TRS WinnersCongratulations to the Department of Medicine 35th Annual Trainee Research Symposium Winners! TRS highlights the hard work and talent among our extraordinary trainees in both basic science and clinical research. More than 125 Fellows, Graduate Students, Post-Doctoral Scholars, and Residents submitted abstracts to the poster competition. Congratulations to all who participated in the symposium, and thanks to all the faculty who judged their fine work.

This year’s poster winners are: Graduate Student Crystal Taylor; Fellow Sudeep Aryal, MD; Resident Laura Stanko, MD; Post-Doctoral Scholar Bryan K. Becker, PhD

More Good News for March 13, 2019

Michael Mugavero, MD, MHSc (Professor, Infectious Diseases) was the principle investigator and led the iENGAGE trial that studied improvements in care for HIV patients. They found that because of recent improvements, there was a high rate of viral suppression among those who enter care soon after HIV diagnosis, which benefits patients’ health and prevents transmission of the virus to others.

Jeanne Marrazzo, MD (Professor and Director, Infectious Diseases) and colleagues authored a paper that was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases on an antiviral gel that could prevent genital herpes in women. They found an overall use of vaginal tenofovir 1 percent gel was associated with a 40 percent reduction of HSV-2 acquirement.

Ganesh Halade, PhD (Associate Professor, Cardiovascular Disease) and colleagues investigated how aging and an obesity-generating diet impact microflora in the gut, the structure and function of the spleen, and a subsequent immune response to heart attack. Using a mouse model, they discovered that the high-fat diet develops an inflammatory microenvironment, and that it amplifies with aging.

Sejong Bae, PhD (Professor, Preventive Medicine) has been appointed Director of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center. In this role, he will lead efforts to provide biostatistics and bioinformatics support to cancer center members and work with program leaders to coordinate research activities.

Marie Bakitas, DNSc, CRNP (Professor, Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care) has received two R01 awards to advance palliative research. The projects both explore innovative palliative care approaches to enhance quality of life among cancer survivors. Keep up the good work, Dr. Bakitas!

Brenda McKenzie has been selected as the Department of Medicine Employee of the Month for March 2019! Brenda is a Clinical Office Associate II in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Brenda has been with the division for many years and is a valued member of the team. She is always smiling, reliable, efficient and kind. She has been a huge help in meeting the urgent needs of our liver transplant patient population and goes the extra mile to help transplant coordinators deliver outstanding care. Cheers to you, Brenda!

Mark Ticola, MD (Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine) completed his residency in Medicine and Pediatrics at UAB in 2007. After working for over 10 years at St Vincent’s Primary Care in Hoover, he returns to join the GIM@UAB family. He is a clinician-educator and is accepting new patients at Whitaker. Dr. Ticola will also precept internal medicine residents at the Birmingham VAMC. Welcome back, Dr. Ticola!

Coming next week to Medical Grand Rounds
Julie Kanter, MD (Associate Professor, Division of Hematology and Oncology) will present “New Therapies in Sickle Cell Disease: What Does That Mean for Us?” at noon on Wednesday, March 20, in Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium.


  • Stefan Kertesz, MD (Professor, Preventive Medicine) and colleagues released a public letter requesting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally address misapplication of its 2019 Guideline on Prescribing opioids for chronic pain. The letter was featured in the New York Times and the Washington Post.
  • The Division of Hematology and Oncology is now accepting applications for a NCI Research Training position in Basic and Translational Oncology. The training program prepares independent investigators to pursue careers in basic and translational oncology research. The application deadline is March 18, 2019. Email Ryan Outman to apply. 
  • The Department of Medicine is excited to announce that applications for several awards are now open! Know someone who should be considered for one of these awards? Nominate them!

View this week's slides