RS21325 Thannickal Zmijewski 6 scr edited webJaroslaw Zmijewski, PhD and Victor J. Thannickal, MD (Division Director) have demonstrated that IPF can be reversed with the diabetes drug Metformin.A research team led by Jaroslaw Zmijewski, PhD (Associate Professor) and Victor J. Thannickal, MD (Professor and Director) in Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care, has shown for the first time that established lung fibrosis can be reversed using a diabetes drug treatment that targets cell metabolism. Experimental findings using lung tissues from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and a mouse model of lung fibroblasts have been reported in Nature Medicine in an article entitled “Metformin reverses established lung fibrosis in a bleomycin model in a bleomycin model.”

Rizk DSC 0465 webDana Rizk, MD (Associate Professor, Nephrology) led research efforts that were published in an article entitled “A Novel Method for Rapid Bedside Measurement of Glomerular Filtration Rate,” that was printed in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. The new injectable biomarker will potentially allow early detection of kidney damage and possible new therapies.

Doug Morgan, MD, MPHThe Department of Medicine is delighted to welcome Douglas R. Morgan, M.D., MPH, as our next Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, effective October 1. A global expert in the epidemiology and prevention of gastric cancer, Dr. Morgan is currently Associate Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University. He will lead the Division in expanding its clinical, educational, and research programs to meet the needs of Alabama and to advance prevention and treatment of GI diseases globally. 

heudebert endowed webL to R: Gustavo Heudebert, MD; Jason Morris, MD; GIM Division Director Carlos Estrada, MD; and DOM Chair Seth Landefeld, MDJason Morris, MD (Associate Professor, General Internal Medicine) has been named the inaugural Gustavo R. Heudebert, M.D., MACP, Endowed Faculty Scholar. He was recognized at a reception on June 14, 2018. The endowment honoring Dr. “Tavo” Heudebert’s legacy will support Dr. Morris’ goal of finding innovative teaching and learning tools to advance medical education.  Congrats, Dr. Morris!


Emphysema therapy webSurya Bhatt, MD (left) and Mark Dransfield, MD (right) maneuver valve with a bronchoscope.A new emphysema therapy has demonstrated significant positive results, according to findings from a multi-site study. Lead investigator, Mark Dransfield, MD (Professor) and Surya Bhatt, MD (Assistant Professor) in Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care are investigating the Zephyr® endobronchial valves, one-way valves inserted into the lungs of patients with emphysema to reduce the volume in a minimally invasive procedure. The study has shown that patients with this valve had a significantly lower rate of respiratory failure and reduction in COPD hospitalization.