Godfrey Earns First in AADR Hatton Competition

Godfrey Earns First in AADR Hatton Competition

Congratulations to Tanner Godfrey, a DMD/PhD student in the Biochemistry, Structural, and Stem Cell Biology theme, for earning first place in the 2018 American Association for Dental Research (AADR) Hatton Competition. The competition is for junior investigators conducting dental research, and competitors are judged based on their abstract, extended abstract, and oral presentation of their research. This achievement earned him a spot in the international competition at the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) Conference in London.
Brinkley Earns 1st Place Poster

Brinkley Earns 1st Place Poster

Congratulations to MSTP/PBMM student Garrett Brinkley for earning first place in the Cancer Poster session at the 2018 Dale J. Benos Medical Student Research Day.
Research Spotlight: Mohammad Abdelgawwad

Research Spotlight: Mohammad Abdelgawwad

PBMM student Mohammad Abdelgawwad's research was featured by UAB News in the article, "A Trojan Horse delivery of possible treatment for a rare, potentially deadly, blood-clotting disorder." See the academic article, published by the American Heart Association, here.
Thrasher Selected as a Finalist for NACFC Junior Investigators Best Abstract

Thrasher Selected as a Finalist for NACFC Junior Investigators Best Abstract

Congratulations to Kari Thrasher, a first-year student in the Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics Theme, for being selected as one of five finalists for the Junior Investigators Best Abstract in Basic Science Award at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference.
Peabody Awarded NHLBI F31 Fellowship

Peabody Awarded NHLBI F31 Fellowship

Congratulations to MSTP/PBMM student Jacelyn Peabody for receiving an F31 fellowship grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Jacelyn’s grant “Mucus Matters: Mucociliary Physiology in Pulmonary Fibrosis” received an impact score of 17, which is in the 3rd percentile. This F31 grant will support Jacelyn Peabody’s MD/ Ph.D. training and the research pertains to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF).

IPF is a chronic, progressive interstitial lung disease that results in loss of functional alveolar-capillary units leading to impaired gas exchange and respiratory failure. IPF has a worse prognosis than most cancers: the five-year mortality rate is 50-70%, and there are no curative medical therapies. The most significant risk factor for developing IPF is a common, gain-of-function MUC5B promoter variant rs35705950, accounting for at least 30% of the total risk. The MUC5B variant is also predictive of those with preclinical forms of pulmonary fibrosis (pre-PF), which suggests that IPF risk variants may be helpful in identifying subjects with higher risk of disease development. There could be a window of opportunity for targeted intervention, before significant loss of viable lung parenchyma has occurred in at-risk individuals with preclinical stages of fibrotic disease. Though MUC5B has been associated with IPF, the mechanistic role of the MUC5B mucin in IPF pathogenesis is unknown.

Our central hypothesis is that MUC5B abnormalities contribute to pathologic mucus and decreased mucociliary clearance (MCC), which may help initiate and propagate fibrosis in IPF. Our objective is to elucidate the mechanisms by which abnormal mucociliary physiology influence pulmonary fibrosis in (1) novel bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis ferret models and (2) human IPF patients stratified by rs35705950 genotype and disease severity. These aims are in line with the mission of the NHLBI because they address important basic and translational aspects for the interplay between mucociliary dysregulation and the development of pulmonary fibrosis.

As a result of the proposed studies, we expect to develop novel targets within the molecular regulation of MUC5B expression or therapies to improve MCC such as mucolytics for intervention in the pre-PF to IPF transition and in IPF patients, which could alter the disease course and improve both quality and duration of life. This proposal will provide a solid training period for Jacelyn Peabody (Principal Investigator) under the mentorship of Drs. Steven Rowe MD (Sponsor and renowned mucociliary physiology expert) and Victor Thannickal MD (Co-sponsor and renowned pulmonary fibrosis expert) which will foster her career development as an astute and creative physician-scientist. Successful completion will position her for an independent career investigating disorders of mucociliary clearance and mechanisms of fibrosis using cutting-edge techniques including micro-Optical Coherence Tomography, micro-Computed Tomography, and Flexivent for respiratory mechanics.

