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Marques_112.jpgby Hannah Buckelew

Marisa Marques, M.D., Professor, Laboratory Medicine, Director, Stem Cell Facility, Callahan Eye Hospital Lab, will retire July 31, 2023, after 30 years of service at UAB.

A native of Brazil, Marques received her medical degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1983 and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the same institution in 1985. She moved to the United States with her husband in 1986 to become a visiting fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Fogarty International’s Laboratory of Clinical Investigation in Bethesda, Maryland, until 1988 when she joined Beth Israel Hospital’s Division of Infectious Disease at Harvard Medical School in Boston as a research fellow. In 1992, she completed an additional research fellowship in the Channing Laboratory at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

In 1994, Marques joined UAB as a resident in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. She completed a fellowship at UAB in Hematopathology in 1998 before joining the faculty as assistant professor in the Division of Laboratory Medicine. Marques was promoted to associate professor in 2004 and to professor in 2008.

A devoted educator and mentor, Marques has instructed courses ranging from coagulation to dental clinical pathology and has served in a number of mentorship roles within UAB’s Graduate School, Heersink School of Medicine, and Minority Medical Education Program. She currently serves as director of the Transfusion Medicine/Blood Bank Fellowship. Marques has been awarded the UAB Heersink School of Medicine Dean’s Excellence Award in Teaching, the Excellence in Resident Education in Clinical Pathology Award (three times), the Shu T. Huang Award for Excellence in Laboratory Medicine Education (three times), and the Excellence in Mentorship Award from the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA). In 2022, Marques was awarded the American Society for Apheresis (ASFA) Francis S. Morrison, M.D. Memorial Lecture Award.

In addition to her contributions to education, Marques’ leadership roles in the Department of Pathology include Associate Director of the Division of Laboratory Medicine, Section Head of Transfusion Medicine, Chair of the Blood Utilization and Management Committee, Medical Director of UAB Highlands Blood Bank, and Medical Director of Transfusion Services and the Apheresis Collection Facility at UAB Hospital. She is the laboratory director of Callahan Eye Hospital and is a Senior Scientist in the UAB Center for Injury Science. In the clinical setting, Marques is particularly interested in improving appropriateness of utilization of blood products and laboratory tests. She has received UAB Hospital’s Award of Excellence in Care, Innovation Award in Blood Management, and Top-Rated Hospital Medical Director Award. In addition, Marques received the Lecturer and the Presidential Award from ASFA, the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Management Sciences and Patient Safety from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) and the Board of Certification’s Distinguished Service Award by the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) Board of Certification.

A prolific writer and researcher, Marques has authored nearly 200 publications, 10 books, 10 book chapters and more than 110 abstracts.  Marques has given major lectures and served as visiting professor nearly 100 times. She holds memberships in a number of professional societies, including UAB’s Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society, AMWA, American Society of Hematology (ASH), ASFA, AABB, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS), and ASCP.  She served on the Board of Directors of ASFA for 8 years, and as the society’s President in 2014. Marques was also President of ACLPS and hosted its annual meeting in Birmingham in 2016. In addition to these, she has served on a number of committees and editorial boards as editor or reviewer.

A champion for diversity in medicine, Marques served as president of the UAB Chapter of AMWA, co-chair of the Hispanic/LatinX Faculty Association and chair of the Department of Pathology’s Diversity Task Force. Throughout her tenure, Marques became known for her efforts in promoting the retention and advancement of tenure-track minorities by writing letters of support for promotion and tenure and fostering mentorship relationships. In 2021, she was awarded the Heersink School of Medicine Office for Diversity and Inclusion’s Professional Excellence Award for her efforts.

“Marisa is an esteemed colleague and extraordinary transfusion physician; a trailblazer in the field,” says Vishnu Reddy, M.D., Professor and Division Director, Laboratory Medicine. “On a personal level, she is extremely kind and always caring for others. She is the only person I know who can keep track of all pathology faculty and trainee birthdays! Best wishes to her on all her future endeavors.”

After retirement, Marques will continue to work as the Blood Bank Principal Investigator for a multicenter trial in trauma resuscitation called TROOP. At the national level, she will retain memberships in the American Board of Pathology Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine Test Development and Advisory Committee (TDAC) and the FDA Blood Products Advisory Committee (BPAC). Retirement will give her more time to exercise, work on crafts and spend time with friends and family. She plans to pursue her lifelong dream of writing a memoir.