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

3MT information sessions offer competition tips, last minute chance to register

3MT squaresIf you are registered for 3MT or want to take advantage of late registration, make plans to attend one of these sessions: Wednesday, September 28 at 2 p.m. in Bevil 170 or Thursday, September 29 at 2 p.m. in Campbell Hall 301. Read more ...

Congratulations to 2016 Postdoc Awards winners

2016 postdoc award winnersThe Office of Postdoctoral Education and Postdoctoral Assocation celebrated -- you guessed it -- UAB's postdocs with an apprecation lunch and awards ceremony on September 20. Read more ...

Record 19,535 students #ChooseUAB - 7,166 of those graduate students

students dining streamEnrollment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, bolstered by record recruitment and retention gains, increased by 1,202 students year-over-year to a record-high 19,535 for the fall 2016 semester.  Read more ...

Left breathless: How asthma influences infection

arthur totten headshot squareArthur Totten, a PhD candidate in Microbiology and an asthmatic himself, studies how allergy sufferers react to bacterial infections. At his Discoveries in the Making presentation at Homewood Public Library on September 8, Arthur talked about a pathogen only found in humans called Mycoplasmas Pneumoniae (Mpn) – bacteria that causes walking pneumonia. Read more ...
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