Photo: Jacelyn Peabody and Dr. Steven Rowe conducting micro-Optical Coherence Tomography imaging on bronchi from an explanted IPF patient.
Jimenez Awarded Max D. Cooper Travel Award

Jimenez Awarded Max D. Cooper Travel Award

Congratulations to Immunology student Rachel Jimenez for being awarded the 2018 Max D. Cooper Travel Award, which provides support for UAB graduate and medical students with academic pursuits in the field of immunology. Jimenez will receive $2,000 to attend the Keystone Symposium entitled “Myeloid Cells (B7)” in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Abdelgawwad Earns THSNA Travel-To-A-Mentor Award

Abdelgawwad Earns THSNA Travel-To-A-Mentor Award

Congratulations to PBMM student Mohammad Abdelgawwad for being awarded the Thrombosis & Hemostasis Societies of North America (THSNA) Travel-To-A-Mentor Award. This award provides financial support for a mentee to train for one week with a research mentor at another institute. Mohammad is working on his thesis project in Dr. X. Long Zheng’s laboratory in the Department of Pathology at UAB. His research focuses on developing a novel therapeutic for acquired autoimmune thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a potential fatal blood disorder. Mohammad has made great progress so far in his work to use platelets as carriers for recombinant ADAMTS13 treatment of acquired TTP, and he won an achievement award at the 59th Annual Meeting of American Society of Hematology in 2017. To continue this line of work of engineering ADAMTS13-containing platelets, Mohammad will need further training and experiments skills that are only available in Dr. Sidney W. Whiteheart at the University of Kentucky. This travel grant will support Mohammad to learn necessary new techniques and experimental skills, which are important for the completion of his thesis research.
Hong Earns Outstanding Abstract & Travel Awards

Hong Earns Outstanding Abstract & Travel Awards

Congratulations to PBMM student Huixian Hong for being awarded the 2018 AFMR Henry Christian Award, which recognizes the presenter of the most outstanding abstracts submitted to each of the four AFMR Regional Meetings; the 2018 AAI Trainee Abstract Award, which provides travel support to AAI Trainee members whose first-author abstracts are selected for oral presentation at the AAI annual meeting; and the 2018 SAFMR SSCI Student Research Travel Award, which recognizes students who are accomplished in research and whose abstracts are selected for presentation at the SSCI annual meeting.
Chakraborty Earns Carmichael Scholarship

Chakraborty Earns Carmichael Scholarship

Cancer Biology student Asmi Chakraborty was chosen as the 2018-19 recipient of the Carmichael Scholarship, which provides stipend support to GBS students who have been nominated by their theme directors for scholastic and research excellence. Congratulations Asmi!
Congratulations to the 2018 Ireland Research Travel Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2018 Ireland Research Travel Award Recipients

The Caroline P. Ireland Research Travel Award provides up to $1,000 in travel support for graduate students whose research requires them to travel to locations outside of Alabama to gain access to artifacts, study sites, research technology, or instrumentation not available at UAB. Congratulations to the following GBS students who were selected as recipients:
  • Mohammad Abdelgawwad, PBMM
  • Melissa Bentley, PBMM
  • Jacelyn Peabody, MSTP/PBMM
  • Yuliya Voskobiynyk, Neuroscience
  • Morgan Zipperly, MSTP/CMDB
Peabody Wins 3MT at ATS Conference

Peabody Wins 3MT at ATS Conference

Congratulations to MSTP/PBMM student Jacelyn Peabody for winning the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition at the 2018 American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference! Her presentation was titled, “Mucus Matters for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.”
Zhang Awarded AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Zhang Awarded AHA Predoctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to PBMM student Eric Zhang for being awarded an AHA Predoctoral Fellowship starting July 1, 2018! His research focuses on stem cell trafficking in the cardiovascular system.
Hargett Named McKibbin Outstanding Young Investigator

Hargett Named McKibbin Outstanding Young Investigator

Congratulations to BSSB student Audra Ann Hargett for being named the 2018 McKibbin Outstanding Young Investigator with her research titled, "HIV-1 Envelope N-glycan Network"!
Peabody Earns Outstanding Woman UAB Graduate Student

Peabody Earns Outstanding Woman UAB Graduate Student

MSTP/PBMM student Jacelyn Peabody was selected as the 2018 Outstanding Woman UAB Graduate Student. UAB and the UAB Commission on the Status of Women presents this along with other awards during Women’s History Month to honor women in the UAB and Birmingham communities who have mentored or served other women, taken a courageous stance, or overcome adversity to achieve a goal. Peabody splits her time between her rigorous academic obligations and several voluntary leadership positions, including serving as the Events Committee Chair in the Medical Scientist Training Program.
Justice Earns Ellen Fanning Memorial Award

Justice Earns Ellen Fanning Memorial Award

Congratulations to Microbiology student Joshua Justice for earning the Ellen Fanning Memorial Award for generating discussion at the 2017 ASM meeting on Viral Manipulation of Nuclear Processes! The award recognizes the person whose research contributed the most to discussion at the conference.
Congratulations to the Microbiology Departmental Retreat Award Recipients

