Explore UAB

Lea Novak, M.D., Associate Professor, Anatomic Pathology, will retire at the end of August after 18 years in the Department of Pathology.

Novak, a native of the Czech Republic, attended Medical school at Charles University in Prague, and graduated with honors. She did a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in Prague before moving to the United States. In the mid-1990s, Dr. Novak completed residencies in both Anatomic and Clinical pathology at UAB, followed by a Surgical/Renal fellowship in 2000. Her first academic appointment was a Research Assistant Professor in the UAB Department of Surgery’s Division of Transplantation, before accepting an Assistant Professorship in Pathology in 2003. In 2010, Dr. Novak was promoted to Associate Professor, and obtained tenure in 2012.
Lea Novak

As a specialized gynecologic pathologist, she served patients treated in the Gynecologic Oncology Division of the UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and provided professional consultations for institutions outside of UAB. She collaborated on various research projects with colleagues in the Department of OB/Gyn and contributed to the education of several generations of their fellows with weekly presentations at the Gynecologic Oncology Tumor Board.

Novak has served as Medical Director of the histology laboratory in the Department of Pathology for nine years. She has enjoyed teaching many pathology residents and fellows with her lectures, and discussing cases during sign outs.

Novak served for nine years as a Module Director of Reproductive Systems at UAB School of Medicine. She has been recognized for her outstanding teaching with several Argus Awards from the UAB School of Medicine, particularly for best lecturer in the correlative pathology curriculum for reproductive systems.

Novak has established many collaborative research projects with faculty members from the departments of Gynecology, Microbiology, Medicine, and the Cancer Genetics Program, as well as several national and international collaborations. For many years, Novak also worked as an Associate Scientist with the Nephrology Research and Training Center and as a Scientist with the Center for Cardiovascular Biology at UAB.

Her expertise in histopathologic evaluation of human biopsy specimens and tissues from experimental animal models, using light and confocal microscopy and image analysis, has been instrumental in supporting competitive grant applications to the NIH and sponsored research agreements with pharmaceutical companies.

A manuscript Novak published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. in 2019 ( “Glomerular immunodeposits of patients with IgA nephropathy are enriched for IgG autoantibodies specific for galactose-deficient IgA1.” J. Am. Soc. Nephrol. 30, 2017-2026, 2019. Rizk et al.) was among the top five most cited papers of the month. This manuscript was also highlighted in the 2019 School of Medicine Annual Report; “Pivotal role found for IgG autoantibodies in IgA Nephropathy.”

The follow-up study, published in the Journal of Autoimmunity, (“Experimental evidence of pathogenic role of IgG autoantibodies in IgA nephropathy.’ J. Autoimmun. 118, 102593, 2021. Moldoveanu et al.) provided the first in vivo evidence for a pathogenic role of IgG autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy and offered a pre-clinical model for testing therapeutic approaches.

Novak plans to continue in her research collaborations. The retirement will give her more time to study ceramics and sculpture through art classes, explore hiking trails, and spend more time with her family and two grandchildren.