UAB Graduate Catalog
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine
View PDF of Pathobiology & Molecular Medicine Admissions Checklist
Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School
Dr. Michelle V. Fanucchi
Dr. Rakesh P. Patel
Edward Acosta, Associate Professor (Clinical Pharmacology); multicenter clinical trials designed to assess the absorption and disposition of antiviral and antiretroviral drugs
Anupam Agarwal, Professor (Medicine); Regulation of heme oxygenase gene expression in kidney and vascular injury
Stephen Aller, Assistant Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); mechanism and function of integral membrane proteins involved in human disease and the means by which drug molecules and antibodies activate and inhibit function
Peter G. Anderson, Professor (Pathology and Genomics & Pathobiology); Cardiovascular pathology; education
Shannon M. Bailey, Associate Professor, Molecular Mechanisms of Chronic Alcohol and Obesity Induced Liver Diseases; Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Disease; Molecular Bioenergetics; Functional Proteomics; Free Radical Biology
Daniel Balkovetz, Associate Professor (Medicine), Epithelial Cell Biology; Epithelial Cell Cycle Regulation; Regulation of paracellular transport across epithelial cell tight junctions
Scott Ballinger, Associate Professor (Pathology); Cardiovascular disease mediated by free radicals, mitochondrial damage, and dysfunction
Marcas Bamman, Professor (Physiology & Biophysics); exercise physiology
Stephen Barnes, Professor (Pharmacology & Toxicology), Site-directed mutagenesis of rodent liver bile acid CoA: amino acid N-acyltransferase (BAT) - this project involves a combination of molecular biology, enzymology and protein mass spectrometry; Molecular basis of prevention of eye cataract disease by polyphenol-containing dietary supplements; Site-specific modification of lens proteins by oxidants - this project involves protein mass spectrometry and other physical chemical techniques
Zsuzsanna Bebok, Assistant Professor, Membrane protein biogenesis in epithelial cells (CFTR as model). Unfolded protein response.
Susan Bellis, Associate Professor (Physiology & Biophysics)
Bakhrom Berdiev, Assistant Professor (Cell Biology); The CFTR Chloride Channel control of Epithelial Sodium Channel under physiological and pathological conditions
Mark Bevensee, Associate Professor (Neurobiology, Physiology & Biophysics); Cellular and Molecular Physiology of Acid-base Transporters and pH Regulation
Mary-Ann Bjornsti, Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); Cancer-based pharmacology and toxicology
J. Edwin Blalock, Professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology & Biophysics); Rational Drug and Vaccine Design/Neutrophilic Inflammation
S. Louis Bridges, Jr., Professor; Genetics of rheumatoid arthritis
Donald J. Buchsbaum, Professor (Radiation Oncology)
Daniel Bullard, Associate Professor (Comparative Medicine); Adhesion Molecules in Inflammatory Disease
Steven Carroll, Professor (Neuropathology)
John Chatham, Associate Professor (Cell Biology, Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics); Cardiomyocyte function and metabolism in diabetes and ischemic heart disease
Irshad Chaudry, Professor (Microbiology, Pathology, Physiology & Biophysics); Cardiovascular/Immunological Alterations Following Trauma-Sepsis
Yabing Chen, Assistant Professor (Pathology); Oxidative stress-induced molecular signals in cardiovascular disease and bone disease.
James F. Collawn, Professor (Cell Biology); Molecular Mechanisms of Protein Trafficking
Yingzi Cong, Assistant Professor (Medicine); Mucosal immunology
Rita Cowell, Assistant Professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology); Transcriptional regulation of early postnatal brain development: Insights into the pathology of Autism and Schizophrenia
Randy Cron, Associate Professor (Medicine); Immunotherapy
Victor Darley-Usmar, Professor (Pathology); Failure of the vasculature; Production of free radicals and their interactions; Molecular events controlling NO signaling pathways
Randall S. Davis, Associate Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, Medicine, Microbiology); Fc receptors, lymphocyte development
Lawrence DeLucas, Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, Physiology & Biophysics); Protein Crystallography/Protein Crystal Growth
Louis Dell'Italia, Professor (Medicine); Cardiovascular Disease
Peter Detloff, Associate Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, Neurobiology); Mouse Models of Human Genetic Disorders
Patricia DeVilliers, Assistant Professor (Pathology); Novel Target for Head and Neck Cancer: The Sonic Hedgehog Pathway
Dale A. Dickinson, Assistant Professor (Environmental Health Sciences); Molecular Mechanisms of the Adaptive Response to Environmental Toxicants and Pollutants; Mechanism of Action of Naturally Occurring Compounds; Functional Genomics and Proteomics of Naturally Occurring Compounds; Induction of Glutathione; Free Radical Biology
Qiang Ding, Assistant Professor (Medicine); Signaling proteins and molecular mechanisms regulating cell migration and myofibroblast differentiation, and their roles in the development of pulmonary fibrosis
Jeffrey C. Edberg, Associate Professor; Fc receptors, rheumatoid arthritis
Charles O. Elson III, Professor; Mucosal immunology
Isam-Eldin Eltoum, Professor (Pathology);
Maaike Everts, Assistant Professor (Pathology); Gene therapy and nanotechnology for imaging and therapy of cancer
Charles N. Falany, Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); Protein Chemistry and Molecular Biology of Drug Metabolizing Enzymes and Molecular Biology of Bile Acid-Conjugating Enzymes
Michelle Fanucchi, Associate Professor (Environmental Health Sciences); Pulmonary cell biology and toxicology. Cell-to-cell interactions in the developing lung as well as in repair after lung injury and disease in children. The role of biochemical defense mechanisms native to pulmonary cells. Childhood lung disease and its etiology. Drug metabolism.
