UCEM Predoctoral Training Program

 UCEM Postdoctoral Training Program

T32 Program Faculty Profiles

201312912650 AAmaraAmy Amara, MD, PhD. Dr. Amara is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, School of Medicine. She has fellowship training in Movement Disorders and Sleep Medicine, with a particular interest in sleep dysfunction and other non-motor symptoms in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). She is an Associate Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. Research Program: Dr. Amara investigates interventions to improve sleep, vigilance, and safety in PD patients. These interventions include deep brain stimulation and computer based training programs. She is currently launching a study evaluating the impact of exercise on sleep, vigilance, and cognitive outcomes in PD. This study will also explore neuroimaging correlates of these outcomes using resting state functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Bamman, Ball, Standaert. amyamara@uab.edu
BAMMANMarcas Bamman, PhD, Program Director. Dr. Bamman joined the UAB faculty in 1996 and is currently a Professor of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, and Director of the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Dr. Bamman is nationally recognized for his work in resistance training-mediated rehabilitation and muscle adaptation, and the biology of muscle atrophy. He has been devoted to clinical and translational research and training throughout his career, having mentored numerous medical students, undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. He is Director of the NIH National Rehabilitation Research Resource to Enhance Clinical Trials (P2CHD086851, REACT Center), which also serves as the Coordinating Center for the Medical Rehabilitation Research Resource (MR3) Network, a network of six centers funded by P2C grants awarded by NCMRR and its partners NINDS and NIBIB. Dr. Bamman also serves as founding Director of the National Exercise Clinical Trials Network (NExTNet), a 68-site network to facilitate large-scale trials to address major knowledge gaps in the field. These national resources are well suited to offer significant support and education to trainees.

I am deeply invested in the research training of pre- and postdoctoral scholars, and have been pleased to serve as PD/PI of T32HD071866 (Interdisciplinary Training in Pathobiology and Rehabilitation Medicine). The program has recruited burgeoning scientists from a strong, national pool. Our trainees have been effectively mentored by interdisciplinary teams in innovative, high-priority scientific areas in medical rehabilitation (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, total joint arthroplasty, dementia, aging/frailty, cardiovascular disease, autism, and metabolic disease). Research Program: Dr. Bamman’s primary research focuses on mechanisms of skeletal muscle atrophy and dysfunction in disease states (end-stage osteoarthritis, total joint arthroplasty, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, burns, aging), and restoration of muscle mass and mobility function using exercise as regenerative medicine. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Amara, C. Brown, D. Brown, Burgio, Dell’Italia, Floyd, Garvey, Gower, Hunter, McLain, McMahon, Nagy, Roberson, Standaert, Wende, and Young. mbamman@uab.edu

ballKarlene Ball, PhD. Dr. Ball is an established authority in cognition and mobility research in aging humans. She is a University Professor, Chair of the Department of Psychology, Director of the NIH-funded Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging and Mobility, and Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. Research Program: Dr. Ball’s current focus is on the impact of exercise rehabilitation on cognitive function and mobility in older adults. There has been substantial recent interest in studying the relationships among aging, cognition, and tasks of daily living. Her current research with Dr. Gary Hunter will determine whether an exercise intervention (aerobic and strength training) can improve cognitive and everyday functioning as well as mobility in the later years of life. Enhancement of both physical mobility and cognitive functions into older age may help individuals maintain their personal autonomy by prolonging their abilities to navigate throughout the environment and successfully perform key instrumental activities of daily living. Results of this study can be used to inform the design of clinic-based and home-based interventions for delaying or reversing the physical and cognitive declines that accompany normal aging. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Amara, Bamman, Hunter, and Mark.  kball@uab.edu

ballingerScott Ballinger, PhD. Dr. Ballinger earned a PhD in biochemistry from Emory University School of Medicine. He is a Professor of Pathology (Division of Cellular and Molecular Pathology), and Director of a well-established core facility (BioAnalytical Redox Biology Core) that has the capability for rigorous assessment of mitochondrial structure/function in a variety of tissues, including skeletal muscle and heart. Research Program: Dr. Ballinger has broad experience in the fields of cardiovascular and mitochondrial biology, especially regarding the influence of mitochondrial genetics, damage and dysfunction as it relates to disease development and susceptibility. He also has extensive experience in the fields of environmental cardiology with emphasis on mitochondrial genetics, function and damage. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Dell’Italia, Garvey, Gower, Hunter, and Nagy.  sballing@uab.edu 

