Research Explore our research specialties

Across UF, hundreds of faculty members work on multidisciplinary teams to better understand how the brain works & how various diseases alter brain function.

Research Focus Areas


To find new treatments for the devastating disease of addiction, researchers at the McKnight Brain Institute are tackling the disorder from all angles: at the molecular level, via behavioral neuroscience and through human laboratory studies and epidemiological approaches.

Addiction Recovery 3d puzzle pieces Illustration

Brain Cancer

Brain tumors, which are abnormal growths of cells within the brain, can be cancerous (malignant) and spread if not properly treated. Researchers at the McKnight Brain Institute pioneered the use of radiosurgery and immunotherapy to attack aggressive brain tumors.


Breathing Research and Therapeutics

With most forms of neural injury or disease, people suffer from inadequate breathing, swallowing difficulties and the inability to prevent aspiration. Our researchers are developing new therapies to enhance breathing and swallowing ability for those with neurological disorders.

Breathing animation

Chronic Neurological Diseases

Chronic neurological diseases — Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Huntington’s disease, neuromuscular disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, to mention only a few — afflict millions of Americans worldwide and account for tremendous morbidity and mortality.

Neuron impacted by AD

Cognitive Aging

Cognitive aging is a natural process in which older adults typically experience decline in many functions, such as memory, that can negatively impact their quality of life. With healthier lifestyles and advances in medical science, the human lifespan has almost doubled in the past century. However, improvements in physical health at advanced ages have outpaced our ability to maintain brain functions that support cognition and memory.


Pain and Sensory Physiology

Sensory system disorders — including the debilitating chronic facial pain condition called trigeminal neuralgia (TN), migraine and the inability to smell (anosmia) — significantly impact health and quality of life. To date, TN and related neuropathic pain have been incurable and there is no therapeutic treatment for anosmia. It is critical to discover ways to reduce or block neuropathic pain and to help those who have lost, or never had, the sense of smell and/or taste.

Pain and Sensory Physiology

Traumatic Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke

Injury to the central nervous system — which consists of the brain and spinal cord — often results in far-reaching physical, emotional and economic consequences. Each year in the U.S., approximately 2.8 million Americans experience a traumatic brain injury, 800,000 have a stroke and 17,000 endure a spinal cord injury.


Published Research


View recent papers published by MBI researchers.

Flores research

Research Resources

Research Facilities

MBI members have access to a variety of resources and services. Click the link below to view the various facilities and resources the MBI maintains to accelerate research campus-wide.

MRI scanner