Name: Tika Benveniste PhD
Affiliation: Senior Vice Dean for Basic Sciences, School of Medicine
Associate Vice President for Medicine and Basic Sciences
Charlene A. Jones Endowed Chair in Neuroimmunology
Professor, Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Co-Director, UAB Multiple Sclerosis Center
Associate Director, Basic Science Research
Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Dr. Benveniste is the Senior Vice Dean for Basic Sciences at the UAB School of Medicine (SOM). She was the Founding Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology (2012-2015), and served as Chair of the Department of Cell Biology (2000-2011). Benveniste also holds the Charlene A. Jones Endowed Chair in Neuroimmunology.
During her postdoctoral studies, in the Department of Neurology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Benveniste initiated research on elucidating the mechanisms by which cells of the immune system and the central nervous system communicate and influence functionality, cytokine/chemokine production by glial cells, the effects of cytokines/chemokines on glial cell function, and the ability of glial cells to function as immune effector cells in the brain. This research continues to date. These studies have implications for autoimmune/neurodegenerative diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease, and cancers such as brain tumors.
Dr. Benveniste is well funded with two NIH R01s, a T32 NIH Training Grant in Brain Tumor Biology, a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and is a Project Leader on the Alabama Udall Center Award.
Benveniste has served on the editorial boards of multiple journals including The Journal of Immunology, Journal of Neuroscience, and Journal of Biological Chemistry and is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neuro-Virology and Journal of Neuroinflammation. She was elected in 2009 as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). With 32 years of peer-review panel experience, Benveniste continues as a reviewer for panels such as the Michael J. Fox Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, NIH Neurological Science and Disorders Committee C, and the NIH Directors Transformative Research Award Committee.
Dr. Benveniste has served as the Director, Graduate Program in Cell Biology (1995-2000) and as Founding Associate Dean, Office of Postdoctoral Education (1999-2001). She became Associate Director, Basic Science Research, Comprehensive Cancer Center, in 2006. She is the former co-director of the Cancer Cell Biology Program in the UAB’s Comprehensive Cancer Center. Benveniste warmly received the UAB Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship (2014).