New UAB students are encouraged to review the Freshman Discussion media package and to participate in the corresponding events.

Ambassador Andrew YoungAn Evening with Ambassador Andrew Young is one of the events included in UAB's 2013 Freshman Discussion programmingAs new students begin their journey at UAB, they are encouraged to join the 2013 Freshman Discussion, "Civil Rights: Looking Back and Moving Forward."

"You are part of a special Freshman class, entering UAB at an exciting and significant time for the University and the City," Provost Linda Lucas wrote in a welcome letter to incoming freshmen. "2013 is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of civil rights events in Birmingham that changed the city and the nation. There will be many events—music, lectures, art, theater—on campus, and around the city, to celebrate and commemorate these anniversaries."

The Freshman Discussion branches from those events in a series spanning your first month at UAB:
Thursday, August 29
5:00-6:30 p.m., UAB Campus Green
Freshman Dinner and Music on the Green

7:00-8:00 p.m., Bartow Arena
An Evening with Ambassador Andrew Young

Tuesday, September 10
7:00-8:30 p.m., Alys Stephens Center Sirote Theatre
Birmingham Movement: A Screening of Student Films

Tuesday, September 24
6:30-8:00 p.m., Birmingham Museum of Art
Art, Culture, and Civil Rights: 50 Years Forward
Before classes begin, students should review the Freshman Discussion media package, which includes texts from Mahatma Gandi and Dr. Martin Luther King and music videos from Miles Davis, Curtis Mayfield, and the Samples Singers.

For more events celebrating the 50th anniversary of Birmingham's role in the Civil Rights Movement, check out uab.edu/50yearsforward.

Faculty News

UAB’s Brown named one of inaugural ASCP 40 under 40
UAB’s Brown named one of inaugural ASCP 40 under 40
A UAB professor has been named to the first 40 Under 40 list from the American Society for Clinical Pathology.

michelle brown wMichelle Brown, M.S., an assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, has been named to the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s inaugural 40 Under 40.

Brown, the clinical education coordinator in the Clinical Laboratory Science program, was recognized for her achievements and contributions to the medical laboratory professional field.

“The clinical laboratory is a vital member of the health care team, and I am honored to have been selected as one of the nation’s young leaders,” said Brown, who is 38. “I am thankful to receive this recognition with fellow pathologists, residents and laboratory professionals who are accomplishing great achievements early in their careers.”

Brown is listed as a dedicated educator by the ASCP. She teaches immunohematology, immunology and analysis of body fluids to UAB graduate- and undergraduate-level students. Prior to joining the UAB School of Health Professions, she spent 10 years in a clinical setting, where she also played an active role in the education of residents, nurses and perfusionists in the intricacies involved with transfusion medicine.

She is featured in the July 2014 issue of Critical Values.

UAB enrolls nation’s first patient in Phase III drug trial for preeclampsia
UAB enrolls nation’s first patient in Phase III drug trial for preeclampsia
If successful, the PRESERVE-1 trial could be a significant clinical breakthrough in the treatment of the condition by prolonging pregnancy and improving outcomes.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has enrolled the first patient in the United States in a Phase III clinical trial for a drug to treat preeclampsia in pregnant women that, if successful, would be a significant clinical breakthrough for reducing pre-term births and infant mortality.

ATryn®, or antithrombin recombinant, will be administered to treat preeclampsia in pregnant women during the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy as part of the PRESERVE-1 trial. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial will assess whether ATryn, produced by rEVO Biologics Inc., prolongs pregnancy in mothers with early-onset preeclampsia and reduces the high rates of perinatal mortality and disability it causes.

“Currently, when patients have preeclampsia, all we have to offer is delivery of the baby as the ultimate treatment,” said Alan Tita, M.D., Ph.D., professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in UAB’s School of Medicine and a lead investigator for the trial. “If preeclampsia presents early in the pregnancy, it has serious implications for both mother and baby. For the target group, women in their 24th to 28th week of pregnancy, this could be a substantial advance in the treatment of preeclampsia and significantly improve outcomes for mother and baby.”

Preeclampsia is a complication characterized by high blood pressure and damage to another organ system, often the kidneys, that usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in women whose blood pressure had previously been normal. Even a slight rise in blood pressure may signal preeclampsia, which, if left untreated, can lead to serious — even fatal — complications for mother and baby.

UAB Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists, located in the Women and Infants Center, is one of the nation’s most advanced and one of only 14 centers nationwide to participate in the NIH-sponsored Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, which has helped produce groundbreaking achievements in high-risk pregnancy research. Specialists — available 24 hours a day — have access to treatments that often are not available elsewhere. UAB is expected to be a leader in the PRESERVE-1 trial, which will enroll 120 women at centers around the country during the next 18 months.

atrynThe PRESERVE-1 trial will assess the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of ATryn in addition to expectant management for the treatment of early onset preeclampsia. Efficacy will be assessed by comparing the difference in gestational age from the time of randomization into the trial until delivery of the baby in women given ATryn to those given placebo. Equally important, the effect of ATryn on neonatal clinical outcomes also will be assessed.

Preeclampsia occurs in approximately 5 to 8 percent of all pregnancies and typically presents after the 20th week of pregnancy. The cause is unknown, but the number of cases is growing. The incidence of the disorder has increased by approximately 25 percent since 1987.

In preeclampsia, abnormal development of blood vessels from the uterus to the placenta may decrease the flow of blood, nutrients and oxygen from mother to baby, placing the baby at risk for prematurity and abnormal fetal growth. The lining of the blood vessels also experience inflammation that extends throughout the mother’s blood vessels and internal organs. As a result, high blood pressure, stroke, seizures and liver and kidney problems can occur.

The difficultly for physicians and patients is that most often there are no symptoms initially. Preeclampsia can be discovered as part of routine monitoring, but women need to watch for possible warning signs, including headaches, visual changes, upper abdominal pain, excessive weight gain and bleeding.

“As a physician faced with the difficult challenge of managing preeclampsia early in pregnancy, I see firsthand the significant need for new medicines to safely extend pregnancy and give a baby more time to develop in utero,” Tita said. “PRESERVE-1 is an important Phase III trial to assess the potential benefits of ATryn in a clear area of unmet medical need.”

Physicians and health professionals can refer patients by calling UAB Medical Information Service via Telephone, a 24-hour service, at 205-934-6478 or 1-800-UAB-MIST.

Suicide prevention is topic of UAB community talk
Suicide prevention is topic of UAB community talk
The biological perspective of suicide will be the focus of the latest UAB Science, Communication and Innovation talks.

stop suicide
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Research Civitan Club will host a lecture on the biological perspective of suicide, as part of its ongoing Science, Communication and Innovation talks. Yogesh Dwivedi, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Psychiatry, will give the lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 24.

Dwivedi, who is also the director of translational research in the UAB Mood Disorder Program, will discuss applying basic science research to diagnosis and treatment of those with suicidal thoughts. The lecture is co-sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Civitan International Research Center at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 18th Street. Parking is available at the Spain Rehabilitation Center on Sixth Avenue.

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