October 17, 2018

Yacoubian and Geisler named co-directors of the Medical Scientist Training Program

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Screen Shot 2018 10 17 at 1.25.27 PMTalene Yacoubian, M.D., Ph.D, and William Geisler, M.D., MPH, have been named co-directors of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in the School of Medicine. Pending NIH approval, their roles are effective Oct. 1, 2018. Both Yacoubian and Geisler are currently employed by UAB.

Yacoubian earned her doctoral degree in neurobiology from Duke University in 2000, followed by her medical degree from Duke University’s School of Medicine in 2001. After an internship, she completed her residency in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham Women’s Hospital. Yacoubian also completed a fellowship there before accepting another one at UAB in 2006. Since then, she has held various faculty roles and currently divides her time between patient care and laboratory research focused on Parkinson’s disease.

Geisler earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee in 1996 followed by his MPH in epidemiology from the University of Washington in 2000. He completed an internship year and residency at the University of Michigan followed by a fellowship in Infectious Diseases at the University of Washington. Upon the completion of that fellowship, Geisler joined UAB as an assistant professor in 2004. He has served in various faculty and leadership positions—most recently as clinical associate director of the MSTP. He was promoted to professor in 2014. His research program investigates the influence of both biological characteristics of Chlamydia trachomatis and the human host immune-mediated responses and genetics on the clinical manifestations and outcomes of urogenital chlamydial infection.

The MD-PHD Program at UAB was created in 1987 and was designated a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) in 1991. Since then, it has expanded to include several more tracks of study. The MSTP director will have principal responsibility for recruitment, reviewing applications to the program, selecting students invited for interviews, interviewing all applicants, attending all MSTP functions, mentoring students, being available to talk to or trouble shoot for students in the program, and overall responsibility for the day-to-day oversight of the program.

“Both of these physician scientists have been vital members of the School of Medicine community for many years,” said Selwyn M. Vickers, M.D., FACS, senior vice president for medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. “I am confident in their abilities to work together to guide the MSTP to even higher levels of achievement.”