• Sickbay: Improving Patient Care Through Customized Data

    Melvin 1If you’re in the UAB Heersink Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, you’ve probably heard about the platform called Sickbay; a high-resolution device integration used for data capture and analysis.

    Indeed, it is unique in its ability to chart and record – in a timely, synchronized fashion – any and all physiologic variables from our operating rooms’ (OR) critical care monitors and machines at high frequency. But what can we do with it?

    “Sickbay allows us to not only capture signals that would otherwise be lost after being shown on a monitor, but also create new knowledge from those signals,” says Principal Data Scientist Ryan Melvin, Ph.D. “Our prime examples are calculating optimal blood pressure by estimating a patient’s ability to autoregulation cerebral blood flow, which we published recently, and estimating vascular stiffness via pulse arrival time, on which Ryan Godwin, Ph.D., from the Data Science team is working closely with Andre Gosling, M.D., and Dan Berkowitz, MB BCh.”

    Currently, our department uses Sickbay exclusively in the Cardiovascular Operating Room (CVOR) and Neurological Intensive Care Unit (NICU). In the CVOR, it can be used for research purposes. While in the NICU, Sickbay can be used for remote monitoring and research.

    As one example of research in the CVOR – championed by Domagoj Mladinov, M.D., Ph.D., and Berkowitz – we’re using the platform to analyze high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and arterial blood pressure (ABP) (at 120Hz) signals to estimate patients’ lower limits of cerebral autoregulation. That is, we want to identify the optimal blood pressure for each individual patient (precision medicine and goal-directed therapy) rather than targeting blood pressure based on commonly accepted population-based standards.

    Similarly, for NICU patients with intracranial pressure monitoring (ICP), we can calculate optimal blood pressure from a combination of ABP and ICP signals. Both interventions have a goal of improving brain perfusion by individualizing blood pressure and other therapies.

    In the NICU, the platform is available for remote monitoring such as gas monitoring (example: respiratory rate), ECG signals, hemodynamics (example: arterial blood pressure), temperature, and CNS monitoring (example: EEG). It can also provide continuous up-to-the-minute information trends from a patient’s entire (monitored) stay.

    Sickbay has endless capabilities and allows our physicians to use retrospective data to create risk calculators that can be viewed from anywhere you can access the internet – a highly efficient and future-thinking approach to patient care.

    Sickbay 1

    Find out more from the research behind Sickbay.

    Intraoperative utilisation of high-resolution data forcerebral autoregulation: a feasibility study.
    RL Melvin, JR Abella, R Patel, JM Hagood, DE Berkowitz, D Mladinov
    British Journal of Anesthesia
    128 (3), e217-e219

    For more information about the Data Science team and future projects, visit go.uab.edu/anesdatascience1.

  • Matalon: Leading Research, Building Community, and Shaping the Future of Anesthesia

    Matalon 1Sadis Matalon, Ph.D., Dr.Sc. (Hon.), FAPS, Distinguished Professor, Alice McNeal Chair in Anesthesiology, Director of the UAB Pulmonary Injury and Repair Center, and Vice Chair for Research, is no stranger to
    receiving recognition for his outstanding achievements. In 2021, he was elected Corresponding Member to the Academy of Athens (the National Academy of Athens) – a coveted recognition by scientists. He has also been selected for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Division of Terrorism and Inhalation Disasters for the American Thoracic Society.

    “Dr. Matalon is a world-renowned physiologist whose research has touched countless lives,” says Dan Berkowitz, MB BCh, Alfred Habeeb Professor and Chair of the UAB Heersink Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. “He continues to be a dedicated and eager leader for our department and the UAB community.”

    Advancing Research Through Collaboration

    As a founder of the UAB Pulmonary Injury and Repair Center, Matalon stresses the importance of centers for academia. Currently, the Matalon lab is focusing on identifying the mechanisms by which halogens (such as chlorine) damage the cardiorespiratory system of animals and developing countermeasures; which, when administered post exposure, decrease the onset of acute and chronic lung injury. He serves as the Principal Investigator of a R21 as well as co-investigator in various grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and a subcontract from the University of Pennsylvania funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

    His reach goes beyond just the UAB community: He currently serves as editor-in-chief for Physiological Reviews – the most cited journal in the field of physiology and among the 50 most cited peer-reviewed journals – where he helps shape the field of science and hopes to continue leading the journal down a path of excellence in physiological and biomedical sciences.

