W. Timothy Garvey, MD

W. Timothy Garvey, MD, Butterworth Professor of Medicine in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was chosen to receive the Master of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology (AACE) award. The MACE award is the highest honor to be awarded by AACE, the country’s leading professional organization of clinical endocrinologists.

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After heart attack injury, several fatty-acid-derived bioactive molecules — including one called resolvin D1 — play an essential signaling role to safely clear inflammation and help repair heart muscle. The mechanism of how this resolution occurs is not well-understood.

Greg Pavela

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in collaboration with researchers at Indiana University-Bloomington, have received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the association between obesity and longevity and why some people are more susceptible to the health consequences of obesity compared to others.

Trygve Tollefsbol, Ph.D., D.O.

Trygve Tollefsbol, Ph.D., D.O., was named Distinguished Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology. Tollefsbol, ranked among the top three authors internationally in the field of cancer epigenetics, came to UAB in 1998 and has published more than 145 peer-reviewed research papers, 28 book chapters and 17 books on topics such as diet, epigenetics and cancer prevention.

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In a recently published study in the Obesity Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Obesity, University of Alabama at Birmingham health disparities researchers have explored how understanding inequalities in wealth is important to addressing health disparities in health and obesity.

Dr. Kevin Fontaine

From September 10 to October 1, 2021, the UAB School of Public Health will offer a remote, NIH-funded R25 short course in partnership with the Indiana University School of Public Health. The course is titled Causal Inference in Behavioral Obesity ResearchDr. Kevin Fontaine, Professor, and Chair of the UAB School of Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior is the UAB Principal Investigator, and several other School of Public Health faculty will contribute to the course.

"Anupam Agarwal, M.D. "

Anupam Agarwal, M.D., will become the next president of the American Society of Nephrology on Jan. 1, 2020, for a one-year term. The organization is made up of more than 20,000 health professionals from 131 countries.

Eric P. Plaisance, Ph.D.

A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has found that ketone supplementation decreased body fat and body weight in mice placed on a high-fat diet. The findings could have implications for an alternative to low-carbohydrate, high-fat ketogenic diets to help lower body fat and weight.

fried foods and sugary drinks

Written by: American Heart Association

Regularly eating a Southern-style diet may increase the risk of sudden cardiac death, while routinely consuming a Mediterranean diet may reduce that risk, according to new research published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association, an open-access journal of the American Heart Association.

Valene Garr Barry, MS

Valene Garr Barry, MS, a trainee in the UAB School of Health Professions’ Nutrition Sciences Ph.D. program and Pre-doctoral Trainee in the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) was recently recognized for submitting a top-scoring abstract to The Obesity Society (TOS). In mid-November, she will present findings from a dietary intervention study in a poster titled, “Greater loss of central adiposity from low-carbohydrate versus low-fat diet in middle-aged adults,” at the meeting in Nashville, TN.

Sonia Fargue, PhD

May 18, 2021

Sonia Fargue, PhD has been selected as this year’s Named New Investigator for the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC). The center leadership selects from among funded pilot/feasibility recipients and then receives approval from the UAB NORC External Advisory Committee prior to formally making the appointment.

"Sue Feldman, Ph.D., and Kristi Menear, Ph.D."

The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Kristi Menear, Ph.D., and Sue Feldman, Ph.D., recently completed the Higher Education Resource Services program, a leadership development and research organization dedicated to women in higher education.

Ganesh Halade, Ph.D., left, and Yabing Chen, Ph.D.

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers Yabing Chen, Ph.D., and Ganesh Halade, Ph.D., have won 2018 “best paper” awards from the not-for-profit Science Unbound Foundation.

Close up of blood pressure gauge

A series of studies recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers describes the reasons behind low levels of natriuretic peptides in obese individuals. NPs are beneficial hormones produced by the heart that are responsible for the regulation of blood pressure and the overall cardiovascular and metabolic health of humans. This study also addresses how the disturbance of an individual’s day-night, or diurnal, rhythm of these hormones contributes to poor cardiovascular health in obese individuals.

"Barbara Gower, Ph.D."

UAB is a unique place, says Barbara Gower, Ph.D., professor and vice chair for Research in the School of Health Professions Department of Nutrition Sciences. But not just because the university brought in nearly $300 million in NIH funding this past year, or because our orthopaedic surgeons offer total knee replacements without an overnight hospital stay for some patients.

Beetroot juice is believed to help with cognitive function, lower blood pressure and improve stamina during exercise because of the nitrates in the vegetable that aid the body in better utilizing oxygen. A new study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham is recruiting participants for a study that looks at beetroot juice components, dietary nitrate and antioxidants, and their independent effects on exercise tolerance and health benefits in individuals with obesity.

