Promoting the development of a vibrant clinical and translational research workforce is one of the major goals of the CCTS mission. We support this goal with innumerable resources, from trainings and events to project panels and funding awards and a broad array of clinical supports and collaborative team science opportunities.

The CCTS is delighted to acknowledge the steady stream of news about the outstanding accomplishments of our CCTS trainees, pilot and voucher awardees, and panel alum—and the experts who support the development of our CCTS superstars. We applaud the outstanding achievements listed below, and hope the recap of their clinical and translational research successes and honors inspires you as much as they inspire us.

[Editor’s notes: This is not an exhaustive list and we regret any inadvertent omissions—please see below for how to share your accomplishment with us so we can feature it in an upcoming issue of CCTS Digest].

CCTS Alum in the News

Abou ArrajRamzi Abou-Arraj, DDS, UAB School of Dentistry (CTSTP)
Received 2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

arendRebecca Arend, MD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UAB School of Medicine (CCTS Pilot)
Received a Young Investigator Award from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network for her work on the role of TGF-b in immune suppression in suboptimally debulked ovarian cancer patients

AroraPankaj Arora, MD, Assistant Professor, UAB Dept. of Cardiovascular Disease (CCTS Panel, Voucher)
Invited by the American Heart Association to coauthor a scientific statement addressing the opportunities and challenges of new interdisciplinary models to “bring the promise of genomics to fruition” in cardiovascular research and clinical care. The statement was published in Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.

AslibekyanStella Aslibekyan, PhD, Associate Professor, Honors College (CCTS Panel)
Received 2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

SBhattSurya Bhatt, MD, Assistant Professor, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, UAB Dept. of Medicine (CCTS 2015-16 KL2 Scholar, CTSTP 2017)
Demonstrated new emphysema therapy that was found to significantly lower rate of respiratory failure and hospitalizations for COPD in this population. Bhatt served as co-lead on the 24-center international study, which was published in the American Journal of Critical Care Medicine.

BibbJames Bibb, PhD, Vice Chair of Basic Science Research, UAB Division of Gastrointestinal Surgery (CCTS Panel)
Received grant to study pheochromocytomas and paraganglioomas, two rare neuroendocrine tumors

DeshaneJessy Deshane, PhD, Associate Professor, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care (CCTS Panel)
Published two studies on chronic airway inflammation. “Exosomal transfer of mitochondria from airway myeloid-derived regulatory cells to T cells” was published in Redox Biology, and “Unique Lipid Signatures of Extracellular Vesicles from the Airways of Asthmatics” was published in Nature.com’s Scientific Reports.

huhWarner K. Huh, MD, Professor and Vice Chair, UAB Gynecology; Director, Division Gynecologic Oncology; Margaret Cameron Spain Endowed Chair in UAB Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology (CCTS Voucher)
Appointed Senior Medical Officer for the cancer service line at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center

MarklandAlayne Markland, DO,  Associate Professor, UAB Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care (CCTS Panel)
Coauthor of review finding palliative care and hospice interventions in patients with decompensated cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma can reduce the number of ER visits and hospital and critical care admissions as well as lower the cost of hospitalizations and improve symptoms. Published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine.

MehtaAmitkumar N. Mehta, MD, Assistant Professor, UAB Dept. of Hematology and Oncology (CCTS Panel)
Co-led a UAB MedCast panel discussion of the risks and benefits of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. This type of adoptive cell transfer appears to be closest to producing an FDA-ap

Namakkal SoorappanRajasekaran Namakkal-Soorappan, PhD, Assistant Professor, UAB Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology (CCTS Panel) 
Explored whether classifying heart failure patients based on the oxidant vs. antioxidant levels in the blood, known as the circulating redox status, might serve as a predictive tool and guide more personalized therapies that improve outcomes. Published in The Journal of Translational Medicine.