    Matalon boasts the department has three editors-in-chief (EIC). Jean-Francois Pittet, M.D., serves as EIC of Anesthesia and Analgesia, a highly prestigious clinical journal in the field of anesthesiology. Jianguo Gu, M.B., Ph.D., serves as EIC of Molecular Pain, which publishes authoritative articles on the mechanisms of pain. In 2021, the department had a total of 90 publications, and Matalon has been a leader and mentor for several of these publications.

    Recently, he has worked alongside Aftab Ahmad, Ph.D., Shama Ahmad, Ph.D., Saurabh Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., Ahmed Lazrak, Ph.D., Tamas Jilling, M.D., Dylan Addis, M.D., Ammar (Saadoon) Alishlash, M.D., Gu, James Mobley, Ph.D., and other faculty to facilitate the research mission of the department’s Division of Molecular and Translational Biomedicine, which he directs. Thanks to the hard work of the faculty of this division, the department is No. 14 among other anesthesia departments funded by the NIH, and Matalon’s goal is to break into the top 10.

    These valuable collaborations allow for the creation of strong, focused research centers giving way for teamwork, innovation, and discovery. Matalon believes that building a stronger infrastructure, encouraging teamwork, and reinforcing the robust UAB community is key to future-proofing the department. “Being vice chair has taught me to be humble, work effectively with others, learn from the knowledge base of others, and appreciate new technology,” he says.

    What's Next?

    This year has been quite monumental for Matalon, and we have to wonder what is next. For starters, he is enthusiastic about continuing to pursue his research, mentoring, and leading in the department. Currently, the competitive renewal of his R01, which has been funded for 28 years, was favorably reviewed by the NIH and will be funded for 4-5 years beginning in October 2022. He also is working with a Canadian Biodefense company to develop recombinant proteins for the treatment of chemically induced acute and chronic lung injury. In addition, he is mentoring three young faculty members.

    “What we are doing – it’s like the space program. In the process of getting to the moon, we developed technologies that could be used in a lot of other ways. The agents we developed can be used to treat a number of other diseases,” Matalon says. “Science is not a lone wolf telling people what to do; science is a group of people that work effectively together with complimentary expertise, willing to learn from each other. This is what drives me.”

  • Challenge Accepted: ACTOC Strives to Better Our Anesthesia Care Teams

    Sherrer and Thurston 1Communication is key to excellent patient care. If lines of communication break down, it takes hard work and determination to rectify the issues and mend professional relationships. Such was the case among our anesthesia care teams; and when the issues were identified, members of our department and a devoted group of CRNAs sprang into action creating the Anesthesia Care Team Optimization Committee (ACTOC) in 2019.

    “The relationship between our anesthesiologists and CRNAs was really bad. It was a really cold relationship,” says Matt Sherrer, M.D., MBA, FASA, FAACD. “But because we were honest enough to admit there was a problem, and because we cared enough to fix it, we were able to come together through ACTOC and make real improvements.”

    Under the guidance of Martha Anne Rich, Ph.D., a consulting psychologist, ACTOC set out in 2021 with the goal of creating taskforces to focus on areas to address and make changes to that were both attainable and sustainable. From this plan, the teamwork, education, clinical, and scholarship taskforces were formed.

    “ACTOC has become a space where we safely explore our anesthesia care teams in a group that has strong trust, professional respect, and friendship,” says Stacy Wade, M.D., ACTOC member. “The taskforces are built to encourage this mindset and provide fulfilling clinical engagement opportunities.”

