Dr. Kent Willis (class of 2011) has just been awarded a prestigious 5-year National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Career Development Award for his research into “The gut lung axis Influences the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia”.
The K08 – Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award enables candidates holding professional degrees (e.g., MD, DO, DVM, or equivalent degrees) to undertake 3 to 5 years of special study and supervised research with the goal of becoming independent investigators. The award also allows awardees to pursue research career development programs suited to their experience and capabilities under mentors who are competent to provide guidance in the chosen research areas.
Dr. Willis is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he works as a neonatologist and physician-scientist. The Willis Lung Lab explores the role of fungal commensalism organisms in early life. UAB is currently ranked 12th in the country for Neonatology by US News and World report.