On June 1, UAB Pathology hosted the sixth annual C. Bruce Alexander Lecture in Pathology Education featuring Amy Treece, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Pathology, Children's of Alabama. 

In Treece's talk, titled,"What I Wish I Knew in Residency: Lessons in Life and Career Development," she addressed leadership, mentoring, and networking, including some of the tougher topics of imposter syndrome and learning how to say no.

A mentor himself of many residents during his time at UAB Pathology, Dr. C. Bruce Alexander was present for the lecture and posed for photos with several of his former resident trainees who are now on faculty in the department. 

   IMG-9980.jpg Dr. C. Bruce Alexander (seated) poses with current and former residents, including Dr. Amy Treece in center (in blue dress).

Dr. Marisa Marques, Professor, Laboratory Medicine and a fellow former resident of UAB Pathology whose career was celebrated at a symposium in May, introduced Dr. Treece.

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42005scr b46d4c398585d1cby Hannah Buckelew

Selvarangan Ponnazhagan, Ph.D., Endowed Professor in Experimental Cancer Therapeutics in the UAB Department of Pathology’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has recently been awarded a $1.7 million R01 grant from the National Cancer Institute based on his project submission, titled, “Mechanisms and therapeutic targeting of osteoimmune functions of RANKL in breast cancer.” The award will run through March 31, 2027.

DSC_01871.pngDr. Brandi McCleskey, UAB Pathology Residency Program Director, with 2023 Boyd Medal Awardee Karan Goel, M.D.by Christina Crowe

UAB medical student Karan Goel is the 2023 recipient of the William Boyd Medal, distributed at the 2023 University of Alabama School of Medicine Dean's Awards ceremony, held on May 20, 2023. The Boyd Medal is given each year to the UAB medical student whose performance in all aspects of their pathology education has been most outstanding.

Steve Limby Christina Crowe

Steve Lim, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Molecular Cellular Pathology, has been appointed as a standing member to serve on the Atherosclerosis and Vascular Inflammation (AVI) Study Section of the National Institute of Health, under the Vascular and Hematology Integrated Review Group (VH), the Center for Scientific Review.

AVI reviews applications involving inflammation of the vascular system with a focus on the pathobiology of the blood vessels leading to atherogenesis, its reversal and prevention. There is an emphasis on macrophage biology and hyperlipidemia, involving transport and metabolism of cholesterol, lipoproteins and their oxidation derivatives. The effects of major risk factors such as diabetes, liver disease, aging, and smoking on the vasculature are considered. Most studies use cell cultures and animal systems with some human subject approaches.

Dr. Lim's appointment on the study section as a chartered member is for a four -year term starting July 1, 2023.

Marisa Marquesby Christina Crowe

On Wednesday, May 24, the UAB Department of Pathology honored Marisa Marques, M.D., with a symposium featuring colleagues, guest speakers and mentees of this longtime faculty member. Marques, a native of Brazil, has been with UAB Pathology since 1993 when she joined the department as a resident. She is director of the Blood Bank and Transfusion Services. 

The Marisa B. Marques Transfusion Medicine Symposium featured opening remarks by George Netto, M.D. Robert and Ruth Anderson Endowed Chair, UAB Pathology, followed by comments from Gene Siegal, M.D., Executive Vice Chair, and Vishnu Reddy, M.D., Professor and Division Director, Laboratory Medicine.

Erin Ahnby Hannah Buckelew

Erin Eun-Young Ahn, Ph.D., an associate professor in the UAB Department of Pathology’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, was recently awarded an R01 from the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for the project titled, “Genetic and molecular basis of hematopoietic abnormalities in ZTTK syndrome.” The grant, funded for $2 million, began March 15, 2023, and will run through December 31, 2026.

by Christina Crowe

CAP Collage 2023Four UAB Pathology faculty members have been elected to the College of American Pathologists (CAP) House of Delegates for the term starting May 1, 2023, for three years, through April 30, 2026. They are:

  • Gene Siegal, M.D., Ph.D., FCAP, Executive Vice Chair, UAB Pathology
  • Walter Bell, M.D., FCAP (Current delegation chair), Professor, Community Practice Program - Montgomery
  • Goo Lee, M.D., Ph.D., FCAP, Associate Professor, Anatomic Pathology
  • Frida Rosenblum, M.D., FCAP, Associate Professor, Anatomic Pathology

by Christina Crowe

After five and a half years serving as Director of the Division of Molecular & Cellular Pathology, Ralph Sanderson, Ph.D., is stepping down in his role. Sanderson plans to retire from UAB on July 31, 2023.