    The teamwork taskforce – led by Sherrer and Andy Morris, BSN, MSN, CRNA – set out to create socialization opportunities between physician and CRNA colleagues. These are playing out in many scenarios, including journal clubs to discuss academic articles and simple Q&A sessions between care team members who don’t know each other. “This doesn’t have to be a tremendously complicated or academic exercise. Let’s sit and talk and get to know each other,” Sherrer says. “It doesn’t take long to find out that we work with some really amazing people.”

    Collaboration sets the tone for the education taskforce. “The ability to partner with anesthesiologists on the front end will lead to lasting changes on the back end,” says Kesha Thurston, DNP, CRNA. “It will improve processes for our patients and create a stronger anesthesia team.” This group, led by Paul Piennette, M.D., and Thurston, is looking forward to holding joint journal clubs with the teamwork taskforce and integrating CRNAs into the department’s Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) conferences. They are also working with the UAB Office of Interprofessional Simulation for Innovative Clinical Practice to begin PIV/arterial line simulation.

    Wakefield and Conway 1Perry Smith, M.D., and Gary Boutwell, DNP, CRNA, lead the clinical taskforce. Their team has begun to address communication deficits that affect an anesthesia care team’s performance in patient safety as well as job satisfaction. “We have a great opportunity to optimize how anesthesia care is delivered by UAB Medicine,” Boutwell says. “We have an even greater opportunity to be the national standard for collegiality and professionalism by sharing our work through the physicians and healthcare providers who will eventually move on to other healthcare centers and communities.” In addition, the taskforce is creating a standardized checklist for the operating room, identifying what must be discussed preoperatively, intraoperatively, and early postoperatively by members of the care team.

    The scholarship taskforce rounds out the teams and is led by Dan Berkowitz, MB BCh, and Melissa Ramsey, CRNA. Early on, this taskforce spent time researching and discussing what value it could bring to ACTOC. They determined it would be most beneficial to document the ACTOC process “in hopes of publishing the accomplishments of all of the ACTOC taskforces to improve relations amongst other anesthesia care teams throughout the country,” Ramsey says.

    In a short amount of time, ACTOC has begun positioning the department and our care teams to be among the best in the nation – setting high standards for other academic medical centers to learn from and replicate. “Realizing that we all have the same goals and motivations – a fulfilling work environment where we take great care of our patients and maximize each team member’s potential – really reframed my perspective,” Sherrer says. “I would hope that we all learn to focus far less on ‘me’ and far more on ‘we’.”

  • New Leadership in Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program

    gohar emailColleagues,

    Effective Oct. 1, 2022, Andrew Barker, M.D., associate professor in the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, is stepping down from the position of program director of the department’s Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program to focus on other aspects of academic medicine. These endeavors include his role as medical director for the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. He will assist with the transition of the program director role and act as a mentor for the new director. 

    Dr. Barker has been a valued part of this department since he started as a critical care medicine fellow in July 2013. His interest in education was quite apparent from the start of his appointment to our faculty in July 2014. He has performed all of the functions of program director for the fellowship since 2016, and he assumed the official title in 2018. Under his direction, the fellowship has seen a great number of triumphs and graduated a significant number of successful critical care physicians of whom we are very proud. 

    After the completion of an inclusive and transparent search process, it gives us great pleasure to announce that Moheb Gohar, M.D., has been selected as the new program director for the Critical Care Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Gohar was born and raised in the small city of Assuit, Egypt, where he completed and earned his medical degree from Assuit University. Upon relocating to the United States, he completed an anesthesiology residency at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. He also completed a dual fellowship in both adult cardiothoracic anesthesia and critical care medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. He joined the UAB faculty in 2021, following the completion of his training. His academic interests include transesophageal echocardiography, mechanical circulatory support, and medical education and mentorship.

    Since joining the UAB faculty, Dr. Gohar has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the tripartite mission of the Heersink School of Medicine, excelling in teaching and service. He has also expressed a compelling vision for the future of the fellowship program. Additionally, in a short period of time, he has earned the respect of residents, fellows, nursing staff, peers, and the leadership of our department. 

    Please join us in welcoming Dr. Gohar to this important educational leadership position as we seek to continue excellence in our training programs, producing the finest graduates possible in critical care medicine. 

