University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
     Heersink School of Medicine
          Department of Pediatrics
               Department of Pediatrics, Divisions (in alphabetical order)

Child Health Research Unit (CHRU)

Children's of Alabama (COA)
     COA Pharmacy

Laboratory Space
      Department of Pediatrics Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory
      Department of Pediatrics Molecular Resistance Laboratory

UAB Hospital
     The Women and Infants Center

Centers
     University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs)
     UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS)
     UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC)
     UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care (service at COA)


If there are other descriptions you would like to see posted or if you have additions/revisions for any of the write-ups, please email Cheryl Perry.


The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a comprehensive urban university with over 22,500 students (Fall 2020) from across the US and internationally. As the only four-year public university in Birmingham (Alabama’s largest metropolitan area), it offers 35 doctoral and 45 master’s programs. UAB is the largest employer in the state, with 24,410 faculty and staff within the university and health system; itprovides over 60,000 jobs for an aggregate economic impact that exceeds $7 billion. Forbes magazine recently ranked UAB as America’s best large employer. The campus spans more than 100 blocks  providing over 11 million feet of assignable space. UAB is comprised of 10 academic colleges and schools in the health sciences and academic areas. The UAB Academic Health Center includes the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Optometry, Public Health, Health Professions, the Graduate School, and the Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences. The University’s academic campus consists of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Collat School of Business, the Schools of Education and Engineering, the Graduate School, and the Mervyn Sterne Library. The UAB workforce encompasses 23,609 people including a faculty of 2,999 (44 percent of whom are female). With over 1,200 externally funded investigators, UAB’s FY2020 research awards totaled $638 million. Over the past five years, growth in clinical trial expenditures has increased by 107% - from $36.2 million to $75 million. Most of UAB’s research occurs within its six health science schools (Medicine, Dentistry, Health Professions, Nursing, Optometry, and Public Health) and the College of Arts and Sciences, which houses many of UAB’s basic science programs. UAB’s research infrastructure is strengthened by its network of University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs), which are supported by an institutional investment of nearly $5 million per year to bring investigators from diverse departments together to work on joint projects focused on virtually all major diseases. These 26 Centers require substantive interdisciplinary faculty involvement; a financial base to support center and core activities; and internal and external review processes to ensure quality and productivity.  

Heersink School of Medicine

The UAB Heersink School of Medicine (HSOM) is dedicated to excellence in the education of physicians and scientists in all of the disciplines of medicine and biomedical investigation for careers in practice, teaching, and research. The HSOM is made up of nearly 800 students, more than 1,000 residents, and 1,400 full-time faculty in 27 academic departments. In FY2020, nearly $270 million was awarded to investigators. In just five years, the NIH research portfolio grew by $100 million, making it one of only eight schools in the country to do so. This growth catapulted the its NIH ranking from No. 31 in 2014 to No. 21 among all schools and the top 10 for public medical schools. In addition, 12 departments ranked among the top 20. 

Department of Pediatrics 

The Department of Pediatrics is comprised of 19 subspecialty divisions, each with an educational, research and clinical focus. Over the past five years, the department has experienced significant growth in the number of full-time medical pediatric faculty, with a current total of 260 faculty members who provide a full spectrum of medical expertise. Such growth comes with the support of the UAB Health System, the School of Medicine, and Children’s of Alabama. In FY 2020, the Department of Pediatrics faculty had research funding from the NIH of $21.5 million (placing 16th among all departments of pediatrics in the United States) and total research funding totaling $33.1 million. The residency program consists of 71 categorical pediatric residents; three combined programs also participate in pediatric training.The Department of Pediatrics supports 19 fellowship programs (17 ACGME and two non-ACGME programs), representing 74 pediatric fellows. Over the last 15 years our fellowship programs have grown from 32 total fellows to 74 fellows in 2020.

Department of Pediatrics, Divisions (in alphabetical order) 

Division of Academic General Pediatrics
Each year faculty of the UAB Division of Academic General Pediatrics at Children's of Alabama see thousands of patients from Birmingham and surrounding areas in primary care clinics. Serving patients ranging in age from newborn to age 18 and beyond, specially trained physicians and state of the art facilities make the Division of Academic General Pediatrics an ideal choice for pediatric healthcare needs. The UAB Pediatric Primary Care Clinic (PCC) is located in the Park Place building, directly adjacent to Children’s of Alabama Hospital in the heart of the Birmingham Medical District. The 18-room clinic provides routine well-child check-ups with vaccines and same-day sick visits to children of the Birmingham metro area. The clinic serves as the primary care continuity clinic for the Pediatric Residency Program, providing pediatric residents general pediatric training with direct supervision from board-certified pediatric attending physicians from the Division of Academic General Pediatrics. In 2020, the UAB Pediatric Primary Care Clinic (PCC) celebrated its 30th year providing general pediatric care to patients from birth to 18 years old. Corresponding with its birthday year, the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) awarded the PCC as a Patient-Centered Medical Home Program. In order to achieve NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition, the PCC had to meet certain standards that emphasize the use of systematic, patient-centered, coordinated care. This recognition aids in the support patients through access, communication and patient involvement.

