YoungAlumni 275x275Soon after a COVID-19 national emergency was declared in the U.S., Jim Gorrie, CEO of Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie, asked UAB President Ray Watts, M.D., to talk to a group of CEOs about COVID-19 needs and opportunities. Watts shared three pages of urgent needs at UAB for clinical research and laboratory research meant to save lives, understand the disease, and find treatments. The next day, Gorrie sent an email to the 21 business leaders who were on the call, saying Brasfield & Gorrie would contribute to the UAB effort, “and I just wanted to encourage anyone else who can help to join in.”

Mary and Bill Battle editIn 2008, Mary and Bill Battle’s youngest daughter, Kayla, had reached a crisis point. The 24-year-old was in pain and could not walk, and the family needed a diagnosis and a solution. They found both at UAB, under the care of Robert Kimberly, M.D., professor of Medicine and holder of the Howard L. Holley Research Chair in Rheumatology. Kayla learned she had rheumatoid arthritis and received a novel treatment that yielded “amazing results,” Mary Battle says. “It was her best chance to get better quickly.”

YoungAlumni 275x275This past spring, the Medical Alumni Association (MAA) made a $100,000 gift to support scholarships for qualified medical students from groups considered underrepresented in medicine (URiM). According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, these include “those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.” The MAA’s gift was matched by the School of Medicine Dean’s Office, a sign of the important role diversity plays in fulfilling the school’s missions.

YoungAlumni 275x275Marnix Heersink, M.D., and his wife, Mary, of Dothan, Alabama, are shedding light—literally and figuratively—on the evolution of medical education. The Heersink Family Foundation made a dual-purpose gift in 2020 to build a gleaming atrium at Volker Hall’s front entrance and transform part of the second floor into a bright, open center for active learning.

McLester275x275The portrait of James McLester was commissioned by the American Medical Association in the late 1940s. A portrait by artist Jay Wesley Jacobs of James Somerville McLester, M.D., LLD, was unveiled Jan. 18 in the main lobby of the UAB Community Health Services Building, the site where McLester’s primary care-focused practice formerly stood.

McLester was born in Tuscaloosa in 1877, earned his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alabama, and received his medical degree from the University of Virginia. He served as chief of Medicine at the School of Medicine when it was located in Tuscaloosa, and was named the first chair and professor of Medicine at the new Medical College of Alabama when it opened in Birmingham in 1945. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1949. He is remembered for his leadership during the School of Medicine’s transition from a two-year pre-clinical medical school to a four-year medical degree-granting institution.

Read more at the School of Medicine news site

doc handResidents from the UAB School of Medicine organized teams for the 12th annual Out of the Darkness community walk held last November. Hosted by the Alabama chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), the three-mile course was a non-competitive walk through Heardmont Park to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and suicide prevention, as well as to raise funds for further research and education.

“There were residents, faculty from both UAB and the VA, nurses, fellows, and even a few friends from outside UAB that joined our team,” says Josh Woolard, M.D., a CA-3 resident in the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine who led the department’s team of about 40 walkers.

ScholarshipDinnerJohn Ahn (MS2) and scholarship donor Jamie French at the 2017 School of Medicine Scholarship Dinner.On October 27, the UAB School of Medicine celebrated the 12th Annual Scholarship Dinner, where scholarship donors dined with and got to know the medical students who benefit from their philanthropic investments. Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president and dean for the School of Medicine, welcomed the guests and thanked them for their generous support of the School’s medical students. He shared his personal experience as a medical scholarship recipient and the indelible impression it left on him – both relieving some of the heavy education debt burden and providing a sense of confidence.

EMSAP main photoEMSAP Director Dr. Gregory Pence talks with Early Medical School Acceptance Program students.Nearly 30 years ago in 1988 UAB accepted its first student into its Early Medical Acceptance Program. That student, Edward Yeh, is now a 46-year-old physician working in emergency medicine in Columbia, South Carolina. Three decades later, about 300 high school seniors have entered what has become one of the nation’s most prestigious B.S./M.D. programs.

dimickpic 2Alan R. Dimick, M.D., was honored by the UAB Retirees Association for his pioneering work in burn care and his service to UAB. The UAB Retirees Association (UABRA) honored Alan R. Dimick, M.D., at its May 15 meeting with a $5,000 gift to the Alan R. Dimick Burn Care Fund, which supports the work of the UAB Burn Unit. The UAB Burn Unit is a nationally recognized leader in the treatment of burn-related injuries. Its expert team is committed to providing the highest-quality patient care, educating the next generation of surgeons, and conducting groundbreaking research with the goal of advancing therapies for burn care.

Neuroscience Roadmap ScholarsEach UAB Neuroscience Roadmap Scholar works closely with a research mentor. Here, scholar Lillian Brady (right) meets with neurobiology associate professor Lynn Dobrunz.Even though she possessed a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s in biotechnology, Lillian Brady felt that she didn’t fit into the booming field of neuroscience. “As an underrepresented student, it can be easy to get into the mind frame that you don’t belong,” says Brady, a graduate of Alcorn State University, a historically black university in southwest Mississippi.

But then the Jackson, Mississippi, native found a place where she fit in perfectly: UAB’s Neuroscience Roadmap Scholars program, which is designed to help engage and retain underrepresented graduate trainees—including ethnic minorities and students with disabilities—in the neuroscience workforce.

Read the full article on UAB Magazine's website.