    Dan E. Berkowitz, M.D.
    Alfred Habeeb Professor and Chair

    David Miller, M.D.
    Vice Chair and Director, Division of Critical Care Medicine

  • Farewell To Our 2022 Graduates

    Grad photoCongratulations to our CA-3’s that graduated in June. The department gathered on June 10th to celebrate at B & A Warehouse. On June 30th, the class of 2022 completed their last day. We appreciate all of your hard work and dedication over the past several years and we cannot wait to see what all you accomplish!


  • Wagener Appointed to Lead Resident Research Track

    Wagener 2015 sm crThe following is a message from Susan Black, M.D.

    Effective July 1, 2022, Brant Wagener, M.D., Ph.D., assumed the responsibility of leading the Resident Mentored Research Experience Track (RMRET) in the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.

    Dr. Wagener is well-suited for this role. He has been heavily invested in research at UAB since he joined the department as a resident in 2009. Following his residency, he completed fellowships in Critical Care and Research (both at UAB) before joining our faculty. Currently, Dr. Wagener also serves as director of Clinical Research and director for the Systematic Training in Anesthesia Research (STAR) Program. He is actively involved in numerous research projects supported by multiple external grants and has served as a mentor for many trainees in research activities.

    Dr. Wagener is taking over for Mark Powell, M.D., who served very effectively in this role prior to leaving UAB to pursue a Pediatric Anesthesiology Fellowship.

    Please join me in congratulating Dr. Wagener in this new role and for his continued dedication to anesthesia research.

  • Research Day 2022

    Research Day 2022


    Thank you to everyone who attended the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine’s second annual Research Day on Monday, May 9, 2022. Congratulations to the following abstract award winners:

    • Best Resident Abstract: Andrew Moss, M.D., for “Sugammadex versus neostigmine for routine reversal of neuromuscular blockade: a retrospective analysis of the effect on perioperative efficiency"
    • Best Non-Resident Abstract: Erin Yepsen for “Influenza A virus increases susceptibility to Streptococcus pneumoniae by acidifying the airway surface liquid" 

    Congratulations are also in order for the following winners, based on outstanding poster presentations:

    • Resident 1st Runner Up: Damien Knudson, M.D., for “UAB code blue data and reliability of emergency suction equipment"
    • Resident 2nd Runner Up: Sanjin Tankovic, M.D., for “Secondary infections and clinical outcomes in patients with COVID-19 infection at UABMC"
    • Non-Resident 1st Runner Up: Salvador Lopez for “Optogenetic stimulation produces afferent-driven urinary bladder detrusor contractions and voiding in a murine model of spinal cord injury”
    • Non-resident 2nd Runner Up: Spring Li for “Regulation of matrix protein expression in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis”
  • Nagi Appointed Interim Vice Chair for the Division of Pain Medicine

    nagiThe following is an announcement from Alfred Habeeb Professor and Chair Dan E. Berkowitz, M.D.

    After a rigorous search committee process, it is with great pleasure that the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine announces the appointment of Peter Nagi, M.D., Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, as the Interim Vice Chair for the Division of Pain Medicine. 

    As many of you know, Dr. Nagi is not new to this role – as he led the division with much vigor and enthusiasm from 2016 until 2020. 

    Dr. Nagi is extraordinarily qualified and positioned to lead the division in times that are not only challenging, but also filled with tremendous opportunity for expansion and growth. He completed his Pain Medicine Fellowship at Duke University in 2006, and then joined our department’s faculty. Dr. Nagi led our Pain Medicine Fellowship until 2013 and became the Director of the UAB Pain Treatment Clinic at UAB Hospital-Highlands until 2016. He then took on the leadership role of Director of the division, and now Interim Vice Chair.

    Dr. Nagi’s calm and engaging demeanor, consensus-building leadership style, and deep experience and institutional knowledge will serve our department well in this critical time for the division. Additionally, his experience in education, quality, and clinical research will enable him to guide the division’s path moving forward. 

