December 2014 Research Spotlight:

VanWagoner NicholasNicholas Van Wagoner, MD, PhD

Dr. Nick Van Wagoner is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases where he works with Drs. Edward W. Hook, Jane Schwebke, William Geisler, Christina Muzny, and Barbara Van der Pol in the Sexually Transmitted Infections Group.  

Dr. Van Wagoner received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology and his M.D. from UAB. Dr. Van Wagoner's work is funded through an NIH K23 career development award.  He also serves as the site primary investigator for several vaccine trials.

Dr. Van Wagoner's primary research focus is in novel treatments for herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-2 is a common sexually transmitted infection (STI) with 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men in the U.S. infected. Annual incidence in the U.S. is well over 750,000.


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.


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


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