May 23, 2022

Beierle named 2022 Dean’s Excellence Award winner in Mentorship

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Beierle ElizabethElizabeth Beierle, M.D., professor in the Department of Surgery, has been awarded the 2022 Dean’s Excellence Award in Mentorship as a senior faculty member. 

Beierle joined the UAB Division of Pediatric Surgery in 2009. She specializes in the surgical care of children and neonates with a special emphasis on pediatric surgical oncology. 

Before finding her ultimate passion in pediatric surgery, Beierle first received her undergraduate degree and medical degree from the University of North Dakota. She completed a general surgery internship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and subsequently completed her surgical residency at the University of Florida. 

Moving into her specialized training, Beierle then completed her pediatric surgery fellowship training in Philadelphia at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. On completing her fellowship, Beierle served nine years on the faculty at the University of Florida. 

Beierle has an active basic science research laboratory that focuses on novel therapeutics for pediatric solid tumors. She has mentored a number of undergraduate students, medical students, residents, and graduate students in her lab. 

Beierle Lab utilizes experimental models to study the cell signaling mechanisms that make tumors malignant and provide potential targets for therapy. The lab also investigates the effects of new therapies or combination therapies, including viral therapy, immunotherapy, and novel rexinoids, for improved outcomes in the highest risk patients. 

Though Beierle’s time at UAB has been dedicated to both a busy clinical practice and research lab, she still makes time for mentoring and guiding trainees, according to Lab Member and General Surgery Resident Laura Bownes, M.D. 

“Dr. Beierle has done wonderful things as a mentor for our general surgery residents and our pediatrics fellows,” said Fay Fletcher Kerner Endowed Chair Herbert Chen., M.D., FACS. “She is a humble leader who leads by example and is willing to bring trainees alongside her for learning opportunities. Her impact on the department and the field of surgery is evident.” 

On Beierle’s mentorship, General Surgery Resident and Mentee Laura Bownes, M.D., reflects on the impact Beierle has had on her. 

“There has never been a mentor more fiercely loyal and committed to the goals of her mentees than Dr. Beierle,” said Bownes. “She has created a family such that she is the first person you want to share your successes with, and she is also the first person you want to talk to when you fail or struggle, which is invaluable. You will never find a more available and supportive mentor.”