WhitleyRichard Whitley, of the Department of Pediatrics.Pediatrics Faculty Member Endows Research Chair

Richard J. Whitley, M.D., the Loeb Eminent Scholar Chair in Pediatrics, has made a generous gift in memory of his parents to establish the Helen and Robert Whitley Endowed Chair in the Department of Pediatrics, pending approval by the Board of Trustees. The chair will help the department recruit and/or retain an expert in translational research in pediatric infectious diseases.

According to Mitchell B. Cohen, M.D., the Katharine Reynolds Ireland Chair of Pediatrics, “It is most fitting that the chair endowed by Dr. Whitley honors his parents as the cycle of discovery, innovation, and excellence radiates back from him to the previous generation and forward from him to the next generation.”

For information on supporting the Department of Pediatrics, contact Erica Hollins at 205.996.6839 or ehollins@uab.edu.


2 sickle cell foundationSickle Cell Foundation Board President Michael Bell with UAB School of Medicine Dean Selwyn Vickers, Foundation Executive Director Sharon Lewis, and Hematology/Oncology Division Director Ravi Bhatia.

Sickle Cell Foundation Completes $1 Million Pledge

In December, the UAB Department of Medicine honored the Sickle Cell Disease Association, Central Alabama Chapter, as they completed a $1 million pledge to the Adult Sickle Cell Clinic at UAB. One of the most visible results of the foundation’s generosity is the addition of a full-time social worker to the clinic staff. According to UAB Adult Sickle Cell Clinic Director Rita D. Paschal, M.D., “The addition of psychosocial services enables us to reach the whole patient. It is a key to both longevity and a better quality of life for this vulnerable population.”

For information on supporting sickle cell research and care at UAB, contact Christian N. Smith at 205-934-1974 or cnsmith@uab.edu.


3 Meador WoodruffJames Meador-Woodruff, chair of the Department of Psychiatry.

Planned Gift Accelerates Substance Abuse Research

The Department of Psychiatry received a $1.1 million gift from the estate of Decatur’s Vivian Conatser Turner to create an endowed professorship and research acceleration fund to advance the understanding and treatment of substance abuse and addiction. The department is currently recruiting a candidate for the Vivian Conatser Turner Endowed Professorship in Psychiatry.

 “Through her planned gift, Ms. Conatser Turner has left an indelible mark on the Department of Psychiatry,” says James H. Meador-Woodruff, M.D., the Heman E. Drummond Endowed Chair of Psychiatry. “Her generosity will enable us to recruit a world-class researcher in substance abuse and addiction, which in turn will impact families across the country who have been affected by these devastating illnesses.”

For information on supporting the Department of Psychiatry, contact Kate Tully at 205-934-0792 or ktully@uab.edu.


4 cancerimmunobiologyRandall Davis, professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology.

Researchers and Patients Partner to Combat Deadly Disease

“Medical research has seen significant cutbacks in government funding, which is not keeping up with inflation,” says Randall S. Davis, M.D., professor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology, whose research focuses on leukemia and lymphoma. Increasingly, the very people who may someday benefit from the work of physician-scientists like Davis are stepping forward to help advance their research.

Karen Cunningham of Birmingham says there was no doubt in her mind that she had to help. “Since I do have a rare type of leukemia, I knew that I wanted to try to help find a cure for this, even if it doesn’t help me,” Cunningham says. “It can help someone in the future.”

To support cancer research at UAB, contact Chris Thomason at 205-934-0930 or cthomason@uab.edu.