Pauline E. Jolly

At the UAB Board of Trustees Meeting in April 2020, Dr. Pauline Jolly received special recognition as Professor Emerita for distinguished service to the university.

Dr. Jolly joined the faculty at UAB as an Assistant Professor of Public Health in 1991 after receiving her Master of Public Health and PhD degrees in Immunology and Infectious Diseases from Johns Hopkins University. She was promoted to Associate Professor in Epidemiology in 1997 and a full Professor in 2003. She served as Director of the UAB Doctor of Public Health Program in Epidemiology and Coordinator for the Peace Corps Master’s International Program from 2003 to 2007. She is an Associate Scientist in the Center for AIDS Research, Scholar in the Sparkman Center for Global Health and Faculty Scholar in the Center for the Study of Community Health, and served as Affirmative Action Officer for the School of Public Health from 2010 to 2016.

Dr. Jolly has been a professor, researcher, mentor, director, and a dedicated advisor to hundreds of students pursuing a master of public health/master of science in public health and to approximately 20 doctoral students and six post-doctoral fellows. Additionally, she has served on approximately 30 doctoral advisory/dissertation committees. As the Associate Director of the UAB Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Program from 2005-2008 and the Director from 2008 to the present time, Dr. Jolly has been successful in getting this program funded continually from 2005-2023 by the Fogarty International Center and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health. She has established collaborations and led UAB efforts in biomedical, epidemiological and behavioral research on HIV/STIs and other infectious (malaria, geohelminths) and chronic diseases (hypertension, diabetes, cancer, anemia) at renowned institutions in Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland, Zambia), Asia (India, Bangladesh, Nepal), Latin America (Peru, Guatemala), and the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica). To date, 315 MHIRT students have been trained in biomedical/public health research in these countries increasing their capacity (and desire) to pursue research careers focused on tackling significant disparities in the prevalence, morbidity, and survival from diseases in populations abroad and in the U.S.

Dr. Jolly has made major research contributions to the fields of HIV immune-pathogenesis and immune suppression by aflatoxin and its impacts on health and on HIV disease progression and has had a leadership role in addressing these issues. She was the Principal Investigator of several research grants from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH; R21, R37, and RO1), the United States Agency for International Development, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention addressing critical biomedical, behavioral and interventional issues in diverse populations in different countries. She served as a Chartered Member of the NIH AIDS Clinical Studies and Epidemiology (ACE) Study Section from 2003-2007 and actively participated in other Special Emphasis and Ad-Hoc Panels for grant review. She served as a Consultant for the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (SANREM) Peanut Collaborative Research Support Programs (PNUTCRSP) on the “Impact of Aflatoxicosis on Health in Ghana” and was one of a small group of international experts invited by the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) to attend a Workshop in Geneva, Switzerland in 2005 on Public health ( She has been an invited speaker at several prestigious conferences nationally and internationally. Her work has brought significant national and international attention to UAB from academic and administrative professionals.

Dr. Jolly has had a very productive research career and has made significant contributions to the scientific literature. She has published over 160 peer-reviewed publications to date on a wide range of topics including the immunopathogenesis of animal lentiviruses and HIV, health and immune-suppressive effects of aflatoxin, risk factors and prevention of HIV/STIs and chronic diseases (hypertension, prostate, breast, and cervical cancer) and maternal and child nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean and Western and Eastern Africa. The findings from these studies have assisted Ministries of Health in the different countries in policy-making, in designing intervention/control programs and in providing services that improve health care and control disease transmission. In recognition of her contributions to teaching and mentoring at UAB, Dr. Jolly was awarded the Ellen Gregg Ingalls/UAB National Alumni Society Award for Lifetime Achievement in Teaching in 2014. She received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in the School of Public Health in 2007 and the UAB Graduate School Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentorship in 2010. Dr. Jolly represented UAB as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar at the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in spring 2018 where she taught Epidemiology Study Designs, Paper Preparation and Publication, and Grant writing courses to IPH staff.

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