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The Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology includes over 30 full-time faculty with active, extramurally funded research laboratories focused on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and progression of disease.


Current areas of research in the Division include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Bone biology
  • Liver and digestive diseases
  • Diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Extracellular matrix biology
  • Immunology and immunity
  • Redox biology and mitochondrial function

Division faculty play leading roles in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Comprehensive Cardiovascular Center and the Center for Free Radical Biology. The faculty are committed to providing outstanding training of both graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Division faculty hold leadership roles in the Pathobiology, Pharmacology & Physiology Theme and the Cancer Biology Theme of the UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences program. 

Faculty

  • Sanderson, Ralph D., Ph.D.

    Sanderson, Ralph D., Ph.D.

    Endowed Professor of Cancer Pathobiology
    Division Director, Molecular & Cellular Pathology

  • Ahn, Erin Eun-Young, Ph.D.

    Ahn, Erin Eun-Young, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor

  • Anderson, Peter, D.V.M., Ph.D.

    Anderson, Peter, D.V.M., Ph.D.

    Professor

  • Bailey, Shannon M., Ph.D.

    Bailey, Shannon M., Ph.D.

    Professor

  • Ballinger, Scott, Ph.D.

    Ballinger, Scott, Ph.D.

    Professor

  • Basu, Rajatava, Ph.D.

    Basu, Rajatava, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor 

  • Brown, Elizabeth, Ph.D., M.P.H

    Brown, Elizabeth, Ph.D., M.P.H

    Professor
  • Chatham, John, Ph.D.

    Chatham, John, Ph.D.

    Professor
  • Chen, Yabing, Ph.D.

    Chen, Yabing, Ph.D.

    Jay M. McDonald Endowed Professor in Laboratory Medicine
    Vice Chair, Faculty Development and Education

  • Darley-Usmar, Victor, Ph.D.

    Darley-Usmar, Victor, Ph.D.

    Endowed Professor of Mitochondrial Medicine and Pathology
    Denior Associate Dean for Research Compliance and Administration, School of Medicine

  • Feng, Xu, Ph.D.

    Feng, Xu, Ph.D.

    Professor

  • Hel, Zdenek, Ph.D.

    Hel, Zdenek, Ph.D.

    Professor
  • Hildreth, Eason, Ph.D.

    Hildreth, Eason, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor
  • Hurst, Douglas, Ph.D.

    Hurst, Douglas, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
  • Karthikeyan, Mythreye, Ph.D.

    Karthikeyan, Mythreye, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
  • Maynard, Craig, Ph.D.

    Maynard, Craig, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor
  • Melkani, Girish, Ph.D.

    Melkani, Girish, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
  • Messina, Joseph, Ph.D.

    Messina, Joseph, Ph.D.

    Professor
  • Murphy-Ullrich, Joanne, Ph.D.

    Murphy-Ullrich, Joanne, Ph.D.

    Professor
  • Namakkal-Soorappan, Rajasekaran, Ph.D.

    Namakkal-Soorappan, Rajasekaran, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
  • Nanda, Vivek, Ph.D.

    Nanda, Vivek, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor
  • Patel, Rakesh, Ph.D.

    Patel, Rakesh, Ph.D.

    Professor

    Vice Chair, Research

  • Ponnazhagan, Selvarangan, Ph.D.

    Ponnazhagan, Selvarangan, Ph.D.

    Endowed Professor in Experimental Cancer Therapeutics
  • Samant, Rajeev S., Ph.D.

    Samant, Rajeev S., Ph.D.

    Professor
  • Shevde-Samant, Lalita R., Ph.D.

    Shevde-Samant, Lalita R., Ph.D.

    Professor
  • Varambally, Sooryanarayana, Ph.D.

    Varambally, Sooryanarayana, Ph.D.

    Professor
  • Wende, Adam R., Ph.D.

    Wende, Adam R., Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
  • Yang, Yang, M.D., Ph.D.

    Yang, Yang, M.D., Ph.D.

    Associate Professor
  • Zhang, Jianhua, Ph.D.

    Zhang, Jianhua, Ph.D.

    Professor

Laboratories

 

 

Molecular and Cellular Pathology News

A T-cell stimulatory protein and interleukin-10 synergize to prevent gut inflammation

A T-cell stimulatory protein and interleukin-10 synergize to prevent gut inflammation

Researchers have found an unexpected synergy between a T-cell stimulatory protein — the ICOS ligand — and interleukin-10, an immunoregulatory cytokine, to prevent inflammatory bowel disease in mice. The study will aid the understanding of, and future research into, this immune disorder, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, was led by Craig Maynard, Ph.D., assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology.  

