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Expanding knowledge about neurobiology and neurological diseases.


The Department of Neurobiology is housed in custom-designed laboratories and offices in the Shelby Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research Building and in the Civitan International Research Center. These locations provide unique opportunities for collaborative research with other molecular biologists and physiologists as well as a strong group of clinical investigators involved in studying mental retardation, neurological disorders, neural injury rehabilitation and molecular psychiatry research. The Neurobiology laboratories are well-equipped, state of the art facilities including full instrumentation for patch-clamp electrophysiology, high resolution cellular imaging, FRET, cell culture, a broad range of recombinant technologies including "gene gun,"viral transfection and transgenic approaches, molecular biology, and electron, single and two-photon laser scanning confocal microscopy.

A significant and growing number of faculty members have their laboratories housed in the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, one of only four such institutes in the country. The mission of the McKnight Institute is to promote research and investigation into the fundamental mechanisms that underlie the neurobiology of memory, with emphasis on research of clinical relevance to the problems of age-related memory loss. The institute, under the auspices of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation, has enhanced the established research enterprise in the Neurosciences through generous endowment support. These funds are used for recruitment and establishment of new investigators at UAB, for pilot research projects and educational symposia, McKnight Behavioral and Physiology Core support, and for seminars and conferences. The institute currently comprises the 9th, 10th, and 11th floors of the Shelby Interdisciplinary Research Building.

Neurobiology research encompasses a wide range of approaches and subject matters.  This is reflected in the faculty's individual laboratories.  Research in the department utilizes molecular, genetic, electrophysiological cellular and behavioral approaches.  Subjects studied include the typical structure and function of the nervous system, as well as understanding the mechanisms and developing interventions for physical injury and diseases of genetic or environmental origin.  Specific faculty interests include: addition, Alzheimer's disease, brain/spinal cord injury, epigenetics, epilepsy, glial biology, neurotransmission, non-coding RNAs, normal learning and memory, neurodevelopmental disorders with intellectual disabilities, Parkinson's disease and perceptual disorders.