Rakesh Patel, Ph.D., Vice Chair for Research and Professor in the Division of Molecular & Cellular Pathology, will move into the role of Division Director, effective July 1, 2023. The Department will name an interim Vice Chair for Research to take over that role from Patel by the fall, 2023.
Sanderson Patel

by Hannah Buckelew

Stanek Caroline1Caroline Stanek, M.D., a PGY-2 in the UAB Department of Pathology, has recently been named a Society of '67 Kinney Scholar by the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC). This award is for pathology residents and medical students who demonstrate the potential for leadership in academic pathology. Stanek is 1 of 16 in the cohort of residents selected from across the United States. 

The 2023 Tri-State Pathology Conference took place Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30, for the first time in four years, at the Lodge at Gulf State Park, bringing together the Alabama Association of Pathologists, the Louisiana Association of Pathologists, and the Mississippi Association of Pathologists for a stellar lineup of presentations. The event was co-sponsored by UAB Pathology and featured lectures from our faculty throughout the day, on a variety of topics representing their many areas of expertise.

Andrea Kahn, M.D., President of the Alabama Association of Pathologists, and Professor, Anatomic Pathology at UAB pathology, delivered the conference's opening and closing remarks and acted as emcee for the event. 

by Hannah Buckelew

Margaroli headshotCamilla Bell, M.Sc., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Pathology’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has been awarded a grant by Vertex Pharmaceuticals as part of the Research Innovation Award (RIA) for her proposal, “Impact of pathogenic immunity in CF-related diabetes.” Only two of these awards are given annually. This three-year $750,000 award will focus on the pathological immune response in cystic fibrosis related diabetes (CFRD).

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The UAB Department of Pathology recently welcomed a new faculty member to the Division of Anatomic Pathology, directed by Cristina Magi-Galluzzi, M.D., Ph.D. Joshua Baalwa, M.D., Ph.D., joins the Department as an Assistant Professor in our Community Pathology Practice Program, coming to UAB from the Lyndon Baines Johnson General Hospital in Houston, Texas, where he served as medical director of the Clinical Pathology Laboratory.

This is not Dr. Baalwa’s first experience as a Blazer: He spent six years completing a Ph.D. in the UAB Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, earning it in 2012. In 2013 he completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Department of Medicine before moving to complete a residency with the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine. Baalwa continued his time at Baylor from 2017 to 2018 by securing a Surgical Pathology Fellowship.

Following the completion of his fellowship at Baylor, Dr. Baalwa accepted a fellowship in hematopathology with the Department of Pathology & Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Dr. Baalwa has recently received multiple awards in his field for both teaching and in clinical pathology administration and leadership. In 2021, he received the UTHealth McGovern Medical School Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award, and in 2022 he received a Top Doctors peer recognition award for excellence in clinical pathology for the Houston area. Prior to coming to UAB, he also served on the medical school admissions committee for the UTHealth McGovern Medical School.

In addition to his medical work, Dr. Baalwa has participated in community projects for his home country of Uganda, where he worked as senior house officer, Department of Internal Medicine, at the Mulago National Referral Hospital from 2001 to 2004, and as registrar until 2006. From delivering medication donations to the construction of sanitary facilities, Baalwa has demonstrated his dedication to giving back to his country through the volunteer work he has done in the community there. He was also a regular volunteer with the Houston FoodBank.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Joshua Baalwa back to the UAB Department of Pathology, as a member of our faculty.

img_8320.jpgApril 14 is the 10th annual Pathologists’ Assistant (PA) Day, a day of appreciation led by the American Association of Pathologists’ Assistants. PAs are often responsible for the efficient and effective operation of the anatomic pathology service and play a critical role in the delivery of healthcare services in both surgical pathology and autopsy.