Xu Feng, Associate Professor; Bone Metabolism in RRANKL/RANK signaling in osteoclast differention and function
Jose R. Fernandez, Associate Professor (Nutrition Sciences); Gene Mapping, Genetic Admixture, Racial Differences, Obesity, Diabetes
Candace Floyd, Assistant Professor (Neurobiology); Neuronal-Glial Interactions in Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury
Stuart J. Frank, Professor (Medicine); Growth Hormone Receptor Structure-Function, Growth Hormone Signaling
Andra Frost, Associate Professor (Pathology); Effects of the microenvironment on breast carcinogenesis
Catherine Fuller, Associate Professor (Physiology & Biophysics); ENaC/ASIC Ion Channels
Shawn F. Galin, Associate Professor (Medicine)
Paul Gamlin, Professor and Chair (Neurobiology, Vision Sciences); Studies of the Neural Bases of Vision & Eye Movements
W. Timothy Garvey, Professor (Nutrition Sciences); Molecular, Metabolic, and Genetic basis of type 2 diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance, and obesity.
James F. George, Associate Professor; Transplantation
Paul Goepfert, Associate Professor; Immune responses to HIV
Lisa Guay-Woodford, Professor (Medicine); Characterizing molecular determinants involved PKD pathogenesis
John Hablitz, Professor (Neurobiology, Physiology & Biophysics); Cellular Mechanisms of Neurotransmission
James Hagood, Professor (Pediatrics); Role of Fibroblasts in Tissue Remodeling
Robert W. Hardy, Associate Professor (Pathology); Insulin resistance; cancer cell proliferation
Laurie Harrington, Assistant Professor (Cell Biology); Protective and Pathogenic CD4 T Cell Responses
Hui-Chen Hsu, Associate Professor; Autoimmunity
Karen Iles, Associate Professor (Anesthesiology)
Nirag Jhala, Professor (Pathology); Cytopathology and gastrointestinal tract pathology
Inga Kadisha, Instructor (Cell Biology)
Santosh Katiyar, Associate Professor (Dermatology); Prevention of skin cancer by dietary antioxidants
Helen Kim, Associate Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, Neurobiology, Pharmacology & Toxicology); Proteomics of neuroprotective and chemopreventive actions of dietary phytochemicals
Robert Kimberly, Professor (Medicine); Autoimmunity, Molecular Mechanisms and Genetic Risk
Jennifer King, Assistant Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics; multicenter clinical trials designed to assess the absorption and disposition of antiviral and antiretroviral drugs
Peter King, Professor (Physiology & Biophysics); Mechanisms of Growth Factor mRNA Stabilization in Cancer
Kevin Kirk, Professor (Neurobiology, Physiology & Biophysics); The CFTR Chloride Channel
David D. Ku, Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology, Cardiovascular Disease); Cardiovascular and Coronary Pharmacology; Role of Thrombin, Endothelium, and Platelets in Coronary Vasospasm and Ischemic Heart Disease
Jack Lancaster, Professor (Anesthesiology, Physiology & Biophysics); The Biophysics and Biochemistry of Nitric Oxide
Aimee Landar, Assistant Professor (Pathology); Cellular effects of post-translational modification of protein thiols by reactive species in cancer and cardiovascular disease
Xiaohua Li, Associate Professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Pharmacology & Toxicology); Neurobiology of mood disorders
Yuqing Li, Associate Professor (Neurobiology); Pathophysiology and experimental therapeutics of dystonia and related movement disorders. Basal ganglia function and dysfunction. Molecular and cellular mechanism of learning and synaptic plasticity
Nita A. Limdi, Assistant Professor (Neurology)
Fang-Tsyr (Fannie) Lin, Assistant Professor (Cell Biology); Regulation of Cell Growth by G Protein-Coupled Receptor Signaling
Weei-Chin Lin, Associate Professor (Cell Biology); Cell Cycle Control and DNA Damage Response
Rui-Ming Liu, Associate Professor (Environmental Health Sciences); Glutathione, aging, age-related diseases, fibrosis, cancer
Robin Lorenz, Professor (Pathology); Immune mediators of gastrointestinal disease
Clint Lothrop, Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics)
Upender Manne, Associate Professor (Anatomic Pathology)
Roslyn Mannon, Professor (Medicine); Translational Approaches to the Pathogenesis and Treatment of Chronic Graft Injury
Carmel McNicholas, Instructor (Physiology and Biophysics); Structure-Function and Regulation of Ion Channels of the Renal and Cardiovascular System
Joseph L. Messina, Professor (Pathology); Insulin and growth hormone action and resistance in trauma and infections
John D. Mountz, Professor; T cells in autoimmunity
