Microbiology News

Microbiology’s Dokland named ASM Distinguished Lecturer

DoklandTerje Dokland, Ph.D., of the University of Alabama at BirminghamDepartment of Microbiology, has been named an American Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecturer for 2017-2019. Dokland, a UAB associate professor, studies the structural biology of viral assembly and bacterial pathogenicity, using tools like cryo-electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography.

Beginning July 1, he will join a group of scientifically diverse lecturers who speak at American Society for Microbiology Branch meetings throughout the United States. Frances Lund, Ph.D., UAB chair of Microbiology, called Dokland’s appointment “a national honor.” Read more ...

Genetic clues to kidney disease uncovered

Briles.AAASUsing international genomic studies backed by proof-of-concept cell experiments, researchers have identified two genes that contribute to the chronic kidney disease glomerulonephritis.

This provides new genetic clues to understanding IgA nephropathy, an autoimmune kidney disease that commonly causes kidney failure. The findings are relevant to IgA nephropathy and other diseases with similar underlying molecular defects, such as inflammatory bowel disease, certain types of blood disease and cancer.

“Very little is known about the causes of IgA nephropathy, genetic or otherwise, so our discovery represents an important step toward developing better therapies for this disease,” said lead author Krzysztof Kiryluk, M.D., the Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columba University Medical Center. Read more ...

Majoring in defense: UAB’s new Undergraduate Immunology Program

Briles.AAASIt doesn’t matter whether you live in Beverly Hills or a Brazilian favela — every human being is only a few inches away from disaster. From birth to death, on our arms, legs and everywhere else, each of us carries microbes that would love to get under our skin and reproduce, with potentially fatal results. A paper cut, an insect bite, an untimely rubbing of the eyes — it takes very little for bacteria, viruses and other invaders to get inside and start wreaking havoc. Read more ...

Three UAB faculty members selected as fellows by world’s largest general scientific society

Briles.AAASFaculty members from the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Medicine have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and a leading publisher of cutting-edge research through its Science family of journals.

Charles Amsler, Ph.D., professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, Steven Austad, Ph.D., distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Biology, and David Briles, Ph.D., professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Microbiology and Department of Pediatrics, are UAB’s three representatives in the 2016 class of AAAS fellows. Read more ...

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Six microbiology department postdoctoral scholars received awards on February 17, 2014, at the annual Postdoctoral Research Day. “I don’t believe that we have had this many winners from one department previously,” says Sharon Johnston, program manager in the UAB Office of Postdoctoral Education.

Postdoctoral Research Day, hosted by the UAB Postdoctoral Association (PDA) and the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE), allows trainees an opportunity to practice their presentation skills, compete for monetary awards, and network with faculty and other postdocs. Trainees present their work in a situation similar to a conference, and receive constructive feedback to help them improve their presentation technique.

                                           The 2014 microbiology winners are:
                                       Davide Botta (Lund lab), 2nd Place, Session One  
                                       Valeria Lulla (Frolov lab), 3rd Place, Session Five  
                                       Colin Reily (Novak lab), 1st Place, Session Five  
                                       Alexander Speer (Niederweis lab), 2nd Place, Session Two  
                                       Jim Sun (Niederweis lab), 1st Place, Session Two  
                                       Venkata Yeramilli (Kearney lab), 2nd Place, Session Five  

These outstanding trainees were among 53 entrants from UAB and SRI (Southern Research Institute). Each submitted a 300-word abstract and presented a 12-minute talk about their research project. Research Day was divided into six sessions with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for each session. Presentations were judged by UAB faculty and SRI scientists.