UWIRC Microbiome Center

Department

People

Faculty Administrative Position

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    Carlos Orihuela, Director of the UAB Microbiome Center

    Dr. Orihuela obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from Baylor University in 1996. He subsequently earned his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where he was a Kempner Scholar. From 2001 to 2005, Dr. Orihuela completed his postdoctoral research training in the Department of Infectious Diseases at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis TN. He returned to Texas in 2005, as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology ...

  • Center Members - Faculty

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    Ahmed Lazrak, Associate Scientist (C)

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    Aijun Qiao, Associate Scientist (C)

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    Allan Zajac Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

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    Andres Azuero PhD, MBA, Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Azuero's focus is on the design, management, and analysis of clinical trials and health interventions, and the use of statistical and machine learning techniques for modeling personalized treatment response and observational data. He specializes in a broad spectrum of classical statistical and machine learning techniques. He collaborates in several research projects within and outside UAB.

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    Anoma Nellore, Scientist (C)

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    Ashraf Fouad, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Asim Bej, Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Bej is a professor at the Department of Biology, an Affiliate Faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice, and a Senior Scientist (C) at the UWIRC Microbiome Center at the UAB School of Medicine. He studied microbial gene regulation, and the development and applications of molecular methods for rapid diagnosis of human pathogens in environmental and clinical samples at the University of Louisville. He has published numerous research papers, review articles, and book chapters, and is the le...

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    Beatriz Leon-Ruiz Ph.D., Scientist (C)

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    Braden McFarland Ph.D., Associate Scientist (C)

    My research interests have always been centered on glioblastoma (GBM) tumors, a particularly devastating brain tumor. My current research interests are centered around discovering new therapies for patients with GBM, which include pharmacological inhibition of the JAK/STAT pathway in patient-derived xenograft models, exploiting inflammatory (anti-tumor) macrophages to enhance standard of care in immunocompetent models, and understanding how the gut microbiome is altered by the diet as well as by...

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    Brant Wagener, Scientist (C)

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    Carissa Thomas, Associate Scientist (C)

    Dr. Thomas joins our faculty after a fellowship in Head and Neck Surgical Oncology at the University of Toronto. She received both her medical degree and PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine, and then completed her residency at the University of Colorado. Dr. Thomas specializes in head and neck oncology and microvascular reconstruction. Her research interest includes the interaction between the microbiome and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Dr. Thomas is current...

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    Casey Morrow Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

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    Cassandra Newsom, Scientist (C)

    I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in the state of Alabama with speciality training in pediatric neuropsychology. My clinical and research work focuses on autism spectrum disorders, related rare genetic disorders and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. I am Director of the Civitan Autism and Neurodevelopment Research (CANDR) Core and Clinic through the Civitan International Research Center. I also provide clinical diagnostic services for young children with suspected autism through the Dev...

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    Chander Raman, Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Raman’s laboratory interrogates molecular and cellular mechanisms driving the immunopathogenesis of autoimmune diseases with a special emphasis on multiple sclerosis (MS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Within this are of research, the current studies focus on molecular mechanisms underlying activation and differentiation of effector T cells, B cells and innate cells in the pathogenesis of these autoimmune diseases. Current investigations involve human immunology bridged with mouse models to ...

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    Charles Elson III M.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Elson received his M.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, trained in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital/Cornell, then did his Gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Chicago.  After doing full-time research in immunology at N.I.H., he joined the Faculty of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Medical College of Virginia.  He moved to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to become Director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology,  and subsequently served a...

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    Christina Muzny, Scientist (C)

    Dr. Christina Muzny obtained her medical degree at the Texas A&M University Health Sciences Center College of Medicine. She subsequently completed an internal medicine residency and an infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center prior to joining the infectious diseases faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2010. Dr. Muzny currently has R01 funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the pathogenesis of b...

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    Chung Kau, Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr Chung H. Kau is Professor and Department Chairman at the Department of Orthodontics, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Senior Scientist at the Global Center for Craniofacial, Oral and Dental Disorders. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics(US), Specialist Orthodontist on the Singapore Dental Council and the General Dental Council (United Kingdom). He holds full licenses to practice in California, Washington State and Minnesota. In addition, he also has faculty licenses...