Joanne E. Murphy-Ullrich, Professor (Pathology); Regulation of cell death and motility by cell adhesion signaling and role of growth factor control in diabetic and fibrotic diseases
Moon H. Nahm, Professor (Pathology); Immune response to pneumococcal polysaccharide antigens
Robert Novak, Professor (Medicine, Microbiology)
Suzanne Oparil, Professor (Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics); Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Disease
John Parant, Assistant Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); regulation as well as cause of genomic instability in cancer and other diseases
Boris Pasche, Professor and Director (Cell Biology, Medicine)
Rakesh Patel, Associate Professor (Pathology); Inflammation; free radicals; atherosclerosis; sepsis; nitric oxide; hemoglobin; antioxidants; endothelial cell biology
Ji-Bin Peng, Assistant Professor (Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics); Calcium transport proteins and their roles in health and disease
Dennis J. Pillion, Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); Endocrine Pharmacology; Administration of Insulin in Eye Drops and Nose Drops; Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus
Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, Professor (Pathology); Adeno-associated virus gene therapy
Edward Postlethwait, Professor and Chair (Environmental Health Sciences); Environmental Induction of pulmonary epithelial injury
Meredith A. Preuss, Assistant Professor (Medicine)
Hongwei Qin, Assistant Professor (Cell Biology)
Raghavan Raju, Associate Professor; Acute inflammation
Michael Reddy, Professor (Periodontology)
Erik Roberson, Assistant Professor (Neurobiology); Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia
Kevin Roth, Professor and Chair (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Pathology); Molecular Regulation of Neuronal Cell Death
Paul Sanders, Professor (Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics); Mechanisms of Disease Progression in the Kidney
Ralph D. Sanderson, Professor (Pathology): Tumor microenvironment, cancer progression and metastasis, heparanase, heparan sulfate proteoglycans
Lisa Marshall Schwiebert, Associate Professor (Physiology & Biophysics); Inflammatory Responses
Rosa Serra, Associate Professor (Cell Biology); Mechanism of TGF-ß Action in Developmental and Disease Processes
John Shacka, Assistant Professor (Pathology); Regulation of Neuron Death by the Autophagy Lysosome Pathway
Anath Shalev, Professor (Medicine); Molecular biology and diabetes, beta cell biology, apoptosis, oxidative stress, transcriptional regulation of gene expression, diabetes complications
George M. Shaw, Professor (Medicine, Microbiology); Evolution, Persistence and Pathogenesis of HIV-1; HIV/AIDS Vaccine Development
Peter R. Smith, Associate Professor (Physiology and Biophysics); The Role of the Membrane Cytoskeleton in Regulating the Cell Surface Expression of Epithelial Transport Proteins
Monsheel Sodhi, Assistant Professor (Neurobiology); Genetic and transcriptional variation in psychosis, depression and suicide
Yuhua Song, Assistant Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics); Genetic Multiscale Modeling in Biology and Biomechanics
Harald Sontheimer, Professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology & Biophysics); The Role of Neuroglia in Brain Function and Disease
Eric Sorscher, Professor (Genetics, Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics); Cystic Fibrosis and Molecular Genetics; Patient Oriented Research
David G. Standaert, Endowed Professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology); Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Theresa Strong, Associate Professor (Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics, Genetics, Medicine); Identification of Tumor Antigens and Development of Cancer Vaccines
David J. Sweatt, Professor (Genetics, Neurobiology, Physiology & Biophysics); Signal Transduction Mechanisms in Learning and Memory
Laura Timares, Assistant Professor (Dermatology); Engineering Dendritic Cells for Immunotherapy
Thomas Van Groen, Associate Professor (Cell Biology)
Robert van Waardenburg, Assistant Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); Drug interaction, cancer pharmacology
Mei Wan, Assistant Professor (Pathology), TGF-beta signaling in pancreatic cancer development and in bone diseases
Jianbo Wang, Assistant Professor (Cell Biology); Novel signaling pathway termed planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway and how this pathway regulates morphogenesis in mammals.
