• Amsler, Kempin Reuter receive mentorship award

    The UAB Graduate Dean's Excellence in Mentorship Award recognizes full-time regular UAB faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments as mentors of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Nancy Love

    On June 5, 1971, Nancy Love became the first woman to receive a master’s degree from the Department of Biology.

    First Woman to Graduate with a Master’s Degree

    Nancy Love, a Gadsden, Ala. native, arrived at UAB in spring 1968. She had completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, at Vanderbilt University and was eager to delve deeper into biology. Under Dr. Patrick Dagg’s mentorship, Nancy joined the UAB Department of Biology graduate program and began research on early developmental events of mouse embryos. The program had just been established, and she was one of only a few female students. Even so, she recalls UAB feeling like a breath of fresh air after spending four years in Vanderbilt’s high-pressure environment. She enjoyed the opportunities UAB offered, particularly the graduate classes she took in UAB’s medical school and serving as a teaching assistant for the undergraduate introductory biology course. One special opportunity was provided by Dr. Dagg who arranged for Nancy to spend the summer of 1969 doing research at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine. On June 5, 1971, Nancy became the first woman to receive a master’s degree from the Department of Biology.

    Nancy went on to obtain a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and later joined the faculty at the University of Maryland’s Zoology Department. She spent thirteen years at the University of Maryland, eventually transitioning into an administrative role where she served as the Assistant Provost of Behavioral and Social Sciences and later as the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies. After relocation to Charlottesville, Virginia, and marriage to a University of Virginia faculty member, Nancy joined the faculty of the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, where she spent 10 years in research administration before retiring in 2000. Nancy and her husband Tom currently enjoy a calm life in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. In her spare time, she works away at a fiction book she’s writing – a murder mystery at a medical school – using all her experiences during graduate school to describe faculty and graduate students and their misadventures.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Janice Roberts

    In August 1971, Janice Roberts became the second woman to graduate with a master’s degree from UAB’s Department of Biology.

    One of the First Women to Graduate with a Ph.D.

    Upon graduating from nearby Judson College, Janice Roberts took a research position at Birmingham’s Southern Research Institute. Confident in her desire to pursue a career in research, she enrolled in graduate school at the Extension Center for the University of Alabama (soon to become UAB) researching ribosomes under Dr. Donald Fattig’s mentorship. During that time, something unexpected happened: Janice developed a love of teaching. Since childhood, she declared she would never become an educator, but the teaching assistantship that helped fund her graduate studies sparked her passion for teaching and changed the trajectory of her career. In August 1971, Janice became the second woman to graduate with a master’s degree from UAB’s Department of Biology.

    Later that year, Janice accepted a position as an instructor in the Biology Department at Jefferson State Community College (known then as Jefferson State Junior College). She thrived in the classroom, teaching courses in microbiology and freshman biology, as well as the interdisciplinary honors science course. In 1980, Janice took a leave of absence from JSCC to return to UAB to pursue her Ph.D. Janice’s doctoral research, performed under Dr. Patrick Dagg’s mentorship, studied caffeine-urethane interactions in mouse embryos. She was happy to be back at UAB among the close-knit group of graduate students. In 1983, Janice received her doctorate from UAB’s Department of Biology (only the second woman to do so) and then returned to her teaching career at JSCC. During her time at JSCC, Janice received many local, regional, and national accolades, including a Fulbright Teacher Exchange Fellowship in England, as well as the state of Alabama’s first ever Outstanding Junior College Faculty Award.

    Janice retired from Jefferson State Community College in 2010 after 38 years of service. A long-time supporter of Birmingham’s arts scene, Janice is a docent for the Birmingham Museum of Art and leads tours of the museum. As a lay member of the Board of the American Pulmonology Medicine Institute, she helps promote scholarship programs for medical students. Since retirement, Janice has indulged her love of travel and has visited six of the seven continents. In her down time, she enjoys playing bridge and spending time with her family, especially her great nieces and nephews.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Dr. Vithal Ghanta

    In 1986, Dr. Vithal Ghanta joined the Department of Biology as an Associate Professor, making her the department’s first female tenured faculty member. In 1989, she was promoted to full professor. Dr. Ghanta has spent the past 33 years advancing the department’s research and teaching.

    First Female Tenured Faculty Member

    In 1986, Dr. Vithal Ghanta joined the Department of Biology as an Associate Professor, making her the department’s first female tenured faculty member. In 1989, she was promoted to full professor. Dr. Ghanta has spent the past 33 years advancing the department’s research and teaching.

    Prior to joining the Department of Biology, Dr. Ghanta worked in the Department of Microbiology for 15 years as a postdoctoral fellow and an Assistant Professor researching immunology and cancer in mouse models. Over the span of her career, Dr. Ghanta’s research has primarily focused on tumor immunology, the immunology of aging, and regulation of the immune system by the central nervous system. Several years ago, she ceased her research efforts to focus on teaching.

    Since her early days in the department, Dr. Ghanta has been a staple in our classrooms, teaching courses such as Immunology, Biology of Aging, and Evolutionary Medicine. She is known and beloved by many students, going above and beyond to help them grow—not just as students, but as people. One student says, “Dr. Ghanta is a fantastic professor. She consistently makes herself available for questions and goes out of her way to ensure students understand the material if they approach her. She has definitely become one of my favorite teachers at UAB.”

