Matalon selected as corresponding member for the Academy of Athens

This is the highest honor a scientist of Greek descent can receive.  

Close-up of Dr. Sadis Matalon, PhD (Professor, Anesthesiology) standing in interior crosswalk, 2013.Sadis Matalon, Ph.D.
(Photography: Steve Wood)
Sadis Matalon, Ph.D., a Distinguished Professor, Alice McNeal Endowed Chair and vice chair of Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, has been elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens, one of the oldest research institutions in Greece. This is one of the highest honors a scientist of Greek descent can receive.

“Being selected as a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens has been a dream of mine for many years,” Matalon said. “Members of the Academy of Athens include the most accomplished academicians from Greece and abroad in all academic disciplines. It is a great honor to be among such distinguished colleagues.”   

Matalon was selected for this position because of his numerous contributions to the field of acute lung injury and repair. He has been funded by NIH since 1978 with multiple R01, U01 and U54 grants. He is considered a leading investigator in understanding the mechanisms by which toxic gases as well as respiratory viruses and pathogen damage to the lungs can cause pulmonary edema. 

His most recent research focuses on the role of halogens (such as chlorine) in lung damage, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and COVID-19. His work has been published in more than 360 publications and 17,000 bibliographic references. He is also the owner of five international patents for various treatments for acute lung injuries caused by viral infections and exposure to toxic gases. 

His research plays a very important role in understanding the development of acute respiratory failure syndrome, a form of injury to the lungs that can be caused by several diseases and types of traumas, including pneumonia and other types of infections, automobile collisions, and diseases that cause inflammation like pancreatitis. 

“Dr. Matalon is a world-renowned physiologist whose research in acute lung injury and repair has touched countless lives,” said Dan Berkowitz, M.D., chair of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine. “His selection for this role brings great honor to our department and to the UAB Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine, and we look forward to the scientific contributions he will continue to make in this position.”   

Matalon joined the UAB faculty as a professor of anesthesiology, physiology and biophysics in 1987 after a six-month sabbatical in the lab of Bruce Freeman, Ph.D. Since then, he has progressed through many roles within UAB. Some of his latest roles include being named the founding director of the Pulmonary Injury and Repair Center and Distinguished Professor of Anesthesiology at UAB. Currently he serves as the vice chair for Research and director of the Translational and Molecular Biomedicine Division of the Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine.  

Matalon has received multiple awards, including Career Investigator Award by the American Lung Association, NIH MERIT Award, Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishment by the American Thoracic Society and two Hororis Causa degrees, from the University of Thessaly and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece.  

He was the Distinguished Julius H. Comroe Jr. Lecturer of the Respiration Section of the American Physiological Society, and received the George Kotzias, M.D., award from the Hellenic Physiological Society. Most recently, he received the University of Alabama School of Medicine Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. He is the former editor in chief of the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology and the deputy editor of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. Currently he is editor in chief of Physiological Reviews, the most cited physiology journal in the world. He is also an elected fellow of the American Physiological Society.

In addition, Matalon has received various awards for teaching from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, including the Joint Health Sciences Presidential Teaching Award, Argus Society Award for Instructional Excellence and the Caduceus Award for Best Basic Science Professor. 

He has mentored a large number of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, clinical fellows and junior faculty who have become independent investigators.