Dr. Etty (Tika) Benveniste was the Founding Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology (2012-2016). Benveniste served as Chair of the Department of Cell Biology (2000-2012). Benveniste also holds the Charlene A. Jones Endowed Chair in Neuroimmunology. In September 2015, Benveniste was appointed Senior Associate Dean for Research Administration at the UAB School of Medicine. Benveniste also holds professorships in the UAB Departments of Neurobiology and Neurology.
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 has been continuously NIH funded for the past 30 years, and is P.I. on a T32 NIH Training Grant in Brain Tumor Biology. She also holds a grant from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and is a Project Leader on an NIH P50 Udall Center grant.
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, Journal of Neuroinflammation, and ASN News. She was elected in 2009 as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). With over 30 years of peer-review panel experience, including having chaired three different NIH study sections, Benveniste continues as a reviewer for such panels as the Michael J. Fox Foundation, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the NIH.
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 and Co-Director, UAB Multiple Sclerosis Center in 2015. She is currently Past-President of the American Society for Neurochemistry (2015-2017), having served as President from 2013-2015. Benveniste received the UAB Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship 2014.