cynthiabrownCynthia Brown, PT, MD, MSPH.  After working as a physical therapist, Dr. Brown earned an MD at UNC-Chapel Hill and completed a geriatric medicine fellowship at Yale University. She is Associate Professor and Director of the Geriatric Medicine Section in the Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics, and Palliative Care. Since joining UAB she also earned an MSPH. Dr. Brown is a Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. Research Program: Her research combines the issues of low mobility and falls in the hospitalized older patient. Dr. Brown’s work has focused on the impact of bed rest and low mobility during hospitalization. She was the first to demonstrate the association between low mobility and adverse outcomes among older adults, even after controlling for illness severity and co-morbidity. Via accelerometers for 24-hour mobility monitoring, she showed older adults spent an average of 83% of their hospital stay lying in bed, despite having the ability to ambulate independently. Her current research explores potential interventions to increase physical activity during hospitalization in an effort to reduce the frequently observed functional decline. This novel research is changing how physicians think about activity during hospitalization, especially for older adults. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Bamman, Bickel, Burgio, and Thalacker-Mercer.  cbrownmd@uab.edu

dbrownDavid Brown, PT, PhD, Executive Committee. Dr. Brown was recruited from Northwestern University to UAB in 2011 (since the initial T32 application) to serve as Director of the Rehabilitation Science Predoctoral Program, which is an innovative program designed to train scientists across the ICF spectrum of recovery from disease and/or health conditions that affect quality of life. He is a licensed Physical Therapist and Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. Dr. Brown has adjunct faculty appointments in the Department of Occupational Therapy, the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine, and the Neuroscience Theme of the Graduate Biomedical Sciences program. Dr. Brown has dedicated the past 10 years of his academic career to fostering the growth of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral trainees as they learn to become new investigators and contribute to the future of rehabilitation science and exercise medicine. He is particularly dedicated to training individuals from under-represented minorities and/or diverse/nontraditional backgrounds. Research Program: In addition to his program leadership, Dr. Brown will contribute his many years of experience with testing hypotheses about neuromechanical mechanisms underlying the loss of speed in the control of walking and the factors that help to restore walking speed for people post-stroke. He is also a co-inventor of the overground KineAssist Walking and Balance System and co-founder of KineaDesign, LLC (www.kineadesign.com), an engineering design firm that designs new and innovative tools to improve human-machine interaction in the rehabilitation setting. Collaborations (past or current): Dr. Brown is new to UAB but is already forging research collaborations with program mentors including Drs. Bickel, Ford, and Rimmer.  dbrownpt@uab.edu

burgioKathryn Burgio, PhD. Dr. Burgio is a behavioral psychologist and clinical investigator with 30 years of experience in gerontology and geriatric medicine. Research Program: Her research agenda in incontinence has included investigations of its prevalence and risk factors and clinical studies of the effectiveness of behavioral and exercise interventions with a variety of populations including recent work in prostate cancer victims after prostatectomy. She is an expert in the behavioral treatment of incontinence, having focused on the use of pelvic floor muscle exercise and biofeedback for teaching improved bladder control. She has completed several clinical trials investigating various interventions for incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders and published extensively in the field of incontinence. For the past 11 years, Dr. Burgio has participated as Co-PI in the 7-site NICHD Pelvic Floor Disorders Network and as a Co-Investigator in the 9-site NIDDK Urinary Incontinence Treatment Network. Beginning in 2001, her research interests have extended to palliative medicine and interventions to improve end-of life care. Collaborations (past or current):  Drs. Bamman and C. Brown.  kburgio@uab.edu

