Weinmann2009Dr. Amy Weinmann joined the microbiology department in February 2014.Growing up in Minnesota, Amy Weinmann attended the University of Minnesota, Morris, where she received a B.A. in biology in 1995. An undergraduate summer project at the Mayo Clinic gave her an appetite for research and set her on a path to crisscross the United States. She moved from Minnesota to California where she received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. She moved from California to Wisconsin where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and then she moved from Wisconsin to Seattle, Washington, and joined the faculty at the University of Washington Department of Immunology. Now, ten years later, she has made her way to Alabama.

Currently, she is working on the mechanisms by which lineage-specifying transcription factors regulate cell fate decisions in development. “A major focus of the research in my lab is on the T-box and BTB-ZF transcription factor families, which are required to promote cellular transitions in numerous developmental systems, ranging from early embryogenesis to immune cell fate. We are also interested in defining the mechanisms by which epigenetic patterns are established in a cell-type and activation-state specific manner. Collectively, our mechanistic studies will provide new insight into many human diseases that are associated with dysregulation of these pathways, including a major emphasis on blood cancers, autoimmunity, and birth defects.”

During this time of economic challenges, Weinmann takes her job as mentor seriously. She says that it is easy to get discouraged when funding is so limited, but a person must not accept the word can’t. “Science is do-able,” she says. “Passion comes from within. Nobody can take your passion away from you.” She enjoys watching students learn how to drive their own science. “Early on, it’s much more hands-on, but eventually it starts to flip and by the end, the student knows way more than I do. It’s a proud moment when they’re on their own.”

In her spare time, Weinmann follows professional sports (especially the Minnesota Vikings), and she herself can spike a mean volleyball, having played volleyball in high school and college. She says, “the mental discipline of sports fits well with science. It’s always a work in progress; you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished, but at the same time strive to do better and learn more.”

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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