Division of Adolescent Medicine
The UAB Division of Adolescent Medicine performs transdisciplinary investigations that include behavioral science, intervention and outcomes research, as well as assessments of psychosocial and physiologic changes during growth and development. Specific areas of research include: immunizations, improving outcomes for people living with HIV, HIV prevention, nutrition research, quality improvement, randomized clinical trials, health disparities and adolescent health risk and resiliency research. More than 5,000 teenagers and young adults are cared for each year by a team of health professionals specially trained for this unique patient population. The division is home to two interdisciplinary Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau funded training programs. The Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Training Program encompasses MCH leadership training, community program development and involvement, policy and advocacy training and professional networking opportunities. The Leadership Education in Pediatric Nutrition (LEPN) Program seeks to improve the nutritional health status of infants, children, adolescents and families by providing leadership training, education, and collaboration to health professionals to improve their knowledge and skills in MCH nutrition and physical activity.

Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
The UAB Division of Pediatric Allergy & Immunology board-certified faculty are dedicated to research and clinical care in the field of allergy and immunology and advancing knowledge in the diagnosis and care of patients with allergic diseases such as drug allergy, food allergy, asthma and atopic dermatitis and those with primary and secondary immunodeficiencies. In collaboration with physicians from the Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, allergists in the division assist in the evaluation of patients with eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases such as Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Division clinical immunologists diagnose and treat children with primary immune deficiencies including Severe Combined Immune Deficiency, primary antibody deficiencies, phagocyte deficiencies and complement deficiencies. Research interest include studies of T and B cell differentiation, mechanisms underlying immune deficiency syndromes, and immunologic abnormalities leading to autoimmunity.  Division faculty are engaged in research in the pathophysiology of asthma and allergic disease as well as primary immune deficiency and autoimmunity.

Division of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Intensive Care
The UAB Division of Pediatric Cardiology’s faculty include cardiovascular intensivists trained in pediatric cardiology, pediatric critical care, and neonatology. They collaborate with pediatric cardiac surgeons in the only Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Center in the state of Alabama, as well as a team of highly specialized nurses, respiratory therapists, and nurse practitioners to provide the best care for patients. Division faculty engage in in multi-institutional opportunities such as The Todd and Karen Wanek Family Program for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) Consortium. It seeks to improve access to clinical trials and allow researchers to pool scientific knowledge with top cardiovascular programs around the country. The divisions is currently participating in several Industry Sponsored Research Protocols, as well as various Investigator Initiated/Bench Research Projects with multiple other divisions throughout UAB. The Bruno Pediatric Heart Center is a "heart hospital within a hospital" and built upon a single platform of care that places key services in three connected buildings (Children’s of Alabama, UAB Women and Infants Center, and University Hospital).  This single platform of care includes a state-of-the-art, 20-room CVICU (Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit); four dedicated ECMO suites; cardiac-specific operating rooms and catheterization laboratory; same day and post-anesthesia care unit; CT scanner with minimum radiation and advanced MRI technology; three-dimensional image mapping; and easy access to the UAB high-risk obstetric birthing suites and regional neonatal intensive care unit. The CVICU provides comprehensive care to children of all ages with simple and complex congenital heart disease. It oversees care to approximately 600 open-heart cases per year

Child Abuse Pediatrics
The UAB Division of Child Abuse Pediatrics was established in August of 2015. The division expands the services provided by the Children’s Hospital Intervention and Prevention Services (CHIPS) Center. The CHIPS Center provides forensic medical evaluations, psychosocial assessments, play therapy, counseling, social work services, prevention education, court support and expert court testimony for victims of child abuse. Services coordinate with all local, regional and state resources and organize educational efforts to increase awareness, understanding and reporting of child maltreatment.

Division of Pediatric Critical Care
The UAB Division of Pediatric Critical Care is committed to providing excellence in patient care, research, and training. Patients with life-threatening diseases are cared for in the 24 bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s of Alabama – the only Level I pediatric trauma center and ECMO center in the state. Faculty support the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Critical Care Transport Team, Pediatric Simon Sedation Service, and the Pediatric Simulation Center at Children’s of Alabama. Faculty are actively involved with education and simulation research. Division faculty developed COACHES (Children’s of Alabama Community Healthcare Education Simulation Program) which uses simulated pediatric emergencies to train staff in emergency departments and inpatient areas in hospitals throughout the state.

Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
The UAB Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DDBP) aims to provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and timely care for individuals with or at risk for developmental and behavioral conditions, including: developmental delay, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, learning disabilities, prematurity, behavioral problems, sleep disorders, genetic conditions. The DDBP is devoted to improving the system of care and care delivery for children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. Faculty and staff participate in multidisciplinary clinical care, training, and research. Research spans a variety of areas, including development of an autism registry and bio-banking repository for autism etiological research in collaboration with the UAB Department of Neurobiology. The division is a member of the NIH Neonatal Research Network for neonatal follow up, including neonatal opioid exposure with the Division of Neonatology. Division faculty also collaborate with researchers on Rett syndrome and tuberous sclerosis in the Division of Pediatric Neurology. 

Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine
As Alabama’s main tertiary care center for the care of children and the only designated Level 1 pediatric trauma center, the UAB Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine has the privilege and responsibility of caring for the most critically ill children in Alabama.  To best care for them, an excellent team of nurse practitioners, registered nurses, and ancillary staff members surrounds our pediatric emergency medicine physicians.  Physicians also have 24 hour access to pediatric medical and surgical subspecialists as well as round the clock in-house PICU and CVICU coverage. The Emergency Department has 53 rooms including four major resuscitation rooms and a four- bed unit specialized for the care of psychiatric patients.  The radiology department, including MRI and CT, connects to the ED offering rapid access to multiple imaging modalities..

Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes
The UAB Division of Pediatric Endocrinology covers a wide range of hormone-related disorders in children using a team approach.  Division services include a broad range of clinical, research, and training programs.  Faculty and fellow research projects include the entire spectrum of pediatric endocrinology conditions, both basic science and clinically oriented projects.  About half of its patient referrals are for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.  In addition, the division’s clinical and research portfolio includes cystic fibrosis, lipid disorders, lipoprotein metabolism, congenital hypothyroidism, thyroid nodules, thyroid and parathyroid disorders, polycystic ovary syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, dietary intervention, and the effect of pyridine nucleotides on both endoplasmic reticulum redox and calcium uptake. The Joseph S. Bruno Pediatric Endocrinology training program is a 3-year comprehensive experience that incorporates clinical care, research activities, and evidence-based learning.  The program is ACGME accredited and accepts one fellow per year.

Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The UAB Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition provides comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation and management of all pediatric gastrointestinal, liver and nutritional problems with a focus on multidisciplinary patient-centered care (including close interaction with the departments of Pediatric Surgery, Radiology, Pathology, Anesthesiology and Nutrition).  State of the art GI laboratory and endoscopy facilities perform a number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that include upper and lower endoscopy with biopsies, polypectomies, variceal sclerotherapy and banding, foreign body removal from upper GI tract, dilations, percutaneous liver biopsies, PH probe, hydrogen breath testing and anorectal motility testing.  Division research mirrors growth in developing specialty programs. The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Program is a significant member of the multi-institutional collaborative ImproveCareNow (ICN). These collaboratives assist caregivers in benchmarking patient outcomes. The IBD Program has spearheaded several ICN multi-center research projects. The Alabama Center for Eosinophilic Disease collaborates with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to study novel gene mutations in our patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). This partnership is focusing on inheritance patterns with EoE, specifically racial/ethnic differences. Research into a novel medication for the treatment of EoE provides the first FDA-approved ready to administer oral topical corticosteroids for EoE. The Intestinal Rehabilitation (IR) Program is part of an international network developing a database of patients with intestinal failure. Faculty have established an IR collaborative in the Southeast to study outcomes and specific therapies.

Division of Hematology and Oncology
The UAB Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology advances research and translates findings from the bench to the bedside and out the community. Division goals include state-of-the-art personalized clinical care, education and training, and the clinical translation of basic research focused on childhood cancer and blood disorders. The division’s clinical locus is the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders (ACCCBD), a collaboration between the UAB Department of Pediatrics and Children’s of Alabama. Approximately 2,000 patients receive care each year for serious blood disorders including sickle cell disease and hemophilia. Hematology faculty are also part of the UAB Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center and work within a unique pediatric network of regional comprehensive sickle cell clinics that are within driving distance from Birmingham. Using satellite locations, rural patients are able to overcome transportation barriers to care. Additionally, the division’s role in pediatric care within the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB serves as a rich resource to accelerate the pace of discovery across the entire trajectory of disease from diagnosis to survivorship and end of life. Each year, about 150 Alabama children have new diagnoses of leukemia, lymphoma, brain and spinal cord tumors, solid tumors of muscle and bone, kidney and liver tumors, and rare childhood cancers. Thus, active engagement as one of 21 sites of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Pediatric Early Phase Clinical Trials Network (PEP-CTN); one of 23 sites of the Neurofibromatosis Consortium, and one of 23 members of National Pediatric Cancer Foundation Sunshine Project is crucial to access to innovative clinical trials for patients with poor prognosis malignant tumors.

The Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship, established in 2015, is homed in the division. Its development is supported by the Heersink School of Medicine, the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Surgery and Radiation Oncology. The Institute's mission is to reduce the burden of cancer and its sequelae across all segments of population through interdisciplinary research, health promotion and education. ICOS members include epidemiologists, biostatisticians, physician scientists, behavioral scientists, nurse scientists and molecular biologists engaged in examining health outcomes in cancer survivors across all cancer diagnoses, all ages, and across the entire trajectory of disease (diagnosis to end-of-life).

