August 2013 Research Spotlight: Jeff Curtis

Jeff CurtsJeffrey R. Curtis, MD, MS MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine
Dr. Jeffrey Curtis is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is the Co-Director of the UAB Center for Education and Research on Therapeutics (CERTs) of Musculoskeletal Disorders, which has a major emphasis on evaluating the safety and comparative effectiveness of medications for rheumatic diseases. Additionally, as the Director of the UAB Arthritis Clinical Intervention Program, he leads the clinical trials unit for the rheumatology division at UAB, with a particular focus on rheumatoid arthritis (RA). He is the Co-Director of the UAB Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Research (PEER) Unit.
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July 2013 Research Spotlight: Himanshu Gupta

GuptaThe July 2013 Rsearch Spotlight highlights recent work from the laboratory of Dr. Himanshu Gupta. Dr. Gupta earned the medical degree from the University of Delhi and subsequently completed an internal medicine residency at Wayne State University in 2000. From 2000 to 2004, he performed a clinical and research fellowship in the Division of Cardiovascular Disease at UAB, with specialty training in cardiovascular MRI. Dr. Gupta joined the faculty in the DOM in 2004 and holds the rank of Associate Professor.  Dr. Gupta also serves as the Associate Director of the Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Center.

Dr. Gupta’s research program focuses on questions in the areas of both clinical and experimental pathophysiology. He is using advanced imaging modalities including cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) to non-invasively characterize cardiovascular mechanics for the early detection and diagnosis of cardiovascular pathology.  Dr. Gupta’s group is also studying anti-inflammatory mechanisms associated with administration of apolipoprotein mimetic peptides developed in the laboratory of G.M. Anantharamaiah. The current study describes protective effects of an apoA-I mimetic peptide in the context of acute respiratory distress syndrome secondary to sepsis.
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June 2013 Research Spotlight : Jagirdar and Zolak

The June 2013 Research Spotlight features two first co-authors:

JagirdarMr Jagirdar holds a M Sc in Biotechnology and M S in Cellular and Molecular Biology. He has developed his career through research as Research assistant/Associate during 2004-2012 in part at University of Michigan. During his time at UAB Mr Jagirdar was instrumental in augmenting pleural research with an emphasis on dissecting the role of the pleural mesothelial compartment in the etiology of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Mr Jagirdar left UAb in Dec 2011 and now runs, a non profit Bioinformatics & Computational Biology service.

 Dr. Jason Zolak received his B.S. degree in neurobiology and physiology from the University of Maryland, and his medical degree from the ZolakUniversity of Virginia. He completed a surgery internship, followed by an internal medicine residency at UAB in 2010. He will complete his fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine in June of 2013. Dr. Zolak has a clinical interest in pleural disease and malignancy. In conjunction with Dr. Veena Antony, he has investigated the role of pleural mesothelial cells in fibrogenic lung injury. They have demonstrated the novel finding that pleural mesothelial cells undergo differentiation with acquisition of mesenchymal phenotypic characteristics and migrate into the lung parenchyma in fibrogenic lung injury. They have further elucidated a potentially protective role for the induction of heme oxygenase-1 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. They continue to investigate the role of pleural-based therapies for parenchymal diseases.


May 2013 Research Spotlight: Hao Li

Mr. Hao Li received his M.S. degree from the Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Science in 2005. He joined the Hao LiGraduate Program in Microbiology at UAB in 2008 and has carried out his graduate study in Dr. John Mountz laboratory at UAB since 2008.  Mr. Li initially studied the role of IL-23 in the regulation of autoimmune disease in the BXD2 mouse model of systemic autoimmunity.  These mice develop spontaneous germinal centers (GCs) in the spleen that are highly dependent of interleukin (IL)-17.  Mr. Li made the novel and unexpected finding that IL-23 was necessary to maintain the integrity of marginal zone barrier that prevents follicular entry of apoptotic self-antigens in BXD2 mice.  This initial work led to his present findings of a novel mechanism of autoimmunity in which “leaks” in the marginal zone barrier enable entry of apoptotic Ags into the follicle Mr. Li currently studies the molecular mechanisms regulating the interactions of marginal zone macrophages and marginal zone B cells in maintaining the tolerogenic function of these cells to apoptotic self-antigens.