dellitaliaLouis J. Dell’Italia, MD, Executive Committee. Dr. Dell’Italia completed his MD at Georgetown University and Fellowship in Cardiology at the UT-Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. He joined the UAB faculty in 1989 where he is Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) and Director of the Center for Heart Failure Research. He serves as Associate Director of the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. Among his numerous accomplishments, Dr. Dell’Italia was awarded the largest single NIH award in UAB history—the NIH Specialized Center of Clinically Oriented Research (SCCOR) in Cardiac Dysfunction and Disease. Research Program: Dr. Dell’Italia has a long-standing history of important contributions in heart failure (HF) research. The major goal of the Dell’Italia Laboratory is to unravel mechanisms of left ventricular (LV) myocardial remodeling in three disparate forms of heart disease—volume overload of mitral regurgitation (MR), primary aldosteronism, and diabetic cardiomyopathy—that are resistant to standard medical therapy. In collaboration with Dr. Bamman he also seeks to identify common and unique mechanisms of LV remodeling in endurance-trained athletes vs. HF patients. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Ballinger, Bamman, Garvey, and Nagy.  loudell@uab.edu

wdwWendy Demark-Wahnefried, RD, PhDDr. Demark-Wahnefried joined the UAB faculty in March of 2010 as Professor and Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences and Associate Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also a Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. She held previous professorships at the University of Texas – M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Duke University Medical Center. Her work at Duke chronicling the adverse body composition changes and the rapid onset of sarcopenic obesity in breast cancer survivors is considered benchmark. She has played an active role in establishing diet and exercise guidelines for cancer survivors; serving on panels of the Institute of Medicine, American Cancer Society, World Cancer Fund, Australian Think Tank on Breast Cancer, and American College of Sports Medicine. Research Program: Dr. Demark-Wahnefried’s research program is directed toward discovering lifestyle factors, e.g., dietary patterns, physical activity and a combination of factors that impact the development of cancer and its progression. She is also developing and testing optimal rehabilitation interventions aimed at promoting healthful lifestyle change in cancer survivors – to hinder recurrence, prevent co-morbidities, or to improve physical function and quality of life. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Burgio, Gower, Hunter, and Nagy.  dmark@uab.edu

Floyd11calmsmallCandace Floyd, PhD Dr. Floyd was recruited to UAB in 2006 from the Department of Neurosurgery at UC-Davis. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Research Program: Her work focuses on traumatic brain and spinal cord injury (TBI and SCI). The current clinical repertoire for treating CNS injury is extremely limited. Most previous research in CNS injury has focused on neuroprotection, and has discounted the role of glial cells in injury pathology. The central hypothesis of Dr. Floyd’s research is that understanding of the complex interaction of glial and neuronal cells in the pathophysiology of traumatic CNS injury will lead to novel, effective therapeutic interventions. On-going projects include: a) estrogens, phytoestrogens, and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) as potential protective agents in SCI and TBI; b) evaluation of glial-neuronal interactions in the development of neuropathic pain following SCI; c) effect of TBI on brain reward circuitry and subsequent response to drugs of abuse: d) understanding the role of adult neurogenesis in the pathophysiology of mild TBI; and e) development of nanomaterial regenerative substrate to promote repair after chronic SCI. Collaborations (past or current):  Drs. Bickel, Jackson, McMahon, and Ramanadham.  clfloyd@uab.edu

garveyW Timothy Garvey, MD. Dr. Garvey is Professor of Medicine, Chair of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and Program Director of the UAB Diabetes Research and Training Center (P60 DK079626). He is a Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. He was Director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Medical Genetics at the Medical University of South Carolina before joining UAB in 2004. Research Program: Dr. Garvey has achieved international recognition for his research in the metabolic, molecular, and genetic pathogenesis of insulin resistance, type II diabetes, and obesity. His studies range from cellular and molecular biology in cell and animal models to metabolic investigations of human subjects. He has brought basic technology directly to the study of human patients, and the combined approach of human physiology, genetics, and basic cell and molecular biology has provided the laboratory with a flexible capability for hypothesis testing relevant to human disease. The focus of the laboratory has been on muscle metabolism, and insulin action. Dr. Garvey has been a principle contributor to our understanding of the role of the glucose transport system and glucose transporter proteins in human insulin resistance. Current studies examine the role of adiponectin in cardiometabolic disease; mitochondrial dysfunction in muscle, and the role of several small gene families (TRIB-genes, NR4A orphan nuclear receptors). Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Bamman, Gower, Hunter, and Nagy.  garveyt@uab.edu

gowerBarbara A. Gower, PhD. Dr. Gower is a Professor of Nutrition Sciences and Director of the Metabolism Core for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, and the Diabetes Research and Training Center. She is also a Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. Research Program: The broad aims of Dr. Gower’s research are: 1) to understand the role of the endocrine system in determining body composition and fat distribution throughout the lifespan; and 2) to probe the mechanistic basis for greater prevalence of type 2 diabetes among African Americans vs European Americans, focusing on beta-cell function and insulin action. Dr. Gower’s overall goal is to develop means of using lifestyle-based interventions, specifically nutrition and exercise, to promote metabolic health. One current project (R01DK049779) will determine if intense exercise promotes energy balance and metabolic health by increasing 24-h energy expenditure and augmenting insulin action. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Bamman, Garvey, Hunter, Nagy, and Thalacker-Mercer.  bgower@uab.edu

