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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The School of Medicine Infectious Diseases, Global Health and Vaccines steering committee invites applications for INTERNSHIP AWARDS to foster interactions, develop collaborations and promote postdoctoral opportunities between the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) in Durban, South Africa.

The KwaZulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) began as a groundbreaking collaboration in 2009 between the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), with public sector support through LifeLabs, the biotechnology investment arm of the South African government.  K-RITH's research mission is to conduct outstanding basic research on tuberculosis (TB) and HIV and translate these findings into new therapeutics that can be used to control these diseases.  K-RITH is also committed to motivating young scientists to developing a research focus on these diseases.  As part of this mission, K-RITH collaborates with other academic and clinical institutions throughout the world, including UAB, to facilitate new discoveries that can be used to control these devastating diseases.  K-RITH offers a short-term internship program that runs from July to August of each year.  During this internship, students have an opportunity to work in one of the K-RITH labs and learn more about HIV and TB research in the heart of the epidemic.  

UAB undergraduate, graduate, post-PhD and medical students are invited to apply for this internship at K-RITH.  Students must be in good standing. Individuals selected for this program will receive travel funds and a daily allowance from UAB and laboratory expenses will be covered by K-RITH.  

Questions regarding travel awards from UAB to K-RITH and potential K-RITH sponsors should be addressed to:
Adrie Steyn, Ph.D.
205-996-4805 or asteyn@uab.edu

Questions related to application and instructions should be addressed to:
Donna Porter, Ph.D.
205-934-8291 or dcporter@uab.edu

        Important dates:
        •    Deadline for application:  Monday, March 3, 2014 (by 5PM Central Time)
        •    Awards are made via email by on or about March 21, 2014.
        •    Fellowships run July to August, 2014 and last 6-8 weeks.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: Those interested in applying should submit a CV and a cover letter including a paragraph (200 word max)  outlining why you should be selected for the program and which laboratory you would like to work in for the summer.  This application should be submitted to Donna Porter by the deadline below.  

FUNDS AVAILABLE:  Awards will cover travel, food and lodging expenses as well as laboratory/project costs.  Fellowships run 6-8 weeks in duration and occur in July to August, 2014.

REVIEW PROCEDURES: Applications will be reviewed by the School of Medicine Infectious Diseases, Global Health and Vaccines steering committee. The top applications will be forwarded to K-RITH for the final round of selection.  

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Information on this internship opportunity can be found on the K-RITH institute website at:
http://www.k-rith.org/education-training-programme/internship-opportunities. Additional information on K-RITH (www.k-rith.org), the UAB Department of Microbiology (www.microbio.uab.edu), the UAB Center For AIDS Research (www.uab.edu/cfar) and the UAB ID, Global Health and Vaccines initiative  (http://www.uab.edu/medicine/cfar/id-global-health-and-vaccines-initiative) can be found on the program websites.  Check back for additional RFAs for those interested in global health initiatives.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  Applications are due electronically to Donna Porter (dcporter@uab.edu) by 5PM Central Time on Monday, March 3, 2014. Awards are made via email on or about March 21, 2014. Applications must be submitted electronically as a single PDF document. No exceptions.