Nephrology Research & Training Center

Center

People

Faculty Administrative Position

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    Timmy Lee, Associate Director 2017 -

  • Center Members - Faculty

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    Abolfazl Zarjou, Associate Scientist (C) 2017 -

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    Alexander Szalai, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Alexander J. Szalai, PhD (Alex) has a long history of excellence in research and a strong record of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, and various private foundations.. He is internationally recognized for his work on the biology of C-reactive protein and its contribution to the maintenance of health, the propagation of disease, and the tissue response to injury. In addition to his research activities, Alex has excelled at teaching and has made signific...

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    Alian Al-Balas, Associate Scientist (C) 2017 -

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    Ammar Almehmi, Senior Scientist (C) 2020 -

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    Anupam Agarwal M.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    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 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, teaching, ...

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    Ashita Tolwani, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Bhupesh Panwar, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Bradley Yoder Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    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. He completed his postdoctoral studies 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 focus...

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    Brendan McGuire, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Bruce Julian, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    I have a longstanding interest in the cause and clinical expression of IgA nephropathy. Research collaboration with colleagues over my career has focused on the genetically determined influences on the pathogenesis and the autoimmune nature of the mechanisms of disease. These studies have shown that there are many regions in the human genome that affect the risk for development of IgA nephropathy. We have also proposed a four-hit hypothesis for the pathogenesis: galactose-deficient IgA1 is rec...

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    Carmen De Miguel, Associate Scientist (C) 2017 -

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    Caroline Marshall, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Casey Weaver M.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Catherine Fuller, Senior Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Christian Faul Ph.D., Scientist (C) 2017 -

    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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    Christopher Klug Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Claretha Lyas, Associate Scientist (C) 2015 -

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    Clifton Kew II, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Colin Reily, Associate Scientist (C) 2015 -

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    Crystal Farrington, Associate Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Dana Rizk, Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Daniel Balkovetz, Senior Scientist (C) 2012 -

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    Daniel Feig, Senior Scientist (C) 2015 -

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    David Askenazi, Senior Scientist (C) 2016 -

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    David Pollock, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Dr. Pollock earned his Ph.D. degree in Physiology from the University of Cincinnati in 1983. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then spent two years as a Senior Scientist at the Institute for Circadian Physiology at Harvard University in Boston before taking a position in the Drug Discovery division of Abbott Laboratories in Chicago. In 1995, he accepted a faculty position in Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia (n...

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    David Warnock, Senior Scientist (C) 2015 -

    David G. Warnock, MD is the Director of the Division of Nephrology and Professor of Medicine and Physiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and received his MD degree from the University of California, San Francisco. His clinical training was completed at the University of California, San Francisco, including a 1 year research fellowship with Isidore Edelman, MD in the Cardiovascular Research Institute. Following a fellowship...

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    Dean Assimos, Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

    Dean G. Assimos, M.D., was named the inaugural chair of the Department of Urology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. Previously a division within the Department of Surgery, the Department of Urology was created by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama System in April 2012.

    Assimos is an internationally known researcher and clinician, who comes to UAB from Wake Forest University where he was vice chair of urology. He received his undergraduate deg...

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    Devin Eckhoff M.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Dr. Eckhoff received his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and his medical diploma from the University of Minnesota. At the University of Wisconsin, he completed a general surgery residency, followed by a transplantation fellowship from 1986-1994. He joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1994. In May 2003, he was appointed director of the Division of Transplantation at UAB and in 2004 he became a full professor. Dr. Eckhoff is a member of ...

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    Dominik Kentrup, Associate Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Edward Inscho, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Dr. Inscho’s research focuses on understanding the regulation of renal microvascular function in healthy kidneys and in hypertension. Dr. Inscho earned his PhD in 1987 at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine. He received postdoctoral training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Tulane University School of Medicine and was a member of the Tulane University Department of Physiology faculty from 1989 through 2000. In 2001, he joined the Physiology faculty of the Medical Coll...

