Cancer Cell Biology

Program

People

Program Administrators

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    Bjornsti Ph.D., Mary-Ann, Program Co-Leader

    Mary-Ann Bjornsti, Ph.D., is Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UAB, and holds the Newman H. Waters Chair of Clinical Pharmacology. She also serves as co-Leader of the Cancer Cell Biology Program and Associate Director for Translational Research in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Genetics, followed by a Fogarty Fellowship at the Biozentrum in Basel Switzerland, and post-doctoral training at Harvard University ...

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    Sudarshan M.D., Sunil, Program Co-Leader

    Dr. Sudarshan received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, followed by his medical school training at the Duke University School of Medicine. He subsequently completed his residency in Urologic surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. It was during his residency that he investigated gene therapy-based strategies for genitourinary malignancies. Dr. Sudarshan further pursued his interest in urologic oncology by completing a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the ...

  • Program Members

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    Agarwal M.D., Anupam, Member

    Dr. Anupam Agarwal is currently Director, Division of Nephrology, and Executive Vice Dean, School of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He also serves as the Program Director of the NIH/NIDDK funded O’Brien Core Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research. He has graduate faculty status in the Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Pathology and Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology at UAB.

    Dr. Agarwal has an active role in clinical medicine, teach...

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    Bedwell Ph.D., David, Member

    David Bedwell, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, completed his undergraduate studies in Microbiology at Purdue University (B.S. with Honors, 1979). His graduate work in Molecular Biology was done with Dr. Masayasu Nomura at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, (Ph.D., 1985). He then carried out a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Scott Emr's laboratory at Caltech. Dr. Bedwell joined the faculty at UAB in 1988. At the national level, he is in a second 5...

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    Benveniste Ph.D., Tika, Member

    Dr. Etty (Tika) Benveniste was the Founding Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology (2012-2017). Benveniste served as Chair of the Department of Cell Biology (2000-2011). Benveniste also holds the Alma B. Maxwell-University of Alabama Health Services Foundation (UAHSF), Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research. In January 2015, Benveniste was appointed interim Senior Associate Dean for Research Administration at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of M...

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    Bhatia M.D., Ravi, Member

    My research goals are to develop an improved understanding of abnormal regulation of malignant stem and progenitor cells in hematologic malignancies and to develop effective approaches to eliminate these cells to enhance outcomes for these cancers. In addition to being a practicing clinical Hematologist-Oncologist and Hematopoietic Cell Transplant physician, I have extensive experience in studying normal and malignant hematopoietic stem cell regulation in the translational laboratory setting.

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    Bjornsti Ph.D., Mary-Ann, Member

    Mary-Ann Bjornsti, Ph.D., is Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at UAB, and holds the Newman H. Waters Chair of Clinical Pharmacology. She also serves as co-Leader of the Cancer Cell Biology Program and Associate Director for Translational Research in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in Genetics, followed by a Fogarty Fellowship at the Biozentrum in Basel Switzerland, and post-doctoral training at Harvard University ...

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    Chen Ph.D., Jake, Member

    Dr. Chen conducts research in “translational bioinformatics”—the science of collecting, representing, storing, retrieving and processing data and knowledge for the improvement of human health. His research interest focus on systems biology, data mining, advanced visual analytics for therapeutic discovery and clinical decision-making applications. He has published more than 130 peer-reviewed scientific papers and edited two bioinformatics books, “Biological Database Modeling” and “Biological Data...

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    Datta Ph.D., Pran, Member

    Dr. Datta earned his Bachelor of Science (BS), Honors in Chemistry; Physics and Mathematics, and his Master of Science (MS), Organic Chemistry from The University of Burdwan, India.  He erned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, from the Bose Institute, Calcutta, India.  His thesis title was Studies on Natural Carbocyclic Compounds. He worked as a research associate with Dr. Srilata Bagchi at the University of Illinois in Chicago and with Dr. Harold L. Moses at The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in ...

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    De Langhe Ph.D., Stijn, Member

    Dr. De Langhe is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Following his training at Ghent University and the USC Keck School of Medicine , he has held faculty positions at National Jewish Health's Department of Pediatrics and the University of Colorado's Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine.

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    Faul Ph.D., Christian, Member

    Dr. Christian Faul received his undergraduate training in cell and molecular biology at the Ruprecht Karls University Heidelberg in Germany from 1993-1999. He earned his PhD title at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx in 2005, and he conducted his postdoctoral research training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. In 2008, Dr. Faul became a faculty member in the Department of Medicine and in the Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy at the University of Miam...

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    Feng Ph.D., Xu, Member

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    Frank M.D., Stuart, Member

    Stuart J. Frank (b. 1958, Wilkes-Barre, PA), Professor of Medicine, Cell Biology, and Physiology, received his B.A. summa cum laude in 1980 as a Benjamin Franklin Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his M.D. in 1984 from Harvard Medical School. After residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Frank began fellowship training at the National Institutes of health from 1987 to 1991. His research there in Dr. Richard Klausner’s laboratory focused on T-c...

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    Jaskula-Sztul Ph.D., Renata, Member

    Renata Jaskula-Sztul has a Masters degree in Cell Biology from the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland and a PhD in Biochemistry from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Sciences. She completed a two-year postdoctoral training in the Department of Pharmacology followed by an additional three-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Human Oncology at UW-Madison. Since joining the Department of Surgery at UAB she has been working on multiple projects investiga...

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    Johnson Ph.D., Margaret, Member

    Dr. Margaret Johnson is a structural biologist with more than 10 years’ experience in magnetic resonance applied to problems in human disease. She obtained her PhD under the direction of B. Mario Pinto investigating the phenomenon of peptide-carbohydrate mimicry. She then trained as a CIHR postdoctoral fellow in solution NMR-based structural biology in the laboratory of Kurt Wüthrich at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.

