Brian ParksDr. Brian Parks, Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Los Angeles, and graduate of the UAB Microbiology Department, will speak May 7, 2013 at Noon in the Learning Resource Center (1714 9th Ave South) Room 102.

Parks, a graduate student in Dr. Janusz Kabarowski’s lab from 2004 to 2009, is studying the genetic nature of obesity and weight gain at the University of California, Los Angeles. His recent study using a systems genetics approach in mice analyzed genetic and environmental interactions affecting obesity, metabolic syndrome and gut microbiota composition. The results indicated that body-fat responses and gut microbe changes to high-fat, high-sugar diets have a very strong genetic component. “We have identified several genetic factors potentially regulating these responses,” says Parks.

Read Dr. Parks’ most recent results, “Genetic Control of Obesity and Gut Microbiota Composition in Response to High-Fat, High-Sucrose Diet in Mice,” in the January 2013 issue of Cell Metabolism and a commentary at http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/january2013/01282013weight.htm.

Committed to the study of infectious and immune-mediated diseases

The UAB Department of Microbiology is consistently ranked amongst the best microbiology departments in the country, and faculty currently hold more than 50 grants and $13 million in extramural grant funding. We are a vibrant highly collaborative research community actively serving the university mission of excellence in research, service and teaching. 

It is an exciting time to be a scientist at UAB and in the Department of Microbiology. The department is actively recruiting new faculty members and with our existing cadre of investigators and the new faculty who join us, we plan to capitalize on the department’s strong foundation and heritage to build a scientifically rich environment that will allow us to meet our twin missions of carrying out cutting-edge, fundamental basic and translational research to improve human health and educating the next generation of scientists who will lead the fight against infectious and immune-mediated diseases.

Research

We are improving human health by carrying out cutting-edge, fundamental basic and translational research focusing on the bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause human disease. Faculty in the Department of Microbiology have research programs in five broad yet interconnected areas; Microbial Pathogenesis, Immunology, Virology, Structural Biology and Cancer.

Education

We are educating and training the next generation of scientists, educators and entrepreneurs who will lead the fight against infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Department of Microbiology faculty participate in teaching classes to undergraduate, graduate and medical students and serve as the organizers and course directors for a number of the graduate level classes.

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