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    Craig Maynard Ph.D., Associate Scientist (C)

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    David Standaert, Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Standaert was named the John N. Whitaker Professor & Chair of Neurology in 2012. Prior to that, he was appointed the John T. and Juanelle D. Strain Endowed Chair by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama system, which he held for five years. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis in medicine and pharmacology in 1988. He completed a one-year internship in medicine at Jewish Hospital of St. Louis in 1989 and a three-year neurology residency i...

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    Elie Ghanem, Associate Scientist (C)

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    Elliot Lefkowitz Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    Since 1992, I have played a significant role in the development and provision of bioinformatics support and resources at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). I am currently Director of Informatics for the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences (CCTS), an NIH/NCATS Clinical and Translational Science Award site; Director of the UAB AIDS Center (CFAR) Bioinformatics Facility; and Director of the Bioinformatics Core for the UAB Microbiome Facility. As Director of these Informat...

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    Haydeh Payami, Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Payami is the founder and Lead Investigator of the NeuroGenetics Research Consortium, a collaborative effort since 1992, formalized in 2004 as a Michael J Fox Foundation Global Genetics Consortium. Dr. Payami received her PhD in Genetics from UC Berkeley. She was a faculty member at the Oregon Health Sciences for 15 years, during which she developed independently-funded research program in Alzheimer and Parkinson genetics, won teaching awards for graduate and medical courses, and served as...

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    Hope Amm Ph.D., Associate Scientist (C)

    Dr. Amm received her BS in Biological Sciences from Saint Mary’s College and Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from UAB with a focus on cancer biology and novel therapeutics. Dr. Amm completed the Dental Academic Research Training (DART) program as a post-doctoral scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Mary MacDougall and was a Mentored Experiences in Research, Instruction, and Teaching (MERIT) program Scholar-at-Large, which provided teaching experiences at a minority-partner institution. During h...

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    Hui Hu Ph.D., Scientist (C)

    Welcome to the Hu Lab!
    Meet Hui Hu, Ph.D., an immunologist focusing on transcriptional regulation of adaptive immunity—Tfh cell differentiation, GC responses, CD8+ T cell quiescence/activation, T cell responses, immune memory and vaccines.

    Hu joined the Department of Microbiology at UAB in May, 2014. He was an Associate Professor at the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia. Before Hu moved to the Wistar Institute, he was an instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard’s Children...

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    Ismail Mohamed, Scientist (C)

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    James New, Associate Scientist (C)

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    James Wyss, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Jean-Francois Pittet, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Jeffrey Wickliffe, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Jessica Scoffield, Associate Scientist (C)

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    Jianhua Zhang Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    The Zhang Lab is seeking a postdoctoral scholar and a graduate student or a MSTP student. We are a very collegial and diverse group working on exciting new research integration of autophagy, metabolism and redox signaling in the nervous system in the context of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases at the Department of Pathology in University of Alabama at Birmingham.

    Attributes:
    Interested, passionate, and dedicated to design and perform interesting and important research<...

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    Joana Silva, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Katie Alexander, Associate Scientist (C)

    immunobiology of microbiota-epithelial interactions and the epigenetics of mucosal cancers

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    Kent Willis, Associate Scientist (C)

    Dr. Willis is a K08 supported physician scientist in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology. The Willis Lung Lab explores the role of commensal fungi and the gut-lung axis in early life.

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    Keshav Singh Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

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    Kevin Fontaine Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    I am a Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Behavior in the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Antoine Lavoisier Endowed Professor of Energetics and Healthy Lifestyles. I also serve as the Associate Director of the Physical Activity and Exercise Core of UAB’s Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) and as an adjunct faculty member in the Division of Clinical and Molecular Rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine...

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    Kevin Harrod, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Kohtaro Fujihashi, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Kristina Zierold, Scientist (C)

    Dr. Zierold is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. She received a BS in Chemical Engineering (1994) from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MS in Chemical Engineering (1996) from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Zierold earned her PhD in Public Health (specializing in Environmental/Occupational Health Sciences and Epidemiology) form the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001. After finishing her PhD, Dr. Zierold was an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) ...

