Cancer Cell Biology

Program

The goals of the Cancer Cell Biology (CCB) Program are to conduct the highest quality basic science research related to the three thematic focus areas of the program, to identify and characterize novel pathways and targets involved in tumorigenesis and metastasis, and to develop inhibitors that interfere with those pathways and targets.

People

Program Members

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    Agarwal M.D., Anupam, Senior Scientist

    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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    Ambalavanan M.D., Namasivayam, Senior Scientist

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    Banerjee Ph.D., Nilam, Associate Scientist

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    Bedwell Ph.D., David, Senior Scientist

    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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    Bellis Ph.D., Susan, Senior Scientist

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    Benveniste Ph.D., Tika, Senior Scientist

    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, Senior Scientist

    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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    Bibb, James, Senior Scientist

    James Bibb received bachelor’s and master’s degrees with honors from Murray State University and the University of Kentucky, respectively. He worked in the Cell Biology and Physiology Department at Washington University in St. Louis before completing his doctorate in cellular and developmental biology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His doctoral thesis characterized the poliovirus receptor protein in Eckard Wimmer’s laboratory. Dr. Bibb’s postdoctoral training was conducted i...

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    Bjornsti Ph.D., Mary-Ann, Senior Scientist

    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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    Chang Ph.D., Chenbei, Senior Scientist

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    Chen Ph.D., Jake, Senior Scientist

    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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    Chen Ph.D., Yabing, Senior Scientist

    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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    Chesnokov Ph.D., Igor, Senior Scientist

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    Darley-Usmar Ph.D., Victor, Senior Scientist

    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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    Datta Ph.D., Pran, Senior Scientist

    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, Scientist

    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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    Donahue, James, Scientist

    Dr. James Donahue is an associate professor of surgery and the section chief of thoracic surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Donahue comes to UAB from the University of Maryland School of Medicine where he had an active clinical practice focused on thoracic surgical oncology and served as chief of thoracic surgery at the Baltimore VA Medical Center. He is committed to resident education and served as the associate program director for the University of Maryland cardiothoracic...

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    Dybvig Ph.D., Kevin, Senior Scientist

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    Edmonds Ph.D., Micky, Associate Scientist

    The overall goal of my research is to determine the genetic and epigenetic events that drive epithelial cancer progression and metastasis. Cancer is the second leading cause of mortality in the United States. The genes required for cancer progression and dissemination remain an area of active investigation. The main research focus of my lab is to understand how non-coding RNA regulate these processes and, specifically, the functional role of microRNA (miRNA). miRNAs are small, non-coding RNA mol...

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    Faul Ph.D., Christian, Scientist

    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, Senior Scientist

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    Ferguson III, James, Associate Scientist

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    Frank M.D., Stuart, Senior Scientist

    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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    Hildreth, Eason, Associate Scientist

    Dr. Hildreth obtained his BS in Biology from East Carolina University and his DVM from the North Carolina State University. He then completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Florida and a small animal surgical residency at the Ohio State University. During his residency he completed a concurrent MS degree evaluating the use of PTHrP as an in vitro bone-forming agent.

    After his residency, he stayed at Ohio State to complete a PhD focused on the role of PTHrP in s...

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    Hu, Kejin, Associate Scientist

    Dr. Kejin Hu received his PhD degree in molecular biology in 2003 from the University of Hong Kong. Before that, he conducted his master research program in fungal biochemistry at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He then conducted his first postdoctoral research in muscle development in C elegant at Cornell University. His second postdoctoral research is Tor signaling in budding yeast at the University of Pittsburgh. He received extensive training in human embryonic stem cell biology and p...

