Alan UmfressUAB graduate student and member of the Bibb Lab, Alan Umfress has been awarded a one-year National Institute of Health (NIH) Institutional National Research Service Award (T32) for $34,820 beginning on Jul. 1, 2020.

Umfress is pursuing his doctoral thesis research on the effects of rotational force-induced head trauma. His is conducting preclinical studies of the effects of diffuse anxonal injury on cognition and brain circuitry function. Umfress is also testing a new drug that shows promise as a post-traumatic brain injury neuroprotective treatment.

In addition to his research efforts, this award will fund Umfress’ participation as a graduate student in the UAB Training Program in the Neurobiology of Cognition and Cognitive Disorders (CC&D). The CC&D Program lead by Neurobiology Professor John Hablitz, Ph.D., provides a solid foundation in molecular, cellular and cognitive neuroscience theories and findings as well as training in the mechanisms for translating basic research into advancements in the treatment of cognitive disorders.

The CC&D Program is open to pre-doctoral students involved in basic and translational research in cognition and cognitive disorders. The overall goal of the program is to create the next generation of talented, diverse and independent scholars and leaders in cognitive neurobiology. Students in the training program attend a weekly neurobiology seminar series, take the advanced “Mechanisms of Memory” course, the “Clinical Evaluation of Cognitive Disorders” course, and the Cognition Journal Club for one semester.

At the end of the grant year, Umfress may apply for the grant to extend into a second year for continued support of his participation in the program.

James Bibb, Ph.D., Department of Surgery vice chair of basic research noted, “The T32 Fellowship is a prestigious award and represents the culmination of very hard work from Alan. We are thankful for Alan and what he brings to the Bibb Lab, and I look forward to watching him excel through the rest of the CC&D program.”