Qin Wang, Associate Professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology & Biophysics); Regulation of GPCR cellular responses and in vivo functions
Douglas A. Weigent, Professor (Physiology and Biophysics); Immunoendocrinology
Roger C. White, Associate Professor (Medicine, Physiology & Biophysics); Oxidant Stress and Endothelial Dysfunction
Hui Wu, Assistant Professor (Microbiology); Bacteria- host interaction
Talene Yacoubian, Assistant Professor (Neurobiology); Role of 14-3-3 proteins in Parkinson’s disease
Yang Yang, Assistant Professor (Pathology); Targeting heparan sulfate for myeloma therapy
Bradley K. Yoder, Professor (Cell Biology); Polycystic Kidney Disease
Karina Yoon, Assistant Professor (Pharmacology and Toxicology); Drug interaction, cancer pharmacology
Martin E. Young, Associate Professor (Medicine); cardiovascular disease
Nabiha Yusuf, Instructor (Dermatology)
Allan J. Zajac, Associate Professor; Immunovirology
Majd Zayzafoon, Assistant Professor (Pathology); The Role of Calcium Signaling in the Genetic and Epigenetic Pathogenesis of Disease
Jianhua Zhang, Assistant Professor (Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Pathology); cell and molecular mechanisms, and mouse models of autophagy in development, neurological and psychiatric diseases
Yuhua Zhang, Assistant Professor (Ophthalmology)
Theme Information and Course Requirements
The Pathobiology & Molecular Medicine (PBMM) Graduate Program at UAB is the successor of the popular and highly successful Integrative Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program established in 1999. PBMM represents an expansion of the Integrative Biomedical Sciences Program and is designed to give students the very best multidisciplinary training within the emerging and exciting field of molecular medicine. The main objective of the program is to expose students to a diverse faculty with research interests that range from molecules - to whole organisms - to disease processes - to new therapies. Our premise is that students, when trained in basic principles of molecular and cellular biology, in addition to organ-based physiology, pharmacology and pathology, will be prepared to study biological processes at any level of organization. The important biomedical issues of today are sufficiently complex that the successful investigator must be able to tackle these issues using integrated, multi-faceted approaches.
The advantage of joining PBMM is that students have full access to all faculty within the GBS, including those not within PBMM. This gives students the broadest opportunity possible to move their studies in the direction that they find most interesting. In addition, PBMM is composed of over 125 active research faculty that are utilizing state-of-the-art resources and ideas to drive the field of molecular medicine forward. Within PBMM, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself at the leading edge of biomedicine and share in the excitement first-hand by working alongside research pioneers.
During your first year, you will complete a series of rigorous courses that includes training in biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cellular physiology and pathobiology. You will also have the opportunity to take courses within designated "Focus Areas." These Focus Areas are organized around specific research strengths represented by faculty within the PBMM and address important issues in diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer among others. In addition, you will have full access to courses offered by other programs within the GBS where strengths exist in multiple fields including immunology, neuroscience, structural biology and others. There will also be ample time allotted for you to attend research seminars, learn to make scientific presentations and to perform 3-4 laboratory rotations. These rotations are designed to give the student a practical introduction to bench research and to help the student choose a faculty mentor. After the first year there will be additional coursework directed in your area of interest, but the main focus will be on intensive research training within the laboratory. Here, guided by your mentor and graduate advisory committee, you will develop critical technical and analytical skills that will form the basis of your dissertation research.
Graduates of the PBMM training program will be fully prepared to address the most complex and challenging issues in disease biology and therapy and be well positioned to pursue work in academic, industrial or government research or related positions. Training for the PhD degree is generally completed within four to six years, depending on the student's background and training goals.
A baccalaureate degree in the natural or physical sciences is required. Undergraduate level courses in organic and analytical chemistry, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics are strongly encouraged. Undergraduate mathematics through calculus and physics are also recommended.
GRADES & SCORES
The Graduate School recommends that entering students have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a minimum combined verbal/quantitative score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of 1100.
