The University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) traces its roots to the 1859 founding of the Medical College of Alabama and the 1936 opening of the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. In 1945 the Medical College of Alabama was moved from Tuscaloosa and the University’s Medical Center was founded in Birmingham. 

In 1954 the Extension Center was moved to a newly constructed facility adjacent to the Medical Center, bringing together for the first time the University’s two academic components in Birmingham. Later, in November of 1966, the Extension Center and the Medical Center were administratively merged to form the “University of Alabama in Birmingham,” an organizational component of the University of Alabama (in Tuscaloosa). In 1969 UAB became an independent institution, one of the autonomous universities within the newly created three-campus University of Alabama System.

Today, UAB is a comprehensive urban university with a nationally recognized academic health center. UAB is the only public, four-year degree granting university in the state’s largest metropolitan area. UAB is the largest research institution in the state of Alabama and is the largest single employer in the state.

The Lung Health Center is a multi-disciplinary center within the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine at UAB, and serves as the Division’s hub for clinical and translational research. Under the new leadership of Dr. J. Michael Wells, MD, the Center’s Medical Director, Dr. Amit Gaggar, the Center’s Scientific Director, and Dr. Gabriella Oates, the Center’s Director of Population Health Sciences, the LHC employs 28 full and part-time staff including research coordinators, respiratory therapists, nurses, a biostatistician, students and administrative personnel. Our staff is well trained and has extensive experience with the performance of research quality pulmonary function testing as well as study design, recruitment and retention, data management, and medical monitoring. At present, the LHC is involved in over 20 federally and industry funded research projects including clinical and translational research related to the prevention and management of lung diseases such as COPD, asthma, IPF, and lung transplant, and lung cancer. The LHC faculty includes physicians, clinical research nurses, recruitment and retention specialists, respiratory therapists, health educators, health behaviorists, medical sociologists, statisticians, and an epidemiologist.