    After almost 50 years at UAB and more than 30 years in the Department of Biology, Dr. Ghanta reflects back on her career with affection. She has cherished her time at UAB and says she is appreciative to have worked in a unified department with colleagues who were always supportive, respectful, friendly, and caring. Outside of work, Dr. Ghanta can be found tending to her garden and spending time with her husband of 43 years, Dr. Subbarao Vadlamudi.

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  • Pioneering Women in UAB Biology: Mary Shepherd

    In June 1970, Mary Shepherd received her diploma from UAB, making her the first woman to ever graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Biology!

    First Woman to Graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree

    After graduating from Birmingham’s Samuel Ullman High School (known today as UAB’s Ullman-Bell Complex), Mary Shepherd packed up her belongings and headed to Tuskegee University to pursue a degree in the sciences. During her junior year of college, she found out she was eligible to attend a state-supported school due to her husband’s status as a disabled veteran. In 1969, Mary and her husband moved back to Birmingham, and Mary transferred to UAB for her senior year. Adapting to UAB’s environment and academic requirements proved challenging. Being one of only a few African-American women in the program, she felt isolated and excluded, a far cry from her experience at Tuskegee. When her professor, Dr. Charles Crispens, saw her struggling, he stepped in to offer support—something Mary says she will never forget. Dr. Crispens inspired her stay in the program and encouraged her to focus on her course work and matriculation. In June 1970, Mary received her diploma, making her the first woman to ever graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Biology!

    With her degree in hand, Mary had her heart set on teaching, so she returned to UAB to get a master’s degree in education. After receiving her certification, Mary spent 29 years teaching science in the Alabama public school system. Her longest tenure was at Hewitt-Trussville High School. In 2000, with her first grandchild on the way, Mary retired so that she could focus on her family. Nineteen years later, she and her husband are the proud grandparents of 10 grandkids. Outside of family time, Mary enjoys participating in her church, traveling, and serving her community.

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  • $37.5 million grant will address research of high-priority infections

    The Antiviral Drug Discovery and Development Center at UAB will study infectious diseases, including influenza, West Nile, Zika, chikungunya and more.

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  • U-BRITE offers new tools for team science

    Supercomputer access, massive storage, collaborative coding — UAB Biomedical Research Information Technology Enhancement (U-BRITE) is a collection of tools designed to break down the barriers between researchers and their data.

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  • Mechanism for impaired allergic inflammation in infants may explain hygiene hypothesis

    The hygiene hypothesis says increased sanitation in industrialized countries has led to increases in asthma.

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  • Kimberly named to National Academy of Inventors

    The National Academy of Inventors elects another UAB faculty member, Dr. Robert Kimberly, as a fellow.

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  • Immunologist John Kearney named AAAS fellow

    This national honor recognizes Kearney’s distinguished contributions to immunology.

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  • Welcome back: Information for our students

    Are you ready for Spring 2018? Our online newsletter is full of information for our students, from class registration information to research opportunities.

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  • New Degrees in Computer Science, Digital Forensics, Immunology and Genetics and Genomics Sciences

    The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to offer new degrees in Computer Science, Digital Forensics, Immunology, and Genetics and Genomics Sciences.

    The College of Arts and Sciences is proud to now offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Forensics. This interdisciplinary degree program, a joint offering from the Department of Criminal Justice and the Department of Computer Science, will prepare graduates for a professional career in the field of digital forensics and cybersecurity.

    “The program is a mixture of criminal justice and computer science,” said Jeffery Walker, Ph.D., chair of Department of Justice Sciences. “The goal is to provide students with the tools they need in computer programming to work effectively within a computer environment and understand the behavior of those who may be a threat to computer systems or engage in cybercrime. Students will also develop an understanding of the legal system and processes necessary to gather digital evidence and support a computer investigation in court if necessary.”

    In addition, the College also provides students with a new Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, the only B.A. in computer science in the state. Bachelor of Arts degree programs in computer science are emerging across the country in response to industry growth and demand. The Department of Computer and Information Sciences joins a short list of computer science programs in the Southeast to offer the degree.

    “One of our goals is to offer innovative interdisciplinary programs that span the traditional boundaries of science, arts and humanities,” said Dean Palazzo. “With the ever-increasing use of computers and computer software in all aspects of life, computer science is becoming an integral part of many fields of study. This new degree will give students a unique opportunity to combine their interests and maximize career prospects.”

    And two degrees offered in partnership with the School of Medicine are also available to undergraduates in fall 2017: the Bachelor of Science in Immunology, and the Bachelor of Science in Genetics and Genomics Sciences

    “The B.S. in Immunology is a cutting-edge major,” says Louis Justement, Ph.D., director of the Immunology program, and a professor in the microbiology department in the School of Medicine. “Students will get comprehensive experience in the scientific process, critical thinking, problem solving, scientific methodology and in communicating science. Our goal is to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of the future — and build up a pipeline of young immunologists to tackle the pressing problems of the 21st century.”

    Likewise, the Genetics and Genomics program is one of only of a small group of undergraduate programs available at American universities and offers a rich environment of research, training, and education. The degree is offered in partnership between the Department of Biology and the Department of Genetics in the School of Medicine. Students will receive strong educational and research experiences and will have the opportunity to develop skills in leadership, teaching, research, providing professional services, and scholarship.

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