Student Spotlight

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Hala Zein-Sabatto


Undergrad: Vanderbilt University
Welcome to the Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (CMDB) PhD Theme, a part of the Graduate Biomedical Sciences program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. The CMDB theme is designed to provide maximum flexibility that results in students who are prepared to launch into a career in the emerging biomedical science field. Our graduates have exciting careers in scientific research in both academic and industrial settings; scientific-related writing, business, law, bioterrorism, forensics, administration, and education. 

About Us: CMDB is a cross-disciplinary theme at a leading research University in the sunny south, consisting of a diverse group of scientists and physicians who have a collective interest in fundamental processes in cell, molecular, and developmental biology and how alterations in these processes result inhuman diseases and birth defects.

About UAB: We are consistently one of the top 25 NIH funded research institutions in the U.S. and with faculty from over 30 departments across campus there are many opportunities for you in new and exciting areas of biomedical research. And, UAB is a leader in innovative technology such as whole genome sequencing, electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, crystallography, flow cytometry, drug discovery and others.

Contact Us: We are always searching for the brightest and most dedicated students to join our highly competitive CMDB theme and experience firsthand our cutting edge science. This is your personal invitation to explore the many possible opportunities offered by CMDB at UAB. Please explore this web site and apply today!
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  • William S. Tuten, O.D., Ph.D., will present on the use of adaptive optics ophthalmoscopes to increase understanding of photoreceptor cells.The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry will host William S. Tuten, O.D., Ph.D., clinical scientist, University of California, Berkeley Vision Science Program, as its visiting scholar. Tuten will present “Using adaptive optics to study structure and function at the cellular scale in retinal disease” at noon Monday, March 2, in the Worrell Conference Room in the Henry Peters Building, 1716 University Blvd. The seminar will discuss the use of adaptive optics ophthalmoscopes to capture images of the human retina during the past two decades. This gave scientists unprecedented access into individual photoreceptor cells and increased the understanding of their structure in normal eyes and in those with retinal disease.

  • National Institute of Nursing Research’s five-year grant is for ENABLE: CHF-PC study to determine whether palliative care is a best practice for heart-failure patients.University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing professor and Marie L. O’Koren Endowed Chair Marie Bakitas, DNSc, has received a five-year, $3.5 million R01 grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research for a study to determine whether palliative care provided when advanced heart-failure patients are still well will result in better quality of life, improved mood, and less symptom distress/burden for patients and/or caregivers, when compared to usual heart-failure care. This National Institutes of Health randomized controlled trial, “ENABLE: CHF-PC (Educate, Nurture, Advise Before Life Ends: Comprehensive Heartcare for Patients and Caregivers),” will compare the quality of life, symptom burden and mood in 380 older adults with stage III/IV heart failure and their family caregivers. Half of the patient participants will be randomized to the intervention,...

  • UAB researchers are probing the secrets of subretinal drusenoid deposits, which may be a leading factor in the onset of age-related macular degeneration.Yuhua Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been awarded a $1,837,500 grant from the National Eye Institute to characterize extracellular lesions associated with age-related macular degeneration, a common, vision-stealing disease. AMD affects more than 10 million Americans and can lead to severe vision impairment. To date, effective treatments are available for only the late stages of disease. Despite its prevalence, the factors that lead to development and progression of AMD are not completely clear. Zhang aims to expand scientific understanding of the disease by characterizing subretinal drusenoid deposits, lesions recently recognized as conferring risk for progression to advanced AMD. Zhang will use an instrument he built to study retina changes related to these lesions at an unprecedented resolution. He...

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