August 02, 2017

Bedwell named chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

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bedwell2David M. Bedwell, Ph.D. has been named the chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He has been leading the department as its interim chair since February 2016.

“During his tenure as interim department chair, Dr. Bedwell has made great strides in proactively building morale in the department, enhanced the quality of grant submissions through an internal review process and acted as a strong steward of space allocations and departmental resources,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine.

Bedwell earned an undergraduate degree from Purdue University in 1979 and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985 before completing postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology. Bedwell came to UAB in 1988 as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 2003. He holds secondary appointments in the Departments of Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, and Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology. Bedwell also has roles in the UAB Multipurpose Arthritis Center, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and UAB Center for AIDS Research. Furthermore, he also serves as co-director of the Structural Biology Program and associate director of the Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Center.

Bedwell was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology in 2011. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry and previously chaired the Molecular Genetics B and C study sections of the National Institutes of Health. He has reviewed manuscripts for more than 50 different scientific publications, including Science, Cell, and Nature.

At UAB, Bedwell has served as a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and chair of the School of Medicine Faculty Council. Bedwell has also served as chair of the Faculty Senate Graduation Curriculum Committee and director of the Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Program. Dr. Bedwell has mentored 25 trainees and served on approximately 100 student thesis committees.

Bedwell’s research centers around the mechanistic details of translation and mRNA metabolism. Researchers on his team are investigating pharmacological agents that have the potential to suppress nonsense mutations to treat genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Hurler syndrome.

 “I’m honored that Dr. Vickers has chosen me to lead the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics” Bedwell said.  I am looking forward to working with the Biochemistry faculty and the SOM leadership to achieve excellence in research and to train the next generation of scientists.”