Six elevated to Distinguished Professor

professor sizedThe University of Alabama System Board of Trustees named six faculty members Distinguished Professors during its meeting Feb. 7. 

Steven N. Austad, Ph.D., was named Distinguished Professor of biology. Austad will join the UAB faculty in 2014 as professor and chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Biology. His books include “Why We Age: What Science is Discovering about the Body’s Journey Through Life.”

Gary R. Hunter, Ph.D., was named Distinguished Professor of exercise physiology in the School of Education Department of Human Studies. Hunter joined the UAB faculty in 1984 and has held secondary appointments in the Department of Nutrition Sciences, the UAB Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging and as senior scientist in the UAB Diabetes Research Center. He earned the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. The Gary R. Hunter Distinguished Lecture in the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine is named in his honor.

John F. Kearney, Ph.D., was named Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine Department of Microbiology. Kearney is a senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and UAB Center for Disease Preparedness and a professor in the Division of Developmental and Clinical Immunology. He joined the UAB faculty in 1974 and is a leader in the field of B cell biology.

Suzanne Oparil, M.D., was named Distinguished Professor in the School of Medicine's Department of Medicine. Oparil joined the UAB faculty in 1977 and is past president of the American Federation for Medical Research, the American Heart Association and the American Society of Hypertension.

David E. Pollio, Ph.D., was named Distinguished Professor of social work. Pollio will join the UAB faculty in 2014 as chair of the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Social Work. He has published five books and book chapters.

Uday Kumar Vaidya, Ph.D., was named Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering. Vaidya is associate chair of the UAB School of Engineering Department of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the Materials Processing and Applications Development facility. He joined the UAB faculty in 2001 and won the UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2005 and 2013.


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