Summer Thyme, Ph.D., joined the Civitan International Research Center and the Department of Neurobiology at the University of Alabama from Harvard University this past July. Thyme’s research focuses on neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders using zebrafish as a model. Through her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, Thyme looked at over one-hundred genes linked to schizophrenia. As she continues her research at the Civitan International Research Center, Thyme will investigate how her research can expand to include autism, epilepsy, and other neurodevelopment disorders, and to eventually create therapies.

Thyme joins a growing community of zebrafish labs on UAB’s campus as the first researcher to study neurobiology using the particular model. Recently, Thyme was featured in an article published by the UAB Reporter regarding her development of a tool to help her keep a close watch on the behaviors of the thousands of zebrafish in her study. Thyme’s innovation and passion for her research are sure to make an incredible impact.



Dr. Cassandra Newsom, a licensed clinical psychologist and UAB Associate Professor in Neurobiology, has been named the Director of the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Translational Research Core at the Civitan International Research Center. Dr. Newsom has been dedicated to research and clinical work in autism spectrum disorders, associated rare genetic disorders, and other neurodevelopmental disabilities for the past 16 years across her positions at Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and most recently, the University of Texas Southwestern.

Dr. Newsom has an expertise in diagnostic and neurospsychological evaluations of children with developmental differences, and has contributed to multiple NIH and industry funded research projects over her career. In her new role at UAB, she is developing a patient research registry and bank of biological samples with the goal of connecting researchers, clinicians, and families to establish the Civitan International Reseach Center as a hub for cutting-edge interdisciplinary translational research in neurodevelopmental disabilities. Dr. Newsom is full of innovative ideas to bridge the gap between rapidly advancing discoveries in neuroscience and the hope for targeted, effective treatments for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities.