November 2014 Research Spotlight:

Diane Bimczok Dr. Diane Bimczok, DVM, PhD

Dr. Diane Bimczok is Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, where she works with Dr. Phillip Smith and Dr. Lesley Smythies. Dr. Bimczok has a D.V.M. and a Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Germany. She first joined UAB in 2007 for postdoctoral training in human mucosal immunology with Dr. Smith. Her current work is funded through an NIH K01 career development award and through the American Gastroenterological Association.
Dr. Bimczok's research focus is the regulation of dendritic cell (DC) function in the gastrointestinal immune system. DCs are professional antigen-sensing and -presenting cells that control tolerance and immunity. They initiate and fine-tune the responses of T cells and other adaptive and innate immune cells. The function of a particular DC is partly determined by the tissue microenvironment the cell is exposed to, as Dr. Smith's group has shown in previous studies.

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June 2014 Research Spotlight: Dr. Mark T. Dransfield

MTDDr. Mark T. Dransfield completed his MD degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill followed by residency in internal medicine and fellowship in pulmonary and critical care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he served as chief fellow. He has been on the faculty at UAB since 2003 and is currently Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care and also a staff physician at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. He serves as the Medical Director of the UAB Lung Health Center and the Medical Director of Pulmonary Rehabilitation. He was named Top 10 Teacher in the Department of Medicine in 2006-2008 and in 2009 was a recipient of the Cobbs-Rutsky Award for Clinical Excellence. He has been named one of America’s Best Doctors in 2010-2013. He has served on the ATS Clinical Problems Assembly Program Committee since 2008 and is also a member of the guideline development committee for the American College of Chest Physicians and Canadian Thoracic Society Evidence-based Guidelines for the Prevention of Acute Exacerbations.                  Full Manuscript pdf button

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May 2014 Research Spotlight: Sumanth Prabhu, MD

sprabhuDr. Sumanth Prabhu is a Professor of Medicine and Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, and Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Prabhu is also the Mary G. Waters Chair of Cardiovascular Medicine, and the Director of the Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center. Dr. Prabhu received his medical degree at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and completed his Internal Medicine Residency and a Research Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh, followed by a Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  He rose quickly through the ranks of Assistant and Associate Professor while in San Antonio, after which Dr. Prabhu moved to the University of Louisville, where he was ultimately appointed the rank of Professor and Director of Heart Failure Research in the Division of Cardiology.  Full Manuscriptpdf button

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April 2014 Research Spotlight: Ruizhong Shen

ruizhong shenDr. Ruizhong Shen received his B.S. in Virology and Molecular Biology from Wuhan University, P.R. China, and his Ph.D. in Genetics from Iowa State University.  His post-doctoral fellowship was with Dr. Gail Wertz in the Department of Microbiology at UAB.  He joined the Department of Medicine in 2006 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 2008.
Dr. Shen’s research interests focus on two areas: the regulation of HIV-1 replication in mucosal cells and the immunobiology of HIV-1 transmission in genital and gut mucosae.  His recent studies have elucidated the role of vaginal and intestinal macrophages and dendritic cells in HIV-1 infection, antibody inhibition of HIV-1 transcytosis across rectal mucosa, the role of intestinal microenvironment on HIV-1 infection, the role of envelope glycan moieties on the major events of HIV-1 mucosal transmission, and the effect of breast milk on mother-to-child transmission.   He has been publishing in Journal of Virology, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Mucosal Immunology, PLoS Pathogens and others.  His work is currently supported by NIH, UAB CFAR and UAB Cancer Center.
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