    I am optimistic that with the shared engagement and vision of the faculty, Dr. Nagi will be able to help the division negotiate an even brighter future.  

    I am also tremendously grateful to the search committee, under the chairmanship of Ben Tuck, M.D., for their hard work and engagement in a fair, in-depth, and procedurally just process under the guidance of Beth Duggan, M.D.

  • Sherrer Appointed Inaugural Director of Faculty Recruitment

    The following is an announcement from Alfred Habeeb Professor and Chair Dan E. Berkowitz, M.D.

    As we are all aware, the manpower landscape has changed, making recruitment significantly more challenging. As such, we are obliged to “up our game” when it comes to the entire process of recruitment, from our marketing plan to the ultimate onboarding of our newly recruited faculty and beyond. 

    Sherrer MattThis strategy requires a dedicated team, with strategic resources and a commitment to the process and its iterative improvement. Given the importance and urgency of the process, I have asked Matt Sherrer, M.D., M.B.A., FASA, to lead the launch and initiation of this critically important initiative, and be our inaugural Director of Faculty Recruitment. Once the process and program are up and running and on solid ground, we will look to proceed with a search for a permanent leader.  

    Dr. Sherrer joined our department three years ago after leading a private practice group in the Birmingham area for a number of years. His investment in leadership led him to recently complete his executive M.B.A. at Samford University. Since he joined the department, Dr. Sherrer has taken on and embraced the role as an informal department ambassador. He has been an active member of our ACTOC Committee, demonstrating extraordinary leadership and courage in the process. He has also led our Wellness Committee and spearheaded the “Transition to Practice” curriculum, engaging our residents in teaching about teaming, leadership, and emotional intelligence. He has lectured nationally on “Collectively Intelligent Teams” and is emerging as a thought leader in this area. 

    Dr. Sherrer’s highly innovative ideas and approach to enhancing recruitment caught my attention and the attention of other departmental leadership. Some of his ideas are already being implemented with great success.

    We welcome Dr. Sherrer to this role, and encourage everyone to engage and help in this most important activity: building our department with the most outstanding people we can to provide the best care possible.

  • Hussey Appointed Associate Fellowship Director, Obstetrics

    Hanna Hussey, MDThe UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine is pleased to announce that Assistant Professor Hanna Hussey, M.D., has assumed the role of Associate Fellowship Director for the department’s Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship. In this role, she will be working with Mark Powell, M.D., Director of the Obstetric Anesthesiology Fellowship.

    Dr. Hussey graduated from Florida State University. She completed her Anesthesia residency at Columbia University and Obstetric Anesthesia fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. We were extremely fortunate to retain Dr. Hussey as a faculty member in our department.

    She is a member of multiple professional societies, including the American Society of Anesthesiologists, International Anesthesia Research Society, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, and Society of Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology.

    Dr. Hussey is an outstanding clinician and dedicated educator. In her short time with us, she has enthusiastically and deeply embedded herself in the Obstetric Anesthesia section. Her research interests include management of high-risk obstetric cardiac anesthesia, health care disparities in the obstetric population, and educational programs for trainees involving neuraxial anesthesiology.

    Dr. Hussey has already been highly involved in committees to better our department, and we look forward to seeing the transformative advancements she will bring as a result of her new role.

  • Women of Anesthesiology: Leading the Residency Program and Its Success

    Carter and Black 1Each fall, hundreds of applicants from across the country go through the rigorous interview process to become a resident in the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine Residency Program. The competition is fierce, and for good reason. Our anesthesiology residency program is ranked among the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and it boasts 21 residents each year who are given the opportunity to advance in their endeavors through research, education, and clinical practice.

    To see why this program is so successful and continues to grow and flourish, it’s important to recognize the leaders responsible for the intricate details of the program and the changes they have implemented to make the program stand out among its competitors.

    Igniting the Flame

    Vice Chair for Education Susan Black, M.D., is a professor and served as program director for the anesthesiology residency program for 15 years. After completing an extensive educational background – attending the Heersink School of Medicine, serving her residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, and holding faculty roles at the Mayo Clinic, Loyola University, and the University of Florida – she returned to her alma mater to lead the next generation of anesthesiologists.

