For selection as a MERIT Research Mentor, the interested individual must be a full-time faculty member and hold a tenure-track appointment. He/She must submit a CV to the MERIT Program Executive Committee for review at postdocs@uab.edu.

Criteria for selection include strength of publication record, depth of training record, commitment to the training of MERIT Scholars, and current funding resources; MERIT Research Mentors must demonstrate current R01 funding or equivalent grant support to host and train a MERIT Scholar. MERIT Research Mentor applications are re-evaluated every three years for evidence of current training and funding.

Current Research Mentors:

Anupam Agarwal, MD - Department of Pathology
Regulation of heme oxygenase gene expression in kidney and vascular injury

Namasivayam Ambalavanam, MD - Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology
Neonatal pulmonary vascular remodeling and hypertension

Steven N. Austad, PhD- Department of Biology
Biology of Aging, Evolution, Ecology of Infectious Diseases, Scientific Communication

Shannon Bailey, PhD - Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Molecular mechanisms of chronic alcohol and obesity induced fatty liver disease

Scott Ballinger, PhD - Department of Pathology
Environmental cardiology, free radical biology, mitochondrial function

Dave Bedwell, PhD - Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
Mechanism of Translation Termination and Therapies to Suppress Stop Mutations

Mary-Ann Bjornsti, PhD - Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Mechanisms of tumorigenesis

Markus Bredel, MD, PhD – Department of Radiation Oncology
Basic, translational, and clinical investigations of primary brain tumors and brain metastases

Cynthia J. Brown, MD – Department of Medicine
Low mobility and fall-risks in older, hospitalized patients

Thomas Buford, PhD – Department of Medicine
Exercise and aging

Chenbei Chang, PhD – Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Growth factor signaling and transcription regulation in vertebrate development

Jim Collawn, PhD - Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Cystic Fibrosis; Endocytosis; Protein Trafficking

Christine Curcio, PhD – Department of Ophthalmology
Age-related macular degeneration

Ronit Elk, PhD - Professor of Medicine
Culturally-based palliative care

Amit Gaggar, MD, PhD - Professor of Medicine
Adult CF, lung transplantation

Tim Garvey, PhD - Department of Nutrition Sciences
Molecular and physiological pathogenesis of human insulin resistance

James George, PhD – Department of Surgery
Transplantation immunology

Michael Gray, PhD – Department of Microbiology
Bacterial sensing and response to reactive chlorine species

Alecia Gross Gutierrez, PhD - Department of Vision Sciences
Molecular mechanisms of retinal disease and ciliopathies

Pauline Jolly, PhD - Professor of Epidemiology
Pathogenesis of HIV and other lentiviruses

Nina Kraguljac, MD – Department of Medicine
Disease processes underlying psychosis spectrum disorders

Eugenia Kharlampieva, PhD - Department of Chemistry
Development of bio-mimetic materials for therapeutic application

Stacey Krueger-Hadfield, PhD – Department of Biology
Patterns of gene flow across species and responses to environmental perturbations

Brittany Lasseigne, PhD – Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology

Farah Lubin, PhD - Department of Neurobiology
Molecular transcriptional mechanism in learning/memory and neurological disorders

Lori McMahon, PhD - Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Synaptic plasticity and hippocampal dependent learning  

Shahid Mukhtar, PhD – Department of Biology
Systems biology, functional genomics, bioinformatics, plant immune networks

Tim Nagy, PhD - Department of Nutrition Sciences
typical antipsychotic drug-induced weight gain; obesity, caloric restriction, and cancer; small-animal phenotyping

Michael Niederweis, PhD - Department of Microbiology
Regulation of solute transport in M. tuberculosis

Carlos Orihuela, PhD – Department of Microbiology
Host pathogen interactions for development of invasive pneumococcal disease

John Parant, PhD – Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Regulation and causes of genomic instability in cancer and other diseases

Jennifer Pollock, PhD – Department of Medicine
Role of nitric oxide in vascular and renal function

Chander Raman, PhD - Medicine-Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
Mechanisms of Autoimmunity Development

Sasanka Ramanadham, PhD - Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Role of Lipid Mediators in Signal Transduction

Nicole Riddle, PhD – Department of Biology
Role of epigenetics in gene regulation and disease

Samiksha Raut, PhD – Department of Biology 
Environmental Toxicology

David Schneider, PhD – Department of Biochemistry
Control of RNA polymerase transcription

Rosa Serra, PhD - Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Mechanism of TGF-ß Action in Developmental and Disease Processes

John Shacka, PhD - Department of Neuropathology
Targeting the autophagy-lysosome pathway for therapeutic in age-related neurodegenerative disease

Brian Sims, MD, PhD – Department of Pediatrics
Understanding the cellular mechanisms involved in premature brain injury

Trygve Tollefsbol, PhD - Department of Biology
Cancer and aging epigenetics

Hubert Tse, PhD - Department of Microbiology
T-cell responses in Type 1 diabetes

Linda Wadiche, PhD - Department of Neurobiology
Development of adult-generated neurons

Pengfei Wang, PhD-  Department of Chemistry
Organic Chemistry, Photochemistry, Carbohydrate Chemistry, Synthetic Methodology, Photoresponsive Materials, Synthetic Vaccines and Vaccine Adjuvants

Qin Wang, PhD
 - Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Regulation of GPCR trafficking, signaling and in vivo functions

Stephen Watts, PhD - Department of Biology
Physiological responses to nutritional and environmental stressors in aquatic animals

Scott Wilson PhD - Department of Neurobiology
Neurodegenerative disorders and developmental disabilities

Mike Wyss, PhD - Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Neuroplasticity in aging and neuro cardiovascular control

Qinglin Yang, PhD - Department of Nutrition Sciences
Mechanisms of heart failure

Brad Yoder, PhD - Department of Cell, Developmental, and Integrative Biology
Mechanisms of primary cilium assembly and function

Martin Young, PhD – Department of Medicine
Interrelationship between cardiac metabolism and contractility

Nabiha Yusuf, PhD – Department of Dermatology
Innate immune mechanisms in tumor development