Selwyn Vickers 4 LRMany of us still remember the teachers and mentors who made a significant impact on us as medical students. Each year, our medical students honor their outstanding mentors, professors, courses, and course directors at the Argus Awards Ceremony. This year’s ceremony took place Friday, November 5, at Volker Hall Plaza. The Argus Awards were created in 1996 to enable medical students to nominate faculty members by course evaluations and vote to select award winners for each category. Awards are grouped by preclinical and clinical years, and include awards for Best Organ Module, Best Educator in each of the organ modules, Best Resident Educator, Best Community-Based Educator for each of the school’s four campuses (Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery), and more. Click the link above to see the full list of this year’s winners.

I’d also like to share news of a project that is very close to my heart. UAB and Tuskegee University recently received a $13.7 million grant to recruit and train 12 new research faculty members across both institutions to support underrepresented communities in health disparities research. The Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation, or FIRST, partnership will support inclusive excellence in health disparities research at both institutions by enabling the hiring of faculty as clusters representing areas of research strength across both institutions, including cancer, obesity and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neuroscience. These faculty members will be designated as Benjamin-Carver Scientists in honor of two barrier-breaking investigator leaders — 18th U.S. Surgeon General and Heersink School of Medicine alumna Regina Benjamin, M.D., and research scientist, Tuskegee faculty member and humanitarian George Washington Carver. Learn more about this important initiative here.

Faculty excellence was on display with the recent appointment of three faculty members to an endowed chair or professorship. Marie-Carmelle Elie, M.D., chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, was appointed to the Endowed Professorship in Emergency Medicine; Moon Nahm, M.D., professor in the Department of Medicine with a secondary appointment in the Department of Microbiology, was appointed to the SK Bioscience Endowed Chair in Pneumonia Research; and Kenneth Saag, M.D., M.Sc., a professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, was appointed to the Anna Lois Waters Endowed Chair. Learn more about these outstanding faculty here.

Lastly, you may already be aware of the serious blood shortage at hospitals across the country, including UAB Hospital. Please consider donating blood yourself, and encourage your loved ones, friends, and neighbors to do so as well. You can donate inside UAB Hospital at the UAB Donor Room from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays, and Friday. You can also find additional donation locations at and