Student Spotlight


Amanda DeBrot

Thesis Title: The role of Cdc45 in response to genotoxic stress
Mentor: Mary-Ann Bjornsti, PhD
Department: Pharmacology/Toxicology
Undergrad: BS, Truman State University

Welcome to the Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (CMDB) PhD Theme, a part of the Graduate Biomedical Sciences program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. The CMDB theme is designed to provide maximum flexibility that results in students who are prepared to launch into a career in the emerging biomedical science field. Our graduates have exciting careers in scientific research in both academic and industrial settings; scientific-related writing, business, law, bioterrorism, forensics, administration, and education. 

About Us: CMDB is a cross-disciplinary theme at a leading research University in the sunny south, consisting of a diverse group of scientists and physicians who have a collective interest in fundamental processes in cell, molecular, and developmental biology and how alterations in these processes result inhuman diseases and birth defects.

About UAB: We are consistently one of the top 25 NIH funded research institutions in the U.S. and with faculty from over 30 departments across campus there are many opportunities for you in new and exciting areas of biomedical research. And, UAB is a leader in innovative technology such as whole genome sequencing, electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, crystallography, flow cytometry, drug discovery and others.

Contact Us: We are always searching for the brightest and most dedicated students to join our highly competitive CMDB theme and experience firsthand our cutting edge science. This is your personal invitation to explore the many possible opportunities offered by CMDB at UAB. Please explore this web site and apply today!
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  • The challenge is to stifle the binding of inhibitory antibodies but retain activity of a blood enzyme.Long ZhengA rare autoimmune disease creates sudden pain in the abdomen or the head, sending a patient to the emergency room with a potentially fatal condition. The pain comes from a multitude of blockages of tiny blood vessels, formed after the patient’s own immune system somehow inhibits an enzyme that is vital to control clotting. The syndrome is called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, or TTP, and treatment involves exchanging three to seven liters of plasma each day, at a cost of $10,000 a day. This costly care may continue for several weeks or months. Long Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., the Robert B. Adams Endowed professor and director of the Division of Laboratory Medicine at the University of Alabama at BirminghamDepartment of Pathology, wants to create a faster and more effective treatment for these patients. This has led Zheng...

  • UAB research shows that phytoplankton, the foundation of all marine life, will experience varied growth rates due to ocean acidification levels during the next century.Thermal image of the Earth highlighting phytoplankton communities in purpleNew research published by University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher Jeffrey Morris, Ph.D., in Nature Climate Change, proposes the ocean’s food chain might operate differently in the future, based on the effects climate change will have on phytoplankton communities. Phytoplankton’s role in the marine food chain is particularly significant. Phytoplankton, which are microscopic marine plants, form the foundation of the marine food web and regulate key biogeochemical processes. In a balanced ecosystem, phytoplankton provide food for a wide range of sea creatures, including whales, shrimp, snails and jellyfish. “Because phytoplankton types are not physiologically interchangeable, changing which species are most common in a community can impact the cycling of elements, the flow of nutrients and energy through the marine...

  • Narrowing of aortic arch, infant’s otherwise good health prompt physicians to move Baby JJ’s Glenn procedure up one month. UPDATE: Baby JJ recovering after second surgery Jeremiah James Burford is listed in good condition, according to Children’s of Alabama representatives after his second surgery to restore function to his heart. Children’s of Alabama and UAB physicians performed surgery, known as the Glenn, on Tuesday, July 21. “He is doing well,” James said Wednesday. “Doctors tell us he’s dealing with a headache, which is caused by the nature of the operation. We really appreciate the doctors for their help, of course. They’ve always treated us with the utmost respect and look to keep us informed on how he’s doing.” Baby JJ is expected to be in the hospital for several days to recover from the procedure. He will have a third surgery, known as the Fontan, sometime between the age of 2 and 5. UAB...

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