Graduate School News

Discoveries: The sweet science behind mending muscle

IMG 0174Rylie Hightower, a third-year graduate student in the Graduate Biomedial Sciences neuroscience program, studies proteins and other factors that contribute to the progression of muscular dystrophy. 

Read more ...

Link to Leadership: Dr. Lisa Schwiebert, Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs

GRAD logo without taglineEmbarking on the graduate school journey can be a challenging experience, but it helps if you understand the major players involved in that experience. This new series, "Link to Leadership," features Q&As with UAB's Graduate School leaders and an opportunity for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to get to know these leaders on a deeper level.
Read more ...

Graduate Student Organization Spotlight: Graduate Student Government

Grad Student Organization Spotlight graphicThe University of Alabama at Birmingham offers numerous ways for graduate students to enhance their leadership skills, one of which is joining a student organization. But how do you decide which organization is the right fit for you? This Spotlight series will highlight all of UAB's graduate student organizations, as well as the benefits of joining each one.  Read more ...

Upcoming Events

Blazer Spotlights

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Hisham Abdelmotilib

Jacqueline Vo

Jacqueline Vo

Kendra Royston

Kendra Royston

Samir Rana

Samir Rana

Magdalena (Maggi) Krzyzaniak has been a doctoral candidate in the department of microbiology since 2003. She has received the David E. Wells memorial scholarship award for the most outstanding proposition and qualifying exam.

When asked about her research, Maggi replied, “We are working on mechanisms of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) assembly. This large DNA virus is a member of the human herpesvirus family and is an important cause of disease in humans. Infections with HCMV are very common (around 60% population of USA is positive for HCMV), but disease is usually only observed in immune compromised hosts. Although considerable research has been devoted to understanding HCMV replication, little is known about mechanisms of virus assembly inside the host cells. We study the role of an envelope protein complex comprised of two viral glycoproteins, gM and gN, in virion assembly. The gM/gN complex is located in the membrane surrounding the virus and both proteins are necessary for virus replication. During infection of human cells these proteins are expressed and rapidly form a complex that accumulates in a distinct cellular compartment. Interestingly the gM protein contains special trafficking sequences that function in the cell as an “address” sending proteins to the appropriate cellular compartment during infection. We have made mutations of the HCMV genome sequence which targeted these motifs and have altered the localization of this complex in infected cells. In some cases, alterations in these motifs prevented the assembly of infectious viral progeny. Understanding of the HCMV assembly will give us important insights into the biology this human virus and will contribute to the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs.”

Maggi is proud to be a part of the UAB family. She decided to study here because UAB’s research investigators are recognized all over the world, giving students the opportunity to learn from experts in their respective fields. When asked what her most reward experience at UAB has been she replied, “I am glad to work in a diverse environment; I have had a chance to meet people from many distant places in the world. UAB in general provides a great work and study atmosphere for such a diverse community. From the very first day, I felt good about being at UAB.”

After graduation, Maggi plans to work in academia as a virologist.