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We are excited to announce the six Department of Medicine faculty who received 2020 SOM Dean's Excellence Awards! The honors were given to both junior and senior faculty who made significant contributions across five different areas: teaching, research, service, mentorship, and diversity enhancement. Well deserved, everyone!

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The Walter B. Frommeyer, Jr., Fellowship in Investigative Medicine is an annual research award that supports a two-year intensive, mentored research experience. Congratulations to our 2020 Frommeyer Fellows, Drs. Chao He and Smith Giri!

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Many residents of low-income Birmingham neighborhoods are not able to access COVID testing. To address this concern, the Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center (MHRC) has begun a unique testing outreach to address transportation and other barriers to health care.

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When a patient recovers—or convalesces—from a severe respiratory infection, the antibodies in their blood can help others who are still sick. Infectious Diseases Professor Sonya Heath, MD, MS, and Assistant Professor Todd McCarty, MD (pictured above) are spearheading a study to determine whether convalescent plasma can help patients who are ill with COVID-19. Last weekend, the physicians treated three patients as part of an expanded access clinical trial in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic.

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Winn Chatham, MD (Professor, Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology) and pediatrics colleague Dr. Randy Cron are testing a treatment to halt the potentially fatal immune over-reaction known as cytokine storm syndrome in patients with COVID-19. Their protocol is targeted to early intervention by attempting to identify the condition very early with routine labs. The study also hopes to ascertain how prevalent the syndrome is in patients with COVID-19.