Student Spotlight

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Hala Zein-Sabatto


Undergrad: Vanderbilt University
7ReasonsSquareWelcome 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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  • Together with European partners, UAB unravels basis of Singleton-Merten Syndrome, which causes heart calcification and early periodontitis.Mary MacDougallAn international group co-led by University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher Mary MacDougall, Ph.D., has unraveled the molecular basis for the rare, inherited genetic disorder, Singleton-Merten Syndrome (SMS). Individuals with SMS develop extreme, life-threatening calcification of the aorta and heart valves, early-onset periodontitis and root resorption of the teeth, decreases in bone density, and loss of bone tissue at the tips of fingers and toes. The cause of SMS is a missense mutation that changes a single amino acid in the protein MDA5 from arginine to glutamine, MacDougall and colleagues are reporting today (Jan. 22) in the online version of The American Journal of Human Genetics. That change in MDA5 — which detects viral double-stranded RNA as part of the innate immunity system — causes increased induction of interferon beta. Thus SMS is recognized...

  • UAB researchers receive a $1.25 million grant to identify and disseminate best management practices in nursing homes with a high census of Medicaid residents.Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Health Professions have been awarded $1.25 million by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to better understand the management and market factors associated with high performance among nursing homes that have a high proportion, 85 percent or greater, of Medicaid residents. Robert Weech-Maldonado, Ph.D., professor and L.R. Jordan Chair of the Department of Health Services Administration, says this five-year R01 grant is for a mixed-methods analysis — using both quantitative and qualitative studies — to study high-Medicaid-resident nursing homes and identify evidence-based, best management practices. “Nobody has taken a mixed-methods look at why some high-Medicaid nursing homes perform well and others do not,” Weech-Maldonado said. “This grant will enable us to gather quantitative data, such as surveys of...

  • Precious time is lost waiting for laboratory test results for people battling this infection. With the help of medical device startup Kypha Inc., one UAB researcher’s work could change this.Theresa Ramos and Scott BarnumMeningitis research efforts two decades in the making could soon come to fruition through a partnership between investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a medical device startup, with assistance from the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Laboratory test results to diagnose this infection, particularly if bacterial meningitis is suspected, lose precious time, are expensive and often are inaccurate, says Scott Barnum, Ph.D., professor in the UAB Department of Microbiology. “Viral meningitis generally is not serious and often is treated symptomatically, while bacterial meningitis requires immediate intervention and treatment with antibiotics because of the serious and potentially life-threatening nature of that infection,” Barnum said. Yearly in the United States, from 2003-2007, about 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis...

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