Pediatric Hospital Medicine
The UAB Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine is committed to providing compassionate, comprehensive and evidence-based care to children admitted to Children’s of Alabama. The division directly cares for roughly one-third of the patients admitted, which amounts to about 5,500 admissions per year. Faculty are attending physicians for a general inpatient service that serves acutely ill children from the community as well as complex care patients and patients that are followed by subspecialties including neurology, rheumatology, rehabilitation medicine, dermatology, infectious diseases, immunology and allergy, genetics, and some surgical subspecialties. Faculty also serve as medical directors for three acute care nursing units and the Special Care Unit, the ICU-step down unit.

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
The UAB Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases provides outpatient and inpatient care for infants, children, and adolescents with illness of known or suspected infectious etiology.  Clinical care activities may include both infectious diseases that are difficult to diagnose and those requiring hospitalization such as bloodstream infections, meningitis, serious pneumonias, and viral diseases. For over 50 years, research into the natural history, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of congenital cytomegalovirus infections and neonatal herpes simplex virus disease have led advances in clinical care and research. The Collaborative Antiviral Study Group (CASG) and its NIH-funded Consortium for Perinatal Infectious Diseases investigates infections including congenital cytomegalovirus disease, neonatal herpes simplex virus infection, and neonatal viral sepsis caused by enteroviruses and the related human parechoviruses. Antiviral drugs evaluated in animal models and Next Generation Sequencing identify viral subpopulations with diminished susceptibility to antiviral drugs commonly used to treat life-threatening diseases.

Division of Neonatology
The UAB Division of Neonatology is responsible for the operations of the Regional Newborn Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) at University Hospital and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s of Alabama and provides coverage for four community hospitals in Birmingham. Research interests are in the following areas: respiratory distress syndrome, neonatal infections and immunology, persistent pulmonary hypertension, lung development, lung assist devices, lung injury, ventilation techniques in newborns, gastrointestinal development, necrotizing enterocolitis, neonatal apnea, cardiovascular problems, and complications arising from prematurity.  Division faculty members are active in many research endeavors, including the 17-center Neonatal Research Network and the Global Network for Women's and Children's Health Research, which are funded by the NIH.  The Regional Newborn Intensive Care Unit (RNICU) at University Hospital is the oldest and largest newborn ICU in the state.  Because of strong clinical research ties, many cutting edge therapies are available in the RNICU before they are introduced elsewhere.  The RNICU at UAB is a 120 bed Level III nursery and the primary referral nursery for maternal-fetal patients, critically ill neonates, and sick infants with congenital heart disease.  The division accepts referrals of neonates with any illness including genetic, cardiac, and surgical problems from the state, the nation, and from overseas.  The Newborn ICU at Children’s of Alabama is available for babies with surgical problems or complex, multi system congenital disorders.  

Division of Pediatric Nephrology
The UAB Division of Pediatric Nephrology leads research efforts in drug discovery and pharmacokinetics, as well as the assessment, progression and treatment of acute and chronic kidney disease in children. The nephrology team, which includes specialized nurses, a nutritionist, social workers, family counselors and faculty, evaluate and treat children with kidney disease from infancy to adolescence.  They care for those with urinary tract infections, hypertension, hematuria, proteinuria, glomerulonephritis, and nephrotic syndrome, vasculitis, and systemic lupus erythematosis and chronic kidney disease, including those who require chronic dialysis or transplantation. The renal care center is one of the largest comprehensive pediatric dialysis units in the United States offering acute and chronic dialysis therapies.  The specialized staff offers peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, continuous renal replacement therapies, kidney biopsies, and plasmapheresis for infants, children and adolescents. In order to maximize health and quality of life, the renal care center is one of three pediatric programs who train qualifying pediatric patients to perform hemodialysis at home using NXSTAGE Portable Dialysis Machine. In conjunction with the Division of Transplantation Surgery at UAB, the Division of Nephrology is one of the largest pediatric kidney transplant programs in the country.  Multi-center studies determine the optimal immunosuppression therapy to maximize long-term outcomes for children with kidney transplantation.

Division of Pediatric Neurology
The UAB Division of Pediatric Neurology provides inpatient consultative services at both Children's of Alabama and UAB Hospital. In addition, the service administers and directs a four bed inpatient Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Patient diagnoses covers a range of problems including seizure disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, primary muscle diseases, developmental problems and acute encephalopathies.  The division also provides ambulatory services through general pediatric neurology clinics at Children's and sleep clinics. In 2020, the division had over 10,600 outpatient clinic visits and over 4,000 inpatient consults and 4,700 telehealth visits. An expanding research program is investigating basic and clinical problems related to epilepsy, child development, genetics and biochemical diseases.  

