July 03, 2017

Lazar takes reins of McKnight Institute at UAB

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lazar sizedRonald M. Lazar, Ph.D.Ronald M. Lazar, Ph.D., has joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham as director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute in the School of Medicine and will hold the Evelyn F. McKnight Endowed Chair for Learning and Memory in Aging in the Department of Neurology.

Lazar comes to UAB from Columbia University Medical Center, where he was a professor of neuropsychology.

UAB is home to one of four McKnight Brain Institutes in the nation. They are devoted to translating discoveries from basic biomedical research into processes and products to minimize the deleterious effects of aging on learning and memory in humans.

The UAB McKnight Institute currently has 30 investigators and Lazar intends to expand the faculty base through support of pilot research projects, educational symposia and seminars, attendance at conferences, and collaborations with investigators at other institutions. He also will work to recruit new investigators to UAB.

“What drew me to UAB was the collaborative spirit that permeates this university,” Lazar said. “There is widespread understanding here that research is best done with contributions from many individuals who provide different perspectives. Employing multiple investigators from diverse disciplines is how we will move this field forward.”

Lazar says the Institute brings together basic scientists, translational researchers and clinical research to better understand memory and memory dysfunction and to develop new treatments for aging-related memory disorders.

“The McKnight Brain Institute represents a unified scientific and clinical focus on aging-related memory dysfunction, and also houses a core of investigators of the absolute highest quality,” Lazar said. “This provides the initiative and momentum for the continued development of the McKnight Brain Institute as a pre-eminent locale for aging-related memory research in the United States. We are grateful to the McKnight Brain Research Foundation for making this endeavor possible.”

Erik Roberson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the departments of Neurology and Neurobiology and Patsy W. and Charles A. Collat Professor of Neuroscience, is co-director of the McKnight Brain Institute.

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