- Published on March 12, 2014
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.”
- Published on March 12, 2014
In 2012, Jiang became a research investigator at the University of Michigan, where she worked two years on the host-pathogen interactions of a human DNA tumor virus, BK polyomavirus (BKPyV). Now, as assistant professor in the microbiology department at UAB, she continues to search for a better understanding of the BKPyV life cycle to aid in the design of novel, more efficient anti-viral strategies.
“BKPyV infection is ubiquitous in the human population and occurs during early childhood,” says Jiang. “Primary infection with BKPyV is followed by dissemination to the kidney and urinary tract, in particular to kidney tubule epithelial cells and urinary tract epithelial cells, where the virus establishes a lifelong persistent infection. This infection remains asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals, but under conditions of immunosuppression, BKPyV can undergo reactivation resulting in viral shedding in the urine and may eventually lead to severe diseases such as polyomavirus-associated nephropathy (PVAN) in renal transplant patients and hemorrhagic cystitis in bone marrow transplant recipients.”
Jiang says that no specific antiviral drugs for BKPyV infection are currently available, although the incidence of BKPyVrelated disease has greatly increased in the last few years. The immune components that are involved in controlling BKV persistence and reactivation are not well defined. As a new assistant professor, Jiang is looking to fill several positions in her lab. She enjoys sharing her excitement for research with students just entering the field. “It is important for students to learn how to do science, to think critically, and to establish their independence,” says Jiang.
- Published on February 28, 2014
Kearney’s work has brought worldwide recognition to UAB. He is an internationally recognized expert in monoclonal antibodies and their source: immune cells known as B cells that produce the antibodies necessary to fight off infections and other immune threats.
Kearney came to UAB as a postdoctoral fellow in 1974 and joined the microbiology faculty in 1977. In addition to his primary faculty appointment in the microbiology department, Kearney holds several other appointments at UAB including senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and UAB Center for Disease Preparedness, as well as a professor in the Division of Developmental and Clinical Immunology.
- Published on February 19, 2014
Postdoctoral Research Day, hosted by the UAB Postdoctoral Association (PDA) and the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE), allows trainees an opportunity to practice their presentation skills, compete for monetary awards, and network with faculty and other postdocs. Trainees present their work in a situation similar to a conference, and receive constructive feedback to help them improve their presentation technique.
The 2014 microbiology winners are:
|Davide Botta (Lund lab), 2nd Place, Session One|
|Valeria Lulla (Frolov lab), 3rd Place, Session Five|
|Colin Reily (Novak lab), 1st Place, Session Five|
|Alexander Speer (Niederweis lab), 2nd Place, Session Two|
|Jim Sun (Niederweis lab), 1st Place, Session Two|
|Venkata Yeramilli (Kearney lab), 2nd Place, Session Five|
These outstanding trainees were among 53 entrants from UAB and SRI (Southern Research Institute). Each submitted a 300-word abstract and presented a 12-minute talk about their research project. Research Day was divided into six sessions with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for each session. Presentations were judged by UAB faculty and SRI scientists.
- Published on February 17, 2014
"The mentoring award is a new category of diversity award,” explains UAB Microbiology Department professor David Briles, Ph.D. “It is for faculty who through their mentoring have had a significant impact on the diversity of UAB students and graduates. Janet mentored the first under-represented minority student to receive a Ph.D. while training in the UAB Microbiology Department. This success made it clear that our department could provide a nurturing environment for students of all stripes and has led to the training of many minority graduate students in the labs of microbiology faculty members.”
UAB President’s Diversity Awards are presented annually to recognize the significant achievements of faculty, staff and students who have worked to develop a more culturally diverse, competent and inclusive university community. Awards are given in five categories for projects or activities that best reflect the implementation of unit and/or campus diversity goals.Janet Yother, Ph.D., has a special knack for encouraging minorities who have chosen to pursue a career in science and mentoring them to become successful scientists. Her work to promote diversity in science education and training was recognized on February 13, 2014, when she received the UAB President’s Diversity Award for Mentoring.
- Published on February 07, 2014
- 5th Southeastern Mycobacteria Meeting
- Bliss Chang Invited to Present His Work at Posters on the Hill
- Kabarowski Among UAB Researchers to Establish New Imaging Method
- Congratulations to Our Recent Graduates
- Briles Elected to National Academy of Inventors
- SOM Nominates Yother for 2014 Diversity Award
- 2013 UAB Microbiology Research Retreat
- Bedwell Elected to SOM Faculty Council
- Kearney Is UAB 2013 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer
- Kym Proctor Is Employee of the Month
- Opportunity of a Lifetime UAB President Ray Watts Has Big Vision for the Future of UAB
- UAB Beckman Scholars Attend 2013 Symposium
- Spring Immunology Symposium Brings People Together
- Chaplin Named Associate Dean for Faculty Development
- Mestecky Awarded Honorary Doctorate of Medicine
- Hiramoto Travel Award Deadline July 1, 2013
- Fernandez to Speak at Beckman Symposium
- Jocelyn Hauser Receives ASM Richard and Mary Finkelstein Grant
- Following in Big Footsteps
- Tse Speaks Out in Diabetes Forecast