Jefferson Kinney

Associate Professor, Psychology
Chair, Neuroscience area
Expertise: Behavioral neuroscience, Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia, Learning and memory systems


Jefferson Kinney is an associate professor and chair of the Neuroscience area in the department of psychology. Dr. Kinney's primary research is the investigation of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinson's disease. Kinney is seeking to understand cellular and molecular changes in the brain that underlie these disorders. Dr. Kinney is also establishing a collaborative biorepository to examine biomarkers in numerous disorders.

Kinney is leading a team researching the role of several risk factors and subtle changes in cell function associated with Alzheimer’s disease, including interactions between diabetes and inflammation in the brain in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Kinney is collaborating with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas to test possible treatments for Alzheimer's disease. 

Kinney was awarded an Intramural Research Training Fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health working in the behavioral genetics research and behavioral pharmacology projects. He was also awarded the Helen Dorris Fellowship in schizophrenia research in the department of neuropharmacology at The Scripps Research Institute.


  • B.S., Psychology, Colorado State University
  • M.S., Experimental Psychology, Colorado State University
  • Ph.D., Behavioral Neuroscience, Colorado State University

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Jefferson Kinney In The News

Las Vegas Review Journal
July 8, 2019
At first, Maureen Kramer’s forgetfulness seemed like no big deal. She’d forget about plans made with her husband, Bill, and began relying on written directions to drive to familiar places.
Las Vegas Review Journal
December 24, 2015
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's proposal to spent $2 billion a year to battle Alzheimer's disease was welcomed Tuesday by Las Vegas researchers who say effective treatments are desperately needed given the growing number of elderly affected by the disease.
Las Vegas Review Journal
September 4, 2015
UNLV and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health have been awarded an $11.1 million federal grant to advance the understanding of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
December 12, 2014

Articles Featuring Jefferson Kinney

Jefferson Kinney working in the lab.
ResearchDecember 12, 2017
Neuroscientist Jefferson Kinney's work with Ruvo Center for Brain Health is improving patient care while expanding opportunities for UNLV student learning.
Jefferson Kinney
ResearchOctober 13, 2015
Researcher knew there was a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Now they’ve discovered that introducing a brief sickness may help.
Cleveland Clinic building
Campus NewsSeptember 4, 2015
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and UNLV earn $11 million grant from National Institutes of Health to tackle Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
ResearchJuly 29, 2013
Psychology professor Jefferson Kinney picks apart the brain to find the cellular mechanism responsible for Alzheimer's and schizophrenia.