Discoveries in the Making series returns

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discoveries stream 2UAB graduate students and postdocs will share the results of their research when the “Discoveries in the Making” Lecture series resumes this month with five local events in The Lumbar, a science-themed bar and restaurant located in Pepper Place, 212 29th St. South. Presentations begin at 6 p.m.

Jan. 8

“Breathing life into preterm babies”
Presented by Katelyn Dunigan, doctoral student
Dunigan’s research focuses on enhancing preterm infants’ natural defenses to help them breathe easier and grow.

“Knocking out the villain: Cancer invasion and metastasis”
Presented by Raoud Marayati, resident and doctoral student
Marayati studies the mechanism that drives cancer cells to invade and metastasize beyond the original tumor, which is the predominant cause of death in children with malignant liver cancer.

Feb. 12

“Imagining Alzheimer’s disease in a nutshell”
Presented by Fabio Raman, doctoral student
Raman’s research evaluates how well a novel brain-imaging tool can provide new information on the status of Alzheimer’s disease.

“…pain, that doesn’t let up…”
Presented by Vishal Sharma, doctoral student
Sharma studies rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a systemic autoimmune disease that affects 1.3 million Americans, and how a body’s immune system turns itself on and off during a lifetime of RA.

March 12

“Targeted therapy”
Presented by Sithira Ratnayaka, doctoral student
Ratnayaka studies the effects of targeting common cancer treatments only to cancerous areas, which could save the rest of the patient’s body — and its weakened immune system — from additional harm.

“Walk this way”
Presented by Daniel Kuhman, doctoral student
Kuhman will discuss the mechanical versatility of the human locomotor system by showing how muscle groups and other biological units can act as springs, struts, motors and/or dampers.

April 9

“Navigation to donation”
Presented by Rhiannon Reed, doctoral student
Reed’s research explores the effectiveness of the Living Donor Navigator program, implemented at UAB to increase living kidney donation.

“To intervene or not to intervene”
Presented by Alexander Hoffman, doctoral student
Hoffman studies the bystander effect and college athletes and whether there is a need for an athlete-specific bystander intervention program.

May 14

“Controlling your DNA to treat epilepsy”
Presented by Becky Hauser, doctoral student
Hauser’s researcher focuses on understanding how the epileptic brain uses information stored in DNA compared to healthy brains, and how clinicians can use that information to develop new treatments for epilepsy.

“Hindbrain hinderance”
Presented by Anthoni Goodman, doctoral student
Goodman studies how Alzheimer’s disease builds up in the brain stem before anywhere else, causing the brain’s earliest issues with memory.

Graduate students and postdocs can participate in the Discoveries in the Making series by volunteering to present their research at a public event or by writing about current research for the UAB Graduate School blog. Learn more online or email