International students must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) earned within the last two years. Applicants with scores of 600 (paper-based) or 250 (computer-based) or higher will be considered.
Most students admitted to the program have undergraduate or postgraduate research experience.
Applications are reviewed by the GBS Admissions Committee, representing all GBS thematic programs. Acceptance will be based on a combination of factors including:
- Undergraduate performance (both the curriculum and grade point average)
- Letters of recommendation
- GRE scores
- A personal statement of research and career interests
- Previous research experience
- Personal interview, at program expense (international applicants may be interviewed by phone or video conference)
Admission to our Programs is very competitive and the number of positions is limited; thus not every qualified applicant can be offered a position.
Integrated, science-based teaching is the foundation of every PBMM course. You will learn from a team of faculty that will contribute their expertise in the basic biology and physiology of each topic coupled with an emphasis on understanding relevant diseases, clinical correlates, and therapeutic approaches. The lectures also emphasize the scientific techniques and experimental approaches that are essential to the concepts being discussed. In addition, many instructors assign journal readings and independent projects, which may include Web-based searches or literature reviews, to actively engage you in the learning process.
• First year students in all Graduate Biomedical Sciences Themes take a common 12-week core curriculum emphasizing the fundamentals of biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology. This coursework will include an overview of the principles of biochemistry, metabolism, molecular biology, genetics and biological organization. This will be followed by an integrated course in experimental medicine that focuses on mechanisms that drive specific diseases and exposes students to approaches being taken by UAB scientists who are addressing disease-based problems. Additional coursework in the first year will include integrative physiology, pathophysiology, endocrinology, immunology, pharmacology and molecular medicine.
• Journal Club
You will present relevant published research papers to help hone your presentation skills and to teach you to learn to think like a scientist.
• Seminar Series
Faculty from participating departments, other UAB faculty, and faculty from other institutions discuss their latest research.
• Lab Rotations (3 rotations of 10 weeks each)
Based on your specific interests, you will choose from a wide range of research laboratories available to you. This "hands on" research experience will provide you with the background to decide on a laboratory and mentor to guide you through your dissertation research.
Second year and beyond - Qualifying examination, courses, journal clubs, research, completion of degree.
Qualifying examination. Students must pass a Qualifying Examination that assesses their general knowledge, ability to read the literature, and ability to formulate and defend testable hypotheses. The examination involves a written proposal and oral defense of the proposal.
Journal Clubs. From the second year until completion of the program, students participate in a Journal Club related to their specific area of interest. The purpose of the journal club is to enhance the ability to critically read the literature and to stay abreast of current findings in the field.
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine courses. Advanced courses in areas relevant to the student's area of interest are required and may be completed anytime from the second year on. Students are encouraged to take these courses as early as possible in order to achieve the most benefit in their training.
Dissertation research. After completion of the Qualifying Examination, and no later than the third year, the student forms a dissertation committee comprised of five faculty members (including the mentor) whose expertise will be beneficial in helping direct the research and course of study.
Awarding of the PhD degree. The PhD is awarded upon completion of the academic requirements and defense of the dissertation. The dissertation consists of a written document that is expected to include published papers or manuscripts in preparation, along with a scholarly introduction and discussion of the work that has been completed. A successful private defense of the dissertation in front of the dissertation committee is then followed by a seminar presentation and public defense of the dissertation as the final step in completion of the PhD degree.
All students accepted into PBMM receive a competitive annual stipend and fully paid tuition and fees. Single coverage health insurance is also provided at no cost to the student through VIVA Health UAB.
The annual stipend for the 2011-2012 academic year is $26,000. The total annual award value, including stipend, tuition, fees and health insurance is $37,500. Stipends are reviewed and updated regularly.
First-year students are funded through the PBMM Graduate Program by Graduate School Fellowships and occasionally by other national and University fellowships. In subsequent years, students are supported through their advisor's research grants, institutional funds or training grants. In addition, highly qualified students are encouraged to apply for individual fellowship awards, with the guidance of their advisors. See Fellowships and Awards for additional fellowship information and resources.
Deadline for Entry Term(s):
Consult Program Director for information
Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:
Domestic Applications: April 1
International Applications: Feb 15
Number of Evaluation Forms Required:
Entrance Tests (University Code: 1856)
GRE (TOEFL and TWE also required for international applicants whose native language is not English.)
For detailed information, contact:
Michelle V. Fanucchi, Ph.D.
Rakesh P. Patel, Ph.D.
Randy L. Seay, M.A., M.P.A., M.P.H.
Tel: 205.934.7810 (office)