KHabeggerKirk M. Habegger, PhD. Dr. Habegger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Disease and an Associate Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. He has a diverse background in energy metabolism research, endocrinology, biochemistry, and integrative physiology. This background has provided him with unique training and expertise in key research areas. In his graduate work he specialized in the areas of plasma membrane dynamics and glucose transport, providing a solid foundation in key areas of cell biology. During his postdoctoral training he acquired significant expertise in neuroendocrinology, along with a broad background in obesity and diabetes research. Many of these projects included studies of novel pharmacological therapies against diabetes and obesity in mice, providing him with a rich background in the translational aspects of neuroendocrinology. Research Program: Dr. Habegger has recently reported that the novel hormone FGF21 is responsible for many of the non-canonical actions of glucagon; including its role in energy balance and body weight regulation. Future work in his group will extend from these initial findings and will focus on the non-canonical roles of glucagon biology. habegger@uab.edu

hunterGary Hunter, PhD. Dr. Hunter is an established, leading authority in exercise science, muscle metabolism, and regulation of body composition. He served as Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Wisconsin before joining the faculty at UAB in 1984, where he is currently Professor of Human Studies and Nutrition Sciences, and Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine, Center for Aging, Nutrition and Obesity Research Center, and Diabetes Research and Training Center. Research Program: Dr. Hunter’s human research portfolio includes more than 250 peer-reviewed publications, with the past 18 years focused primarily on metabolic regulation during exercise, body composition and energy expenditure, exercise and dietary weight loss interventions in premenopausal obese African-American and Caucasian women, and exercise rehabilitation strategies for sarcopenic older adults. Dr. Hunter has a long-standing history of research collaboration with several of the training program mentors. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Ball, Bamman, Bickel, Bray, Garvey, Gower, McCarthy, Nagy, and Thacker-Mercer.  ghunter@uab.edu

jacksonAmie Brown McLain, MD, Executive Committee. Dr. McLain is a board-certified physiatrist who has been conducting research and clinical care activities involving spinal cord injured individuals since 1978. She has served as Principal Investigator for an intersystem collaborative research project titled Gynecological and Obstetrical Complications in Females with Spinal Cord Injury. She is the Founder and Director of the nation's first Women's Clinic for the Disabled at the Spain Rehabilitation Center and has served on the NIH Committee for Health of Women with Disabilities. She has published several research studies in peer-reviewed journals and served as Principal Investigator on a Collaborative Respiratory Complication project. Research Program: Dr. McLain is Project Director for the Regional Model UAB Spinal Cord Injury Care System grant (2000-2016) and holds the rank of Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. She continues to pursue research in the field of women’s health for individuals with disabilities and has been funded by NIDRR to examine the postmenopausal status in Women with SCI.  Until 2009, Dr. McLain held the Directorship of the SCI/D Service at UAB’s Spain Rehabilitation Center where she was responsible for establishing all system and medical care policies governing the management of patients with SCI/D. She continues to staff the Women’s Clinic for the Disabled and received a grant from the Alabama Coalition for Developmental Disabilities to develop a transition clinic for young adults with spina bifida. Collaborations (past or current):  Drs. Bamman, Bickel, and Mark.  jacksona@uab.edu

markVictor Mark, MD. Dr. Mark graduated from Albany Medical Center and then completed a neurology residency at New York University and a behavioral neurology fellowship at the University of Florida. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has been the Medical Director for the Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy research and clinical programs at UAB for the past 13 years, as well as Principal Investigator on several NIH and National MS Society clinical trial grants for the CI Therapy laboratory. He is a Board-Certified Neurologist and a Diplomate of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation. Research Program: Dr. Mark’s principal area of research is in the evaluation and treatment of mobility deficits in adults with MS or stroke. His laboratory also conducts quantitative neuroimaging evaluation of rehabilitation therapy outcomes. Dr. Mark would accommodate a trainee who would be interested in gaining hands-on experience with improving physical function in adults with acquired neurological disabilities. Collaborations (past or current): Dr. DeLuca.  vwmark@uab.edu

