Transfusion Medicine in the Magic City

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a major research institution, ranking among the nation’s top universities in terms of NIH funding. UAB Hospital is a nationally recognized tertiary care facility, with more than 1000 inpatient beds. Nestled within the lush green foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the modern city of Birmingham, UAB offers an opportunity to gain detailed knowledge and extensive experience in all aspects of transfusion medicine, while enjoying true Southern hospitality in a beautiful setting. The Division of Laboratory Medicine in the Department of Pathology at UAB, in cooperation with the American Red Cross, offers a one-year fellowship in blood banking and transfusion medicine to prepare you fully for a career in this field.


UAB Hospital’s blood bank annually issues close to 30,000 units of leukoreduced red blood cells, 10,000 units of plasma, and 6,000 units of apheresis platelets. We provide transfusion support to patients of all ages, from newborns to adults with a variety of clinical conditions - including trauma, cardiovascular surgery and solid and stem cell transplants - which reflect UAB’s many unique patient services. In addition,

  • Thousands of inpatient surgical procedures are performed each year in state-of-art operating rooms with an attached “satellite” blood bank.  UAB has one of the world’s largest kidney transplant programs and is a national leader in liver, heart, and lung transplantation.
  • UAB Hospital is the only level I trauma center in the region and receives patients with massive injuries and/or burns from Alabama and neighbouring states.
  • The UAB Bone Marrow Transplant Program includes a 17-bed intensive care unit where nearly 100 transplants are performed each year. The needs of these patients, both before and after transplant, provide significant experience to the transfusion service technical and medical staff.
  • The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center care for patients with a variety of hematological and solid tumors. Many of these patients undergo various treatments and require lifesaving transfusions.
  • UAB physicians maintain specialty clinics that focus on high-risk pregnancy, sickle cell disease, and HIV infection among others.

Each year, transfusion medicine specialists consult and oversee more than 2000 therapeutic apheresis procedures, including extracorporeal photopheresis.  The fellow and pathology residents work closely together and have the opportunity to treat and follow patients with neurological disorders such as myasthenia gravis or Guillain-Barré syndrome, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, hyperviscosity syndrome, acute heart rejection episodes, and many other conditions.  The fellow is also involved with day-to-day clinical problems and will provide consultations on an on-call basis for transfusion-related issues. Besides a very comprehensive training, the UAB program provides the flexibility to accommodate each person’s particular areas of interest within the hospital’s patient needs.  The clinical experience is enhanced by the close proximity to the Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

Donor center experience is acquired at the American Red Cross, where preparation of the diverse blood components takes place. Other areas of training offered at UAB include stem cell collection, transplantation immunogenetics, and HLA. Many research opportunities are available both inside and outside the Department of Pathology. During the fellowship year, the fellow is expected to work on clinical research projects which will lead to scientific publications and presentations at national meetings.  The following is a list of published manuscripts authored by our fellows (in bold) over the last 5 years:

    1. Lima J, Reddy VV, Marques MB. Transfusion medicine illustrated. Systemic neutrophilic aggregates in  transfusion-related acute lung injury. Transfusion 2010;50:1427-8.
    2. Schmidt AE, Adamski J; Education Committee of the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists. Pathology consultation on transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). Am J Clin Pathol. 2012;138:498-503.
    3. Goyal J, Adamski J, Lima JO, Marques MB.  Relapses of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura after treatment with rituximab. J Clin Apher 2013;28:390-4.
    4. Dasararaju R, Marques MB. Adverse effects of transfusion. Cancer Control 2015;22:16-25.
    5. Dasararaju R, Adamski J. Transfusion medicine illustrated: An unusual case of near-fatal hemolytic anemia treated with erythrocytapheresis and therapeutic plasma exchange. Transfusion. 2015;55:475.

Named “the Magic City” because of its explosive growth, today’s Birmingham is an exciting and progressive place to live and train. Nearly a million people live in the greater metropolitan area. Their warm hospitality complements the temperate climate and the beautiful setting.

Birmingham’s economy continues to grow in the areas of engineering, finance, telecommunications, and biomedical research. Health care and education have replaced other industries as Birmingham’s economic base, and UAB is the state’s largest employer. Birmingham also boasts exceptional museums, parks, historical landmarks, family attractions, concerts, festivals, and sporting events.

Primary Faculty:
Marisa B. Marques, M.D.
Professor of Pathology and Program Director

Robin Lorenz, MD, PhD
Huy P. Pham, MD, MPH
Lance A. Williams, MD

Candidates should be Board-eligible or Board-certified in Clinical Pathology or other major specialty board (Anesthesiology, Medicine, Pediatrics, etc) and have an unrestricted Alabama license.

Commensurate with the year of postgraduate training.

Applications should be sent to:

Marisa B. Marques, MD
Program Director
University of Alabama Hospital
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
619 South 19th Street
Birmingham, AL 35249-7331