Schwiebert honored for outstanding service to postdocs

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Schwiebert streamLisa Schwiebert, Ph.D., professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology and senior associate dean for graduate and postdoctoral affairsFor her work improving the postdoctoral experience at UAB, Lisa Schwiebert, Ph.D., professor of cell, developmental and integrative biology and senior associate dean for graduate and postdoctoral affairs, will receive the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from the National Postdoctoral Association during its annual conference in March.

“I’m truly honored and humbled by this award,” Schwiebert said. “It is a privilege to serve postdocs and their mentors, but I am not alone in this effort. I’m fortunate to work with an amazing team of leadership, staff and — most important — postdocs who work together to improve opportunities for postdoc training and career development every day.”

By the numbers

  • Approximately 2,000 postdocs from 40-plus countries have trained at UAB since 1999

  • There are 300 postdocs currently training on campus

  • Postdocs and related training have generated more than $3 million in NIH training grants

  • 70% of UAB’s postdoctoral alumni work in research

In more than two decades at UAB, Schwiebert has mentored many junior faculty, served on more than 20 graduate student-dissertation and postdoctoral career-development committees and published more than 100 manuscripts, abstracts, reviews and book chapters on asthma, cystic fibrosis and immunology.

In the Office of Postdoctoral Education, Schwiebert works with graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and administrators to facilitate and enhance trainee recruitment, oversight and career development. Schwiebert developed and directs and year-round curriculum for postdocs that includes topics such as lab management, grant-writing, translational science and job skills; she also oversees award programs that emphasize career preparation for basic science and clinical postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.

See UAB postdocs in action

See their research, network and discover opportunities for collaboration during the 17th annual UAB Postdoc Research Day 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 17 in the UAB Hospital West Pavilion. Current postdocs can submit abstracts for three- or 12-minute presentations.

“I admire that Lisa’s dedication to the improvement of trainee experiences has extended beyond postdocs themselves,” wrote one of Schwiebert’s 18 nominators for the award. “She has also recognized the critical role that the mentor-mentee relationship plays in the success of postdoctoral fellows.”

Schwiebert also initiated and developed the NIH-funded Institutional Research and Academic Career Development Awards Mentored Experiences in Research, Instruction and Teaching program, which she directs. Both programs provide teaching experiences to UAB postdocs in partnership with institutions that serve under-represented students in Alabama. In addition, Schwiebert represents UAB at the national level through her service on the Association of American Medical Colleges Postdoctorate Leaders Section and on NIH training grant-review committees.

In 2015, Schwiebert received the UAB School of Medicine Excellence in Mentorship Award, the UAB Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award and an Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Oustanding Women Award. In 2016, she earned the UAB Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship.