The Research ProjectSPIN logo 10 with words

How do you know whether you want a career in biomedical science if all you have ever done are boring experiments designed to work during a 2 hour lab course? That’s equivalent to thinking you can solve a murder like they do on TV, it is not real world science. Real world science is a mess of complexity, frustration, troubleshooting, hypothesis failure, and long, hard hours in the lab until that amazing moment when YOU get the data and see something no one saw before. Blazer Broadening Representation And Inclusion in Neuroscience (Blazer BRAIN) students will engage in intensive research laboratory experiences designed to immerse them into an active lab team for 8 weeks.

Under the supervision of a faculty member and lab staff, students will have the opportunity to learn the basic skills necessary to contribute to a research program. Students will participate in all aspects of both the intellectual and practical aspects of daily laboratory work. Students will be trained in research methods, perform protocols and data analysis, attend lab meetings, create written and oral presentations of their results at a research forum presented to the entire UAB research community.

Faculty Mentors

The Professional Development Training

Beyond the lab, the process of graduate admissions is assumed to be intuitive but with increasing competition for placement into the best training programs, your application and interview are critical elements that need to be careful prepared. Blazer BRAIN students will learn about and prepare for the graduate admissions process including writing personal statements, letters of reference, and participating in mock interviews.

Acceptance is the first step on a multi-year journal to create new knowledge worthy of a Ph.D. Blazer BRAIN students will understand why graduate school is not "undergraduate 2.0".  Students will learn how to balance research progress with all of the other activities critical for graduate education including poster presentations, oral presentations, seminars, and journal club. 

Beyond research and professional development training, Blazer BRAIN participants receive a stipend and UAB dorm housing.  

For additional information contact:

John Shacka, PhD - Blazer BRAIN Co-Director
Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Cristin Gavin, PhD - Blazer BRAIN Co-Director
Assistant Professor, Department of Neurobiology

Mailing Address:
Physician Scientist Development Office
University of Alabama at Birmingham
912 18th Street, South
912-2 Bldg
Birmingham, AL 35294-1200