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    Edwin Rutsky, Senior Scientist (C) 2015 -

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    Elizabeth Brown Ph.D., MPH, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Elizabeth Sztul Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    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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    Eman Gohar, Associate Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Emmy Bell, Scientist (C) 2013 -

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    Eric Judd, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Eric Wallace, Scientist (C) 2017 -

    Dr. Wallace is a native of Alabama. He received his BS in Spanish from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He graduated AOA from medical school at UAB. He completed his residency training at UAB as well after which he served as Chief Medical Resident. He then pursued a nephrology fellowship at Vanderbilt University and served as Chief Nephrology fellow. After his fellowship, Dr. Wallace joined the faculty at UAB. Currently, he is the UAB Medical Director of Telehealth, Director of ...

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    Erica Bjornstad, Associate Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Fadi Hage, Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Faris Ahmed, Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Gary Cutter, Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Gaurav Agarwal, Associate Scientist (C) 2015 -

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    Gaurav Jain, Scientist (C) 2016 -

    Ambulatory Director, Nephrology
    Ambulatory Quality and Safety Officer, UAB Medicine

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    Gene Siegal M.D., Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    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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    George Howard, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Graham Towns, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Hemant Tiwari Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Isao Eto Ph.D., Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    James Collawn Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    James George, Senior Scientist (C) 2017 -

    Dr. James F. George is a Professor of Surgery for the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. He is a molecular and cellular biologist who has worked in the field of heart failure and transplantation for more than 20 years. He is actively involved in researching the basic biology of heart failure and transplant rejection, the development of new drugs, and clinical outcomes after cardiac surgery and transplantation.

    His studies are concentrated in transplantation immunobiology, particularly ...

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    James Schafer, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Jan Novak M.Sc., Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Jared Cook, Associate Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Jason Warram, Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Jayme Locke, Scientist (C) 2016 -

    Dr. Locke completed her undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Duke University and her medical degree at East Carolina University prior to matriculating to Johns Hopkins Hospital where she received training in general surgery and multi-visceral abdominal transplantation. Dr. Locke completed her Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in biostatistics and epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She joined the surgical faculty at UAB upon completion ...

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    Jeffrey Lebensburger, Scientist (C) 2017 -

    Dr. Lebensburger is the Director, Pediatric Hematology Section in the Division of Pediatric Hematology Oncology. He has expertise in sickle cell disease and hemoglobinopathies, red cell disorders, ITP, bleeding disorders, blood clotting disorders, bone marrow failure syndromes, and general hematology.

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    Jennifer Pollock, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Ji-Bin Peng, Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Joanne Murphy-Ullrich Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    John Chatham D.Phil., Scientist (C) 2014 -

    John Chatham received his D.Phil. in 1987 from John Chatham received his D.Phil. in 1987 from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in the UK. He completed his post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1989. He is currently Professor of Pathology in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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    John Knight, Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Jon Sharer, Senior Scientist (C) 2017 -

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    Katie Bean, Associate Scientist (C) 2020 -

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    Kelly Hyndman, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Kent Keyser Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Lea Novak, Scientist (C) 2014 -

    I am a board-certified gynecologic pathologist with 21-year expertise in light-, immunofluorescence-, and high-resolution confocal-microscopy. I work as a staff pathologist at the UAB hospital and examine surgical tissues and provide the diagnoses. In my research projects, I have been involved in numerous collaborative studies and evaluated human, mouse and rat tissues. Pathologic findings have ranged from bacterial and viral infection, immune complex deposition and histopathology of female repr...

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    Lisa Curtis, Scientist (C) 2019 -

    Dr. Curtis is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology. She also serves as the Director of Enrichment for the NIH/NIDDK-funded UAB-UCSD O’Brien Center for Acute Kidney Injury Research. She has graduate faculty status in the Department of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology at UAB. She has mentored trainees at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels many of whom have continued to pursue academic careers. Dr. Curtis has received mentoring awar...

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    Lisa McCormick, Scientist (C) 2019 -

    Dr. Lisa C. McCormick (DrPH, MPH, University of Alabama at Birmingham, BS, University of Southern Mississippi) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the UAB School of Public Health.