"Gareth Dutton, PhD, and Kevin Fontaine, PhD""

Will weighing yourself every day help you lose weight? Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham received a $2.7 million R01 grant to study middle-aged adults to see if daily self-weighing will help them lose or manage their weight.

Kevin Fontaine, Ph.D.

Women with ovarian or endometrial cancer who followed the ketogenic diet for 12 weeks lost more body fat and had lower insulin levels compared to those who followed the low-fat diet recommended by the American Cancer Society, according to a new study published by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Jennifer Pollock, Ph.D.

Jennifer Pollock, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Nephrology in the Department of MedicineSchool of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is the new president of the American Physiological Society. Pollock was elected by APS membership and takes office April 30, 2021.

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Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have discovered that meal timing strategies — like intermittent fasting or eating earlier in the daytime — appear to help people lose weight.

Sarah Salvy, Ph.D. and Gareth Dutton, Ph.D.

Researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham Obesity Health Disparities Research Center will examine whether simple targeted interventions, focused on developing good habits — implemented at home — can be successful in reducing the number of children who are overweight.

"Jeralyn Langord"

Jeralyn Langford, was awarded the title of first place winner for Health Sciences research presentation in the 25th Annual SAEOPP McNair/SSS Scholars Research Conference for her oral presentation entitled, “Association of Dietary Pattern with In-vitro Fertilization (IVF) Outcomes.”

Courtney Peterson, Ph.D.

Fasting for certain periods during the day can help people lose weight, which may lead to additional health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and diabetes risk. It was not known previously whether weight loss through fasting was directly related to these other health benefits.

Jayme Locke, M.D., MPH

The National Institutes of Health National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases has awarded Jayme Locke, M.D., MPH, director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Transplant Institute and Division of Transplantation, a five-year R01 grant amounting to approximately $3.2 million.

"Dr. Kevin Fontaine"

Dr. Kevin Fontaine, Professor, and Chair, in the Department of Health Behavior, and Dr. Gareth Dutton, Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, were awarded a Research Project Grant (R01) of $2.7 million from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Bertha Hidalgo

Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., has been elected to the American College of Epidemiology Board of Directors. The American College of Epidemiology is a professional organization that serves the interests of the profession and its members through advocating for issues pertinent to epidemiology, a credential-based admission and promotion process, sponsorship of scientific meetings, publications, and educational activities, and recognizing outstanding contributions to the field.

black woman

One of the most pronounced health disparities in the United States may also be one of the most visible: Black women are more likely than any other segment of the population to be obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 38% of European Americans, male and female, are obese. The rate is 37% for African American men. For African American women: 55%.

"Ceren Yarar-Fisher, P.T., Ph.D."

In the first clinical trial of its kind, researchers hope to discover whether following the ketogenic diet will help patients with acute spinal cord injuries regain sensory and motor functions faster than those who do not follow the diet.

Trygve Tollefsbol, Ph.D.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have found that a plant-based diet is more effective in preventing breast cancer later in life for the child if the mother consumed broccoli while pregnant. The 2018 study out of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences and Comprehensive Cancer Center used epigenetics — the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off — as a mechanism to identify ways we can change human gene expressions in fatal diseases, including breast cancer.

Ceren Yarar-Fisher, Ph.D.

Ceren Yarar-Fisher, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, received the Junior Chamber International 2020 Ten Young Outstanding People of Turkey in Academic Leadership and Accomplishment Award.

"Wendy Demark-Wahnefried"

University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, the Webb Endowed Chair of Nutrition Sciences, has been selected to receive the 2018 Mary P. Huddleson Award.

Stephen Watts

Stephen A Watts, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biology and Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), has been selected to chair the organizing committee for the ORIP/DPCPSI/OD-NIH workshop on “Defining Nutrition in Zebrafish and other Biomedical Research Diets: Needs and Challenges.”


For decades, Americans have fought a losing battle with obesity. Between 1960 and 2010, the prevalence of adult obesity in the United States nearly tripled, to 36% from 13%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It isn’t as if many Americans don’t recognize the problem. According to 2018 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, just under half of adults in the United States (49.1%) tried to lose weight in the prior 12 months. Nevertheless, according to CDC data, the obesity rate that year rose to a record 42.4%.

Stephen Barnes

The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees awarded the rank of Distinguished Professor to five faculty during its meeting on June 8.


In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers, findings indicate that among patients with heart failure, obesity is associated with a higher risk of heart failure hospitalization or death due to cardiac causes. However, achieving biomarker-based treatment goals in heart failure improves the prognosis for patients irrespective of their obesity status.

"William Grizzle, M.D., Ph.D."

William Grizzle, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Anatomic Pathology, was recognized recently by the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories with the 2019 Founder’s Award.

Stella Aslibekyan

Twelve faculty have been selected to receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which honors those who have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments in teaching. They will be recognized during the annual Faculty Convocation to be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Doubletree Hotel.

