January 22, 2014

Roberson and West take the reins of CNET

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Erik Roberson, M.D., Ph.D., and Andrew West, Ph.D., have been named co-directors of the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The duo succeeds David Standaert, M.D., Ph.D., who became chair of the Department of Neurology in 2012.

Standaert established CNET in 2007, and it has since grown to include 50 scientists, postdoctoral researchers, students and staff. CNET promotes the discovery of novel treatments for neurodegenerative disorders, teaches scientists and clinicians about these diseases, and facilitates the application of these discoveries to the clinical care of patients.

Roberson and West are associate professors in the UAB Department of Neurology. Roberson’s primary focus is Alzheimer’s disease. West works in Parkinson’s disease.

“Scientists at CNET have led the way in recent advances in our knowledge and understanding of these diseases,” Standaert said. “We are on the cusp of exciting developments in these areas, and Drs. West and Roberson are uniquely qualified to take CNET to the next level.”

CNET is a major participant in the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance, a partnership of UAB, Southern Research Institute and the Birmingham Business Alliance that is designed to speed the translation of UAB discoveries into clinic-ready treatments.

CNET’s focus includes neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (or ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and other less common neurodegenerative disorders that occur more frequently with advancing age.

CNET was made possible by visionary donors committed to discovering new drugs that may slow, halt and ultimately reverse the effects of neurodegenerative diseases. UAB continues to aggressively recruit top scientists to expand and accelerate research.