    From 2009-2012 she was NMR research associate at the Uni...

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    Korf M.D., Ph.D., Bruce, Member

    Dr. Korf is Wayne H. and Sara Crews Finley Chair in Medical Genetics, Professor and Chair of the Department of Genetics, Director of the Heflin Center for Genomic Sciences at UAB, and Co-Director of the UAB-HudsonAlpha Center for Genomic Medicine. He is a medical geneticist, pediatrician, and child neurologist, certified by the American Board of Medical Genetics (clinical genetics, clinical cytogenetics, clinical molecular genetics), American Board of Pediatrics, and American Board of Psychiatr...

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    Lefkowitz Ph.D., Elliot, Member

    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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    Marquez-Lago Ph.D., Tatiana, Member

    Research in the Marquez-Lago lab combines (wet lab) experiments involving bioengineering, micro- and molecular biology techniques, with (drylab) data analysis, AI, modeling and simulation techniques. In a nutshell, we investigate (1) host-microbiota interactions in complex human diseases, (2) microbial multi-drug resistance, and (3) gene expression and chromatin organization. In addition, we study (4) the role and effect of mechanical forces ('mechanobiology') and cell compartmentalization in pa...

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    Placzek Ph.D., William, Member

    My research goal is to better understand the biochemical mechanisms that facilitate chemoresistance and employ NMR spectroscopy and synthetic peptides to identify novel therapeutic targets to suppress chemoresistance. To this end, my research focuses on two primary avenues: 1) Characterization of rBH3 motif mediated regulation of anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members; 2) Development of targeted inhibitors of the SUMOylation E2 enzyme, Ubc9. We also employ our expertise in peptide synthesis and ass...

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    Riddle Ph.D., Nicole, Member

    Dr. Riddle obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, carrying out research in a maize lab. During her graduate work at Washington University in St. Louis, she first learned about epigenetics, a research field that focuses on heritable changes in phenotypes that are not associated with changes in the DNA. At the time, epigenetics was poorly understood, and her fascination with this field has grown with the scientific community’s increasing appreciation for the...

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    Schneider Ph.D., David, Member

    I am generally interested in discovering and characterizing mechanisms by which cells control gene expression. Much of my career has focused on the regulation of ribosomal RNA synthesis, using an array of biochemical, genetic, and genomic approaches. As an independent academic investigator, I am privileged to be involved in the act of discovery every day. In addition, I take my roles as mentor and educator equally serious. Our goal is to create an environment where we can aggressively ask and an...

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    Siegal M.D., Ph.D., Gene, Member

    Dr. Siegal was born in New York where he attended college. He received his medical degree from the University of Louisville and his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He was a Resident and Research Fellow at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and completed both a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, NIH and a surgical pathology fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Prior to coming to UAB in 1990, he was a tenured faculty member at the University of North Carolina ...

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    Sudarshan M.D., Sunil, Member

    Dr. Sudarshan received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, followed by his medical school training at the Duke University School of Medicine. He subsequently completed his residency in Urologic surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. It was during his residency that he investigated gene therapy-based strategies for genitourinary malignancies. Dr. Sudarshan further pursued his interest in urologic oncology by completing a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute of the ...

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    Sztul Ph.D., Elizabeth, Member

    Elizabeth Sztul obtained a BS in Biology from Brooklyn College, CUNY, studying the ecology of marine arthropods and the renewing nature of the plant meristem. She initiated her graduate studies with a M.Sc. in Plant Physiology from University of Maryland, studying chloroplast biogenesis. She continued her graduate education in Cell Biology at Yale University School of Medicine, working on membrane trafficking pathways in the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner, Dr. George Palade, and was awarded a ...

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    Vayalil Ph.D., Praveen, Member

    The primary focus of Dr. Vayalil's research is to investigate changes in cellular metabolism or mitochondrial bioenergetics during different stages of development and its implications in the process of breast and prostate carcinogenesis. Major emphasis is on how cellular metabolic or bioenergetic changes during development alter the risk or increase the susceptibility to cancer and within tumor allows cancer cells to adapt to ever-changing micro-environment as tumor grows, invade and metastasize...

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    Welner Ph.D., Robert, Member

    I received my PhD degree in Immunology and Microbiology from University of Oklahoma with Dr. Paul Kincade. I later moved to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School for my post-doctoral training with Dr. Daniel Tenen.

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    Xu M.D., Ph.D., Zhi-Xiang, Member

    2/2001-11/2004 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department Molecular Pathology, The University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX (Dr. Kun-Sang Chang)

    12/2004-11/2009 Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Molecular Therapeutics (Department of Systems Biology), The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX.

    11/2009-present Assistant Professor (tenure track), Division of Hematology / Oncology & Comprehensive Cancer Center, The University of Alabam...

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    Yoder Ph.D., Bradley, Member

    Dr. Bradley K. Yoder, Professor , completed his undergraduate studies in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (B.S. 1988), and received a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from the University of Maryland in 1993. His postdoctoral studies were performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Rick Woychik where Dr. Yoder was an Alexander Hollaender Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. His research over the past two decades has fo...

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    Zayzafoon M.D., Ph.D., Majd, Member

    Majd Zayzafoon, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology. He serves as the Director of the UAB-Center for Metabolic Bone Disease (UAB-CMBD), is Co-Director of the NIH P30 UAB Core Center for Basic and Translational Skeletal Research, and is PI of the NIH T32 Comprehensive Training Program in Bone Biology and Disease. Majd Zayzafoon was born in Birmingham and grew up in Norwich, England. He went to medical school at Damascus University, Syria where he obtained his MD degr...