May 23, 2018

Locke wins ACTS Distinguished Investigator Award

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jayme locke 2018 white coat vThe 2018 ACTS Distinguished Investigator Award for Translation into Public Benefit and Policy was awarded to Jayme Locke, M.D., for her outstanding contributions to advance clinical research and translational science. Jayme Locke, M.D., director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Incompatible Kidney Transplant Program, has been awarded the Distinguished Investigator Award for Translation into Public Benefit and Policy.

The honor, received by Locke in April at the Association for Clinical and Translational Science Conference in Washington, D.C., is presented to a senior investigator whose innovative research or education leadership has had a major impact on or through clinical and translational science, specifically in applying translational research findings into effective public policies that promote health.

“Bench to bedside research is critical to help the millions of Americans who are struggling with some form of kidney disease,” said Locke, who reported the first national study of five- and 10-year outcomes for HIV-infected recipients of kidney transplants. Locke also has performed the Deep South’s first HIV-positive kidney transplant from an HIV-positive deceased donor, a transplant made possible by the HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act, which she played a role in developing.

“We continue to work tirelessly to improve upon our knowledge, share our successes and engage our public leaders so we can all work together to move science forward and improve the health care opportunities for Alabamians and all Americans,” Locke said. “It’s an honor to receive this award from the ACTS, which really recognizes the broad and impactful work taking place here at UAB.”

Locke, a surgeon in the School of Medicine’s Division of Transplantation, specializes in innovative strategies for the transplantation of incompatible organs, disparities in access to and outcomes after solid organ transplantation, and transplantation of HIV-infected end-stage patients. She has directed the ongoing UAB Kidney Chain — the world’s longest — which has helped 94 people achieve a kidney transplant since it began in December of 2013. Locke also oversees UAB’s Living Donor Navigator Program, a White House effort that began in 2016 to increase living kidney transplants.

Her research interests include complex statistical analysis and modeling of transplant outcomes and behavioral research focused on health disparities. Locke currently holds R01, R56 and K23 grants from the National Institutes of Health, and frequently presents her research findings at international transplant meetings, including the World Transplant Congress, the British Transplantation Society, the American Transplant Congress and the National Kidney Foundation. 

Locke specializes in innovative strategies for the transplantation of incompatible organs, disparities in access to and outcomes after solid organ transplantation, and transplantation of HIV-infected end-stage patients.

In 2017, Locke was selected for the prestigious James IV Traveling fellowship, which aims to promote communication and collaboration in the surgical community. She has also helped UAB form a key partnership with the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she and her team have helped Groote Schuur Hospital develop protocols for transplanting highly sensitized and ABO-incompative patients — a first for the continent of Africa.

Locke has also received the American Transplant Congress Young Investigator Award, is one of the Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 and was named one of Al.com’s 2015 Women Who Shape the State.

The ACTS presents its annual Translational Science Distinguished Investigator Awards to recognize researchers for their outstanding contributions to advance clinical research and translational science. Individuals are nominated by their colleagues and peers and may be selected from all industry segments.

“The Translational Science Awards offer the opportunity for the clinical and translational science community to recognize distinguished investigators,” said Emma A. Meagher, M.D., ACTS president and director of Translational Research Education at the Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania. “This year’s award winners have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and discovering new treatments to help patients.”

The Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) uniquely provides an outstanding platform for enhancing education, research and public policy related to clinical and translational science. ACTS members consist of leaders, investigators and trainees from academic medical centers, government, industry and philanthropy. ACTS focuses on four realms: research, education, advocacy and mentoring. Additional information is available at the ACTS website at www.actscience.org.