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.

For Gower, it’s the university’s collaborative spirit that makes it singular in nature.

“There’s no other institution like it,” she said.

Gower joined UAB’s faculty in 1997 and studies obesity and energy metabolism, with an emphasis on insulin secretion and action and the role of the endocrine system. As clinicians continue to explore how obesity affects other health outcomes, Gower’s expertise has come into high demand. This mean’s she wears many hats: In addition to her departmental work, Gower also is the director of the Metabolism Core for the Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), the Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) and the Human Physiology Core for the Diabetes Research Center. In each role, she partners with faculty and clinicians in other fields to study topics such as the role of race and obesity in maltreated children or the correlation between obesity and recurring kidney stones, which she is exploring with colleagues from the Department of Urology.