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Professional Development Workshop Series

Peer Review: Improving your Effective Manuscript Review Writing

Date: Thursday, May 21, 2009
Location: School of Nursing Auditorium, Room G028
Organizers:  Drs. Krista Casazza & David Allison; Nancy Bell, Sarah Peek

As researchers submitting manuscripts, many of us frequently complain about the quality of the reviews that we receive. The ability to review a manuscript well may come with experience, but to my knowledge postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty, who comprise a large proportion of those reviewing manuscripts do not get ‘training’ on how to review manuscripts early in their career. Further, many scholars continue to review papers the way that they “always have” without truly knowing the quality of their reviews. This event is a combination lecture/discussion workshop on constructing comprehensive, fair reviews of manuscripts. Presenters Dale Benos, Tim Nagy and Kevin Roth, along with panel discussants David Allison, Jose Fernandez and Richard Kaslow will explore several aspects of manuscript reviewing and strategies for improving the quality of your reviews.

Targeted Audience:

  • Clinical Nutrition Research Center Members; Pre- and Post- Doctoral Fellows
  • Section of Statistical Genetics Junior Faculty; Pre- and Post- Doctoral Fellows
  • School of Public Health Junior Faculty, Pre- and Post- Doctoral Fellows
  • Department of Nutrition Sciences Junior Faculty; Pre- and Post- Doctoral Fellows

The objective of this workshop to provide valuable insight on completing fair, valid, and effective critiques of others manuscripts.
After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the challenges affecting the reviewing process and how as a reviewers these challenges can be overcome;
  • Analyze, evaluate, and successfully address mistakes commonly made by reviewers;
  • Strengthen skills as a reviewer and also improve manuscript writing skills.


The videos are restricted to UAB only.

Time Speaker/Moderator Topic Video
7:45 - 8:05 am   Registration and Continental Breakfast  
8:05 - 8:15 David Allison, PhD
Krista Casazza, PhD
8:15 - 9:00 Dale Benos, PhD How to Write a Fair, Effective Review video
9:05 - 9:25 Tim Nagy, PhD Dealing with the Editor as a Reviewer (and as an Author) video
9:30 – 9:50 Kevin Roth, MD, PhD Mistakes Reviewers Make video
9:50-10:00   BREAK
10:00 - 12:00 Panel:
David Allison, PhD
Dale Benos, PhD
Jose Fernandez, PhD
Richard Kaslow, PhD
Tim Nagy, PhD
Kevin Roth, MD, PhD
Panel Discussion video

To register, please send email of interest to
Attendance is limited.
Questions? (205) 975-9675


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Distinguished Speakers:

DALE BENOS, PhD DALE BENOS, PhD – Professor & Chair, Department of Physiology and Biophysics

Dr. Dale Benos earned his Ph.D. degree at Duke University in the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology in 1976. After two additional years of postdoctoral study at Duke, he moved to the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at Harvard Medical School, where he was assistant professor and then associate professor, and an Andrew W. Mellon Scholar. He joined the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UAB in 1985. In 1996, Dr. Benos became chairman of the department. The main research objectives of his laboratory are directed toward an elucidation of the molecular basis of operation of epithelial and astrocyte ion channels and transporters. His laboratory has recently begun investigating the role of ion channels and transporters in human brain tumors. He currently serves as Associate Editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is the series editor of Current Topics in Membranes, and is also editor-in-chief of the series Physiology in Medicine, which is published in Annals of Internal Medicine. He is on the editorial boards of American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology, Biochimica Biophysica Acta, and SHOCK. Dr. Benos recently served as President of The American Physiological Society. He has published over 250 original articles and more than 85 reviews and book chapters. At UAB Dr. Benos has trained over 15 graduate students and 34 postdoctoral fellows. In 2006 Dr. Benos received the prestigious Presidents Award for Excellence in Teaching and was named the UAB Distinguished Faculty Lecturer for 2007.

TIM NAGY, PhD TIM NAGY, PhD – Professor & Vice Chair for Research, Dept of Nutrition Sciences
International Journal of Body Composition Research

Dr. Tim Nagy earned his PhD degree at the University of Utah in 1992. In 1994, he completed his postdoctoral training in Endocrinology at the University of Delaware; in 1996 completed postdoctoral training in Energy Metabolism and Body Composition at UAB. Dr. Nagy directs the Small Animal Phenotyping Laboratory that is a resource for both the UAB Clinical Nutrition Research Center and the UAB Center for Metabolic Bone Disease. Dr. Nagy’s research is focused on three areas: (1) the regulation of body weight, (2) the development and validation of methods for phenotyping small animals, and (3) the link among body fat, caloric restriction and cancer. Dr. Nagy’s studies on the regulation of body weight have utilized both humans and animal models. Currently his studies are focused on animal models to better understand the mechanisms regulating energy expenditure and thus body weight. During Dr. Nagy’s studies on the regulation of energy expenditure using animal models, he realized the need to improve the measurement of body composition in small animals, especially in vivo methods. Thus, he worked with two medical imaging companies to adapt human peripheral dual-energy X-ray absorptiometers (DXA) for use with mice. Dr. Nagy was the first to validate and publish on the use of DXA for measurements of fat, lean, and bone in mice.The final area of research interest is the link among body fat, caloric restriction, and cancer. Dr. Nagy has developed a mouse model in which energy intake can be held constant while body fat is modified by varying energy expenditure using ambient temperature. This line of research will determine the independent effects of body fat on cancer.

