Jefferson Kinney

Founding Chair, Department of Brain Health
Expertise: Behavioral neuroscience, Alzheimer's disease, Schizophrenia, Learning and memory systems


Jefferson Kinney is the founding chair of the department of brain health in the School of Integrated Health Sciences. Kinney investigates neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinson's disease, with a focus on cellular and molecular changes in the brain that underlie these disorders. 

His current work includes investigating the role of several risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and subtle changes in cell function, including interactions between diabetes and inflammation in the brain throughout the onset and progression of the disease. As part of this work, Kinney collaborates with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas. 

Earlier in his career, Kinney completed an Intramural Research Training Fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health and the Helen Dorris Fellowship in schizophrenia research 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

November 8, 2021
Diabetes is positioned as one of the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. However, it is not clear how diabetes promotes the development of Alzheimer's disease, and much research is still ongoing.
October 18, 2021
More than 1100 people filled the Las Vegas Ballpark Saturday morning for the annual Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
October 13, 2021
BioVie Inc., a clinical-stage company developing innovative drug therapies for the treatment of neurological and neurodegenerative disorders and advanced liver disease, today announced that it will host a key opinion leader webinar on neuroinflammation and insulin resistance and new treatment approaches for Alzheimer’s Disease on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 at 1:30 pm Eastern Time.
October 11, 2021
UNLV is leading the way towards an eventual cure for Alzheimer’s with groundbreaking research.

Articles Featuring Jefferson Kinney

people doing research
Research | December 27, 2021

UNLV researchers made international headlines this year with their discoveries. Here's a roundup of some of our top stories of 2021.

D73760_054 Kinney Lab-Chambers Grundy.JPG
Campus News | October 7, 2021

A collection of news stories featuring collaboration and reflection at UNLV.

Portrait of Jefferson W. Kinney, Ph.D. Professor and Reg Grundy and Joy Chambers-Grundy Chair for Brain Health
People | July 26, 2021

The longtime UNLV researcher on youthful curiosity, the brain, and sports.