This year, the Department of Pathology is proud to announce we have two faculty receipients for the Argus Awards, presented by the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine.

Created in 1996, the Argus Awards give medical students the chance to honor their mentors, professors, courses, and course directors for outstanding service to medical education. Faculty members are nominated by course evaluations, and students vote to select award winners in each category. The Department of Medical Education and the Argus Society announced this year's winners at a ceremony on Friday, January 6, 2023.

Congratulations to the following UAB Pathology faculty awardees:

Best MS1 Course: Cardiovascular  

Casey WeaverDr. Vishnu Reddy and his wife, SaralaWritten by Christina Crowe

On January 9, colleagues, trainees, alumni and friends of Dr. Vishnu Reddy, Division Director, Laboratory Medicine, came together to recognize and celebrate his 30 years of dedication to UAB, at the Vishnu B. Reddy Hemepath Symposium.

Marisa Marques, M.D., Professor, Laboratory Medicine and Director of the Blood Bank and Stem Cell Facility, Callahan Eye Hospital, organized the event in honor of her colleague and mentor, having been a trainee of Dr. Reddy's years ago.

Hua Guo

As a co-investigator on a 2022 Mary Heersink Institute for Global Health Pilot Grant, Paul Benson, M.D., Associate Professor and Autopsy Section head, visited Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, from December 4 to 14. The purpose of the trip was an extension of research Benson is conducting collaboratively with Adrie Steyn, Ph.D., Professor, UAB Department of Microbiology, covered recently by UAB News

The pilot grant is titled, “Establishing an intercontinental alliance between UAB and the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa to accelerate research and training to help end the tuberculosis pandemic.”

Casey WeaverCasey Weaver, M.D.Written by Christina Crowe

Casey Weaver, M.D., Wyatt and Susan Haskell Endowed Chair for Medical Excellence and Professor in the Division of Anatomic Pathology, was recently awarded a MERIT grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as a continuation of an R01 award, “Coordination of Innate and Adaptive Immunity in Intestinal Barrier Defense.”

The Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) award is a rarely distributed funding mechanism whereby the recipients do not apply for the funding; rather, the agency (in this case NIAID) distributes them to give investigators, “with stellar records of research accomplishments,” a five-year award without undergoing another review. The new MERIT award will provide $2.84 million over five years, through spring of 2032, and converts the original R01 to an R37. According to their website, the agency awards just around a dozen MERIT awards annually, making this a rare distinction.

AlexFeldman_2.jpgby Christina Crowe

In 2022 our department lost a dear friend and colleague, Alex Feldman, M.D., who passed away unexpectedly in May at age 38. 

Dr. Feldman was a well-known and respected assistant professor in our Neuropathology Division who joined the department in his first faculty role in July 2021. However, this was not his first time working with us in the Department of Pathology—Alex completed medical school here at UAB as part of the challenging M.D./Ph.D. program. Alex completed AP/CP residency here, serving as chief resident in his final year and teaching multiple medical school classes. He undertook a pediatric fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio, followed by a neuropathology fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Hua GuoHua Guo, M.D., M.S.Written by Christina Crowe

The UAB Department of Pathology is pleased to welcome Hua Guo, M.D., M.S., to the Division of Women’s Health as an Associate Professor, effective December 1. Dr. Guo joins us from Columbia University and will serve as director, Breast Pathology Service.

Dr. Guo obtained her medical and her master’s degrees in Pathology and Pathophysiology from West China School of Medicine. She completed her Anatomic Pathology training at Peking University First Hospital in China followed by Anatomic Pathology/Clinical Pathology residency at Northwell Health, New York. She then pursued subspecialty Breast Pathology fellowship training at the University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. 

Guo joined the faculty of Department of Pathology & Cell Biology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, in 2018. She is actively engaged in the diagnostic surgical pathology service, especially in breast pathology service. Over the course of her career, Dr. Guo has developed into an expert in the field. Her major research interests include discovery and evaluation of biomarkers in breast cancer, phenotype pattern and molecular mechanisms of breast carcinoma brain metastasis, and breast carcinoma in young females. 

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Guo to the Division of Women’s Health.

by Christina Crowe

Megan Amerson-Brown, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Laboratory Medicine, has been named a member of the board of directors of the Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, the top infection prevention and epidemiology professional organization in the world.

Headshot of Dr. Megan Amerson-Brown, PhD (Assistant Professor, Laboratory Medicine) in white medical coat, August 2022.

by Christina Crowe

The UAB Department of Pathology honors all those who served, and is grateful to share a few personal stories from our team.

Solomon Strong currently works as a Pathology Specialist in the Autopsy Department, for the past two years. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. He was a member of the 186th ARW as a Security Forces Member out of Meridan, Mississippi, serving six years with a total of one tour overseas.

IMG 1805 IMG 1806

by Christina Crowe

The American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago, November 5-7, saw representation from researchers across both the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and the Department of Pathology this year.

Students in the labs of researchers in both specialties presented posters across a broad spectrum of topics in the field.

Yu An Lu, graduate student in the lab of Yang Zhou, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, BME, presented a poster on, “Stage-Specific Roles of ELMSAN1 in the Control of Cardiac Cell Fate Differentiation of Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.”

Group photoJay Zhang, at left, with Suzanne Oparil,M.D., Division of Cardiology, UAB Department of Medicine at center.

ballinger-web.jpgScott Ballinger, Ph.D.Written by Jessica Martindale

Scott Ballinger, Ph.D., has been named the new associate dean for Faculty Affairs.

