The Department of Medicine's Susan Birket, Ph.D., (Assistant Professor, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine) and Nathan Erdmann, M.D., Ph.D., (Assistant Professor, Infectious Disease) are named among the 2022 James A. Pittman Jr., M.D., Scholars. The program recognizes junior faculty and supports the recruitment and retention of highly competitive scientists and physician-scientists. Each award recipient will receive $12,500 per year for the next three years in support of continued discovery in the basic or clinical sciences. Congratulations, Drs. Birket and Erdmann on this well-deserved recognition. .

GN  Pictured Above (L to R): Brigitta Brott, M.D., (Cardiovascular Disease), Timmy Lee, M.D., (Nephrology), Joseph Garner, Ph.D., (Biotechnology Program), Patrick Hwang, Ph.D., and Ho-Wook Jun, Ph.D. (Biomedical Engineering) 

Timmy Lee, M.D., (Professor, Nephrology) and colleagues co-authored a report in the journal Biomaterials showing that an experimental nanomatrix gel improves the development of arteriovenous fistula, which provides stable vascular access for patients who require hemodialysis. Experts say this discovery holds promise for more than 600,000 patients in the U.S. with end stage kidney disease.

GN Fellow Above: Julie Kanter, M.D., Associate Professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology and Co-Director of the UAB Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center 

Julie Kanter, M.D., (Associate Professor, Hematology and Oncology; Co-director of the UAB Lifespan Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center) and colleagues have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. After six months of treatment with the new gene therapy LentiGlobin, clinical trial participants started making more normal hemoglobin than sickled hemoglobin, which has protected them from experiencing painful blockages in their small blood vessels. This treatment holds tremendous promise of an ultimate cure for patients with sickle cell disease, the most common form of inherited blood disorder. Great work, Dr. Kanter!

GN Fellow Above, a few of our residents who matched into fellowship. First row: Myles Prados (ID), Catherine Lumb (Geriatrics), Lindsey Shipley (Gastroenterology) Back row: Sal Kamal (GIM), Tylan Magnusson (Hem/Onc), Tarek Abdalla (ID), Will Morgan (Cardiology) 

The Department of Medicine is proud to announce a 100 percent match rate for internal medicine residents who applied to fellowship this year, with 13 of the 27 applicants staying right here at UAB for their specialty training. Additionally, we are delighted to report a diversity milestone in recruiting all-female fellows to join our Endocrinology and Gastroenterology fellowship programs next year. Congratulations all around!

El Rayes web Pictured Above: Bassel El-Rayes, MD, Director in the Division of Hematology and Oncology 

The Department of Medicine is delighted to announce Bassel El-Rayes, M.D., will serve as the next Director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology. Dr. El-Rayes is the John Kauffman Family Endowed Professor for Pancreatic Cancer Research at Emory University School of Medicine where he serves as Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology and Vice Chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology. He also serves as Director of Clinical and Translational Gastrointestinal Malignancies Program and Associate Cancer Center Director for Clinical Research in Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute.

He will succeed Kelly Godby, M.D., who has served as Interim Division Director since October, and Ravi Bhatia, M.D., who served as Division Director and Deputy Director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center since 2014.

Pending provost approval, Dr. El-Rayes will officially assume the role of division director in February 2022. Welcome to UAB, Dr. El-Rayes!