Fauci, Neuzil address UAB at COVID-19 Research Symposium

Fauci, Neuzil address UAB at COVID-19 Research Symposium

Anthony Fauci, M.D., one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force focusing on the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and Kathleen Neuzil, M.D., one of the world’s most influential research scientists and advocates in vaccine development and policy, delivered keynote addresses to more than 2,000 trainees, faculty, staff and invited guests today as part of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s virtual COVID-19 Research Symposium.  

Campus and community innovators get due praise for work combating the COVID-19 pandemic

Campus and community innovators get due praise for work combating the COVID-19 pandemic

Faculty, staff, student and community innovators were recognized for their 2020 contributions to COVID-19 research, innovation and entrepreneurship during the fifth annual UAB Innovation Awards presented by the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HIIE) Oct. 29.

Interdisciplinary work highlighted at COVID-19 Research Symposium

Interdisciplinary work highlighted at COVID-19 Research Symposium

Sixto Leal, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Clinical Microbiology, Fungal Reference Laboratory, told how his team created its own COVID-19 PCR test in early March when none was available nationally, and how the test performed better than all others created elsewhere in a later, nationwide comparison. This test allowed UAB hospitals and regional hospitals in Alabama to reopen for regular care, and from March 17 to this August, his team was able to increase the rate of COVID-19 testing from 150 tests a day to more than 11,300 tests a day.

Could NET-wielding neutrophils be driving respiratory distress and death in COVID-19 patients?

Could NET-wielding neutrophils be driving respiratory distress and death in COVID-19 patients?

Zdenek Hel, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, is the principal investigator for the new project, “Neutrophils as a driving mechanism of acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in COVID-19 patients.” His collaborators are Paul Goepfert, M.D., and Turner Overton, M.D., both professors in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

Diana Lin, MD, Collaborates on Research on COVID Impact to Stroke Patients

Diana Lin, MD, Collaborates on Research on COVID Impact to Stroke Patients

“Interestingly, in our patients with stroke and COVID-19, the neutrophil and lymphocyte levels were only borderline high and low, respectively,” Lin said, “yet the NLR was almost twice as high as in patients without COVID-19. This potentially indicates that the systemic inflammatory response triggered by COVID-19 can cascade from multiple components.”

How can UAB test 200,000 college students for COVID-19 in four weeks?

How can UAB test 200,000 college students for COVID-19 in four weeks?

The sheer scale of the GuideSafe Entry Testing initiative is staggering. Part of the multi-tool GuideSafe platform — a partnership between UAB and the Alabama Department of Public Health that has received more than $30 million in CARES Act funding from Gov. Kay Ivey — Alabama’s GuideSafe Entry Testing is the largest higher-education testing initiative in the nation. The pathology department has been running upward of 1,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests per day for patients and staff at UAB, along with affiliate hospitals and other partners across Alabama, Netto said. With the GuideSafe initiative, the department expects to complete up to 10,000 additional tests per day, while still running the same 1,000 clinical tests per day (or more).

Should you get COVID antibody testing? And what do the results mean? UAB experts respond.

Should you get COVID antibody testing? And what do the results mean? UAB experts respond.

Have I had COVID-19?

That is one of the biggest questions in the world right now, and many people are looking to COVID-19 antibody tests for the answer. These blood tests search for the presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The tests expose a person’s blood to (inactive) pieces of SARS-CoV-2. Antibodies are highly specific; if a person’s blood contains antibodies that bind to SARS-CoV-2, that person has probably been infected sometime in the past two weeks to several months.

Leading the Charge: UAB’s vital role in Alabama’s COVID-19 pandemic response

Leading the Charge: UAB’s vital role in Alabama’s COVID-19 pandemic response

Due to UAB’s efforts in molecular testing led by Sixto Leal, M.D., UAB was among the first academic medical centers in the country to offer in-house testing by launching a laboratory-developed test in March. Leal and his team are able to test between 300 and 500 samples daily with COVID-19 RNA testing, confirming the presence of the virus in patients, with a turnaround time of less than 24 hours. This includes all inpatient admissions and health care workers, as well as all patients undergoing surgical procedures at UAB Hospital, and labor and delivery patients. A second COVID-19 RNA testing platform with less than two hours’ turnaround time is now operational as well.

