Deep Impact: A Compound for Concussions

NFL Charities has awarded UAB a $100,000 grant to study a compound that could minimize the effects of concussions. Known as catalytic oxidoreductant, the compound may interrupt a cascade of biochemical injuries, including oxidative stress and an aggressive immune response to brain inflammation, that cause a large amount of additional cell death after a concussion’s initial damage to brain cells. Candace Floyd, Ph.D., research director in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Hubert Tse, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology who helped to develop the compound, will lead the research team. Additional studies will examine the compound’s effects on multiple concussions; evidence suggests three or more lead to significant brain damage. The results could point to a drug that could be administered immediately after a concussion, anywhere from sidelines to battlefields.
Winter 2013 UAB Medicine


Two Micro Students Awarded Ireland Research Travel Scholarships

Jennifer Rowland and Kathryn Doornbos, both graduate students in Dr. Michael Niederweis’s lab, received 2013 Ireland Research Travel Scholarships.

Rowland’s award will help cover some of the travel expenses for her trip this summer to Durban, South Africa, where she will participate in a summer internship program at K-RITH (KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV).

Doornbos will be doing an 8-week collaboration with Wilbert Bitter at VU (Vrije Universiteit) this summer. Her award will help fund her travel expenses to the University in Amsterdam.

Chaplin Elected to Faculty Senate

Chaplin 2013
In spring 2013, David Chaplin, M.D., Ph.D., was elected to a position on the UAB Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate provides a voice for UAB’s faculty in addressing a variety of matters that affect the University. Faculty representatives from all academic units make up the Senate.



Beckman Scholar to Join Saad’s Lab

Bliss Chang, an undergraduate majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Biology, has been awarded the 2013 Beckman Scholarship to work in Jamil Saad’s lab for one year starting this summer. He was selected as the only Beckman scholar at UAB this year.

“I am excited to have two Beckman Scholars in my lab at the same time [in addition to Timothy Fernandez who received the 2012 Beckman Scholarship]. Having two Beckman Scholars in the same lab at the same time is a very rare case in the US since it is considered an extremely competitive award,” explains Dr. Saad.


Fernandez Receives Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award

Tim150Timothy Fernandez (a member of Dr. Jamil Saad’s lab) was one of three undergraduate recipients of the College of the Arts and Sciences 2013 Dean’s Award. Students receiving this high honor represent the very best that UAB can achieve, says Dr. Catherine Daniélou, Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

The Dean’s Scholarship Award is a college-wide scholarship open to students currently enrolled in or admitted to a degree-granting program in the College of Arts and Sciences who have demonstrated solid academic promise and leadership qualities. Recipients must have at least an overall 3.0 grade point average.

Timothy has worked in Jamil Saad’s lab for three years and is a co-author on a JBC manuscript "Binding of calmodulin to the HIV-1 matrix protein triggers myristate exposure" and a review in Frontiers in Microbiology published last year. He will be recognized for this achievement at Honors Convocation on Tuesday, May 7th.

Lefkowitz Examines the Human Microbiome

Lefkowitz 2013Microbiology Professor Elliot Lefkowitz, Ph.D., is among several UAB researchers in multiple departments that have established a facility at UAB that provides the necessary expertise and resources to support microbiome research by UAB investigators. This research seeks to gain insight into the relationship between the presence of specific microbes and disease, and how various factors affect the overall composition of the microbiome. Dr. Lefkowitz directs the bioinformatics component of this facility that provides investigators with the resources and assistance necessary to evaluate the large amounts of data generated by microbiome analysis.  He describes some of the challenges involved in microbiome data analysis in a podcast on The Mix at UAB. The Winter 2013 edition of UAB Medicine explains UAB’s involvement in this work.