The Center for Teaching & Learning welcomes Dr. Tino Unlap.

Tino UnlapTino Unlap, PhD (Biotechnology Program, Clinical & Diagnostic Sciences Dept., School of Health Professions) joined the Center for Teaching & Learning on August 25 in a part-time role. Dr. Unlap will be working to expand faculty enrichment opportunities. 

Dr. Unlap is a geneticist/biochemist with considerable experience teaching STEM undergraduate and graduate students.  He has received multiple teaching and mentoring awards, the most recent being a recipient of the President's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Faculty News

UAB’s Ivankova named journal’s qualitative research editor
UAB’s Ivankova named journal’s qualitative research editor
A UAB professor takes a leadership role in designing better ways for patients to participate in clinical trials.

ivankova wNataliya V. Ivankova, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been named qualitative research editor for the American Journal of Health Behavior.

The AJHB, which is managed by PNG Publications, chose Ivankova over 30 other well-qualified candidates.

Ivankova, who joined the UAB Department of Health Services Administration in August 2013, holds a joint appointment in the UAB Department of Adult/Acute Health, Chronic Care and Foundations, School of Nursing. Her work has helped provide a methodological foundation for social and health sciences researchers in designing and conducting mixed methods studies, adding patients’ and other participants’ voices to traditional clinical trials and experimental designs.

The philosophy of the journal is “to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.”

Ivankova also serves as associate editor of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research. At UAB she teaches graduate-level advanced research methods courses, including courses in mixed methods and qualitative research designs.

Assistant professor awarded $100,000 to study cardiometabolic diseases among Latinos
Assistant professor awarded $100,000 to study cardiometabolic diseases among Latinos
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded UAB postdoctoral fellow Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., with a 24-month grant to learn whether genetic and epigenetic differences exist between subgroups of Latinos for cardiometabolic diseases.

bertha hildagoBertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Epidemiology, has been awarded a $100,000, 24-month grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Connections program.

Hidalgo is among a select group of junior investigators to receive the grant, which will allow her to learn whether genetic and epigenetic differences exist between subgroups of Latinos for cardiometabolic diseases like cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes by first investigating differences in obesity among subgroups of Latino children through an epidemiologic study.

“I am extremely proud to be among those honored with this prestigious grant,” Hidalgo said. “This award will connect me to a network of established experts in research and evaluation related to health and health care, while providing me with an opportunity to evaluate a program that has far-reaching implications for the health disparities of cardiometabolic diseases and, specifically for this project, nuances between subgroups of Latino children and obesity.”

New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the Foundation’s programming.

$3.75 million endowed chair will boost vision research at UAB
$3.75 million endowed chair will boost vision research at UAB
A unique philanthropic partnership between Research to Prevent Blindness, EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, and Susan and Dowd Ritter will fund ophthalmology research.

endowed chairThe University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Ophthalmology will establish the Research to Prevent Blindness/Susan and Dowd Ritter Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology Research with a $3.75 million endowment, one of the largest in UAB history.

The endowment will enable the department to recruit a world-class scientist to join its existing roster of international experts in the study of blinding diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.

The endowment is funded by Research to Prevent Blindness, the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to funding eye research in the world, the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, the department’s and university’s largest donor, and Susan and Dowd Ritter. Both RPB and ESFA have a long history of support for UAB and recognized that they could leverage their individual philanthropic impact with equal matching support from an additional private philanthropic partner.

Dowd Ritter, former CEO of Regions Bank, and his wife, Susan, agreed to become that private partner and pledged to provide the crucial third matching gift.

The endowment will enable the department to recruit a world-class scientist to join its existing roster of international experts in the study of blinding diseases such as macular degeneration and glaucoma.

“We’ve gone to the Department of Ophthalmology for family eye care for years, and all the doctors we’ve encountered have been fabulous — it’s a stellar part of UAB, and as it grows is going to be a real jewel for the city,” said Susan Ritter. “We liked the fact that this is a public and private partnership that’s going to allow UAB to bring top ophthalmology researchers to Birmingham to improve vision care for the entire world.”

Christopher A. Girkin, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Ophthalmology and holder of the EyeSight Foundation of Alabama Endowed Chair of Ophthalmology, says UAB researchers have made many significant contributions to vision science, many of them funded by RPB, an organization that has been associated with nearly every major breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of vision loss over the past 50 years.

“RPB’s partnership with the Ritters and the EyeSight Foundation provides an opportunity at a critical juncture for expansion of the department’s research program,” Girkin said. “Having a $3.75 million endowed chair will enable us to recruit another stellar individual who will add even more depth and breadth to our already outstanding research faculty.”

RPB has awarded grants and pledges totaling $2.18 million to the School of Medicine at UAB since 2008.

“RPB is interested in supporting upward trajectory in vision science, so this concept of a highly leveraged endowed research chair with potential to attract a truly excellent national vision researcher to UAB was appealing to us,” said RPB President Brian F. Hofland, Ph.D. “We see this project at UAB as an effort that may well prove to be a model for other such partnerships in other parts of the country.”

The ESFA is also supportive of Girkin’s vision for the department’s research goals, according to Torrey DeKeyser, executive director of the organization.

“Under his leadership, there is an emphasis on research that is generating excitement among the scientists, and this collaborative endowed chair will help boost and continue this momentum,” she said. “The EyeSight Foundation board and staff could not be more pleased to be part of this strategic funding collaboration with the Ritters and Research to Prevent Blindness.”

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