Division of Pediatric Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine
The UAB Division of Pediatric Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine maintains a broad research portfolio that complements clinical programs, with focus areas in aerodigestive disorders, asthma, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cystic fibrosis, neuromuscular disorders, sleep medicine, and pulmonary complications of sickle cell disease. Faculty provide evidence-based, interdisciplinary, family-centered care for infants and children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and other chronic lung diseases of infancy and improve their health and developmental outcomes. Currently, the program serves between 150 and 175 unique patients per year, referred locally from the neonatal intensive care units at UAB and Children’s of Alabama, along with community nurseries around the state. The Maternal Child Health Bureau-funded Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC) is one of five educational programs funded through a competitive federal grant through MCHB and Health Resources and Services Administration that focuses on building leadership skills and promotes awareness of childhood respiratory disease. The Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation accredited CF Care Center provides state-of-the-art care for approximately 400 CF patients. The CF Care Center is complemented by the research activities of the UAB Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center. The Children’s of Alabama Sleep Disorder Center on average performs 2,000 pediatric sleep studies per year and provides clinical care to hundreds of patients. It is the only multidisciplinary sleep disorders center in Alabama and surrounding regions dedicated exclusively to children. Our center is accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
The UAB Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine seeks to generate new knowledge related to disabling conditions of childhood. Through close collaboration with the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative, the division is developing wide-reaching interventions to improve the health and wellness of children with physical impairments through sports, fitness, recreation and lifestyle interventions. The multidisciplinary care teams are made up of doctors, nurses, therapists and others who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of injuries and conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones and muscles of children and adolescents.  Commonly treated conditions include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and brachial plexus injury.  The division utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to address the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of congenital and childhood onset physical impairments including related or secondary medical, physical, functional, psychosocial, cognitive and vocational limitations or conditions, with an understanding of the life course of disability.  Its program collaborates with other agencies and organizations to serve children with disabilities and encourages child/family involvement in support groups and educational programs when appropriate.

Division of Pediatric Rheumatology
The Division of Pediatric Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham/Children's Hospital of Alabama was created in the summer of 2007 in response to a great need for pediatric rheumatic care in the state of Alabama, the largest state population without a Pediatric Rheumatologist at the time. The division provides state of the art clinical care to all patients in Alabama and neighboring states. Faculty diagnose and treat children with autoimmune disorders, including juvenile arthritis, lupus, myositis, scleroderma, and various vasculitides.  A variety of treatment options are available from intraarticular corticosteroid joint injections to newer biologic agents that target inflammatory cytokines.  Division research covers basic mechanisms of T lymphocyte function, clinical studies of temporomandibular joint arthritis and macrophage activation syndrome, and several projects aimed at optimizing the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. A satellite clinic operates in Mobile with every other monthly visits by a faculty member. There are also monthly clinics in Hoover, Huntsville and Montgomery.

Children's of Alabama (COA)

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama (COA) has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s is the only health system in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. With more than 3.5 million square feet, it is one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the United States. In 2020, Children's had 684,000 patient visits to our clinics and 15,130 patient admissions. A private, not-for-profit medical center, COA serves as the teaching hospital for the UAB pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs.  In 2012, Children’s opened two new facilities, strengthening its ability to serve pediatric patients statewide. The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, a 12-story, 760,000-square-foot, $400 million expansion allowed Children’s to increase its licensed beds from 275 to 350, ranking Children’s in the top 15 pediatric medical centers based on bed count. The hospital also opened the Joseph S. Bruno Pediatric Heart Center, which includes a 20-room cardiovascular intensive care unit, two dedicated surgical suites, three heart and vascular catheterization labs, and four dedicated extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) rooms. The floor connects directly via skywalk to the new UAB Women and Infants Center to provide quick and efficient access for the physicians and surgeons to their pediatric patients, as well as for the immediate transport of newborns requiring specialized care for congenital heart ailments. At the cornerstone of the Bruno Heart Center is its innovative pediatric hybrid catheterization suite, the only one of its kind in the state of Alabama. The hybrid cath lab is equipped with $3 million worth of state-of- the-art technology that allows it to be immediately converted to a cardiovascular surgical suite, eliminating the need to bring children out of anesthesia for a second procedure in a different room.

Child Health Research Unit (CHRU)

The CHRU was developed to provide a platform to improve our understanding of child health and childhood disease pathogenesis, and to accelerate the development of new treatments for diseases that are manifested in childhood. The CHRU is a partnership between Children’s of Alabama, one of the largest and busiest centers for child health care and the third largest pediatric hospital in the US, the UAB Department of Pediatrics and the CCTS. Its mission is to provide outpatient research space to pediatric investigators that reduce barriers to the conduct of scientifically rigorous clinical and translational research. The CHRU facilitates the execution of safe and age-appropriate clinical research protocols in a flexible fashion to accelerate our understanding and treatment of childhood diseases. To meet the growing needs of our pediatric researchers, an expanded 2,547 sf CHRU opened in May 2017 on the 3rd floor of Dearth Tower within Children’s hospital space, which is contiguous to UAB. The CHRU is separate from the outpatient clinical care areas, which ensures that study subjects are separated from clinical care activities. The CHRU facility includes: reception/registration area, triage room with scales and stadiometer, six well-equipped exam rooms, office and conference space, workspace with monitors & locked storage, labspace with centrifuge and freezer for short-term storage and an equipment storage room. Investigators and research coordinators have access to CHRU research space and equipment. All protocols that utilize the Unit must have a designated, protocol-specific physician with primary responsibility for the safe conduct of the study and must have IRB or WIRB approval. The hours of utilization are flexible and can include after-hour visits.

