Nathan A. Styles’s research in the Pharmacology/Toxicology Ph.D. program at UAB includes converting cholesterol into bile acids is the major route for the elimination of cholesterol from the body.  He explains, “bile acids must be further metabolized by hepatic enzymes to increase their solubility and rate of excretion. My work focuses on the cloning, expression, and subcellular localization of enzymes involved in bile acid metabolism, as failure to properly metabolize bile acids can lead to cholestasis, a serious liver condition.”
Nathan is from nearby Pelham. Even though a world-class education was available in his backyard, Nathan chose to attend UAB for other reasons. “It was a combination of UAB’s national reputation as a center for biomedical research and the personalities of the faculty that I met here. The faculty members were all very devoted and intelligent, yet very approachable.”
He gives his mentor, Dr. Charles Falany, credit for being his greatest influence here at UAB, adding, “Dr. Falany took the time to develop my research skills and taught me how to think and work like a scientist.  He was a teacher, a boss, and a friend all at the same time.”
Motivation is an important part of any student’s progress and success. Nathan was motivated by looking for answers to questions that had not yet been answered. “I had to answer the question with the results that I saw before me - every experiment was part of some larger picture that I could only see piece by piece. I was also motivated by the fact that I simply enjoyed what I did.”

When asked what his most rewarding experience at UAB was, Nathan answered, “I think it is simply living the graduate student lifestyle here and loving it. I look back at how I changed from a first year grad student balancing studying and meeting new people to a senior graduate student spending time in lab and not even thinking about meeting new people.   I will always look back fondly on the time I spent here and I hope the friendships I made here with other graduate students will last a lifetime.  There’s something about being broke and overworked that really brings graduate students together.”
Nathan advises other graduate students to never give up. He adds, “The most successful people I met in graduate school weren’t the ones with the best grades in their courses, but the ones who worked hard at their research. Along that same line, don’t worry about your grades too much – just pass the course and get to the lab bench. CMB II is better the second time around anyway.”
After graduation, Nathan accepted a job with Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, IL as a medical writer. He plans to continue to develop his career and spend time with his wife, Bobbi. “The great thing about having a career in science is that you have the opportunity to work all over the country. We have just moved to Chicago and we are really excited about exploring this new place.”

Graduate School News

From "gobbledygook" to getting it: Sharing science with a lay audience

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UAB doctoral student using satellites to find precious metals on Earth

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2008 wallStephanie Wall, is a post-doctoral student in the UAB Department of Pediatrics with a research focus in neonatal lung development.  Read more ...
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