mcmahonLori McMahon, PhD. Dr. McMahon is Director of the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center, Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology, Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine, Associate Director of the Center for Aging, and Director of the Neuroscience Theme in the Graduate Biomedical Sciences PhD Program. Dr. McMahon has graduated 6 PhD students and 1 co-mentored PhD student, and is currently the mentor of 3 PhD students. One graduate and one current trainee are underrepresented minority students, both of whom have excelled under Dr. McMahon’s mentorship as evidenced by their receipt of research awards and independent funding. Currently she is mentoring a minority student in the NIH funded PREP Scholars program. Research Program: Research in the McMahon laboratory focuses on the molecular physiology of synaptic function and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus in the context of aging, cognition, and memory. Via animal models, her laboratory has determined key roles of estrogen in hippocampus function, and has demonstrated the importance of estrogen replacement on cognition. Related research seeks to determine how O-linked glycosylation impacts synaptic function required for normal learning and memory in diabetes. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Floyd, Schwiebert, and Standaert.  mcmahon@uab.edu

nagyTim Nagy, PhD. Dr. Nagy is Professor and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, and Director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program. He directs the Small Animal Phenotyping Core Laboratory, a resource Core for the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, Center for Metabolic Bone Disease, Diabetes Research and Training Center, and the Alabama Neuroscience Blueprint Core Center. He also holds the rank of Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. Research Program: Dr. Nagy’s research is focused on three areas: (1) regulation of body weight, (2) development and validation of methods for phenotyping small animals, and (3) the link among body fat, caloric restriction and cancer/aging. His studies on the regulation of body weight have utilized both humans and animal models. Currently, the research is focused on animal models to better understand the mechanisms regulating energy expenditure and thus body weight. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Demark-Wahnefried, Garvey, Gower, and Hunter.  tnagy@uab.edu

ramanadhamSasanka Ramanadham, PhD. Dr. Ramanadham was recruited to UAB in 2010 after an illustrious 16-year tenure at Washington University School of Medicine. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology and Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine and Comprehensive Diabetes Center. Research Program: A major focus of his research has been on the molecular pathobiology of diabetes, and particularly on mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cell apoptosis. He revealed a novel Group VIA Ca2+-independent PLA2 or iPLA2b enzyme in the islet beta-cells and is investigating how it participates in islet secretory function and beta-cell death. In addition, he has found that bones from iPLA2b-null mice have increased fat deposition. Because osteoblasts and adipocytes share a common mesenchymal stem cell origin, the findings suggest that the absence of iPLA2b favors differentiation toward adipocytes and this is a second area of study in the lab. A third area is exploring mechanisms by which HIV-protease inhibitors cause insulin resistance. Collaborations (past or current):  Dr. Shalev.  sramvem@uab.edu 

James_RimmerJames Rimmer, PhD. Dr. Rimmer, Professor, is the UAB Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences, Director of the Lakeshore Foundation/UAB Research Collaborative, and Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine and Center for Aging. Research Program: Dr. Rimmer has achieved international recognition for his research in obesity, deconditioning, and disability. His research explores new and emergent technologies in developing biobehavioral and environmental strategies to promote beneficial physical activity and healthful weight management in people with disabilities. He has been a principle contributor to our understanding of the effects of physical inactivity on health trajectories in people with disabilities. He is the Director of two federally funded Centers; the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability, and Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Interactive Exercise Technologies and Exercise Physiology for People with Disabilities. He also directs the NIDRR Project (DRRP) on Obesity and Obesity-Related Secondary Conditions in Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities. Dr. Rimmer is on the advisory board of the NIH National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research and CDC’s Health Disparities Advisory Committee to the Director. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Bamman, Bickel, and Ford.  jrimmer@uab.edu 