The original CHRU space on the 7th floor of Dearth Tower is now the CHRU Satellite (or Ancillary Unit). Used primarily for ambulatory patients with respiratory conditions, such as asthma and cystic fibrosis, it includes four outpatient beds (suitable for long-duration PK studies), a specimen processing laboratory, a state-of-the-art bio-specimen storage facility with real-time monitoring and specimen-tracking capabilities, a nasal potential difference laboratory. Specialized equipment housed for CFTR clinical science are also housed in the satellite CHRU, including two sweat iontopheresis devices (each compatible with the Macroduct collection system), two sweat evaporimeters (Cyberderm RG), a carbon monoxide monitor, a Lung Clearance Index measurement device (EcoMedics) for use by the nitrogen washout technique, nasal and exhaled nitric oxide measurement (EcoMedics), two spirometers with calibration equipment (NSpire), an EKG machine, a Code cart, and general laboratory supplies.

COA Research Pharmacy

Children's of Alabama Pharmacy department is committed to excellence in the provision of pharmaceutical care including medication delivery, decisions about medication selection, dosages, routes and methods of administration, medication therapy monitoring, and the provision of other medication-related information and counseling to individual patients.  The Investigational department provides services for inpatients and clinic patients.  Its pediatric-trained pharmacists provide investigational drug support and drug information services to the patients and health care professionals within the health system. 

Investigational (Study) Drug Policy: The pharmacy department is responsible for establishing specific procedures regarding the control and usage of medications related to clinical research in order to ensure the safety of research subjects.  These procedures comply with UAB’s Institutional Review Board.  Investigational medications require a complete order by an authorized prescriber.  All investigational drugs dispensed to enrolled study patients seen at COA are stored separately from other drugs in an area of limited access and are dispensed from the Pharmacy Department.  All inpatient and outpatient medications must be clearly labeled as required in the procedural guidelines.  The pharmacy is responsible for reviewing protocols to ensure they are in accordance with hospital policy.  Pharmacists dispense investigational drugs only after receiving written confirmation that a subject has properly signed an IRB-approved informed consent and is a currently enrolled study patient either from the PI or his/her designee.  Investigational drugs are dispensed only upon receipt of an order or prescription authorized by a PI and after checking if the dose is correct per protocol guidelines.  Pharmacists are also responsible for maintaining accurate records, storing drugs according to manufacturer’s specifications, and disposing of unused materials or returning unused materials to the sponsor in accordance with instructions.  Pharmacists also provide the identity codes for blinded investigational drugs, if authorized by the study sponsor and/or protocol if necessity demands.  Upon completion of a study, the study pharmacist will dispose of or return unused materials to the sponsor in accordance with instructions from the protocol, PI, study sponsor, or Drug Enforcement Administration, as appropriate, and will store all pertinent records as deemed appropriate by designated agencies and the drug sponsor and/or sponsor representative.