Congratulations to the Microbiology Departmental Retreat Award Recipients

  • Meagan Jenkins, 1st Place for Poster Presentations by New Investigators (1st – 3rd Years)
  • Erin McLaughlin, 2nd Place for Poster Presentations by New Investigators (1st – 3rd Years)
  • Jessie Barra, 1st Place for Oral Presentations by New Investigators (1st – 3rd Years)
  • Anukul Shenoy, Tie for 1st Place for Poster Presentations by Graduate Students (4th Year & Up)
  • Hui Wu, Tie for 1st Place for Poster Presentations by Graduate Students (4th Year & Up)
  • Cathy Yea Won Sung, 1st Place for Oral Presentations by Graduate Students (4th Year & Up)
  • Uday Tak, 2nd Place for Oral Presentations by Graduate Students (4th Year & Up)
The 26th Gail Cassell Research Retreat took place in November at Joe Wheeler State Park for students, postdocs, and faculty in the Microbiology Department.
Abdelgawwad Earns ASH Abstract Achievement Award

Abdelgawwad Earns ASH Abstract Achievement Award

Congratulations to PBMM student Mohammad Abdelgawwad for being selected to give an oral presentation at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting and earning the ASH Abstract Achievement Award for his abstract titled, "Platelets Loaded with Recombinant ADAMTS13 Are Efficacious in Inhibiting Arterial Thrombosis Under Flow: A Potential Novel Therapeutic for Acquired TTP." The ASH Abstract Achievement Award is a merit-based award for trainees with high-scoring annual meeting abstracts. In addition, he was awarded a travel grant from Graduate Student Government to attend the conference.
Research Spotlight: Luke Stewart

Research Spotlight: Luke Stewart

Neuroscience student Luke Stewart was featured by UAB News for his research on how a dietary supplement dampens the brain hyperexcitability seen in seizures or epilepsy.
Research Spotlight: Yabing Chen

Research Spotlight: Yabing Chen

Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine theme director Yabing Chen was featured by UAB News for her research on how dietary potassium regulates calcification of arteries.
Congratulations to the 2017-18 Civitan International Research Center Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2017-18 Civitan International Research Center Award Recipients

  • Emerging Scholar Award: Rylie Hightower, Neuroscience Theme
  • The Emerging Scholar Award recognizes outstanding research projects from budding scholars whose research focuses on developmental disabilities.
  • W. John Rynearson Award: Mary Phillips, Neuroscience Theme
  • The W. John Rynearson Award was established in 2017 in honor of John Rynearson’s leadership of Civitan International.
  • Whit Mallory Award: Nancy Gallus, Neuroscience Theme
  • The Whit Mallory Award was established in 2013 in memory of Whit Mallory and his dedication to research and clinical activities in the field of developmental disabilities.
Congratulations to the 2017-18 AMC21 Recipients

Congratulations to the 2017-18 AMC21 Recipients

  • Rachel Andrews, Microbiology Theme
  • Sam Mabry, Neuroscience Theme
  • Gunars Osis, Biochemistry Theme
The AMC21 Scholar program was started in the Fall of 2017 and the first class of Scholars have just started their graduate training in the Graduate Biomedical Sciences (GBS) Program. The scholarships are sponsored by the UAB School of Medicine through the Academic Enrichment Fund, which receives support from the School of Medicine, the clinical departments, the UAB Hospital, the UAB Health System and Viva Health. The goal of the scholarship program is to attract the top candidates to our graduate programs in biomedical science disciplines. The scholars were selected from the large pool of GBS applicants for their academic excellence and their prior research accomplishments. The scholarships provide stipend support and discretionary funds for attending national or international scientific meetings. The scholars will also participate in an annual research symposium and a mentoring program that are designed to help them compete for extramurally funded research fellowships and post-doctoral fellowships with top labs.
Research Spotlight: Danielle Chisolm

Research Spotlight: Danielle Chisolm

Microbiology student Danielle Chisolm was featured by UAB News for her research on how a nutrient, glutamine, can control gene programs in cells.
Justement Elected VP for Science Policy at FASEB

Justement Elected VP for Science Policy at FASEB

Immunology theme director Lou Justement, Ph.D., was elected as the vice president for science policy at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
Research Spotlight: Megan Rich

Research Spotlight: Megan Rich

Neurobiology student Megan Rich was featured as an Alabama Bright Light for her research on how to penetrate the blood-brain barrier in a noninvasive way.
Research Spotlight: Moon Nahm

Research Spotlight: Moon Nahm

GBS faculty member Moon Nahm, M.D., was featured in the UAB Magazine for the global impact of his research on S. pneumoniae.