Valene Garr Barry, MS, PhD

The Graduate School recognized five doctoral students and five master’s students as recipients of the 2021 UAB Samuel B. Barker Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies.

Bertha Hidalgo

Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH, will join the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Board of External Experts. The Board of External Experts provides input on the NHLBI’s strategic research priorities and guidance on scientific opportunities.

Drew Sayer

Drew Sayer, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UAB Department of Nutrition Sciences, has been named the inaugural Ronald L. and David B. Allison Endowed Scholar. This award was established to provide support for junior faculty within the department who do not yet have RO1 funding from the National Institutes of Health.

"Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH"

Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, was recognized with the Early Career Achievement Award at the 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Connections capstone symposium.

Pamela Bass - before and after pics

Obesity is a medical problem that can have wide-ranging mental and physical effects on a person. Pamela Bass knows that firsthand, but thanks to the University of Alabama at Birmingham surgeons, she has a new lifestyle and a new state of mind.

Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D.

Bertha Hidalgo, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has received a grant of more than $300,000 from Research Goes Red, an initiative by the American Heart Association Institute for Precision Cardiovascular Medicine.

"Jessica Hoffman, Ph.D., and Steven Austad, Ph.D."

University of Alabama at Birmingham Jessica Hoffman, Ph.D., and Steven Austad, Ph.D. aging expert — and once-upon-a-time lion trainer — Steven Austad, Ph.D., and UAB postdoctoral fellow in longevity research Jessica Hoffman, Ph.D., have won the George C. Williams prize from the International Society for Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, or ISEMPH.

Shima Dowla

Shima Dowla, an M.D./Ph.D. student at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, is one of 100 doctoral students in the U. S. and Canada selected to receive a $15,000 Scholar Award from the P.E.O. Sisterhood. She was sponsored by the Alabama State Chapter.

Gordon Fisher, PhD

A University of Alabama at Birmingham researcher has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate if home-based, high-intensity interval exercise training can improve cardiometabolic health in patients with longstanding spinal cord injury.

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A change in diet can reduce the intense pain caused by knee osteoarthritis, the most prominent form of arthritis, according to research findings published this week in the journal Pain Medicine.

David Sears — before and after his participation at the UAB Weight Loss Clinic.

To celebrate his 10-year wedding anniversary, David Sears, a weekend radio host on Birmingham’s Jox 94.5 and assistant program director of Talk 99.5, planned a special vacation back to Disney World, where he and his wife had honeymooned. The trip started off well until Sears started noticing a rash on his leg. After a few days, the rash intensified and became so painful that he had to seek immediate medical attention.

Soft drink consumption is a likely predictor of aggressive behavior, according to a new study from UAB.

Tiffany Carson, PhD (Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine) will lead both a randomized controlled trial of a stress management-enhanced behavioral weight loss intervention among adult black females, and a study of diet on gut microbiota and other physiologic markers among racially diverse adults.

Courtney Peterson, Ph.D.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are trying to find out whether changing a person’s eating schedule can help them lose weight and burn fat.

Soft drink consumption is a likely predictor of aggressive behavior, according to a new study from UAB.

A study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham has shown that frequent soft drink consumption by adolescents may contribute to aggressive behavior over time. 

"Ganesh Halade, PhD"

Growing older and a high-fat diet enriched with omega 6 fatty acids are major contributors to health risks ranging from diabetes to heart failure. How these two factors regulate the immune response is not well-understood.

high-fat diet

A new study, published in Nutrition and Metabolism, from researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Nutrition Obesity Research Center observed improvements in body composition, fat distribution and metabolic health in response to an eight-week, very low-carbohydrate diet.

Sarah Deemer, PhD, postdoctoral scholar in the NORC and Department of Nutrition Sciences, was awarded 1st place for “Exogenous Dietary Ketone Esters Decrease Body Weight and Adiposity in Mice Housed at Thermoneutrality.”

Cora Elizabeth (Beth) Lewis, MD, MSPH

UAB’s School of Public Health welcomes Cora Elizabeth (Beth) Lewis, MD, MSPH, as the new Chair of the Department of Epidemiology beginning April 1, 2018.

Four individuals and one student organization were honored with the President’s Diversity Champion Award Feb. 21. The annual award recognizes employees, students and organizations that have helped create a more culturally diverse, inclusive university community through their achievements.

Dr. Olivia Affuso

Dr. Olivia Affuso is an Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UAB School of Public Health, an Associate Scientist in the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the Center for Exercise Medicine.

Busting the 8 cups of water myth

Staying hydrated is critical, especially in hotter weather, but do we really have to drink 8 cups of water a day to stay hydrated?

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More than 35 percent of American adults are considered obese, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With so much emphasis put on weight and healthy living, many people turn to “quick-fix” or fad diets that promise rapid weight loss and a new waistline in a short amount of time.