Laboratory Space


Department of Pediatrics Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory

The Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory is housed on the 7th floor of the Children’s Hospital Tower, which is connected by a walkway to the Children’s Harbor Building. The laboratory shares some common areas with the Diagnostic Virology Laboratory. The lab is arranged to optimize the performance of molecular assays in that it contains several areas that are dedicated to the preparation of PCR specimens and reagents while other areas are restricted to post-amplification procedures. Specifically, the areas for PCR testing are: (1) 220 sq ft specimen processing room. This room contains 3 nucleic acid extraction robots, Qiagen EZ1 Advanced XL (14 specimens per run), a Biomieux Easy Mag (24 specimens per run), and a Roche MagnaPure extractor (96 specimens per run). This room also has storage for extraction reagents, a refrigerator, freezer and chemical hood. (2) 165 sq. ft. reagent preparation room. This room a 16 cu ft freezer, refrigerator and space for reagents, plastic disposables, PCR positive displacement pipettes and a chemical hood. (3) 90 sq ft target-reagent room which contains a PCR Workstation hood, a 6 cu. ft. refrigerator , freezer and all the disposables necessary for reagent and specimen handling. (4) 2 bays which are approximately 450 sq ft for gel-based PCR amplification and post amplification procedures. This space contains two ABI GeneAmp 2700 96-well PCR System, two ABI GeneAmp 9700 Thermal cyclers. The post-amplification gel detection bay contains 3 agarose gel electrophoresis chambers with power supplies, and all the equipment and reagents necessary to prepare and run gels. One bay in the 6-bay large lab, 1000 sq ft, contains the real time PCR instruments, two ABI 7300 Real Time PCR Systems and an ABI 7500 Real Time PCR System. The 3 ABI Real Time instruments are run by dedicated Dell computers (Windows XP). The laboratory also contains a GeneMark eSensor instrument for highly multiplexed panels and is run by a dedicated Dell computer. Data from all instruments is backed up daily onto an external volume maintained by the Department of Pediatrics IT Department. In addition, there is a freezer storage room (240 sq ft) containing six 24 cu ft ultra-cold freezers (-80˚C). There are six additional 22 cu ft ultra-cold freezers housed in the main laboratory. Also in the large lab, there are 2 refrigerators, 2 water-jacketed CO2 incubators, two IEC intermediate speed centrifuges and two -20 C freezers. The lab also occupies 3 bays (650 sq ft) in another laboratory shared with the Diagnostic Virology Lab. Two bays in this area are for shipping and receipt of specimens. There is a laptop computer with bar code reader, various shipping containers, vials and other disposables which are used to construct specimen collection kits to be used at outlying labs. There are two addition rooms off this lab (60 sq ft), one contains the digital camera, UV illuminator and a Kodak 1D Image Analysis system which runs from a dedicated Dell computer which is also backed up to an external hard drive. The second small room contains fluorescent and light microscopes. Common areas shared with the Diagnostic Virology lab include another 6 bay lab, 1000 sq ft general purpose lab, walk-in refrigerator, walk-in incubator and walk-in freezer, kitchen area with autoclaves. For tissue culture and viral isolation, there are three Class 3 biosafety hoods, centrifuges, disposables, and inverted microscope for reading plates and shell vials. There are three offices in or near the lab occupied by the director, lab supervisor and head technician. All offices have Dell computers (Windows XP), Microsoft Office software, multiple printers and fax machines. These computers are linked to the internet and to the Pediatric server which hosts and backs-up all study specific databases.

Department of Pediatrics Molecular Resistance Laboratory

The Molecular Resistance Laboratory is located within the Children’s Harbor Building on the UAB campus. There are laboratories on two floors of the building and the entrance to both floors requires card keys issued by UAB security, which both monitors and restricts access to the facility. All doors to individual laboratories are locked at all times with numeric locks to limit access. The main laboratory is an eight module laboratory includes three offices with sit down space for eight Research Assistants and two Research Associates. A separate room secure with numeric locks is adjacent to the laboratory for the controlled storage of research materials. Associated administrative/data support offices are also located on the floor adjacent to the laboratory. A separate room secure with numeric locks is adjacent to the laboratory for the controlled storage of research materials. There is a two module BSL3 Suite on the ground floor of the building. A separate office with sit-down space for three Research Associates is located adjacent to the laboratory. Both laboratories are operational and fully equipped with major equipment required for the performance of Task Orders including class II biosafety cabinets, incubators, ultralow freezers, automated liquid handling systems, microplate readers and analytical balances. Standard minor equipment is also present in the laboratory including an three ABI Real Time thermal cyclers, luminometers, microscopes, centrifuges, water baths, and refrigerators. All computers in the laboratory including those that interface with major equipment are supplied and administered by the Department of Pediatrics IT Division. At present, 15 computers are in use for data management, report writing or controlling equipment. All data is stored on secure volumes administered by IT and they are backed up on a daily basis and archived. Core equipment in Children’s Harbor Building include autoclaves, glassware washers, ultracentrifuges, cold rooms, dark rooms, image capturing equipment, scintillation counters, and fluorescent and confocal microscopes. Additional services are available through the Comprehensive Cancer Center and include a core DNA sequencing facility, a proteomics facility, electron microscopy and bioinformatics services.

UAB Hospital

The centerpiece of UAB’s clinical enterprise, UAB Hospital is a 1,157 bed tertiary hospital and academic health science center located in Birmingham, Alabama. It serves as the only American College of Surgeons designated Level I Trauma Center in Alabama. UAB Hospital, which includes UAB Highlands Hospital and UAB’s outpatient clinics such as The Kirklin Clinic, is the flagship property of the UAB Health System which is owned by The University of Alabama at Birmingham. The system includes clinics, an eye hospital and affiliations with other health care facilities throughout the state. It is Birmingham's largest employer, with a staff of over 20,000.among the 20 largest and best equipped in the nation.  Encompassing five city blocks, 13 major buildings and 2.1 million square feet of space, it excels in the areas of emergency care transport, heart and kidney diseases, cancer, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, arthritis, organ transplantation, and cardiac surgery.  It has approximately 72,000 admissions each year, providing patients with a complete range of primary and specialty care services and the most up-to-date treatments and innovations in health care. In the most recent US News and World Report rankings of hospitals, UAB is ranked nationally in 8 adult specialties and considered high-performing in two other adult specialties.  It has also been designated a Magnet facility for the fifth consecutive time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program.  For outpatient medical care, The Kirklin Clinic opened in 1992 as a specially designed "superclinic" housing hundreds of physicians in nearly three dozen specialties. Today, The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital is one of the busiest outpatient centers in America and is renowned for providing the most advanced health care services that are both compassionate and convenient for our patients and their families. The Whitaker Clinic of UAB Hospital, located one block east of The Kirklin Clinic, opened in summer 2017 to accommodate growing demand for outpatient health care services. The two clinics serve more than 2,000 patients per day. With more than 250 exam rooms and many nationally ranked specialties, The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital and the Whitaker Clinic of UAB Hospital combine the latest in clinical care with teaching and research. There are more than 1.5 million visits each year to the Kirklin Clinic, Whitaker Clinic, and other UAB Medicine clinics.

