Explore UAB

The UAB STD Research Program, directed by William M. Geisler, MD, MPH, conducts a variety of research studies at several sites in collaboration with researchers and community partners in Alabama, across the US, and in sub-Saharan Africa.  Studies include federally-funded (NIH and CDC) research projects, industry-sponsored trials of STI diagnostics and therapeutics, and local, investigator-initiated studies within the full range of STI translational research. The program has multiple faculty with diverse research interests.

  • Dr. Geisler investigates epidemiology, clinical, diagnostic, and immunogenetic aspects of chlamydia and Mycoplasma genitalum infections and is the Research Director of the UAB Diagnostic Mycoplasma Laboratory.
  • Barbara Van Der Pol, PhD, MPH, conducts research that focuses on implementation of new STI diagnostic tools to increase access to and utilization of sexual healthcare services and is the Director of the Infectious Diseases STD Laboratory and the Director of the UAB STD Clinical Research Organization.
  • Christina Muzny, MD, MPH, studies the pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnosis, management, and prevention of vaginal infections, primarily bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis.
  • Olivia Van Gerwen, MD, MPH, is conducting research on sexual health promotion and optimization of sexual healthcare service delivery for sexual and gender minorities.
  • Jodie Dionne, MD, leads clinical trials to improve the prevention and treatment of syphilis and gonorrhea in women and pregnancy and is Chief of Women’s Health at the UAB 1917 HIV Clinic.
  • Nicholas Van Wagoner, MD, PhD, performs research that focuses on sexual health and in particular on genital herpes, LGBTQ+ health, and medical education, and he is Co-Medical Director for the Southeast STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.

Major research sites include the Jefferson County Department of Health Sexual Health Clinic, the UAB Sexual Health Clinic, the UAB ID Vaginitis Clinic (in which Dr. Muzny is Medical Director and Dr. Van Gerwen is Assistant Medical Director), the 1917 HIV Clinic, the UAB Vaccine Research Clinic, and the Sexual Health Clinic at the UAB Student Health and Wellness Clinic (directed by Dr. Van Wagoner). Other research partners of the UAB STD Research Program include UAB faculty in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Adolescent Health Center, the Center for AIDS Research, the Center for Women’s Reproductive Health, and the Gender Health Clinic (co-founded by Dr. Van Gerwen).