Research project looks to understand how exercise affects your body all the way down to your molecules

Researchers want to know what happens in your body at the molecular level when you exercise. In the largest exercise research program of its kind, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are part of a National Institutes of Health effort to collect and turn data from nearly 2,600 volunteers into comprehensive maps of the molecular changes in the body due to exercise.

Suzanne Judd, Ph.D.

Adults who are 45 years old or older and who consume large amounts of sugary beverages, including soft drinks, fruit drinks and fruit juices, may have a higher risk of dying from heart disease or other causes, compared to those who drink fewer sugary drinks, according to new research.

UAB screening for two web-based healthy lifestyle trials

The University of Alabama at Birmingham  is now recruiting cancer survivors in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee for two new, web-based healthy lifestyle trials.

 "Vera Bittner, M.D."

In a recently published study, Vera Bittner, M.D., a professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Cardiovascular Disease, and colleagues have demonstrated that weight cycling is associated with a lower rate of adverse cardiovascular outcomes in women with suspected ischemia, such as stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.

Pankaj Arora

Pankaj Arora, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Division of Cardiovascular Disease, has been selected to serve as section editor for Circulation: Genomic and Precision Medicine.

Eating right and eating smart during COVID-19

Many Americans are playing it safe and practicing social distancing and self-isolation as they try to limit the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic. But being cooped up at home may mean that eating, especially eating snacks and junk food, is the way many people will occupy the time they work from home or spend with loved ones.

Chris Radlicz, M.S., M.P.H

Chris Radlicz, M.S., M.P.H, a former pre-doctoral fellow of UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center, was recently awarded a summer position at Harvard Medical School through the 2018 Medical Student Training in Aging Research (MSTAR) Program. This nationally competitive program is sponsored by the American Federation for Aging Research and receives funding through the National Institute on Aging.

The study observed two diet types to test their impact on adolescents with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

A new study from researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of Nutrition Sciences suggests consumption of a moderately carbohydrate-restricted diet may result in decreased fatty liver tissue, as well as improvements in body composition and insulin resistance, in adolescents with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

 "Barbara Gower, Ph.D."

Nutrition researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are recruiting participants for a new study on a sustainable intervention for patients with Type 2 diabetes, or high blood sugar — weight-maintaining low glycemic diets.

Chris Radlicz

Chris Radlicz, M.S., M.P.H, a former pre-doctoral fellow at the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center, has been selected as one of ASN’s 2018-2019 Science Policy Fellows. His term will begin on April 1, 2018, and last for one year.

Virginia Howard, Ph.D.

People who spent all of their childhood and early adulthood in the Stroke Belt are more likely to develop cognitive impairment later in life compared to those who did not, according to a new study led by researchers at the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Members of the "Jardin du coeur" association pick vegetables at a garden in Francheville near Lyon November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Pratta

For cancer survivors, three seasons of home vegetable gardening may increase physical activity, fruits, and vegetables in the diet and also enhance feelings of self-worth, researchers say.

Before and after photo of Lorna Shelton, 58, who weighed nearly 250 pounds. She lost over 50 pounds in one year with time restricted feeding.

A growing number of researchers say limiting the hours during the day when you eat, focusing more on the timing of meals instead of calories, can help dieters burn more fat, improve their health and lose weight.

Beth Kitchin and Eric Plaisance

On Jan. 10, three wellness experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham answered questions about setting goals, sticking to them and more through UAB News’ first Twitter Q&A session of 2020.

 "Casey Morrow, Ph.D., and Ranjit Kumar, Ph.D."

Using a unique bioinformatics technique developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB researchers have detected the emergence of new strains of microbes in the human fecal microbiota after obesity surgery.

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With low birth rates, the sustainability of a zoo African elephant population is in question. A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers reveals that there is no relationship between how fat a zoo African elephant is and her reproductive cycling status.

UAB's Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) will fund up to 6-7 nutrition-related P/F studies at up to $35,000/year. The second year of funding is possible through a competitive renewal process.

NIDDK Medical Student Research Program Symposium

The UAB Diabetes Research Center (DRC) (P30 DK-079626) and the Student Research Training Program (T32 DK-062710) are sponsoring summer research fellowship opportunities for medical students interested in performing diabetes-related research between their freshman and sophomore years.

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What you eat matters. Many studies have shown that the types of food you eat affect your health. But what about the timing? Scientists are just beginning to understand that when you eat may also make a difference.

James O. Hill

James O. Hill, Ph.D., an internationally recognized expert in weight management, has been named chair of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Nutrition Sciences and director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center.

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More investigators are exploring ways to improve the health of minority and underserved populations. Since 2005, the MHRC has provided $4.1 million in seed money to 88 investigators through pilot research awards. This investment has resulted in a return of $118.5 million in extramural funding (1:29 ratio).

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