Picture of Jefferson W. Kinney sitting at a desk

Jefferson W. Kinney, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

SEB 1172
Mail Code


Jefferson Kinney, Ph.D., is the Founding Chair of the Department of Brain Health and holds the Reg Grundy and Joy Chambers-Grundy Chair for Brain Health in the Department of Brain Health, School of Integrated Health Sciences, University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). He is the Director of the Pam Quirk Brain Health and Biomarker Laboratory and the Cellular and Molecular Brain Research Laboratory in the Department of Brain Health. Dr. Kinney earned his Ph.D. at Colorado State University and was awarded an Intramural Research Training Fellowship at the National Institute of Mental Health investigating the biology and behavior of transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. He was then selected as the Helen Dorris Fellow in the Department of Neuropharmacology at The Scripps Research Institute, where he researched molecular mechanisms in neurological disorders. He joined the UNLV faculty in 2007. Dr. Kinney's primary research focuses on investigations of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer's disease as well as the investigation of candidate biomarkers in neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Kinney's translational research approach combines preclinical model investigations of disease mechanisms that may serve as new therapeutic targets as well as discovering novel biomarkers that can be used in the detection, diagnosis, and evaluation of treatment efficacy of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Kinney's research provides a foundation for understanding the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and the utility of personalized treatment approaches to preserve brain health.

Research Interests

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.