    Dr. McCormick is the Associate Dean for Public Health Practice for the UAB School of Public Health. In addition, Dr. McCormick is the Director of the Deep South Biosafety and Infectious Disease Response Worker Training Program, the Lead Evaluator for the Region IV ...

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    M. Tino Unlap, Senior Scientist (C) 2016 -

    Dr Unlap received his PhD in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology from Kansas State University followed by postdoctoral trainings in Oncology and Behavioral Neurobiology under Drs Andrew Kraft and Richard Jope at the University of Alabama at Birmingham studying the roles that immediate early genes play in the pathogenesis of malignancy and neuronal degeneration, respectively. Dr Unlap was given a faculty appointment in the Department of Medicine where he began his study of the role that the Na+/Ca2+ e...

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    Malgorzata Kasztan, Associate Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Mark Bevensee, Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Matthew Renfrow Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Michael Allon, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Dr. Allon is Professor of Medicine at University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he serves as the Associate Director for Clinical Affairs and the Medical Director of Dialysis Operations in the Division of Nephrology. He has a longstanding clinical research interest in dialysis, and in particular in vascular access for hemodialysis. He was the P.I. for several clinical dialysis trials sponsored by NIH, including HEMO, DAC, and HFM. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts on various a...

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    Michael Seifert, Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Michal Mrug, Senior Scientist (C) 2018 -

    Dr. Mrug is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he trains the next generation of physicians and scientists. Dr. Mrug is recognized as one of “Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. He co-founded and directs the UAB Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) Clinic and oversees clinical PKD research activities at UAB (since 2009). This includes the CRISP study, an NIH-funded collaborative effort between Emory University, Universi...

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    Michelle Robbin M.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Michelle L. Robbin, MD, MS, FACR, FAIUM, FSRU completed a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She attended medical school at the Mayo Clinic, followed by an adult internal medicine internship at California Pacific Medical Center. Dr. Robbin completed a radiology residency and ultrasound fellowship at the University of California San Francisco. Thereafter, she joined the faculty in the ...

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    Mohammad Athar Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Molly Wasko, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Nalini Sathiakumar M.D., Dr.P.H., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Nita Limdi, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Dr. Limdi is a clinical pharmacist and epidemiologist with significant expertise in pharmacogenomics and pharmacoepidemiology, from research and discovery to its application and implementation in clinical practice. Her research portfolio encompasses studies with both observational and a clinical trial designs and is focused on understanding the multiple factors that influence drug efficacy and safety, specifically anticoagulant and antiplatelet response. An established investigator in the field ...

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    Orlando Gutierrez, Senior Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    P. Darwin Bell, Senior Scientist (C) 2015 -

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    Palaniappan Sethu, Senior Scientist (C) 2020 -

    I am a Biomedical Engineer by training with a PhD from the University of Michigan where I worked with Dr. Carlos, H. Mastrangelo developing new polymer based lab-on-a-chip technologies for genomic and proteomic assays. I completed my postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Mehmet Toner at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Shriners Burns Hospital working on label-free approaches to isolate leukocyte sub-populations from who...

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    Paul Muntner, Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Paul Sanders M.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Rachael Lee, Associate Scientist (C) 2020 -

    Dr. Lee joined the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases at UAB in 2016 and is currently an assistant professor. She is the UAB Healthcare Epidemiologist as well as the Birmingham VA Medical Center Associate Healthcare Epidemiologist. Her research focuses on multi-drug resistant pathogens as they relate to infection control, in particular daptomycin nonsusceptible Enterococcus.

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    Rakesh Patel Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Robert Gaston, Senior Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Ross Holmes, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Roy Koomullil, Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Sahar Fathallah-Shaykh, Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Selvarangan Ponnazhagan Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Shannon Bailey, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Shikha Mehta, Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Song Ong, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Sonia Fargue, Associate Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Stephen Barnes Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Dr. Barnes was trained in Chemistry and Biochemistry in the UK. He joined UAB in 1977 and pursued research on bile acids and latterly polyphenols, particularly soy isoflavones. He was promoted to Associate Professor (with tenure) in 1985 and Full Professor in 1994. He has received NIH support from several areas to pursue the conjugation of bile acids, the chemistry, biochemistry and physiology of polyphenols, the underlying chemistry of lens cataracts and the use of omics approaches in biomedica...