Working behind the scenes: UAB pathologists play key role in fighting coronavirus pandemic

Working behind the scenes: UAB pathologists play key role in fighting coronavirus pandemic

Pathologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have been a crucial part of battling the COVID-19 pandemic in Alabama. Testing has been a major cause for concern worldwide ever since the pandemic began, but clinicians and researchers with UAB's Department of Pathology have been working around the clock to make testing available for as many people as possible, making sure accurate results are available in a timely manner.  

Watts Highlights UAB Pathology as Key in UAB's COVID19 Efforts

Watts Highlights UAB Pathology as Key in UAB's COVID19 Efforts

On May 6, UAB News released a story about the impact UAB has had on Alabama's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, titled "UAB commitment to state vital to COVID-19 response." In it, University President Ray Watts highlights the role of UAB Pathology in this unique situation. Due to UAB’s efforts in molecular testing led by Sixto Leal, M.D., UAB was among the first academic medical centers in the country to offer in-house testing by launching a laboratory-developed test in March. Leal and his team are currently testing between 300 and 500 samples daily with COVID-19 RNA testing, confirming the presence of the virus in patients, with a turnaround time of less than 24 hours. 

Netto Describes Department's COVID19 Experiences in The Pathologist

Netto Describes Department's COVID19 Experiences in The Pathologist

The Pathologist magazine, a pathology-themed magazine, published the second in its series of "pandemic diaries" featuring first-person stories from pathologists and laboratory medicine professionals around the globe, describing how their labs and departments have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. George Netto, M.D., Robert and Ruth Anderson Endowed Chair, UAB Pathology, is featured in this second installment of the series. 

ASCP Supports Widespread COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing - Dr. Gene Siegal

ASCP Supports Widespread COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing - Dr. Gene Siegal

The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) is the first and only national medical organization to call on the federal government to immediately develop and implement a widespread COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing and Support Strategy to help mitigate the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and deter its spread. The plan will be used by states, healthcare systems, providers, clinical laboratories and others to address patient care needs in this crisis.

Zdenek Hel, Ph.D., Awarded Funds to Study Lung Damage in COVID-19

Zdenek Hel, Ph.D., Awarded Funds to Study Lung Damage in COVID-19

Zdenek Hel, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has been awarded with a School of Medicine COVID-19 research grant. The $40,000, one-year award will allow Dr. Hel to study the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a predictor of high mortality, in COVID-19 patients

Leal Awarded UAB SOM Grant for COVID19 Testing

Leal Awarded UAB SOM Grant for COVID19 Testing

Sixto Leal, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Laboratory Medicine, and Director, Clinical Microbiology, Fungal Reference Laboratory and Mycoplasma Laboratory, was recently awarded a grant from the School of Medicine to support research into COVID19 testing. Leal has been working since the outset of the pandemic to convert his labs into a COVID19 testing location.
COVID-19 Related Research Flourishing in Pathology

COVID-19 Related Research Flourishing in Pathology

The Department of Pathology is excited to highlight the work of several of our faculty who are conducting or planning clinical and translational research projects related to SARS-CoV2(summarized below). Please keep us informed on any interests your lab may have in this area. Importantly, prior to initiating any work please ensure your lab is compliant with occupational health requirements and studies have necessary IRB/IACUC approvals.

UAB Pathology to increase COVID-19 testing by week’s end

UAB Pathology to increase COVID-19 testing by week’s end

Researchers with the UAB Department of Pathology are collaborating with Children's of Alabama to increase the testing capabilitiy of COVID-19 for hospitals and health care facilities across Alabama. Testingfor COVID-19 has been limited in Alabama as more and more people are exposed to the virus, creating a strain on all healthcare workers. Sixto Leal, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, UAB Pathology, is spearheading the effort. 

Department of Pathology develops strategy to support GuideSafe™ Entry Testing, process more than 200,000 samples

Department of Pathology develops strategy to support GuideSafe™ Entry Testing, process more than 200,000 samples

Nearly a quarter-million college students across the state of Alabama can be tested for COVID-19 with a free, rapid, non-invasive nasal swab-based procedure, to ensure a negative test — or quarantining in the case of a positive result — before returning to campus.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Pathology, led by George Netto, M.D., the Robert and Ruth Anderson Endowed Chair, adapted its clinically offered lab-developed testing capabilities to a pooling test approach. This strategy will allow for ramping up testing capacity tenfold for the next 20-plus days leading up to the start of school.