About Us What is cognitive aging?
Cognitive aging is a natural process in which older adults typically experience decline in many intellectual functions, such as memory, that can negatively impact their quality of life. The prevalence of age-related cognitive decline and memory loss have dramatically increased as healthier lifestyles and advances in medical science have yielded dramatic extensions of the human lifespan. Unfortunately, these improvements in physical health have outpaced our ability to maintain brain functions supporting cognition and memory.
The CAM Center is a multidisciplinary UF research center focused on brain aging and cognition. CAM Center researchers come from departments and colleges across campus and possess diverse expertise in physiology, neurobiology of aging, neuroplasticity, pharmacology, computational, cellular and behavioral neuroscience and clinical interests. With strengths in both preclinical discovery-based research and clinical science, CAM Center researchers are dedicated to the translation of leading-edge discoveries about brain aging into interventions that will preserve cognitive function and improve the quality of lives for older adults. As a world-class research center, the CAM Center is also a fertile training ground for those interested in preclinical or translational research careers focused on preventing, alleviating or reversing age-related cognitive decline and memory loss.
Research focus areas
Behavior & Cognition
This area focuses on understanding and improving memory and executive functioning, which are cognitive domains that are known to decline with advanced age.
Biomarkers, Risk Factors & Comorbidities
This area focuses on identifying key genetic and lifestyle factors that predict decline and increase the probability of developing comorbid age-related diseases.
Neurophysiology & Functional Brain Mapping
This area focuses on visualizing and analyzing brain activity in conjunction with cognitive processing and behavior.
Discovery & Intervention
This area focuses on preclinical and clinical assessment of potential therapeutics for preventing, halting or reversing cognitive decline.
Facilities and Resources
The CAM Center operates within UF’s Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain Institute (MBI). On the ground floor of the MBI, CAM Center investigators conduct clinical research studies in newly renovated high-tech labs that include testing rooms for clinical and cognitive assessments, an electrophysiology suite, a transcranial magnetic stimulation lab and new waiting areas for study participants next door to a new Siemens 3T MRI/S state-of-the-art scanner and phlebotomy lab. The MBI further houses CAM Center investigators focused on preclinical discovery research in over 5,000 square feet of dedicated laboratory space, containing the latest equipment for monitoring and interrogating the aged brain.
COLLABORATING Across campus and beyond
Center and Inter-Institutional Partners
CAM Center faculty collaborate with researchers at other UF centers to address issues that intersect with aging to influence cognition. This includes research on Alzheimer’s disease, substance use disorder, chronic pain, sleep apnea and traumatic brain injury, and HIV research.
Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Foundation
In 1999, a generous gift from the McKnight Brain Research Foundation led to a new name for the University of Florida’s Brain Institute — the Evelyn F. & William L. McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida. Evelyn F. McKnight and her husband William M. McKnight were interested in the effects of aging on memory, inspiring the establishment of the foundation as a legacy of support for brain research to alleviate the specific influence of age-related memory loss.