Brad Yoder, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology (CDIB), has been appointed interim chair of the department effective January 1, 2016. Previous department chair, Dr. Tika Benveniste, joined the senior leadership team of the School of Medicine in the role of Senior Associate Dean for Research Administration and Development in September 2015, leaving the CDIB department chair position vacant.
Yoder’s research over the past 20 years has focused on the mechanisms regulating cilia formation and their sensory and signaling activities. His recent studies have uncovered that cilia in mammals play critical roles in normal development and in maintaining tissue physiology. His work demonstrated that mutations disrupting the cilium is associated with a large number of developmental abnormalities and disease pathologies now collectively called the Ciliopathies. This research is providing important insights into the causes of one the most common human genetic disorders, Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), as well as obesity, blindness, hydrocephalus, skin and hair follicle abnormalities, situs inversus and skeletal malformations.
“Brad has been a member of the of the UAB faculty for more than 19 years and is highly respected nationally and internationally as a basic scientist who has focused quite successfully on cilia biology and genetic mouse models, “ said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. “I am excited about Brad’s leadership and look forward to working with him in this new role.”
Yoder will be responsible for the strategic leadership of all aspects of the department’s research and scholarly productivity, space utilization, human resource management, teaching, and for compliance with School and UAB policies. He will work closely with the leadership of UAB and other schools and departments and serve on the SOM Executive Committee.
“I am honored and excited to be given the opportunity to work with the exceptional talented and innovative research and teaching faculty in CDIB, and I look forward to working with the leadership in the SOM to enhance our scholarly and research programs,” said Yoder. “I would also like to express, on behalf of all the CDIB faculty members, our gratitude for Tika’s outstanding leadership for over a decade. I hope to expand on what Tika has started to continue CDIB’s growth into one of the exemplary departments in the SOM and nationally.”
There will be a search for a permanent chair beginning in the fall of 2016.
Yoder came to UAB in 1997 as an assistant professor in the Department of Cell Biology as a Carl W. Gottschalk Research Scholar. He rose to the rank of full professor in 2007 and is a senior scientist in the Center for Aging, Clinical Nutrition Research Center, Diabetes Center, and Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is active in graduate education programs at UAB serving from 2009-2016 as the founding director of the Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology theme and the Director of the T32 Training Program in Cell and Molecular Biology. In 2011, he became the director of the P30 Hepatorenal Fibrocystic Disease Core Center and was recipient of the 2011 UAB Exceptional Innovation Award. He assumed the role as interim chair of CDIB January 1 2016.