Alzheimer’s: UAB Grad Student’s Request for Yuhua Song and Erik Roberson As Co-Mentors Leads to Two NIH R01 Awards Totaling $5 Million

Hunter Dean, PhD, Discusses with Colleagues

In the summer of 2018, graduate student Hunter Dean from the Medical Scientist Training Program came to Yuhua Song, PhD, with a research idea. He wanted to pursue his doctoral research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in Alzheimer’s disease--under the joint mentorship of Dr. Song, who had never worked in Alzheimer’s, and Erik Roberson, MD, PhD, an Alzheimer’s expert in the UAB Department of Neurology and the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics, or CNET. That collaboration brought Dr. Song, a professor in the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering, into research on this leading cause of dementia worldwide. In addition, the collaboration has now garnered $5.68 million of grant support--proceeding from a $660,000 award from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation in 2019 with Dr. Roberson as principal investigator and Dr.  Song as co-investigator to two awards with Dr. Song as PI and Dr. Roberson as co-investigator--a five-year $2.13 million National Institutes of Health R01 grant in 2021 and a five-year $2.89 million NIH R01 grant this summer.

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