Today we are celebrating our five hardworking PAs, Matt Lurken, Joe Begany, Audrey Alexander Garcia, Christine Pasion, Taylor Dubose-Harris, and our PA students, Lauren Wheelock and Sidney Bushman with a celebratory luncheon alongside UAB Pathology trainees.

By Jacob Taylor

Adam Wende, Ph.D., associate professor of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, is a recipient of this year’s 2023 Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship.

The Dean's Excellence in Mentorship Award recognizes full-time regular UAB faculty members who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments as mentors of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.

Wende joined the Department of Pathology in 2013 as an assistant professor. As a researcher, he has explored the regulation of metabolism and mitochondrial function with a specific focus on glucose utilization in heart and muscle. He is well-respected by his peers and his dedication to his students is evident in his support of their work and academic advancement and achievements. Mentoring has always been a part of his career.

gradDr. Adam Wende with some of his many trainees (left) and with Graduate School Dean Dr. Shadi Martin (right). (Photos courtesy the Graduate School.) Grad Deans Mentor Award

“Mentorship is one of the most important themes in my career, both the mentors I’ve had and the mentor I want to be,” he says. “I have tried to mold myself into someone who provides his trainees with the guidance they need while providing the freedom to discover themselves.”

Gene Siegal, M.D., Ph.D., UAB Distinguished Professor and Robert W. Mowry Endowed Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Pathology, has been elected president of the International Society of Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology (ISBSTP). Siegal was installed as president at the companion meeting of the society during the 2023 USCAP Annual Meeting.

Siegal was previously elected as vice-president of the ISBSTP in June 2021.

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The ISBSTP is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 in order to: 

Netto_Layman_Headshot.jpgphoto by Nik Laymanby Hannah Buckelew

After seven impactful years of leadership, George Netto, M.D., Robert and Ruth Anderson Endowed Chair, will be stepping down from his role in the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Department of Pathology to join the University of Pennsylvania as chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, effective July 31, 2023.

FrcL6fCWAA0u9Gv.jpgby Hannah Buckelew

The UAB Department of Pathology is pleased to announce the successful completion of this year's residency match program where we filled all six of our open positions for 2023-24. Please join us in welcoming the following individuals to our team: 

Ana Arcia Franchini, M.D.
Universidad Americana (UAM) Facultad de Medicina

FrcgApLXwAEJHkf.jpgby Hannah Buckelew

The United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP) hosted its 112th annual meeting March 11-16, 2023 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, where members of UAB Pathology represented the department in full force to present various topics of research. This year's meeting was held both in-person and online.

Fomani_photo.jpegby Jacob Taylor

On April 1, 2023, the Department of Pathology welcomes a new faculty member to the Division of Laboratory Medicine, directed by Vishnu Reddy, M.D.

Katayoun Fomani, M.D., joins the Department as Associate Professor, Laboratory Medicine, from the Long Island Jewish Medical Center where she served as an Attending Physician and the Medical Director of the Blood Bank.

by Christina Crowe 

In this series, we spotlight several researchers in the Department of Pathology who hold endowed professorships and, in one case, a chair. We recognize each of these individuals for his or her dedication to and innovation in their respective fields of study.

The next individual we focus on in our series of researchers holding endowments is Shu Chen, Ph.D. Dr. Chen is a Professor in the Division of Neuropathology at UAB Pathology, holding joint faculty appointments in Neurobiology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics. He is a senior scientist with UAB’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science, and the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics.

It may not be commonly known that the only definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is through autopsy of the deceased patient’s brain. As our population increasingly ages the incidence of these diseases is on the rise, and early diagnosis is key to improving treatments. At UAB, Shu Chen, Ph.D., is working to create tools that will aid in those diagnoses.

Chen joined the Department of Pathology at UAB in December 2021 as a professor in the Division of Neuropathology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was a professor and served as the associate director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center from 2003 to 2008.

Shu Chen Endowment pic with Dr. Netto