March 19, 2015

Schwiebert honored as Outstanding Woman Faculty Member

Written by
Lisa SchwiebertLisa M. Schwiebert, Ph.D., professor of Cell, Integrative and Developmental Biology in the UAB School of Medicine and associate dean for Postdoctoral Education, is the 2015 Becky Trigg Outstanding Woman UAB Faculty Member. The award is one of the UAB Outstanding Women Awards, given each year by the UAB Women’s Center and the UAB Women’s Studies Program to student, administrative, faculty and community leaders who have mentored and served other women or overcome adversity.

“I was completely surprised and deeply moved to receive this award,” Schwiebert said. “For me, working with trainees either in my lab or through the Postdoc Office and having the opportunity to serve as a mentor is a true gift and honor.”

Schwiebert earned a degree in chemistry from Bates College in 1986 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Dartmouth College in 1993. After completing her postdoctoral training in Clinical Immunology at Johns Hopkins University, she was appointed as an instructor in the Department of Medicine at Hopkins before joining the UAB faculty in 1997. She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2003 and achieved the rank of professor in 2013.

Collectively, Schwiebert has published over 100 manuscripts, abstracts, reviews and book chapters in the areas of asthma, cystic fibrosis and immunology. Her laboratory was the first to demonstrate the effects of aerobic exercise on cellular and molecular responses in a mouse model of allergic asthma. These seminal findings have led to the initiation of clinical trials that examine the effectiveness of aerobic exercise as an adjunct therapy for the treatment of asthma in adult and pediatric subjects.

In 2007, she was appointed associate dean for Postdoctoral Education in the UAB Graduate School, where she and the office staff work with postdoctoral fellows, faculty members and administrators in postdoctoral recruitment, oversight and career development for the approximately 250 postdoctoral fellows currently training at UAB.

“Dr. Lisa Schwiebert embodies the true meaning of leadership, service and mentoring. Lisa has always made herself available to speak with trainees and junior faculty across campus to give guidance and support as they navigate the academic and research terrain,” said Jami Armbrester, associate director of Career Development in the Office of Postdoctoral Education.  “She is also a true inspiration to me in my professional role. Her passion for mentoring and training is contagious.  She is my greatest supporter and role model. It has been my honor and privilege to work alongside Lisa and to be able to nominate her for this award.”

Schwiebert is also director of the Mentored Experiences in Research Instruction and Teaching (MERIT) program, an NIH-funded program providing postdoctoral scholars with outstanding research and teaching experiences while improving the recruitment of students from underrepresented groups into the field of biomedical research.  She’s a member of many professional societies, including the American Society of Immunologists, American Physiological Society, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and American Thoracic Society.

“Of all of UAB's amazing people, I believe Lisa to be one of the many deserving of recognition for all she has done for the students and postdocs here at UAB and beyond. She continually looks after us posdocs professionally and personally,” said Theresa Ramos, Ph.D., a postdoctoral entrepreneur with Kypha Inc.  “As a female, I have sought her advice, experience, and even personal questions as to what being a woman in academia really entails. She has always had an open door policy and would speak openly and candidly on almost any subject. She is a rock for the postdocs here at UAB and serves as an example for others who run similar programs."

Schwiebert, along with six other recipients of UAB Outstanding Women awards, presented by the UAB Women Center and Women’s Studies Program, will be honored at a reception Thursday, March 19, beginning at 4:30 p.m. at the Alumni House.