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Grant Abstract

Grant Number: 5T32NS061788-04
PI Name: Sweatt
Project Title: Training Program in the Neurobiology of Cognition and Cognitive Disorders

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): An explosion of interest in cognitive neurobiology over the last 15 years has produced a corresponding demand for highly trained cognitive neurobiologists, and in addition a high demand for students trained in basic science with an interest and expertise in translating basic science advances into patient treatments and cures. In response to this demand, we propose to develop a four-year Training Program in the Neurobiology of Cognition and Cognitive Disorders at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). UAB is ideally poised to provide this novel type of Training Program. In the past decade UAB has made major financial, infrastructural and scholarly commitments to neuroscience research and training, including the recruitment of new outstanding chairs and faculty in neuroscience and the establishment of the McKnight Brain Institute, and new UAB Centers in Comprehensive Neuroscience, Glial Biology in Medicine, Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics, and Functional Neuroimaging. The proposed Training Program will have its administrative base in the Department of Neurobiology and include 42 training faculty from six basic science and six clinical departments in the UAB Schools of Medicine and Optometry. The goal of the Program is to train the next generation of leaders and thinkers in neurobiology research who have a solid foundation in molecular, cellular, and cognitive neuroscience, have exposure to current concepts in clinical research, value the importance of translating basic research into advancements in the treatment of cognitive disorders, and are prepared to use multidisciplinary and innovative research approaches to understand cognition and cognitive disorders. To achieve this goal, we propose to bring together a group of outstanding UAB faculty members working in cognition and cognitive disorders and allow them to teach a specialized curriculum including cqursework in molecular, cellular, developmental, integrative, medical, and cognitive neuroscience and diseases of the nervous system. In addition to this unique coursework, the specific "value added" components of the Training Program are a special translational/clinical training experience in patient-oriented research, dual basic science/clinical science mentorship and distinct extracurricular activities.

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