Erik_Roberson_MD_PhDErik Roberson, MD, PhD. Dr. Roberson is a physician-scientist working on Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia, the leading neurodegenerative causes of cognitive impairment. He trained at Princeton University and the Baylor College of Medicine MSTP, then was chief resident at the University of California San Francisco neurology residency program. He did a combined clinical/postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF and the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease before arriving at UAB in 2008with appointments in the departments of Neurology and Neurobiology.  Research Program: Dr. Roberson’s laboratory uses mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia to study the neurobiology of these conditions with the goal of developing better treatments. The lab uses a variety of techniques including behavior, electrophysiology, EEG, and imaging techniques to probe function and a variety of molecular, biochemical and histological approaches in postmortem analyses, combined with pharmacological and other interventions.  Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Standaert, McMahon, and Floyd.

sandersonRalph Sanderson, PhD. Dr. Sanderson is Professor of Pathology, Division of Cellular and Molecular Pathology. He has a significant record of training postdoctoral fellows and graduate students and is past Director of the Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine Theme in Graduate Biomedical Sciences. His expertise in molecular pathology and cancer biology will provide outstanding training opportunities for trainees with interests in cancer rehabilitation medicine. Research Program: The Sanderson lab focuses on the molecular pathobiology of tumor growth. The long-term goal is to determine how heparan sulfate regulates the microenvironment of bone homing tumors and to use that knowledge to design new cancer therapies. Dr. Sanderson recently received a 5 year NIH award with the goal of developing novel inhibitors to heparanase for use in cancer. The work is highly significant as it addresses mechanisms fundamental to the understanding of cancer and bone disease coupled with a focused drive to engineer new inhibitors of heparanase. Collaborations (past or current): Dr. Serra.  sanderson@uab.edu 

serraRosa Serra, PhD. Dr. Serra is Professor of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology and Director of the Cancer Biology Theme in Graduate Biomedical Sciences. Training graduate students and postdoctoral fellows has always been an integral part of her research program. Research Program: The overall goal of the laboratory is to understand the mechanisms of normal mammary gland development and to apply this knowledge to the understanding and treatment of breast cancer. Understanding how specific cellular differentiation pathways occur during development will provide a basis for prevention and treatment strategies in the adult. For example, the existence of cells that meet the definition of an adult stem cell in the mammary gland, that is self-renewing and multipotent, has been known for many years. These cells are required for normal development of the mammary gland through puberty and the cycle of pregnancy. Stem cells have also been identified in breast cancers. Since stem cells may be target for carcinogens and the tumor stem cell may be derived from normal stem or progenitor populations within the mammary gland, understanding how the stem cell population is regulated will lead to rational targets for prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Collaborations (past or current): Dr. Sanderson.  rserra@uab.edu

shalevAnath Shalev, MD. Dr. Shalev completed a research fellowship in molecular biology at Harvard Medical School and endocrinology fellowship at the NIH. After eight years on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she was recruited to UAB in 2010 as Director of the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center. She is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism and Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Shalev has been integrally involved in the training and mentoring of several graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and MD/PhD candidates in medical research and molecular aspects of diabetes. Research Program: Dr. Shalev’s laboratory has pioneered the role of thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) in pancreatic beta cell biology, diabetic complications, and as a novel therapeutic target for diabetes and continues to work on the molecular biology of TXNIP signaling and beta cell apoptosis. As Center Director, Dr. Shalev leads and fosters interdisciplinary research and training related to diabetes across the entire translational spectrum. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Garvey and Ramanadham.  shalev@uab.edu

standaertDavid Standaert, MD, PhD, Executive Committee. Dr. Standaert is Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurology and Senior Scientist in the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center and UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. He is a clinician-scientist with a longstanding commitment to research in Parkinson disease and neurodegenerative disorders. Dr. Standaert has a substantial track record of mentoring neuroscientists. He has trained more than 20 postdoctoral fellows, which include both basic and clinical scientists, and has served as primary mentor for a total of 5 NIH K awards. His predoctoral training experience is more recent, but he is currently mentoring 3 graduate students, including one supported on an F30 award. Dr. Standaert has also served on NIH study sections responsible for review of T32, R25, and F30/31 applications. Research Program: Dr. Standaert is an international leader in Parkinson disease research and currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the American Parkinson Disease Association and Michael J. Fox Foundation. His laboratory is engaged in a variety of studies relevant to this program, including evaluation of novel therapeutics in animal model systems, genetic and genomic studies, and human clinical trials. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Amara, Bamman, Ford, and McMahon.  dstandaert@uab.edu

