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Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute


Research at the UAB Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute involves an interdisciplinary collaboration across departments and programs at the University of Alabama Birmingham, targeted at mitigating age-related cognitive decline.  This collective enterprise encompasses neurology, neurobiology, neuropsychology, psychology, psychiatry, exercise medicine, biology, cell, developmental, and integrative biology, gerontology, geriatrics and palliative care, behavioral neurobiology, biostatistics, ophthalmology, physiology, biophysics, epidemiology, infectious diseases, vision sciences, and medical imaging. We also collaborate on research initiatives within the larger McKnight Brain Institute consortium that includes University of Miami, University of Florida and the University of Arizona.

Clinical and Population-based Research

Our research focuses on healthy aging adults, adults with age-related memory and cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, stroke and other cerebrovascular conditions, cardiovascular disease, among others. Some of our research areas are: Cognitive Resilience and Recovery in Aging, Cerebral hemodynamics, Neurovascular Disease, Aging-related cognitive function, quality of life for the aging through research, education and clinical care, statistical research in linear and generalized linear mixed model methodology, longitudinal data analysis, health disparities, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, and clinical trials design and analysis, visual cognition in AD, neuroimaging, geriatrics and health care research, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, blood equality, hepatitis, antiretroviral therapy, epigenetics and cognition, functional activity, decisional capacity, and cognition in persons with cognitive impairment, and Klotho proteins in aging and cognition.

Basic and Translational Science

Our basic and translational science research comprises studies on molecular and organismal biology of aging, glial cell biology, Alexander disease, regulation of short-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, cell biology and systems neuroscience of vision and visual disorders, modulation of excitability in neocortical circuits, nicotinic receptors in CNS function, hormonal control of synaptic plasticity in aging, imaging approaches to investigating synaptic and glial cell function, Mechanisms controlling dendritic spine morphology, Cellular alterations of neural circuitry and molecular expression in psychiatric illnesses, neurodegeneration, PI-3-Kinase signal transduction in neuronal cell biology, inflammatory neuropathies, adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, synaptic plasticity and function in the cerebellum, the ubiquitin/proteasome system in neuronal function, neurogenetics, glial function, amyloid beta effects on neurons, and neurobiochemistry.