KEVIN ROTH, MD, PhD KEVIN ROTH, MD, PhD – Robert and Ruth Anderson Professor & Chair, Department of Pathology
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry

Dr. Kevin Roth graduated with highest honors from the University of Michigan and received his MD and PhD in neuroscience from Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his pathology residency at Washington University, where he served as chief resident in the division of Neuropathology, before joining the Washington faculty. He was selected Lecturer of the Year by the Washington University Medical School classes of 1992 through 1994, and for 7 consecutive years, he received the school’s Distinguished Teaching Service Award. Dr. Roth comes to UAB from the Washington University School of Medicine, where he was professor in the Division of Neuropathology, Department of Pathology and Immunology, and in the Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology. Dr. Roth came to UAB in 2002 as Professor and Director, Division of Neuropathology. In 2006, Dr. Roth became the Director of the Alabama Neuroscience Blueprint Core Center and the Director of the Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. Dr. Roth’s research focuses on the molecular regulation of neuronal cell death. The goal is to understand the role of cell death in normal nervous system development and its significance in neuropathological conditions.


DAVID ALLISON, PhD DAVID ALLISON, PhD – Professor & Director, Dept of Biostatistics

Dr. David Allison received his Ph.D. from Hofstra University in 1990. He then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a second post-doctoral fellowship at the NIH-funded New York Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital Center. He was a research scientist at the NY Obesity Research Center and Associate Professor of Medical Psychology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons until 2001. In 2001, he joined the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where he is currently Professor of Biostatistics , Head of the Section on Statistical Genetics, and Director of the NIH-funded Clinical Nutrition Research Center. He has authored over 300 scientific publications and edited three books. He has won several awards, including the 2002 Lilly Scientific Achievement Award from the North American Association for the Study of Obesity and the 2002 Andre Mayer Award from the International Association for the Study of Obesity, holds several NIH and NSF grants, served on the Council of the North American Association for the Study of Obesity from 1995 to 2001, and has been a member of the Board of Trustees for the International Life Science Institute, North America, since January 2002. He serves on the editorial boards of: Obesity Reviews; Nutrition Today; Public Library of Science (PLOS) Genetics; International Journal of Obesity; Behavior Genetics; Computational Statistics and Data Analysis; and Human Heredity. Dr. Allison's research interests include obesity, quantitative genetics, clinical trials, and statistical and research methodology. He also serves as a frequent consultant and expert witness in the legal setting.

JOSE FERNANDEZ, PhD JOSE FERNANDEZ, PhD – Assoc. Prof. & Vice Chair for Education, Dept of Nutrition Sciences

Dr. José R. Fernández obtained his Ph.D. in Biobehavioral Health from The Pennsylvania State University, training in genetics of complex traits, working with the three most commonly used models for genetic research: fruit flies, mice, and humans. He continued his academic training at the New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University as a post-doctoral fellow focusing on genetics of obesity, and receiving specialized training in statistical models to improve the identification of genetic and environmental influences on obesity-related characteristics. Dr. Fernández joined UAB in 2001, bringing special expertise in the application of statistical models to detect genetic influences in obesity-related traits. Dr. Fernández ’ main research interest is the identification of genes that contribute to racial differences in obesity and diabetes. He uses the genetic admixture approach as a tool to decompose the genetic, social and cultural components underlying racial and ethnic differences. He is also interested on the application of methods for QTL mapping, the use of linear statistical models to (a) identify genes in the population (b) identify gene-gene interactions and (c) identify the interaction of genes and environment, and the use of statistical approaches to improve the identification of genes in the population.

RICHARD KASLOW, MD, MPHD RICHARD KASLOW, MD, MPH – Professor, Department of Epidemiology

Dr. Richard Kaslow is an internist, board certified in Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and Preventive Medicine with graduate training in epidemiology. As an expert in infectious diseases, he has a special interest in the natural history of HIV-1 infection and has pursued that interest through several cohort studies including a 25-year study of a large gay male population. His research interests include immunogenetic and other host factors in infectious and immunologic diseases (e.g. rheumatic disease, certain cancers); chronic complications of infection; natural history, determinants and expression of disease following infection and vaccination. He heads the Program in Epidemiology of Infection and Immunity and holds appointments in university-wide centers covering three broad areas: HIV/AIDS, cancer, and arthritis.