UWIRC Microbiome Center

Department

People

Faculty Administrative Position

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    Carlos Orihuela, Director of the UAB Microbiome Center 2021 -

    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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    Allan Zajac Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Andres Azuero PhD, MBA, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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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    Ashraf Fouad, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Asim Bej, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

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    Brant Wagener, Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Carissa Thomas, Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

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    Champion Deivanayagam Ph.D., Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Charles Elson III M.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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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    Chung Kau, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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 and Minnesota. In addition, he also has faculty licenses in Alabama and Te...

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    Craig Maynard Ph.D., Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    David Standaert, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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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    Diane Tucker Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    Diane Tucker earned her PhD from University of Iowa in Clinical and Developmental Psychology and did her clinical internship year at University of Washington in Seattle, WA. A postdoctoral fellowship in Developmental Neurobiology completed her training. She joined the UAB Psychology Department in January, 1985 as an Assistant Professor. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1988 and to Professor in 1993.

    Dr. Tucker is a member of the Cancer Center, the Center for Health Promotion a...

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    Elie Ghanem, Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Elliot Lefkowitz Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

    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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    James Wyss, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Jean-Francois Pittet, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Jessica Scoffield, Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Kent Willis, Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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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    Kevin Harrod, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Kohtaro Fujihashi, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Laura Rogers M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.S.M., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

    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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    Maria Geisinger, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Masakazu Kamata, Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Matthew Stoll, Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

    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 the combination of reactive chlorine species and copper, an antimicrobial mix used by the innate...

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    Nabiha Yusuf Ph.D., Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Nicolaas Geurs, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Noel Childers, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Phillip Smith M.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Ping Zhang, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Quamarul Hassan, Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Robert Sorge, Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

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    Sadanandan Velu Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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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    Shandra Coble, Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Shinichi Kano, Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Stacy Krueger-Hadfield, Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

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    Suzanne Michalek Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Sylvie Mrug, Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

    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) 2021 -

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    Troy Randall Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2021 -

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    Yedeh Ying M.D., Associate Scientist (C) 2021 -

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