Elizabeth Beierle, M.D., professor in the UAB Division of Pediatric Surgery, has been selected as one of 30 inspiring women for the 2016 Alabama Media Group's Women Who Shape the State award. This statewide program recognizes incredible women who are impacting Alabama through their efforts in communities, business, service organizations and philanthropies.

Beierle Elizabeth PediatricThe second annual Women Who Shape the State awards evolved out of the Birmingham-based Women Who Make a Difference, which began in 2013, and last year expanded to honor women throughout Alabama. Out of the more than 100 nominations that were received, the selection committee chose Beierle to join the 2016 honorees based on her commitment to her work and ability to pay it forward to the next generation.

Beierle joined the UAB faculty in 2009, and performs more than 3,400 operative procedures annually. Her clinical focus is cancer surgery for infants and children with complex neonatal anomalies. She is a member of the Children’s Hospital Tumor Board and is the institutional surgical representative for the Children’s Oncology Group, which is a national cooperative study group for children with cancer.

As a senior scientist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, she is the principal investigator on the UAB-developed UAB30 grant, studying the effects of a novel rexinoid on the maintenance of a cancer stem cell population in neuroblastoma.

Her current research is also focused on the evaluation of the pathways associated with the non-receptor tyrosine kinase FAK, and the regulation of this kinase in pediatric solid tumors.

She is a regular lecturer to third-year medical students on fluids and electrolytes. She developed and taught an elective for residents concerning pediatric burn care and patient advocacy. Also through her role as a provider and instructor in Advanced Trauma Life Support, she has been regularly involved in teaching basic burn care to nurses, paramedics and emergency responders in the community.

“There is no doubt Elizabeth’s work in the operating room and research lab has made an impact of the lives of many Alabamians, but her role as a mentor to a younger generation of surgeons, specifically female surgeons, cannot be overlooked,” said Herbert Chen, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Surgery.

Beyond her work in Alabama, Beierle has been visiting Vietnam for the past 10 years to provide medical services there. Her main focus has been to provide pediatric surgical oncology care and minimally invasive non-cardiac thoracic surgery at one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country. She has also provided assistance with the care of newborns with surgical issues.