Clinical Op WebPictured above: Center Associate Director Steven Austad, PhD; Center Director Cynthia J. Brown, MD, MSPH; Center Associate Director Erik Roberson, MD, PhD

The Integrative Center for Aging Research (ICAR) has made four $25,000 awards to advance aging research at UAB. These pilot funds will enable investigators to explore stem cell resilience, post-surgery delirium, the effects of androgen therapy on cognition and a new form of cognitive rehab after COVID critical care. Three awardees are from the School of Medicine, and one from the UAB College of Arts and Sciences: Constanza Cortes, PhD (CDIB); Roy Martin, PhD (Neurology); Noha Sharafeldin, MBBCh, PhD (Medicine); and Edward Taub, PhD (CAS, Psychology). Since ICAR's inception, it has invested $350,000 in pilot funding, which has returned more than $19 million in extramural grants and awards.

Clinical Op Web *Photo of CFAR Investigators, November 2019. Donna Porter, Aadia Rana, Mike Mugavero, Jeanne Marrazzo, Paul Goepfert, Mary Bergeron, Mike Saag, Shirley Selvage, Nathan Erdmann, Edward Jackson. Lynn Matthews not pictured.

UAB CFAR Investigators have received a $5 million supplement as part of the NIH Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics Underserved Populations initiative. Their project, "A Dynamic COVID-19 Community-Engaged Testing Strategy in Alabama" will transfer community-informed HIV testing knowledge to address the urgent need for rapid scale-up of SARS-CoV-2 testing among underserved rural, socio-economically disadvantaged, and Black/African American populations. Investigators will work together with interdisciplinary scientists from across UAB to conduct 36,000 SARS-CoV-2 tests statewide. Project leaders include PI Mike Saag, MD, Project PI Mike Mugavero, MD, MHSc, and Program Directors Aadia Rana, MD, and Lynn Matthews, MD, MPH.

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Tom Buford, PhD (Associate Professor, Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care) has recently earned three NIH awards for age-related research. He is an MPI with Dr. Steven Austad on the Nathan Shock Center P30 grant to explore the basic biology of aging; he will examine interconnections between physical function, cognitive function, and pain in aging with a K02 independent scientist award; and he'll evaluate the role of the gut microbiome in regulating physical resilience in aging with an R56 grant. Dr. Buford adds these new awards to two RO1s and a T32. Kudos on these exciting new investigations!

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UAB Medicine passed an impressive milestone last Friday: successful completion of 200,000 ambulatory telehealth visits since March 16, 2020. Medical Director for Telehealth Eric Wallace, MD (Associate Professor, Nephrology) reports that our speedy adoption of the UAB e-Medicine platform was vital to provide necessary healthcare for our patients during the pandemic, and it will continue to expand our access to patients for years to come. To every patient care provider from schedulers, to the MSO office, informatics, CMAs, nurses, compliance and clinicians, we salute you!

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In the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak, cardiologists began to notice a disturbing trend in their caseload: a precipitous drop in hospital admissions due to heart attack. Dr. Mustafa Ahmed (Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Disease) attributes the decline to an obvious cause. People delayed coming to the hospital because they were afraid of contracting COVID-19. However, through rapid expansion of telemedicine and safety protocols, UAB is able to deliver needed cardiovascular care without potentially dangerous delays.