Two leading physician-scientists from the National Institutes of Health are bringing their clinical and research expertise in nephrology and gastroenterology to UAB to help accelerate the nationally recognized kidney-transplant program and the rising inflammatory bowel disease program.

Roslyn Mannon, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in kidney and pancreas transplantation joined Nephrology as professor Aug. 1. She also is director of research for the Alabama Transplant Center at UAB.

Peter Mannon, M.D., an internationally recognized expert in inflammatory bowel disease, joined Gastroenterology and Hepatology as professor Aug. 1.

Dr. Roslyn Mannon’s research interests include basic and clinical research in transplantation, specifically, understanding graft loss in kidney and kidney/pancreas transplants. Her work includes identifying novel mechanisms of graft injury, as well as monitoring immune responses after transplantation. She also is exploring genomic and proteomic approaches to identify biomarkers of graft loss in transplant recipients.

She said the nationally known and highly ranked kidney transplant program, along with the university’s size and quality of care patients receive, brought her to UAB.

“Not only does UAB have intensely excellent clinical programs, but the division of nephrology with the synergy between the clinicians and basic science researchers makes UAB an exciting place to be,” she said. “This, coupled with UAB’s university-wide research initiatives, made coming here an easy decision.”

She said one of her goals is to set up a biorepository to aid in transplant research.

 “The plan is to start initially with abdominal transplant patients, asking each transplant patient that comes in to allow us to store biopsy tissue, urine and serum so investigators have the ability to better understand issues such as graft failure and rejection. Eventually the hope is to add heart and lung transplants to the repository.”

She added she is interested in recruiting companies that produce immunosuppressant drugs or have interest in transplanted organs.

“Hopefully through our transplant research, we will be able to attract biotech companies to the Birmingham area and work with them to study novel strategies to suppress the immune responses, ameliorate graft failure and improve long term patient outcomes,” she said.

“Dr. Roslyn Mannon is an outstanding physician-scientist in the field of transplantation,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Nephrology. “Her research will synergize well with ongoing research programs in several UAB centers, including the Comprehensive Diabetes Center and Nephrology Research and Training Center. This, along with her role as director of research for the Alabama Transplant Center, will further strengthen UAB’s transplant program.”

Roslyn Mannon earned her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree from Duke University. Prior to joining the NIH, she was on faculty at the Duke University School of Medicine. She is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Nephrology, American Society of Transplantation and International Society of Nephrology. Her research has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed publications, including American Journal of Transplantation, Transplantation, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology and Clinical Transplantation.

Dr. Peter Mannon’s research interests focus on pathogenic mechanisms of inflammatory bowel disease. He is researching novel therapies for both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, seeking to understand why patients do or do not respond to therapy. In addition, he has been instrumental in developing novel therapies for more rare gastrointestinal disorders, including combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

Peter Mannon also has worked with mucosal immunologists studying HIV and its pathogenesis involvement in gastrointestinal-associated mucosal lymphoid tissue. He said UAB’s consistent, excellent work in immunology makes the university a good fit for his research.

“UAB has always been on my radar,” he said. “While I was a resident at Duke I had a healthy respect for UAB because of the depth of its immunology research. It has always been excellent and I knew there was no question UAB would be a great place to work when this opportunity came up. There are great mucosal immunologists here and there are amazing opportunities to expand my research.”

At the NIH, he created a clinical program in inflammatory bowel disease and worked with both basic scientists and clinical investigators to help move discoveries from the bench to the bedside and take clinical findings back to the basic scientists for research. Mannon said his goal at UAB is similar, building upon the Inflammatory Bowel Center UAB already has in place.

“My goal is to coordinate research and clinical care to synergize the care of our patients,” he said. “We have very busy clinical investigators and bench researchers at UAB. I am a translational scientist. I want to work alongside them to help synthesize the two, investigating lab questions in the clinic and taking clinical questions to the lab.”

“Dr. Peter Mannon is an internationally recognized physician-scientist in the area of inflammatory bowel disease,” said C. Mel Wilcox, M.D., director of the UAB Division of Gastroenterology. “With his expertise in mucosal immunology in inflammatory bowel disease, as well as his clinical skills, his work will dovetail nicely into the ongoing efforts here at UAB to understand inflammatory bowel disease.”

Peter Mannon earned his bachelor’s and medical degree from Boston University. Prior to joining the NIH, he was on faculty at the Duke University School of Medicine. He is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association. His research has appeared in a number of peer-reviewed publications, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Gastroenterology, Annals of Internal Medicine and Journal of Clinical Investigation.