    During her time at UAB and as residency program director, Black has worked tirelessly to create an educational environment that is well-rounded and seeks to develop all aspects of the residents’ career goals. Success cannot happen without change, and it’s under her leadership that many adjustments have been made to mold the program into what it is today. Some areas to credit to her leadership include:

    National Recognition: Under Black’s leadership, the program has gained national attention, with residents matching from across the United States and residents finding fellowships and practice opportunities nationwide.

    Program Expansion: Not only has the residency program grown to an impressive 21 residents per class, but the fellowship programs have expanded to five accredited fellowships (18 positions per year) and two unaccredited fellowships. The new clinical base year (PGY-1) has also been created, and the education leadership has expanded to include a full-time Ph.D. medical educator.

    Research and Education Growth: As program director, Black developed two research tracks: Resident Mentored Research Experience Track (RMRET) and the Systematic Training in Anesthesia Research (STAR) Program. In terms of education, all trainees focus on
    quality improvement and patient safety, with the option to participate in a certification program leading to Certification in Medical Quality (CMQ).

    Leadership Development: Black implemented the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program, a unique opportunity for residents to pursue master’s degrees in Health Administration, Healthcare Quality and Safety, Public Health, and/or obtain certification in Medical Quality and Transesophageal Echocardiography during their residency. (Since its inception, 50 residents have successfully completed the LEAD Program.) She has also mentored junior faculty in leadership roles specific to education and advocated to increase recruitment for URiM (Underrepresented in Medicine) and female candidates.

    Carter and Black 3Passing the Torch

    As Black recently stepped down from her role as residency program director, she passed the torch to more-than-capable hands. Tekuila Carter, M.D., assumed the role on Sept. 1, 2021, and is looking forward to mentoring and training the next generation of anesthesiologists.

    “The success of our anesthesiology residency belongs to our people,” Carter says. “Our residents and fellows are an enthusiastic, dedicated, and exceptional group.”

    Carter began her career path in medical school at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, followed by her residency at the University of Virginia and Vanderbilt University, and obstetric anesthesia fellowship at Vanderbilt – where she was also a faculty member before coming to UAB in 2015. She has truly led by example during her time at UAB in many capacities including, but not limited to:

    Medical Education: Carter has served the department in many leadership capacities; most recently as the associate residency program director and simulation director for anesthesiology simulation.

    Mentorship: Since coming to UAB, Carter has served others within the program – 29 medical students, 10 residents, 3 fellows, and 5 junior faculty – as a mentor. She also impacted other medical students as a lead mentor as part of the Heersink School of Medicine’s formalized Learning Community.

    Community Involvement: Carter has carried her leadership expertise into the community as well. She served on the Young Professional Board for the UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center, where she helped to raise funds for the Healthy Happy
    Kids Childhood Obesity Project. She also served as a member of the Mineral District Medical Society, an affiliate of the National Medical Association.

    Lighting the Future of Anesthesiology

    Both Black and Carter have shown, through their actions, leadership, and direct involvement with the department as well as the community, how vital collaboration and camaraderie with others are to creating a well-rounded, impactful education experience with the department.

    For all anesthesiologists, Carter emphasizes the importance of growth and perseverance. “You never know if you can do it unless you try, and everyone needs help to be successful,” she says. “None of us are perfect, and making mistakes is part of the learning process. However, you must learn from them so that they are not repeated.”

    “Learn from the anesthesiologists around you – identify aspects of their clinical practice, communication, and leadership that work well and incorporate them into your practice,” says Black when offering words of wisdom for other anesthesiologists. “Find your niche, that aspect of your profession that you enjoy, and excel at it.”

  • Lawson Named Director of Pain Medicine Fellowship

    News & EventsNews & Events

    Prentiss Lawson Jr., M.D., Program DirectorPrentiss Lawson, Jr., M.D., has been named the new director of the Pain Medicine Fellowship Program for the UAB Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.