 
Eason Hildreth, Ph.D. Elected to Serve on Committee of The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

Eason Hildreth, Ph.D. Elected to Serve on Committee of The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research

Dr. Eason Hildreth, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology, has been nominated to serve on the Advocacy and Science Policy Committee of The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) by two colleagues within the ASBMR and was recommended and appointed by the Nominations Committee and Council. His appointment will take place September 2020, and his term runs through September 2023.

 

Samant Selected as Board Member, Cancer Biology Training Consortium

Samant Selected as Board Member, Cancer Biology Training Consortium

Lalita Samant, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular & Cellular Pathology and Senior Scientist, O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been elected as a Board member for the Cancer Biology Training Consortium (CABTRAC).

 

Rajeev Samant Appointed to Serve on ICI Study Section of NIH

Rajeev Samant Appointed to Serve on ICI Study Section of NIH

Dr. Rajeev Samant, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular & Cellular Pathology, has been appointed to serve on the Intercellular Interactions (ICI) Study Section of the National Institutes of Health, under the Center for Scientific Review, under the Division of Basic and Integrative Biological Sciences (DBIB).

 

Dr. Ponnazhagan Publishes in Cancer Research on Immunotherapies to Treat Prostate Cancer

Dr. Ponnazhagan Publishes in Cancer Research on Immunotherapies to Treat Prostate Cancer

 Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, recently published an article in the journal Cancer Research on the need for a of combination therapies when using immunotherapy to treat prostate cancer. The article, "Revisiting Immunotherapy: A Focus on Prostate Cancer," was featured in Renal & Urology News.

 
Ralph Sanderson Co-Authors/Edits New Book on Heparanase

Ralph Sanderson Co-Authors/Edits New Book on Heparanase

Ralph Sanderson. Ph.D., Endowed Professor of Cancer Pathobiology and Division Director, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, recently co-authored and edited  the book Heparanase along with Israel Vlodavsky, Ph.D., the world's leading expert on heparanese, an enzyme that cleaves heparan sulfate-a linear polysaccharide found in all animal tissues. Sanderson and Vlodavsky's collaboration began two decades ago. Their research now focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying the ability of heparanase to promote tumor progression. 

 
Surplus antioxidants are pathogenic for hearts and skeletal muscle

Surplus antioxidants are pathogenic for hearts and skeletal muscle

Many heart diseases are linked to oxidative stress, an overabundance of reactive oxygen species. The body reacts to reduce oxidative stress — where the redox teeter-totter has gone too far up — through production of endogenous antioxidants that reduce the reactive oxygen species. This balancing act is called redox homeostasis. But what happens if the redox teeter-totter goes too far down, creating antioxidative stress, also known as reductive stress? Rajasekaran Namakkal-Soorappan, Ph.D., associate professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Pathology, and colleagues have found that reductive stress, or RS/AS, is also pathological. This discovery, they say, may have clinical importance in management of heart failure.

 
Medical Student Hannah Cutshall Awarded a 2020 AΩA Research Fellowship

Medical Student Hannah Cutshall Awarded a 2020 AΩA Research Fellowship

UAB medical student Hannah Cutshall has been awarded a 2020 AΩA Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship, designed to foster the development of the next generation of medical researchers. Cutshall conducts research in the laboratory of Elizabeth Brown, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology. Cutshall's award-winning proposal is titled, "Transcriptomatic Characterization of Multiple Myeloma." She will receive $5,000 to support her research project and up to $1,000 in travel reimbursement over a period of 1-2 years. 

 
Ponnazhagan Named Co-Director of Graduate Program P3

Ponnazhagan Named Co-Director of Graduate Program P3

The Department of Pathology’s Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has been named Co-Director of P3, a graduate program theme known as Pathobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology. This is one of the eight themes of the UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences (GBS) Doctoral Training Program. Ponnazhagan will serve alongside Robert C. van Waardenburg, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology. 

 
Craig Maynard Named a 2020 Pittman Scholar by SOM

Craig Maynard Named a 2020 Pittman Scholar by SOM

The Department of Pathology's Craig Maynard, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular & Cellular Pathology, has just been named one of UAB's 2020 Pittman Scholars for his research accomplishments.