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    Stephen Rostand, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Subhashini Bolisetty, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Sudhir Thaduri, Associate Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Sunil Sudarshan M.D., Scientist (C) 2014 -

    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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    Susan Bellis Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Suzanne Bergman, Senior Scientist (C) 2016 -

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    Suzanne Michalek Ph.D., Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Sylvie Mrug, Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

    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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    Takamitsu Saigusa, Associate Scientist (C) 2016 -

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    Tanecia Mitchell, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

    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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    Tennille Webb, Associate Scientist (C) 2019 -

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    Timmy Lee, Senior Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Timothy Wick Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2015 -

    Dr. Wick began his academic career in the School of Chemical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he developed internationally recognized research programs in cell adhesion and tissue engineering. He served as director of the Interdisciplinary Bioengineering Graduate Program from 2004 to 2005. He was recruited to UAB as Chair of the BME Department and co-director of UAB’s BioMatrix Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (BERM) Research Center in 2005. In 2015, he was appointe...

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    Todd Green, Scientist (C) 2020 -

    My lab aims to understand virus structure and the structure-function relationships involved in the processes of viral replication, including virus-host interactions, capsid structure and polynucleotide synthesis. Toward this goal, we have used structural techniques (cryo-electron microscopy, x-ray crystallography and small angle x-ray scattering) alongside biochemistry and classical virology techniques to study viral proteins from negative strand RNA viruses (NSV: influenza A, mumps, rabies viru...

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    Trenton Schoeb, Senior Scientist (C) 2018 -

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    Victor Darley-Usmar Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Victor Darley-Usmar received his Ph.D. at the University of Essex in England and then moved to the University of Oregon as a Post-Doctoral Fellow to pursue his interests in the structure and function of mitochondrial proteins in human disease. After a period as a lecturer in Japan and ten years as a Research Scientist in Burroughs Wellcome in London he joined UAB to establish his own research group in the Department of Pathology in 1995. He has received multiple awards for training and mentorin...

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    Vinay Narasimha Krishna, Associate Scientist (C) 2017 -

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    Vineeta Kumar, Senior Scientist (C) 2017 -

    Oct 1, 2017 - present Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology/Transplant Nephrology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama

    Jan 2012 - present Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology/Transplant Nephrology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama

    October 15, 2007 - 2011 Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine Division of Nephrology/Transplant Nephrology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama

    July 2008 - present Core Clinical F...

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    Virginia Howard, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    W. Timothy Garvey, Senior Scientist (C) 2014 -

    Dr. Garvey is Professor of Medicine in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He obtained his MD degree, cum laude, from St. Louis University in 1978, and completed residency training in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital, Washington University, in 1981. He then was a clinical fellow in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. He subsequently held facul...

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    Wenguang Feng, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Yabing Chen Ph.D., Senior Scientist (C) 2019 -

    Dr. Chen received her BS degree from Fudan University and her Ph.D. from Xiamen University. She completed postdoctoral training and was appointed as a research instructor at the University of Vermont, School of Medicine. Dr. Chen joined the faculty of Department of Pathology at UAB in June 2004. She is currently Jay M McDonald, MD, Endowed Professor in Laboratory Medicine, Professor in Molecular and Cellular Pathology and Vice Chair for Faculty Development and Education; as well as a Research Ca...

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    Zhengrong Guan, Associate Scientist (C) 2014 -

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    Zsuzsanna Bebok, Scientist (C) 2018 -

    MAJOR RESEARCH INTERESTS
    1) Membrane protein biogenesis in epithelial cells
    a. Endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD)
    b. ER quality control (EQC)
    c. The unfolded protein response (UPR)
    2) Gene expression regulation by the UPR
    a. The mechanisms of UPR-associated transcriptional repression
    b. The mechanisms of the UPR-activated ERAD
    c. UPR activated micro-RNAs
    d. The role of miRNAs in the regulation of ER protein influx during the UPR.
    e. The r...

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