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    Hurst Ph.D., Douglas, Associate Scientist

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    Jaskula-Sztul Ph.D., Renata, Associate Scientist

    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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    Javed Ph.D., Amjad, Senior Scientist

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    Korf M.D., Ph.D., Bruce, Senior Scientist

    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, Senior Scientist

    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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    Leier Ph.D., Andre, Associate Scientist

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    Li Ph.D., Yi-Ping, Senior Scientist

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    Liu M.D., Ph.D., Runhua, Associate Scientist

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    Lu, Rui, Scientist

    The overall goal of Dr. Lu’s laboratory is to better understand the epigenetic mechanisms that underlie cancer cell development, and to develop mechanism-based and targeted therapeutic approaches. Dr. Lu’s lab currently is focusing on understanding epigenetic regulations in blood cancer. Recent projects in Dr. Lu’s lab include the following directions: (1) understanding the molecular basis of driver mutations in cancer; (2) discovery of novel targets for cancer epigenetic therapies; (3) developm...

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    Marquez-Lago Ph.D., Tatiana, Scientist

    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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    Mattheyses Ph.D., Alexa, Associate Scientist

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    Messina Ph.D., Joseph, Senior Scientist

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    Mitra Ph.D., Kasturi, Associate Scientist

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    Murphy-Ullrich Ph.D., Joanne, Senior Scientist

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    Parant Ph.D., John, Scientist

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    Patel Ph.D., Rakesh, Senior Scientist

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    Paul, Arun, Associate Scientist

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    Petit Ph.D., Chad, Associate Scientist

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    Placzek Ph.D., William, Associate Scientist

    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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    Popov Ph.D., Kirill, Senior Scientist

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    Ramanadham Ph.D., Sasanka, Senior Scientist

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    Ren, Bin, Scientist

    The research in the Ren Laboratory seeks to determine critical molecular signaling pathways in the transdifferentiation of vascular endothelial cells, angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting blood vessels), and arteriogenesis (de novo formation of small arteries), and to develop molecular strategies for stimulating or inhibiting the growth of these vessels. The current research focuses on how extracellular signaling couples epigenetic and transcriptional regulation of f...

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    Riddle Ph.D., Nicole, Associate Scientist

    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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    Ryan Ph.D., Thomas, Scientist

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    Samant Ph.D., Rajeev, Senior Scientist

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    Samant, Lalita, Senior Scientist

    Lalita Shevde-Samant, Ph.D.,is Associate Director for Education and Training for the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB and Professor in the Department of Pathology. She also is Director of the Cancer Biology Graduate Theme at UAB. Shevde-Samant received her Ph.D. in Cancer Immunology at the Cancer Research Institute, University of Bombay,India. Following postdoctoral training in the area of metastasis at the Hershey Medical Center, Penn State University and at UAB, she was on faculty at ...

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    Sanderson Ph.D., Ralph, Senior Scientist

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    Schneider Ph.D., David, Senior Scientist

    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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    Serra Ph.D., Rosa, Senior Scientist

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    Siegal M.D., Ph.D., Gene, Senior Scientist

    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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    Singh Ph.D., Keshav, Senior Scientist

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    Song Ph.D., Yuhua, Scientist

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    Stern, Josh, Associate Scientist

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    Sudarshan M.D., Sunil, Scientist

    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, Senior Scientist

    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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    Townes Ph.D., Tim, Senior Scientist

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    Turnbough Jr., Charles, Senior Scientist

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    Vayalil Ph.D., Praveen, Associate Scientist

    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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    Wallis, Deeann, Scientist

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    Wang Ph.D., Hengbin, Scientist

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    Wang Ph.D., Jianbo, Scientist

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    Welner Ph.D., Robert, Associate Scientist

    I received my Ph.D. degree in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Oklahoma with Dr. Paul Kincade. I then moved to Harvard Medical School for my post-doctoral training with Dr. Dan Tenen.

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    Westin, Erik, Associate Scientist

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    Yemelyanova, Anna, Senior Scientist

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    Yoder Ph.D., Bradley, Senior Scientist

    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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    Yoon Ph.D., Karina, Scientist

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    Zayzafoon M.D., Ph.D., Majd, Senior Scientist

    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...

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    Zhang Ph.D., Jianhua, Scientist

    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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    Zhao Ph.D., Xinyang, Scientist

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