Professor of Pathology
Phone: 205-934-6421


Dr. Waites earned his B.S. from Birmingham-Southern College in biology and his M.D. from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He then did an internship in pediatrics, followed by a research fellowship in medical microbiology and residency in pathology, all at UAB.  Following his residency, he joined the UAB faculty in the Department of Pathology in 1986, rising to his current position of Professor of Pathology.  He has secondary appointments in the Departments of Microbiology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Medicine, and Critical & Diagnostic Care.  Dr. Waites has received numerous academic and teaching awards, including Phi Beta Kappa, the Elizabeth King Award from the American Society of Microbiology and the Peter C. Hannan Award from the International Organization for Mycoplasmology.

Dr. Waites’s research interests focus on the microbiology and pathogenesis of urinary, respiratory, and gastrointestinal tract mucosal infections.  The infections his laboratory investigates include Helicobactor, staphylococcal, ureaplasmal and mycoplasmal species.  Ongoing projects seek to elucidate the molecular epidemiology, detection and virulence of these microorganisms in humans and animal models.  In highly novel work, comparative genomic analysis of Ureaplasma isolates is being used to identify the genes that encode the organism’s virulence factors.

Selected Publications

  1. Waites, K.B., Crouse, D.T. and Cassell, G.H.  Mycoplasmal infections of the central nervous system in newborn infants. Lancet 335:658-659, 1990.
  2. Waites, K.B., Cassell, G.H., Duffy, L.B. and Searcy, K.B.  Isolation of Ureaplasma urealyticum from low birth weight infants. J. Pediatr. 126:7502, 1995.
  3. Brandwein, S.L., McCabe, R.P., Cong, Y.Z., Waites, K.B. Ridwan, P.A., Ohkusa, T., Birkenmeier, J.P., Sundberg, J.P. and Elson, C.O.  Spontaneously colitic C3H/HeJBIR mice demonstrate selective antibody reactivity to antigens of the enteric bacterial flora. J. Immunol. 159:44-52, 1997.
  4. Waites, K.B., Smith, K.R., Crum, M.A., Hockett, R.D., Wells, A.H. and Hook, E.W. III.  Detection of Chlamydia trachomatis endocervical infections by the ligase chain reaction versus the AccessChlamydia antigen assay. J. Clin. Microbiol. 37:3072-3073, 1999.
  5. Smythies, L.E., Chen, J.A., Lindsey, J.R., Ghiara, P., Smith, P.D. and Waites, K.B.  Quantitative analysis of Helicobacter pylori infection in a mouse model.  J. Immunol. Meth. 242:67-78, 2000.
  6. Robinson, D.A., Malik, M.T., Palmer, P.S., Edwards, K.M., Waites, K.B., Hollingshead, S.K., Briles, D.E. and Crain, M.J.  Clones of Streptococcus pneumoniae isolated from nasopharyngeal carriage and invasive disease in young children in central Tennessee.  J. Infect. Dis. 183:1501-1507, 2001.
  7. Jacoby, G.A., Chow, N. and Waites, K.B.  The prevalence of plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance determined by pnr.  Antimicrob. Angents Chemother. 47:559-562, 2003.
  8. Smythies, L.E., Novak, M.J., Waites, K.B., Lindsey, J.R., Morrow, C.D. and Smith, P.D.  Poliovirus replicons encoding the B subunti of Helicobacter pylori urease protect mice against H. pylori infection.  Vaccine 23:901-909, 2005.
  9. Katz, B., Duffy, L.B., Schelonka, R., Dimmitt, R. and Waites, K.B.  Evaluation of Ureaplasma urealyticum versus Ureaplasma parvum in the lower respiratory tract of neonates with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia.  J. Clin. Microbiol. 43:4852-4854, 2005.
  10. Moser, S.A., Mayfield, C.A., Duffy, L.B. and Waites, K.B.  Use of pulsed field gel electrophoresis for genotyping Ureaplasmas.  J. Microbiol. Meth. 67:606-610, 2006.

Preventing, diagnosing, and caring for patients with digestive and liver-related conditions

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is spearheading the crusade to treat digestive and liver-related disease by promoting clinical education and research in all areas of the specialty. We enhance patient experiences by providing compassionate, competent, professional clinical care through expert physicians, well versed in treating severe and complex gastrointestinal and liver disorders.


Faculty, fellows and staff actively participate in developing new therapies associated with gastrointestinal disorders through comprehensive research facilities and programs within UAB.


The division’s fellowship programs deliver advanced training, superior knowledge and enhanced skills for gastroenterologists and hepatologists of the future.

Patient Care

GI & Hepatology sets the standard of patient care by developing compassionate, patient-centered, and clinically advanced physicians and staff.