This weekend’s TEDxBirmingham will have UAB flavor

Bevan, Locke, Saag are among 12 speakers who will speak at the annual, independently organized event which will challenge attendees to embrace the event’s theme of possibility.

jayme locke 2017Jayme LockeThree TEDxBirmingham speakers will give the event a distinct University of Alabama at Birmingham flavor this weekend when the annual, independently organized event is held at 10 a.m., Saturday, March 25, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center.

School of Medicine faculty members Jayme Locke, M.D., director of UAB’s Incompatible Transplant Program, and Michael Saag, M.D., director of the UAB Center for AIDS Research, are scheduled to give presentations, along with Elizabeth Bevan, a doctoral student in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology.

Locke, who will speak on the power of living donation, is the coordinator of the UAB Kidney Chain, the world’s longest transplant chain, which has completed 67 transplants since it began in December 2013. First-person and video stories from the UAB Kidney Chain can be viewed online.

Locke has also performed the Deep South’s first HIV-positive kidney transplant from an HIV-positive deceased donor and is leading UAB’s efforts to support the White House initiative to increase living kidney transplants. Those interested in pursuing living donation can fill out the Living Kidney Donor Screen Form.

michael saag 2012Michael SaagSaag is the founder of UAB’s 1917 Clinic, which is a member of the largest AIDS clinical trials group in the world, with 34 domestic and 25 international sites. Saag has made seminal discoveries in the genetic evolution of HIV, and tools developed to study the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1917 Clinic have helped shaped the world’s response to other emerging threats, including SARS, Ebola, bird flu and the Zika virus.

Further studies on HIV/AIDS and its complications have contributed to researchers’ understanding and treatment of obesity, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and cancer. Saag, an internationally renowned researcher, was named associate dean of Global Health in the School of Medicine in 2015. He also released the book “Positive” in 2014, to spark a discussion on how to improve the U.S. health care delivery system.

Bevan has excelled throughout her UAB career. She has been awarded a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship by the National Sea Grant College Program, has received the Harold Martin Award for excellence in Biology, was honored as one of 90 doctoral students around the nation to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood, and earned her Master of Science degree from UAB in 2013 studying the highly endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle in the Gulf of Mexico, which received attention around the world. Bevan most recently received the highly competitive National Science Foundation EASPSI grant to fund her summer research in Australia.

elizabeth bevin streamElizabeth BevinAt a TEDxBirmingham event, speakers from a variety of backgrounds — none of whom are paid — share a bold, new idea through a short talk of 18 or fewer minutes. The events also feature artistic performances and hands-on, interactive experiences. The participants at a TEDxBirmingham event represent a cross-disciplinary mix of people, ranging from civic and business leaders to educators, technologists, artists and more.

TEDxBirmingham is an independent, volunteer effort operated under license from TED. Through various initiatives, including a daylong main event, smaller salon events and more, TEDxBirmingham strives to foster the diffusion of ideas in order to spark conversations and innovations that lead to a better Birmingham.

TEDxBirmingham, like all TEDx events, is not organized for political reasons, monetary reward or personal gain. Everyone associated with TEDxBirmingham does so because he or she believes in the power of ideas to change the world.

TEDxBirmingham is supported by partners who provide both in-kind contribution of their services or products, or financial contributions. TEDxBirmingham is organized under the financial stewardship of the Innovation Depot, which is a 501(c)(3) organization.

The event will be broadcast online at For more information, visit, or follow on Twitter at  or on Facebook at

  • March 25