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

NIH awards nearly $34 million to UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science
NIH awards nearly $34 million to UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science
This renewing of UAB’s prestigious Center for Translational Science Award will bolster research and workforce development at UAB and throughout its regional partner network in the Southeast.

news CCTS Fostering ResearchWritten by Christina Crowe

The National Institutes of Health has awarded the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Clinical and Translational Science $33.59 million over four years to continue the center’s programs advancing translational research.

Since its initial funding in 2008 through Alabama’s only Center for Translational Science Award to work toward innovative discoveries for better health, the UAB CCTS has nurtured UAB research, accelerating the process of translating laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, training a new generation of clinical and translational researchers, and engaging communities in clinical research efforts.

The CCTS will continue to advance its mission to accelerate the delivery of new drugs, methodologies and practices to patients at UAB and throughout a partner network of 11 institutions in the Southeast.

“We are excited by the capacity to continue to enhance our institution’s and our region’s innovative research and medical care,” said Robert Kimberly, M.D., UAB CCTS director. “Through internal and external partnerships, as well as a robust clinical environment and cutting-edge informatics and clinical trial resources, we look forward to working with our patients over the course of their lifespan.”

Congress launched the CTSA program in 2006, which is overseen by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

The amount of this award, more than double its previous funding awarded in 2008 and one of the largest at UAB, reflects an unmatched enthusiasm for the CCTS and its affiliated programs. It includes funding for 10 annual pre-doctoral training awards, 10 summer training awards, and eight career development awards for senior postdoctoral fellows or faculty-level candidates.

“Our training programs continue to foster a culture of responsible, ethical practice among students, faculty and clinicians conducting human subjects research,” Kimberly said. “The NIH’s support of our expansive partner network, encompassing 11 regional academic and medical institutions throughout Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, will allow us to further grow our scope of practices and research resources as we look to tackle health disparities in the Southeast.”

Through One Great Community, the CCTS’ community engagement enterprise, and the Community Health Innovation Awards, the CCTS engages Greater Birmingham­­-area residents in innovative programs designed by community members to improve their neighborhoods.

“UAB is fully committed to the goals of the CCTS and to its continued development as a hub for clinical and translational research in the Southeast,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “This significant renewal speaks to the tremendous work and vision of our CCTS leadership and team, as well as our clinical infrastructure, scientific strengths, informatics expertise, training programs, and biostatistical and research design assistance.

“The CCTS touches researchers in all UAB schools and across the partner network, and we are thrilled that this important work will continue with the confidence and support of the NIH.”

news CCTS Next GenerationClick to enlargeState and regional impact

“The growth of the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UAB will foster economic development in the state and throughout the region,” said Senator Richard Shelby. “With a history of providing optimal clinical care and innovation in human health, UAB’s receipt of this prestigious award enables the continued development of the workforce that is necessary to meet the needs of future research advancement.”

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, himself a physician, voiced his appreciation for the CCTS’ initiatives. “The center has been highly effective in providing assistance in the state’s efforts to eliminate the health disparities seen throughout our region,” Bentley said. “Whether across the life course or in underserved groups disproportionately affected by cancer, stroke, heart conditions and other diseases prevalent in our state, the center has been exemplary in reaching out to our citizens.”

UAB Vice President, Research and Economic Development Richard Marchase, Ph.D., says he is particularly pleased that the CCTS is building on UAB’s history of serving populations burdened by health disparities through its partnerships with other state and regional institutions committed to advancing health through translational research. “It is through this culture of commitment and collaboration,” he said, “that we have become a national leader in biomedical research.”

UAB names McMahon dean of Graduate School
UAB names McMahon dean of Graduate School
Lori McMahon, Ph.D., will enrich excellence and innovation in graduate education through professional and career-development initiatives and lead collaborative efforts for recruitment and outreach with various academic units to attract highly qualified students.