PetitCourtney Peterson, PhD, Assistant Professor, UAB Dept. Nutrition Sciences (CCTS KL2, Mini-Sabbatical)
Coauthor and lead investigator of "Early Time-Restricted Feeding Improves Insulin Sensitivity, Blood Pressure, and Oxidative Stress even without Weight Loss in Men with Prediabetes," published in Cell Metabolism.

PetitChad Petit, PhD, Assistant Professor, UAB Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (CCTS Pilot)
Junior recipient of the 2018 Dean’s Excellence Award in Service

PollockJennifer Pollock, MD, Professor, UAB Nephrology (CCTS Panel)
Named 2019 Ernest H. Starling Distinguished Lecturer

wendeAdam Wende, PhD, Assistant Professor, UAB Dept. of Pathology (CCTS Pilot, Panel)
Junior recipient of the 2018 Dean’s Excellence Award in Research

E YangEddy Yang, MD, PhD, ROAR Southwest Cancer Foundation Endowed Chair in Oncology, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCTS Pilot)
The expansion of Dr. Yang’s work in precision oncology through a partnership with Strata Oncology that provides tumor profiling for patients with advanced or rare cancers was highlighted in UAB News.

[Editor’s Note: Several CCTS collaborating institutions are helping Yang push to make precision oncology the new standard of care, including the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute, the UAB Informatics Institute, and the UAB HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine. All three are paving the way for significant growth and acceleration of personalized medicine in Alabama, the region and beyond.]

MartinYoungMartin Young, DPhil, Professor, UAB Dept. of Cardiovascular Disease (CCTS Panel)
Received an NHLBI R01 grant to study the concept of circadian clocks in the health of the heart

CCTS Experts in the News

CCTS Clinical Translation Team
Provided critical support to the research of Dr. Anath Shalev, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center, and her lab, which found verapamil, a common blood pressure medication, helps reduce the loss of beta cell function in patients with Type 1 diabetes. The study appeared in Nature Medicine.

mona fouad 2016 w boxMona Fouad, MD, MPH, Director, UAB Preventive Medicine (CCTS Co-Director)
Named CoChair of the Science Committee for the NIH All of Us Research Program 

Stu frankStu Frank, MD, Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology and Physiology; Director, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism; Executive Vice Chair, UAB Dept. of Medicine (CCTS Co-Director)
Received the 2018 Dean’s Excellence Award in Mentorship

GregoryPaula Gregory, PhD, Professor, LSU Dept. of Genetics and Cell Biology & Anatomy (CCTS Training Academy Steering Committee)
Named Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research at LSU

Stefan Kertesz boxStefan Kertesz, MD, MSc, Associate Professor, UAB Division of Preventive Medicine (CCTS Leader, Southeast SHRINE Network initiative to validate risks associated with opioid discontinuation)
Coauthored a critical analysis of U.S. opioid policy examining the limits of prescription control, published in Addiction. Will present invited address on “Pain and Symptom Management for People with Serious Illness in the Context of the Opioid Epidemic“ at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Roundtable in October 2018

matt mightMatt Might, PhD, Director, UAB Precision Medicine Institute (CCTS Precision Medicine Co-Director)
Profiled in 7-minute “SuperHuman” Freethink video; interviewed on WBHM; named one of Birmingham’s Top Influencers under the age of 40 by Birmingham Magazine

MugaveroMichael Mugavero, MD, MHSc, Professor, UAB Dept. of Infectious Diseases (CCTS Training Academy Co-Director)
Coauthored updated recommendations for treatment and prevention of HIV infections in adults published in JAMA

If you’ve engaged the CCTS in your research and/or training, have news to share, and don’t see your name above, we want to hear from you! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., CCTS Director of Strategic Communications and Outreach.

[Editor’s note: Sources for the above news include UAB News; SOM News; the “Good News from the UAB Department of Medicine” e-newsletter, produced by DOM CD Carolyn Walsh; and numerous emails from CCTS colleagues including Dr. Jennifer Croker, Investigator Liaison Jean Lambert, and Research Commons Program Director Angela Schmeckebier—many thanks to all who contributed.]