Ballinger has a broad academic background, including an undergraduate degree in Zoology, a master’s degree in Wildlife Fisheries, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, and postdoctoral training in Environmental Pathology.

by Hannah Buckelew

img 0512(l-r): Dr. Anderson's eldest son Robert, his wife Lindsey, their son Robert Charles Anderson, Dr. Peter Anderson, and his wife JoanColleagues in the Department of Pathology gathered Wednesday, October 5, for a reception to dedicate the portrait of Reverend Robert and Ruth Anderson, parents of Peter Anderson, D.V.M., Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, and benefactor of the Robert and Ruth Anderson Endowed Chair, held by the Department Chair George Netto, M.D.

by Christina Crowe

Our department gathered some of its longest-serving, most highly honored faculty alongside some of our newer faculty members on October 20 to recognize awards and distinctions from the previous two years. At an event previously intended to be annual, but postponed by COVID, several faculty, trainees and staff came together at the UAB National Alumni House to celebrate with a dinner reception.

The following individuals were recognized:

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Erin Ahn, Ph.D. Featured Discovery, January 2022
Vishnu Reddy, M.D., UAB President’s Excellence Award
Casey Weaver, M.D., National Academy of Sciences
Michael Williams, M.D., M.Sc. Fellow, The Pathologist Power List
Tom Winokur, M.D. New Division Director, Women’s Health

by Hannah Buckelew

Bixby_Eric.pngOn October 3, 2022, the Department of Pathology welcomes a new member to our UAB Community Pathology Practice Program (CPPP) in Montgomery, AL.

Eric Bixby, M.D., joins the department as assistant professor from both Brookwood Baptist Medical Center where he served as Laboratory Medical Director and PathGroup where he served as a pathologist in Birmingham, AL.

Murphy Ullrich

by Hannah Buckelew

Joanne Murphy-Ullrich, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of two Elsevier journals Matrix Biology and Matrix Biology Plus. This appointment is a three-year term, effective September 2022.

by Hannah Buckelew

1567175341464The UAB Department of Pathology is pleased to announce that Darshan Shimoga Chandrashekar, M.Sc., Ph.D., has been promoted to assistant professor in the Division of Genomic Diagnostics and Bioinformatics, directed by Alexander “Craig” Mackinnon, Jr. M.D., Ph.D, effective October 1, 2022. Dr. Chandrashekar has been a Researcher V in the Department of Pathology’s Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology since 2021, but has been in the department since 2015 when he joined as postdoctoral researcher.

by Hannah Buckelew

On October 1, 2022, the Department of Pathology welcomes two new members to the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology, directed by Ralph Sanderson, Ph.D.

Ming_He_UCSD.jpgMing He, M.D., Ph.D., joins the department as assistant professor from the University of California, San Diego, where he served as an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology.

Tyrrell Headshot MCPDaniel Tyrrell, Ph.D.Daniel Tyrrell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cellular Pathology, was recently awarded an R00 to study the increased risk of vascular disease in older adults. Tyrrell, who joined the department in August, had an active K99 grant funded at the University of Michigan by the National Institutes of Health, to study, “Cerebrovascular Mitochondrial Function in Aging and Ischemic Injury.”

This grant mechanism is designed to support rising faculty members, and is Tyrrell's first. The proposed research will examine mechanisms of why older adults are at increased risk of vascular disease.

"Current treatments for dementia are inadequate for people of all ages," Tyrrell says. “My proposed research will determine how mitochondria and inflammation in blood vessels in the brain enhance cognitive decline with the goal of improving treatment for dementia and related diseases in blood vessels of the brain.”

The UAB Department of Pathology was proud to pull together faculty, trainees, students and staff from across campus to celebrate the variety of research endeavors ongoing in the department in its 2022 Research Retreat.

The event took place Friday, September 23, at the Hill University Center. A total of 148 faculty, staff, and trainees, as well as some undergraduate and medical students, registered and took part in this year's event. 

The UAB Department of Pathology is excited to announce that Gene Siegal, M.D., Ph.D., Robert M. Mowry Endowed Professor and Vice Chair, was recently awarded the designation of "Mastership" from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Siegal was presented with the award at the ASCP's 100th Annual Meeting, held in Chicago, September 7-9, 2022.

RS30083 RS30083 John Smith 1 smallerDr. Henry (Harv) Rinder, then-ASCP President and now Immediate Past President, presenting Dr. Gene Siegal with the award.

Established in 2007, the Mastership serves to recognize those distinguished members who have made significant contributions to the field of pathology and laboratory medicine and to the ASCP. Eligibility is based on years of ASCP membership, significant career accomplishments, and contributions to the Society and to the profession.

Each individual awarded the Master distinction will be able to use the credentials “MASCP” after his/her name.

C. Ryan Miller, M.D., Ph.D., Vishnu Reddy Translational Research Endowed Professor and Division Director, Neuropathology, published a review article in the journal Neuro Oncology on September 19 with colleagues on EGFR, the epidermal growth factor receptor, arguing for its role in precision oncology treatment of glioblastoma (GBM), a currently untreatable form of brain cancer.

"EGFR, the Lazarus target for precision oncology in glioblastoma," is a review focused on a topic Miller wished to study for years, but received multiple rejections for grant applications on the topic before finally obtaining funding this January. 
RS31816 Ryan Miller 7