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    Kyounga Cheon, Associate Scientist (C)

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    Laura Rogers M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.S.M., Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Laura Rogers is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is also a Senior Scientist in the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC), Center for Exercise Medicine, and the Cancer Control and Population Science Program of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. She completed her MD degree at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, internal medicine internship and residency at the Medical College of Georgia, and a Ma...

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    Liou Sun, Associate Scientist (C)

    Dr. Sun's laboratory is exploring the genetic control of aging in mammals and vertebrates. We are studying the endocrine mechanisms and nutritional factors for their effects on longevity and aging.

    The physiological role of the somatotropic axis in the control of aging in mammals and vertebrates
    The dietary factors on aging and longevity: calorie restriction vs. methionine restriction
    Interventions studies of age-related diseases such as Diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease

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    Lufang Zhou, Scientist (C)

    A postdoctoral researcher position is available immediately in the laboratory of Dr. Lufang Zhou in the Department of Medicine. We seek a motivated and creative individual to employ an innovative mitochondrial-targeted luminoptogenetics approach developed in the laboratory to specifically induce cardiomyocyte mitochondrial depolarization, and explore its acute and chronic effect on cardiac functions. This is a NIH funded R01 project.

    The successful applicant will be encouraged to develo...

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    Lyse Norian Ph.D., Scientist (C)

    Professional Summary: Dr. Norian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is also jointly affiliated with the UAB O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center. Prior to joining UAB in 2015, Dr. Norian performed her graduate work at The University of Iowa in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Koretzky, where she studied T cell signal transduction. She then performed her post-doctoral traini...

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    Maria Geisinger, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Masakazu Kamata, Scientist (C)

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    Matthew Stoll, Scientist (C)

    Dr. Stoll is a pediatric rheumatologist who earned his MD and PhD at Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY) in 2001, followed by completion of residency in pediatrics at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in 2004 and fellowship in pediatric rheumatology at the Childrens Hospital Boston in 2007. At the completion of his fellowship, he took a staff position at the University of Texas at Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas, TX), where he earned an MSCS degree. In 2011, he moved to the Univers...

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    Michael Gray, Associate Scientist (C)

    I have been an assistant professor in Microbiology at UAB since January of 2016. My interests are focused on the molecular mechanisms by which bacteria sense and respond to changes in their environments. My lab is currently exploring how bacteria regulate inorganic polyphosphate synthesis in response to starvation and how pro-inflammatory enterobacteria use the RclA, RclB, and RclC proteins to resist antimicrobial oxidants used by the innate immune system to kill bacteria during inflammation.

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    Nabiha Yusuf Ph.D., Scientist (C)

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    Nengjun Yi Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

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    Nicolaas Geurs, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Noel Childers, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Pengfei Wang Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Wang is originally from China, and received his undergraduate education at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China (BS and B.Eng.) and graduate education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (MS) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (PhD). At UW-Madison, Dr. Wang focused on studying kinetic protonation of enols, a classical physical organic chemistry topic, under the supervision of Professor Howard E. Zimmerman. He then joined Professor David Y. Gin at the University of Illinois-Urbana ...

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    Phillip Smith M.D., Senior Scientist (C)

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    Ping Zhang, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Quamarul Hassan, Scientist (C)

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    Robert Sorge, Scientist (C)

    Born in a little hamlet in rural Canada, I have spent the majority of my life in the north. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 2000 under the supervision of Dr. Geoff Galef (environmental enrichment), a Master’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada under Dr. Linda Parker (THC and nausea, 2001) and a PhD from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 2006 under Dr. Jane Stewart (heroin and cocaine addiction).

    Continuin...

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    Russell Taichman, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Sadanandan Velu Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Velu did his postdoctoral research at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa and at Clemson University. He joined the Medicinal Chemistry division of the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at UAB in 1997 and worked as a Staff Scientist through 2004. He held a joined appointment in the Chemistry department as a Research Faculty during the period 2002-2004. He joined the Chemistry department as an Assistant Professor in August of 2004, was tenured and promoted to Associate Profes...

