Dr. Kinney earned his Ph.D. in 2000 from Colorado State University. He was then awarded an Intramural Research Training Fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health working in the Section of Behavioral Genetics investigating behavioral pharmacology projects as well as extensive behavioral phenotyping of transgenic mouse models of neurodegenerative disease. In October 2002, Dr. Kinney was awarded the Helen Dorris Fellowship in the Department of Neuropharmacology at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Dr. Tamas Bartfai. Research projects in the laboratory focused on the cellular and molecular mechanisms in several neurological disorders. In August 2007, Dr. Kinney joined UNLV and in 2019 he serves as the founding chair of the Department of Brain Health.
Jeff Kinney's research involves the investigation of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease. Research projects in Dr. Kinney's laboratory focus on the investigation of cellular and molecular mechanisms altered in pre-clinical models of Alzheimer’s disease, with particular emphasis on neuronal and glia interactions and the investigation of novel therapeutic targets. Additional translational research projects in the laboratory extend to the evaluation of clinical patient samples for novel biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and traumatic brain injury. These projects are part of the Translational Biomarker Unit being built to expand biobanking and biomarker discovery at UNLV and in Nevada.