Wende webAdam Wende, PhD. Dr. Wende is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology and an Associate Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. His training and interest in molecular responses to exercise started in 2000, when he focused on the transcriptional co-activator PGC-1alpha and mitochondrial substrate utilization in heart and skeletal muscle. Following the completion of his PhD training in the Cardiology Department at Washington University in St. Louis, MO with Dr. Daniel P. Kelly, he joined the University of Utah in 2006 to pursue his postdoctoral studies with Dr. E. Dale Abel examining upstream regulation by cellular signaling and the resulting changes in mitochondrial physiology. As of August 2013, he has developed his independent laboratory by expanding upon these past experiences into the new area of epigenetic regulation of gene expression and post-translational (O-GlcNAcylation) regulation of protein function. Research Program: Dr. Wende’s research has been funded by the American Heart Association, the JDRF, and the NIH. Current research in the laboratory uses transgenic and diabetes mouse models to identify molecular and genetic mechanisms of glucose-mediated control of cardiac function. Recent funding from the NIH and UAB has allowed exploration in human cardiac tissue for similar molecular mechanisms of epigenetic regulation. Together these studies contribute to our understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying diabetic cardiomyopathy. He currently has a UCEM T32 supported graduate student and this and future work will expand the epigenetic studies to regulation via exercise interventions. Collaborations (current): Drs. Habegger, Young, and Ballinger. adamwende@uabmc.edu

Young Martin compressedMartin Young, PhD. Dr. Young is a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Disease and a Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine. Research Program: Over the past 14 years, AHA- and NIH-funded research in the Young laboratory has been focused on understanding how gene-environment interactions influence cardiometabolic health and disease. Environmental factors and behaviors currently being investigated include time-of-day, nutrition, and physical activity. Regarding time-of-day, the laboratory has identified the cardiomyocyte circadian clock as a rheostat for the heart, modulating responsiveness of the heart to various stimuli (e.g., insulin) and stresses (e.g., ischemia/reperfusion) over the course of the day. In doing so, this molecular mechanism determines whether the heart responds in a physiologic or a pathophysiologic manner to daily fluctuations in extracardiac factors (e.g., blood pressure, hormones, etc). In addition, the laboratory has extended these studies to other peripheral tissues, including investigation of the skeletal myocyte circadian clock, and its role in responsiveness of this tissue to alterations in feeding and activity status over the course of the day. meyoung@uab.edu

yuenHon Yuen, PhD. Dr. Yuen is a Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, as well as Director of Research in the department. He joined UAB in 2010 after 10 years on faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina. Research Program: His research interest in the area of exercise rehabilitation is on using exercise (aerobic and resistance) for fatigue management among people with connective tissue disorders and cancer survivors, therapeutic use of exercise (strengthening) in oral rehabilitation for people with microstomia, and strategies to improve exercise adherence which involves the use of an interactive health video game, and home exercise via live online videoconferencing. Overall, Dr. Yuen has a strong interest in the use of therapeutic exercise to improve quality of life of people with various chronic conditions and disability. Collaborations (past or current): Drs. Bickel and Schwiebert.  yuen@uab.edu 

zayzafoonMajd Zayzafoon, MD, PhD. Dr. Zayzafoon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of the UAB Center for Metabolic Bone Disease. Research Program: Dr. Zayzafoon’s studies include understanding the transcriptional regulation of osteoblast differentiation and the role of calcium signaling in this process. He particularly examines the roles of calmodulin dependent protein kinase II and the nuclear factor of activated T-cells in the regulation of osteoblast proliferation and differentiation in response to high fat diet and obesity. He also studies the mechanisms involved in the development and growth of bone tumors such as osteosarcoma or bone metastasis from other tumors such as prostate cancer. Specifically, Dr. Zayzafoon examines how progressive changes in prostate cancer bone metastasis are acquired through tumor-stroma interaction in the bone and prostate microenvironment. He is interested in the effects of stroma-secreted advanced glycation end products on prostate cancer growth and metastasis. Collaborations (past or current): Dr. Sanderson.  mzayzafoon@uab.edu