The Pittman Scholars Program was created to “support the recruitment and retention of up to five highly competitive junior faculty members each year either to basic science or clinical departments,” explains Selwyn Vickers, M.D., Senior VP & Dean in the School of Medicine. “The purpose of the Pittman Scholars program is to identify and nurture tomorrow’s best physicians and scientists, and to reward their efforts with additional resources that support their goals.”
Eligibility for this highly competitive award is restricted to NIH-funded early career scientists who are within five years of their initial appointment to assistant professor position (tenure or non-tenure earning).
The other 2015 Pittman Scholars are:
Andre Ballesteros-Tato, Ph.D., Division Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine
Lizhong Wang, Ph.D., Department of Genetics
Michael Wells, M.D., Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Clinical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine
Adam Wende, Ph.D., Department of Pathology
“I'm glad to see the microbiology department represented in this group and hope that we will be in the running every year,” says Frances Lund, Ph.D., Chair, UAB Microbiology Department.
“UAB, industry partnership could lead to first rapid test for bacterial meningitis,” by Nicole Wyatt. UAB School of Medicine News, January 21, 2015.
"This simple meningitis test could save money and lives—and open a new window on inflammation," by Matt Windsor. The Mix, January 23, 2015.
FIRST PLACE ($4000 funding + $250 prize)
A novel approach to generate HIV-1 broadly neutralizing antibodies
Team: Jan Novak, Zina Moldoveanu, Hui Hu, Matthew Renfro, Jialan Geng, Hairong Wei, Bi Shi, Qing Wei, Milan Raska, Audra Laube, Bara Knoppova
SECOND PLACE ($2000 funding + $125 prize)
Novel copper-coordinating small molecule inhibitors against methicillin resistant stphylococcus aureus
Team: Suzanne Michalek, Olaf Kutsch, Frank Wolschendorf, Santosh Shah, Alex Dalecki, Kaitlyn Schaaf
PEOPLE'S CHOICE ($1000 funding + $75 prize)
Engineer the CRISPR/Cas9 system to clear pathogenic DNA virus infections in AIDS patients
Team: George Luo, Mengxi Jiang, Joshua Justice
*SPECIAL GLOBAL HEALTH AWARD ($4000 funding + $250 prize)
Isolation of human antibodies for the treatment of fungal infections
Team: John Kearney, Rodney Glenn King, Emily Stefanov
As an undergraduate chemistry major in the 1990s, Greer spent a summer doing biomedical research in Justement’s lab at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. This initial encounter led Greer to choose a career in research. She is currently associate professor of biology at Georgia State University, specializing in transcriptional and epigenetic regulation of immune response and cancer immunology.
Justement, who chairs the Training and Career Opportunities Subcommittee of the Federation for American Societies for Experimental Biology, continues to change the lives of students here at UAB.
Read Susanna Greer’s thoughts about mentoring in “Making Mentoring Meaningful.”
An October 2014 US Airways article, “UAB: A Center for Healing,” features the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and is illustrated with a photograph of UAB Microbiology Department professor Christopher Klug, Ph.D.