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    Samantha Giordano-Mooga, Associate Scientist (C)

    As an educator and researcher my goal is to create engaging, inquiry based, fun learning environments within my classroom or laboratory for students to learn, grow and reach their personal and professional goals. As a faculty member in the Biomedical Sciences Program, I work to integrate science education and professionalism throughout my courses, which include Cell Biology and the Senior Capstone Course. My research spans both basic science—studying sexual dimorphism in cellular metabolism—an...

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    Sejong Bae Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Bae leads the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Facility at UAB. He leads the biostatistics and bioinformatics core of the Cervical Cancer Specialized Programs of Research Excellence with Johns Hopkins University and the Morehouse School of Medicine/Tuskegee University/UAB CCC Partnership (U54CA118948) and serves as a senior biostatistician on numerous projects including Rxr Rexinoids for Cancer Chemoprevention (P01CA210946) and UAB Research Center of...

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    Selene Meza-Perez, Associate Scientist (C)

    Selene Meza-Perez, Ph.D., is an Instructor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. She received her B.S. in Biology from the National Autonoma University of Mexico (UNAM) and her masters and Ph.D. degree in Immunology at the National Polytechnique Institute (IPN) in Mexico in 2010, where her thesis theme was dedicated to study the role of intestinal dendritic cells immune response against bacterial and viral infections.

    In February 2011, she joined the labo...

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    Shandra Coble, Associate Scientist (C)

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    Shinichi Kano, Scientist (C)

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    Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, Associate Scientist (C)

    I grew up in the San Fernando Valley in southern California. Regular trips to the seaside and tide pools along the central coast and Monterey Bay engendered a lifelong interest in marine biology. As an undergraduate I developed a keen interest in marine macroalgae, particularly mating system variation. Mating systems (i.e., which individuals exchange gametes) exert strong influence on the evolutionary ecology of a species. Though they have been extensively studied in plants and animals, we know ...

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    Stephen Watts, Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Stephen Watts began his career in aquatic science in the 9th grade, when he became enthusiastically interested in all things aquatic. Having completed degrees in marine and aquatic biology, he joined UAB in 1987, and has developed a strong program in aquatic and marine science. His interests include basic science, as well as applied science (aquaculture) and subsequently medical application of aquatic animal models.

    He is widely known as an expert in aquatic nutrition science, and h...

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    Suresh Verma, Scientist (C)

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    Suzanne Michalek Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

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    Sylvie Mrug, Senior Scientist (C)

    My research examines the interplay of risk and protective factors in the development of behavioral and emotional problems in adolescence, including antisocial behavior, substance use, depression and anxiety.

    Most of my work has focused on the effects of violence exposure and peer influences in conjunction with other individual and contextual risk factors, such as pubertal timing, temperament, stress reactivity, parental practices, and broader influences of schools and neighborhoods.

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    Tanecia Mitchell, Associate Scientist (C)

    The overall theme of Dr. Mitchell’s research has been to study disorders that affect the kidney and to identify potential ways to improve the health and quality of life of individuals with kidney disease. She has a broad background as well as specific training and expertise in mitochondrial function and oxidative stress. Dr. Mitchell’s current research investigates the role of diet on immune cell mitochondria and oxidative stress in kidney stone disease using human dietary feeding studies, anima...

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    Thomas Atkinson, Senior Scientist (C)

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    Thomas Buford, Scientist (C)

    Dr. Buford is an Associate Professor in the UAB Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology, Geriatrics & Palliative Care. He also serves as Director for the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine and Co-Director of the NIH-funded Nathan Shock Center for the Basic Biology of Aging. Dr. Buford’s research utilizes clinical and pre-clinical models focused on preserving the health and independence of older adults, including leading multiple recent clinical trials related to exercise and mobility. He...

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    Troy Randall Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

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    Trygve Tollefsbol Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C)

    Dr. Tollefsbol is a professor of Biology and a senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, Nutrition Obesity Research Center, and the Comprehensive Diabetes Center. He is director of the UAB Cell Senescence Culture Facility, which he established in 1999.

    Dr. Tollefsbol holds doctorate degrees in molecular biology and osteopathic medicine and has published over 120 articles related to the fields of epigenetics, telomerase, aging, and c...

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    Vinoy Thomas, Associate Scientist (C)

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    Yedeh Ying M.D., Associate Scientist (C)

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