    Lawson is currently an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine. He graduated from the Heersink School of Medicine, and then completed his residency in anesthesia at UAB. After completing a pain medicine fellowship at the University of Virginia, he returned to join the UAB faculty.

    His clinical practice and research interests include regional anesthesia for perioperative and other acute pain management and the interventional and integrative treatment of chronic spinal pain, peripheral joint pain, and other chronic pain syndromes. Lawson believes in a patient-centered, holistic approach to helping patients cope with chronic pain and that general health and wellness are fundamental to building resiliency. In addition to patient care at UAB Medicine, he has served as a faculty mentor for numerous residents and fellows and aided in recruitment as well as clinical competence review.

    Lawson has been invited as a guest lecturer on various pain medicine topics at several national meetings. He also participates in regular lectures for other programs within the UAB School of Health Professions. His involvement on teams that have developed early recovery protocols has led to the improved perioperative care and pain management of surgical patients. He was recently certified in medical acupuncture and hopes to bring this to his clinical practice soon.

    The department looks forward to seeing the growth and development of the fellowship under Lawson’s thoughtful and innovative guidance.

    Note: The department would also like to thank Alethia Sellers, M.D., for her outstanding stewardship of the fellowship during the last eight years. She led the successful recruitment and training of dozens of pain medicine fellows, and her wise council and help during this important transition has been greatly appreciated.

  • Birmingham recommendations from our 2020 resident recruitment directors

    Recruitment Directors 2020

    We asked our resident recruitment directors to share some of their favorite places to visit. Read below to find out how they enjoy spending their time outside the hospital. 

  • Theresa Northern, DO, MPH, featured on UAB MedCast

    Northern MedCast
    In a recent episode of UAB MedCast, Theresa Northern, DO, MPH, sat down to discuss best practices relating to anesthesia, intubation, and airway management during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Listen to Dr. Northern's episode here. All podcasts are eligible for CME credit

  • Rapid REINVENT

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our regular Spring REINVENT cycle was deferred and the Rapid REINVENT program was implemented in April. The purpose of the program was to promote and encourage innovation in COVID-19 research. Seven projects received funding in the first cycle in April and five projects received funding in May. Congratulations to those awarded!

  • Meet the Chiefs: Charles Warren, M.D.

    Warren Chaz


    Our days typically start early but I try to check emails and get started with some coffee before heading into work. Ideally, I have reviewed my cases for the next day and arrive to prepare my OR and to converse with my patients, as well as the surgery team, if needed. The number and types of cases we do as residents varies tremendously from day-to-day, which is great for training. After I am relieved from the OR, I typically prepare for the next day’s cases and read/study before dinner plans. (I probably eat out too much, but I still enjoy cooking with my wife a couple times per week). 

  • Meet the Chiefs: Michael Osunsanmi, M.D.



    A typical day usually begins with some form of preparation to care for a patient, whether it be setting up your OR, setting up for a regional anesthetic, or rounding on patients in the unit. It usually ends just before you've exhausted your mental capacity for the day in an attempt to take the best care of patients that you can. 

  • Meet the Chiefs: Blake Norman, M.D.



    For most OR rotations, we arrive to the OR by 5:30 a.m. to set up then attend morning lecture before heading to holding to meet our first patient of the morning. Cases generally start at 7:00 a.m. and residents are relieved at 3:00 p.m. to do their call duties, moonlighting, studies, or extracurricular activities. We generally spend some of this time reviewing our cases for the next day and discussing the anesthetic plan with our attending.

  • Meet the Chiefs: Ryne Schlitz, M.D.



    The typical day depends on the rotation, but we usually arrive around 5:30 to set up our OR prior to morning conference. Cases start at 7:00 (or 8:00 on Tuesday), and residents are relived at 3:00 unless on-call or participating in internal moonlighting.

  • Congratulations to Our Graduates!

    2017 graduation

    The department held its 2017 resident and fellow graduation on Friday, June 2, at B&A Warehouse. We had a record turnout (nearly 200 guests) and a terrific time!