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UAB News

  • Study shows generic drugs match brand name drugs in treatment of epilepsy
    More evidence that generic medications are as effective as brand name drugs.

    A new multisite study shows that two approved generic medications for epilepsy had no detectable difference in clinical effects when compared to their brand name counterpart. The findings were published this week in an advance online edition ofthe Lancet Neurology.

    The study, led by investigators at the University of Cincinnati, looked at two generics for the drug lamotrigine, a prescription antiepileptic medication. The University of Alabama at Birmingham was one of eight institutions involved in the study, which showed that, as long as patients adhere to treatment, the two generics did not show any difference in their bioequivalence.

    “Consequently, it should give increased confidence to both clinicians and patients that existing regulations are providing generic drugs that can be safely substituted, even in cases where medicine is lifesaving,” said Michael Privitera, M.D., professor in the Department of Neurology, director of the Epilepsy Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute and the study’s lead author. “Patients can now feel safe about substituting generics (of their antiepileptic drug) without concerns of interactions or undesired effects.”

    The study included 35 adult patients with epilepsy who currently take lamotrigine, and looked at long-term dosing using two currently on-market epileptic generic drugs. The researchers took measures to ensure treatment adherence, a factor that can affect long-term trials. This trial used patient diaries, electronic medication monitoring and tablet counts to keep adherence to nearly 100 percent. The study found that patients on generics had no increase in seizure risk, nor an increase in side effects.

    “There is now increasing evidence that there is no significant difference between generic medications and brand name medications for most conditions.”

    “This study should change how the medical community and patients view generic medications,” said Jerzy Szaflarski, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Neurology at UAB and director of the UAB Epilepsy Center in the School of Medicine. “There is now increasing evidence that there is no significant difference between generic medications and brand name medications for most conditions.”

    The need for effective generics is essential to some patients who need daily medication to treat serious conditions like epilepsy. The FDA estimates $230 billion per year is saved by generic substitutions.

    Along with the University of Cincinnati and UAB, the study’s co-authors included researchers from Drake University, University of Madison-Wisconsin, University of Kansas Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, University of Pennsylvania, the office of research for the Food and Drug Administration, and the University of Rochester.

    This study was funded by the American Epilepsy Society, Epilepsy Foundation, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Privitera is president of the American Epilepsy Society. He does not cite any conflicts of interest.

  • Submit art now for Alabama high school Statewide Student Juried Art Show
    UAB Department of Art and Art History Chair Lauren Lake, MFA, is the juror for this year’s show. The deadline for entry is Feb. 28.

    Young artists in Alabama take heed: The deadline for entries to the 2016 Statewide Student Juried Art Show is midnight Sunday, Feb. 28.

    This year the show will be juried by Lauren Lake, MFA, chair of the University of Alabama at BirminghamCollege of Arts and SciencesDepartment of Art and Art History.

    The department, in partnership with the Shelby County Arts Council and the Alabama State Council on the Arts, will present the show. The exhibition will offer merit awards, and Phillip Forstall of Forstall Art Center will also give gift certificate awards.

    The exhibition provides a great opportunity for student work to be seen by college and university faculty during the Shelby County Arts Council College Preview Day on Sunday, April 10. The preview day will take place at the Shelby County Arts Council, 104 Mildred St., Columbiana.

    The show is open to all Alabama high school students in grades 10-12 for the 2015-2016 academic year. Categories for submission are painting (oil, acrylic and watercolor), drawing, photography, 3-D design and mixed media.

    Submissions should be sent to submission@shelbycountyartscouncil.com along with the completed PDF entry form. For each work, artists may submit up to two digital images (a general view and a detailed view). JPG images must be attached to the application

    email. Digital images should be sent as JPGs, 72dpi, should measure 1,000 pixels on the longest side and must be saved at “high” quality.There is no cost to enter. More information on the 2016 Statewide Student Juried Art Show is available online at www.shelbycountyartscouncil.com and on the Department of Art and Art History’s website at www.uab.edu/cas/art. Full entry instructions are included on the entry form.

    Lake received her MFA degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.A. degree in art education at the University of Florida. She was the recipient of the 2007 Southeastern College Art Conference Excellence in Teaching Award, the 2008 University of Florida College of Fine Arts International Educator Award and the 2009 College of Fine Arts Teaching Award.

    For questions, contact Jared Ragland, DAAH visual media and outreach coordinator, at raglandj@uab.edu.

  • UAB launches adult PCD clinic
    UAB clinic to see adult patients with primary ciliary dyskinesia.

    The University of Alabama at Birmingham has opened a clinic treating adults with primary ciliary dyskinesia, or PCD. A similar new clinic for children with PCD was opened at Children’s of Alabama in November 2015.

    PCD is an inherited disorder of moving cilia — the structures lining the airways, ears and sinuses. Moving cilia are needed to keep the lungs, sinuses and ears free of debris that can cause infection and disease. Poor-functioning cilia in PCD patients can lead to chronic, recurring infections and permanent damage.

    It is estimated up to 25,000 Americans and 400,000 people worldwide suffer from PCD. There is no identified at-risk population in terms of race, ethnicity, heritage or gender. However, there appears to be a higher incidence of PCD in cultures where marriage between close relatives is allowed or where the society is isolated by geographic barriers.

    The UAB and Children’s of Alabama clinics are the only clinics in the region to provide access to both pediatric and adult care. Marty Solomon, M.D., oversees the UAB adult clinic, while Wynton Hoover, M.D., oversees the pediatric clinic. The clinic is approved as a clinical care center by the Minneapolis-based Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Foundation.

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