March 08, 2023

Buford named associate dean for Research

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Thomas W. Buford, Ph.D., has been appointed associate dean for Research in the RS18806 Thomas Buford 10Heersink School of Medicine, effective April 1, 2023.

This new role will work closely with the senior vice dean for Research and the senior associate dean for Research Compliance and Administration, to support faculty members in their research activities. Buford will work with the school’s research leadership in developing programs for research-intensive faculty, research space management and assessment, and executive risk oversight.

Buford is a professor and an endowed scholar in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics and Palliative Care. He also serves as director for the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine and co-director of the NIH-funded Nathan Shock Center for the Basic Biology of Aging, and he is an investigator in the Birmingham VA Medical Center's Birmingham/Atlanta Geriatric, Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC).

Buford earned his Ph.D. in Exercise, Nutrition, and Preventative Health from Baylor University and completed post-doctoral research training in Translational Health Science at the University of Florida.

“I’m honored and privileged to be able to serve the Heersink community through this role,” said Buford. “We have a world-class team of students, staff, and faculty conducting research that continues to improve the health and quality of life of our citizens, and I’m very excited for the opportunity to help the Dean’s Office in facilitating this important work.”

His research efforts utilize clinical and pre-clinical models focused on preserving the health and independence of older adults, including leading multiple recent clinical trials related to exercise and mobility. He has received extensive NIH funding as both principal investigator and co-investigator, largely through the National Institute on Aging, and he has served on numerous grant peer-review committees, including serving as a standing member of the NIH's Aging Systems and Geriatrics panel.

“Since his arrival to UAB in 2017, Dr. Buford has made significant strides across our research community within the school, and throughout campus. I am confident his expertise will bring new perspectives and become an indispensable component of our research enterprise.”
Buford previously served as a co-investigator on the Phase 3 Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders study and also serves as a clinical center Site PI for the NIH's Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity in Humans consortium, funded by the NIH Common Fund, as well as a co-investigator for the UAB Clinical Center for the Nutrition for Precision Health initiative, also supported by the Common Fund.