Career and professional development is an important part of your graduate student and postdoctoral training. At UAB’s Office of Postdoctoral Education Ph.D. Careers, we aim to offer a variety of programs and services to help you make the most of your tenure here. Whether you are just starting out in your graduate program or postdoc career or moving on to the next phase in your professional career, we can help.

The Office of Postdoctoral Education and the Graduate School are here to service as resources for you as you plan, develop, and implement the strategy for your career. As I’m sure you are aware, this is not something that you can do overnight, and this is not something that anyone expects you to have figured out. But that is ok! So take the time you need. Explore yourself, explore your options, and explore what we have to offer. You have spent a significant portion of time pursuing education, so preparation is no stranger to you. Career development also requires planning and preparation. We have a variety of options and resources to help you get prepared for taking that next step, and achieving your goals.

We look forward to helping you, partnering with you, and seeing you succeed.

UAB Research News

  • First-of-its-kind driving simulator lab at UAB powered by donation from Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and ALDOT
    The facility will enable new distracted-driving research, addressing a major public health issue that is a leading cause of highway and traffic-related injuries and death.

    During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, UAB has opened the first SUV driving simulator laboratory in the world.

    In the development of this lab, UAB partnered with Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, which provided a full-bodied 2016 Honda Pilot built at their factory in Lincoln, Ala., to be retrofitted with state-of-the-art simulator technology funded by the Alabama Department of Transportation. The technology gives UAB researchers the opportunity to conduct important safety studies involving distracted driving practices.

    Representatives from Honda, ALDOT and Alabama’s Office of the Attorney General joined the UAB team to announce the new initiative at a grand opening this week.

    “Honda Manufacturing of Alabama is honored to partner with UAB in this important project, with the goal of saving lives by increasing awareness of distracted driving,” said HMA Vice President Mike Oatridge. “Honda is very pleased we could donate the most advanced Honda Pilot ever built in Alabama, which has a five-star crash safety rating and features Honda most advanced safety features including the full range of Honda Sensing technology.”

    The goal of this effort is to facilitate solutions and best practices in motor-vehicle-related safety and crash prevention, addressing the major public health problem of highway and traffic-related injuries and death. 

    “Data tell us that distracted driving is a factor in nearly 50 percent of car crashes, which translates to one million injury-producing crashes each year,” said Despina Stavrinos, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology in UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences and director of the UAB Translational Research for Injury Prevention Laboratory. “Ten percent of those crashes result in a fatality. Understanding which factors influence an individual’s likelihood to engage in distracted driving is essential to being able to purposefully address this growing problem. With this new simulator, we will be able to gain new information about how drivers participate in distracted behavior, giving us valuable insight that can increase the effectiveness of educational campaigns and improve driving safety.”

    The core of Stavrinos’ work is the prevention of injury, particularly unintentional injuries like those that result from distracted driving behaviors. She will lead her TRIP Lab in conducting studies with the new simulator.

    The first study, set to begin in a couple of weeks, will focus on teens and adults over 65, two of the most vulnerable populations when it comes to distracted driving.

    The simulator is intended to be available to researchers from all appropriate disciplines throughout UAB, other universities in the state, and even throughout the Southeast. In addition, non-university research scientists will be afforded access to the simulator and its associated support services.

    “UAB really thrives on investing in resources that are going to allow multidisciplinary research to take place,” said Richard Marchase, Ph.D., vice president for research and economic development at UAB. “With this new technology, which we are very thankful to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama and ALDOT for helping us create, we will be able to do just that and make this facility a destination for collaboration and innovation for researchers across campus and beyond. It will be a resource that I’m sure will be game-changing.”

    “Honda Manufacturing of Alabama is honored to partner with UAB in this important project, with the goal of saving lives by increasing awareness of distracted driving,” said HMA Vice President Mike Oatridge. “Honda is very pleased we could donate the most advanced Honda Pilot ever built in Alabama, which has a five-star crash safety rating and features Honda's most advanced safety features, including the full range of Honda Sensing technology.”

    Individuals interested in utilizing these resources or contributing should contact Stavrinos at dstavrin@uab.edu or (205) 934-7861. 

  • UAB observational study of Zika virus infection during pregnancy begins in Brazil
    UAB professor leads study in Brazil to help further understand the effects of Zika virus during pregnancy.
    William Britt

    An observational study of pregnant women in Brazil to further understand Zika virus and its impact on reproductive health and fetus development have been launched. William Britt, M.D., professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, leads the study, which complements his current research in Brazil on cytomegalovirus infection during pregnancy. CMV infection can lead to hearing and vision impairment in babies. Suresh Boppana, M.D., and Karen Fowler, M.D., professors in the UAB Department of Pediatrics, are co-investigators on this project.

    “We are expanding the scope of our research to include studies of the outcomes of pregnancy in women with Zika virus, which in some cases parallels the outcomes of pregnancy in women with cytomegalovirus infection,” Britt said. “These studies are part of a larger effort by the NIH to more fully define the natural history of Zika virus in pregnancy, including identifying laboratory and clinical characteristics of this infection associated with damage to the developing brain. The results of these studies will establish the foundation for interventions to limit the consequences of the virus infection in pregnant women.”

    The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded study looks to increase enrollment to approximately 200 pregnant women per month in Ribeirão Preto, in the state of São Paulo. The collaboration between UAB and Marissa Mussi-Pinhata, M.D., chief of the Department of Pediatrics of Ribeirão Preto Medical School at the University of São Paulo, follows pregnant women beginning in their first trimester, regardless of their Zika virus infection status.

    Samples of blood, urine, breast milk and amniotic fluids from the mother will be collected during and after pregnancy, as well as urine, saliva and cord blood from the newborn infants. Researchers will analyze the maternal and newborn samples for evidence of Zika virus infection, following infants suspected of having Zika from birth until age 2.

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