October 9, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, AL - Etty "Tika" Benveniste, Ph.D., has been named the inaugural holder of the Alma B. Maxwell UAHSF Endowed Chair at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
Benveniste is the chair of the UAB Department of Cell Biology and associate director of basic research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.
"As ideal candidates go, Tika is most deserving of this prestigious endowment thanks to her superb professionalism and integrity," said Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Edward Partridge, M.D. "She epitomizes a great educator, researcher, team leader and trusted friend."
Benveniste is an international expert on the biologic pathways linking the immune and nervous systems. Her research has focused on a class of proteins produced in the body called chemokines and cytokines, which are known to play a role in infection, cancer, chronic inflammation and other conditions.
Benveniste is a professor of cell biology, physiology and biophysics, neurology and neurobiology at UAB. In addition to her many duties, she continues to serve as a senior scientist for UAB's Center for AIDS Research and UAB's Arthritis Center.
She earned her doctorate degree in immunology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and after completing her postdoctoral fellowship, came to UAB in 1986 as a research assistant professor in the Department of Neurology.
Benveniste holds grants from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Foundation for AIDS Research and other sources. She is a reviewer and editorial board member for many professional journals, and she holds memberships in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Society of Neuroimmunology, the American Association for Immunology, among others.
The Alma B Maxwell UAHSF Endowed Chair is named for the late Alma Baldwin Maxwell of Montgomery. Maxwell grew up in North Carolina, earned a master's degree in education from Columbia University in New York and taught for many years at Ashley Hall, an all-girls' K-12 school in Charleston, S.C. She moved to Montgomery during her retirement and died in 1983.