAB was moved to the Department of Neurology in the School of Medicine. Over June-August, Dr. Lazar met with each UAB McKnight faculty member to gain insights into past practices and future goals. The UAB McKnight faculty was expanded by 50%, mainly by outreach to clinical departments, such as geriatric medicine, exercise medicine, cardiovascular medicine, pulmonology, clinical psychiatry, nuclear medicine, among others. Moreover, he added a biostatistician to bolster the ability to generate federal grant applications to meet new requirements for robust and reproducible data. In addition, he initiated a pilot grant program in which basic and applied scientists will collaborate to execute small, innovative studies whose preliminary data would lead to federal applications. To help foster Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute inter-institutional relationships, Dr. Lazar had important conversations over the summer period with each member of the leadership at the Univ of Arizona, the Univ of Florida and the Univ of Miami. Discussions included plans for the 10th Annual Inter-Institutional Meeting to be held in Birmingham in April 2018, including a more focused “pre-meeting” with topics reflecting to some extent the recent position papers by the National Academies and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. In addition, inter-institutional collaborations to be pursued between UAB and the other Institutes involve age-related neuroinflammation, the role of exercise in mitigating the effects of aging, and age-related changes in cerebral blood flow.