2019 Dean's Excellence AwardeesSeven Department of Medicine faculty have been honored by the School of Medicine dean for demonstrated excellence in five mission areas: service, research, mentorship, teaching, and diversity enhancement. Three cheers for these 2019 exemplars in academic medicine!


• Mark Dransfield, MD (Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care) – Mentorship, Senior Faculty
• Jim Johnson, MD (Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care) – Teaching, Senior Faculty
• Leah Leisch, MD (General Internal Medicine) – Service, Junior Faculty
• Isabel Scarinci, PhD (Preventive Medicine) – Diversity, Senior Faculty
• Anath Shalev, MD (Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism) – Research, Senior Faculty
• Mike Wells, MD (Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care) – Research, Junior Faculty
• Win Williams, MD (General Internal Medicine) – Teaching, Junior Faculty

More Good News for May 22, 2019

Fernando Ovalle, MD, has been named director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He served as interim director of the division since 2018, and he succeeds Stuart Frank, MD, in this role to serve as nth director of the division. Since 1997, Dr. Ovalle has helped build the division’s clinical and academic programs, serving as an attending physician at both UAB and the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, directing the endocrinology fellowship, and founding our Multidisciplinary Comprehensive Diabetes Clinic. He is also co-investigator of the Verapamil trial in adults with recent onset diabetes along with Dr. Anath Shalev. The Department is delighted to welcome him to this new leadership role.

Caroline Marshall, MD (Assistant Professor, Nephrology) and colleagues found that a protein used for manipulating genes can itself introduce a pathological remodeling of the delicate blood vessels of the kidney. This finding highlights the importance of including control groups in mouse-model research for scientific rigor. Her report was published in AJP: Renal Physiology.

Our PGY2 Resident Research Scholar Nabiel Mir, MD, presented a poster on his current project, “Cancer Related Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults with GI Malignancies” at the American Geriatrics Society national meeting last month. He took first place in the competition, out of 200 posters submitted. Hats off to you, Dr. Mir!

Ella Bowman, MD (Associate Professor, Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care) will serve as our next Geriatric Medicine Fellowship Director. Dr. Bowman has been at UAB for the past four years and serves as the Chief of Geriatrics at the Birmingham VA Medical Center. We are delighted that she will invest her considerable education experience into training the next generation of geriatricians.

Maria Pisu, PhD (Associate Professor, Preventive Medicine) has published research funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that found two key themes in effective communication on costs of cancer care: reassurance that medical care would not be limited by affordability and action to link the patient to needed. The qualitative study was included in a supplement to the Annals of Internal Medicine. Congrats on the publication, Dr. Pisu!

Kelly Hyndman, PhD (Assistant Professor, Nephrology) has been invited to join the VA Merit (Joint BLR&D and CSR&D Services) Scientific Review Board, Nephrology. As a member, she will review merit and career development grants that involve Veteran-centric preclinical biomedical and behavioral research as well as clinical research. Kudos on this prestigious appointment, Dr. Hyndman!

Mark Dransfield, MD (Professor, Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care) has been named chair of a Lancet Commission to address the rising world-wide burden of COPD. Unlike most panels and guidelines that summarize and grade existing evidence, the Commission aims to develop actionable recommendations to drive transformational change. We look forward to hearing about exciting discoveries soon, Dr. Dransfield!

The Department is thrilled to report the NIH has awarded the Center for Clinical and Translational Science with three linked grants totaling nearly $50 million. DOM rheumatology faculty Drs. Robert Kennedy and Ken Saag spearhead these grants; and Dr. Mike Mugavero co-leads the CCTS Training Academy that helps prepare scientists at all levels to advance translational science. Congratulations to all the faculty, staff, and site collaborators who make this important work possible!

Coming next week to medical grand rounds: Kondal Kyanam, MD (Assistant Professor, UAB Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology) will present “Frontiers of Endoscopy” at noon on Wednesday, May 28, in Margaret Cameron Spain Auditorium.

View this week's slides