Alex Brooks, Avicenna Grants Director

Alex graduated from NYU in Dec 2012 and is now starting her third year as a neuroscience PhD student at UIUC. While studying neuroscience at NYU, Alex worked at Columbia University Medical Center, Taub Institute, investigating molecular mechanisms of schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Currently, Alex is studying the interaction between stress, inflammation, and depression and is particularly interested in the molecular basis of neurological and psychiatric disorders. This is Alex’s second year working with Avicenna as Grants Director and is excited to continue working on writing and applying for grants, developing the talents and skills of other members on the grants team, and helping Avicenna expand new areas of the clinic. 

Annie Weisner, Avicenna Senior Grants Advisor

Annie is a native Nashvillian who came to Champaign-Urbana in 2009 after completing her Bachelors of Arts in Neuroscience and Theatre at Vanderbilt University. 

She joined the UIUC Neuroscience Program and Medical Scholars program in 2009, and completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2015. Her research focused on the role of a critical neurodevelopmental gene in the development of epilepsy, autism, and mental retardation. She is currently working toward her M.D., and upon completion of her M.D. in 2018, she plans to pursue a career as a physician-scientist specializing in Pediatric Neurology, while continuing her research in developmental neuroscience.

Annie was appointed as Grants Director of Avicenna Community Health Center in late 2013. As Grants Director, Annie managed a team of graduate, medical, undergraduate student, and faculty volunteers to secure funding for the clinic. The team has been successful in securing several highly competitive grants within the last two years. 

Annie is still apart of the grants team. Her current role is to assist in identifying potential funders, shaping and solidifying funding requests, writing and editing grants proposals, and communicating with funders. Additionally, she helps to manage current grants to ensure ACHC's funders are up-to-date on the clinic's new services and goals for upcoming years.

In her free time, Annie is an avid powerlifter, cyclist, hiker, and climber. She loves to garden and to cook, and teaches healthy cooking classes at the Common Ground Food Co-op. 

Current Grant Writing Team:

Toyosi Akinrotimi
Michael Gonzalez 
Keerthana Hogirala
Chitra Iyer
Tina Moazezi 
Shehnoor Qureshi
Akshaya Ramanan

Current Funded Grants:

National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and CVS, 2015, Expansion of clinic services to include social worker, pharmacy director, and Operations director, and general clinic operations

Past Funded Grants:

  • Illinois Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, 2014, EMR System Initiation and Development
  • University of Illinois Graduate College Focal Point Program, 2014, Healthcare Training and International Charitable Connections
  • Faith2, 2012
  • Illi nois Disciples Foundation, 2010, general clinic operation