Dr. Thannickal is Professor of Medicine and the Ben Vaughan Branscomb Chair of Medicine in Respiratory Disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Following his fellowship training at Tufts University School of Medicine, he has held faculty positions at Tufts, University of Michigan and UAB, where he currently serves as director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine. Under his leadership, the division has grown to over 65 faculty members and expanded its research and educational programs, including the institution of a highly successful NIH T32 Training Program in Lung Biology and Translational Medicine. Dr. Thannickal is an elected member of Association of American Physicians, and received the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Recognition Award for Scientific Accomplishments in 2016. He has served on the ATS Research Training Fellowship Committee (2005-2006), Scientific Advisory Committee (2011-2013), Awards Committee (2012-2013) and the RCMB Working Group on Aging (2013-2015). He has been a strong advocate for increasing research funding on behalf of the ATS and the NIH, including providing congressional testimony on Capitol Hill.
Dr. Thannickal’s research is focused on cellular and molecular mechanisms of lung repair and regeneration. Active studies involve elucidating mechanisms of cellular senescence, oxidative stress and aging in the context of chronic lung diseases, in concert with the development of therapeutics and biomarkers for complex lung diseases. His research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Thannickal has a passion for mentoring and team-building; trainees from his laboratory have moved on to independent careers at academic institutions around the U.S., including the University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of California-San Francisco, and the University of Arizona.