Chris Norris, PhD, professor of pharmacology and nutritional sciences in the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, is one of 16 University Research Professors for 2023-24. The University Research Professorships honor faculty members who have demonstrated excellence that addresses scientific, social, cultural and economic challenges in our region and around the world. 

College leadership develop criteria for excellence within their area of expertise and then nominate faculty who excelled at these criteria. Each University Research Professor receives a one-year award of $10,000. 

"I’m humbled to receive a University Research Professor award," Norris said. "This honor is really a recognition of my tremendously skilled and hard-working lab group, as well as my many outstanding colleagues and collaborators at Sanders-Brown. I also benefit greatly from a supportive family who make it easy for me to focus on my work."

Norris’ research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias. His lab investigates the role of reactive astrocytes in neurologic dysfunction, with the goal of developing novel strategies for treating neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia.

Norris has been a faculty member with the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging since 2004 and is the center’s associate director of research and faculty advancement and co-director of the Sanders-Brown Intravital Imaging Facility. He also holds a joint faculty position with the UK Department of Neuroscience.

Throughout his career, Norris has excelled at team science and has enjoyed directing or co-directing many multi-investigator initiatives, including a recent program project featuring researchers across the Center on Aging, College of Medicine and College of Public Health.