Alexander garners Civitan McNulty Scientist Award

Matt Alexander, who studies muscular dystrophy, is this year’s recipient of the Chesapeake Civitan McNulty Award.

Environmental shot of Dr. Matthew Alexander, PhD (Assistant Professor, Pediatrics - Neurology) wearing white coat and standing in laboratory, 2018.Matthew Alexander, Ph.D.Matthew Alexander, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatric neurology and genetics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is the recipient of the Chesapeake Civitan McNulty Scientist Award for 2020.

The Chesapeake Civitan McNulty Scientist Award is given each year in honor of Tommy McNulty and his family, who pioneered research efforts for developmental disabilities. Tom and Mary McNulty and their son Tommy were the driving force behind the creation of the Civitan International Research Center, housed in the UAB School of Medicine and the research focus of Civitan International Foundation. 

Alexander’s research focus is on identifying new ways to understand the disease pathology and identifying new treatments for childhood neuromuscular disorders. A major component of his laboratory research focuses on the generation of novel, human disease-relevant zebrafish and mouse models of various forms of muscular dystrophy, with a goal to improve the lives of patients with neuromuscular diseases through basic science and translational research.

Alexander earned his Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. In 2008, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, where his work focused on the roles of epigenetic and genetic modifiers of human neuromuscular diseases with an emphasis on Duchenne muscular dystrophy. 

He joined UAB and Children’s of Alabama in 2016. He currently serves as the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine education chair and was named a 2019 UAB Pittman Scholar. His laboratory focuses on identifying novel epigenetic and genetic regulators of human neuromuscular diseases and generating novel zebrafish models of disease for drug screening purposes.