Lori McMahon 3Lori McMahon, Ph.D., has been named dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama at Birmingham following a national search guided by a 13-member committee made up of students, faculty and staff, and chaired by UAB Vice President for Research and Economic Development Richard Marchase, Ph.D.

Marchase says the search committee was very pleased with both the size and the strength of the applicant pool, especially those candidates from within UAB, and that the committee is exceptionally pleased McMahon will serve as UAB’s Graduate School dean.

“There were several candidates who really stood out, and among those Lori was a clear choice of the committee,” he said. “Her extensive experience in graduate education, her innovative approaches to how graduate education can be improved, and her enthusiastic ability to interface with both prospective and current students were distinguishing factors.”

McMahon will strive to enrich excellence and innovation in graduate education through professional and career-development initiatives and lead collaborative efforts for recruitment and outreach with various academic units to attract highly qualified students. She also will monitor the academic status of students and provide support and oversight for administrative functions within the Graduate School. McMahon will report directly to the provost and will work closely with deans in all academic areas.

“Her extensive experience in graduate education, her innovative approaches to how graduate education can be improved, and her enthusiastic ability to interface with both prospective and current students were distinguishing factors.”

“Dr. McMahon has a reputation for working well with faculty across our very broad and diverse enterprise, and she has a real passion for mentoring doctoral students,” said UAB Provost Linda Lucas. “She always has doctoral students in her lab. She will bring an energy and dedication to this position that will have far-reaching benefits for students, faculty and staff.”

A current UAB professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology, McMahon is also the Jarman F. Lowder Professor of Neuroscience and director of the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. She is associate director of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Research Institute, is associate director for the Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, and also holds appointments in the Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Civitan International Research Center and the Center for Exercise Medicine.

“I have been fortunate since joining UAB in 1998 to work in a tremendously collaborative environment among outstanding faculty committed to developing highly educated trainees with the knowledge and integrity to go out and change the world,” McMahon said. “I am honored and humbled to be the dean of the Graduate School and look forward to working with faculty and students from disciplines across campus to build upon our growing prominence as a world-renowned research university.”

McMahon — who earned her Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center — joined the faculty at UAB in 1998 as an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics after completing her postdoctoral training at Duke University Medical Center. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, American Physiological Society, and International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment.

“I would like to thank the search committee for their commitment to identifying an exceptional candidate for this job,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “Thanks to the time and thoughtful consideration of many students, faculty, staff and supporters over many months, UAB has welcomed terrific new leadership in many areas across campus, and I am pleased Dr. McMahon will take on this important role as we strive to maximize the reach and effectiveness of UAB’s world-class graduate education opportunities.”

Associate Dean Jeffrey Engler, Ph.D., has been interim dean of the Graduate School at UAB during the search for a permanent candidate to fill the vacancy created by the Dec. 31, 2014, retirement of Bryan Noe, Ph.D., who was UAB’s first full-time Graduate School deanfrom 2005 to 2014.

UAB’s graduate enrollment, up 43 percent in the past decade, is the highest among Alabama universities, at 5,937 in fall 2014. The diverse group, which is two-thirds female and nearly 30 percent minority, is pursuing degrees in 50 master’s programs, 37 doctoral programs and eight education specialist programs.

McMahon’s first day as dean will be Oct. 1.

UAB alumna Lindsey Harris named Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year
UAB alumna Lindsey Harris named Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year
Harris, who was recognized for her excellence in the clinical area of the advanced practice level, earned her master’s from UAB in 2011.

lindsey harrisUniversity of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Nursing alumna Lindsey Harris has been named the National Black Nurses Association 2015 Advanced Practice Nurse of the Year.

She was presented the honor at the annual Nurse of the Year Awards Ceremony on Aug. 2 during the President’s Gala at the Atlanta Hilton Hotel.

Harris was recognized for her excellence in the clinical area at the advanced practice level. She is a strong patient advocate and mentor for other nurses.

Harris earned her Master of Science in Nursing degree from UAB in 2011. She works on the Inpatient Glycemic Management Team at UAB Hospital.

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