The Women and Infants Center

Part of UAB Hospital, the Women and Infants Center is a world-class health care facility dedicated solely to the care of women and infants. UAB is the only hospital in the state where high-risk maternal and fetal physicians are available in-house 24 hours a day, every day of the year.  It also provides the area's only 24/7 Maternity Evaluation Unit for assessment of any pregnancy questions that might arise at gestational age of 16 weeks or greater.  The 400,000-square-foot-hospital is one of the first in the Southeast with all private neonatal intensive care nursery and continuing care nursery rooms. It also offers private labor, antepartum, postpartum, and gynecology patient rooms. The private room design enhances maternal, family, and infant bonding. Specialized isolation rooms and rooms designed for twins and triplets further enhance the family atmosphere. UAB’s highly-trained and compassionate physicians, nurses and other health professionals utilize advanced services and sophisticated state-of-the-art medical technology dedicated to the care of healthy and high-risk pregnant women, healthy and high-risk newborns, and women receiving care for a variety of gynecological challenges, including gynecological cancers.

University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs)

University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers provide a framework for research and training. These multidisciplinary centers are open to all investigators with interests consistent with the mission of the given center. The centers assist in coordinating thematically-oriented efforts for extramural grants and contracts, in developing center-associated core facilities and in integrating enrichment programs that are important trainee resources. Centers require sponsorship from at least three UAB schools, substantive interdisciplinary faculty involvement; contribution to the intellectual environment in order to enhance faculty and student recruitment, development, and retention; an extramural financial base to support center and core activities; internal and external review processes to ensure quality and productivity; and leadership in the integration of research and service including community outreach or partnerships. Through a competitive review process, the Deans of sponsoring Schools and the Provost provide modest funds for research cores, pilot and feasibility studies and selective enrichment activities.

UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS)

The Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) was established in 2008 and is funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. As one of more than 50 CTSA programs nationwide, and the only CTSA in Alabama, it serves a population with a heavy burden of cardiometabolic, vascular, and cancer-related diseases. UAB serves as the hub for the CCTS Partner Network, comprised of 11 academic research institutions across the Deep South states of Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Launched in 2015, this network is defined by unique collaborative opportunities and resources that provide the scope, scale, and transdisciplinary capacity necessary to achieve its mission.

O'Neal UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC)

The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center (OCCC) at UAB serves as a rich resource to accelerate the pace of discovery across the entire trajectory of disease from diagnosis to survivorship and end of life. The full impact of its multidisciplinary approach to cancer research and patient care extends throughout the Deep South and across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, where the Cancer Center serves as the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in the four-state area and one of only 51 such centers with this designation in the country. Established in 1971 as one of the first eight NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, the OCCC has been continuously funded for 50 years. With over $62 million in direct funding, the center is home to an outstanding faculty of over 400 clinicians, scientists and clinician-scientists, many of whom are internationally and nationally recognized for their expertise in oncology. The O'Neal Cancer Center treats approximately 20,000 patients annually, with an estimated 5,000 new patients each year.

UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care (service at COA)

In 2009, the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care in collaboration with Children's of Alabama (COA), began offering palliative care inpatient consultation to patients and families. The Palliative Care Team serving pediatric patients at COA includes five pediatric palliative care physicians and nurses who provide support and compassion for children with serious illnesses and their families. Over 400 inpatient consults occur annually. A palliative care physician is embedded in the neonatal intensive care unit, as well as the oncology, cardiology and muscular dystrophy clinics.  Additionally, one of the attending physicians serves as medical director for the pediatric hospice agencies that serve the Birmingham area.

The Palliative Care Team specializes in providing assistance to patients and families to ensure comprehensive pain and symptom management from the time of diagnosis throughout the entire course of illness while remaining focused on patient and family-centered goals of care. The Team strives to help families make informed decisions while pursuing comfort-oriented goals concurrently with cure-directed therapy. They focus on enhancing quality of life while minimizing all levels of suffering including physical, social, emotional and spiritual.  Collaboration with other healthcare professionals through an interdisciplinary team promotes each patient's comfort and well-being by maintaining hope, preserving dignity and easing the burdens of care-giving.