16 U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R
I t s rare to see James Posey, M.D., without a bow-tie. But his preferred choice of neckwear isn t merely a sartorial signature it actually says a great deal about this dynamic physician-scientist. When I came to UAB, I didn t wear bow- ties, he says. I started wearing them around 2003 first because I like them, but then they became func- tional. Physicians who are procedurally oriented wear street clothes with their tie tucked in because it gets in the way. I don t have that problem. Once I learned how to tie them, I can tie them faster than a regular tie.
Dr. Posey s patients tend to enjoy the bowties as well. It stimulates conversation, and sometimes brings a smile to someone s face, he says. It creates a little intrigue in conversation.
If a bowtie could be described as efficient but with a hint of pizazz, so too could Dr. Posey. His office is that of someone who prefers things simple and straightfor- ward, focused on the job at hand. That s exactly what he s been doing since joining the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty 16 years ago.
Heading South Dr. Posey was born and raised in Maryland in a
blue-collar family. Early on, science, rather than medi- cine, held his interest.
I wanted to be a chemist, and what interested me was being able to compose something from elements as well as sharing scientific discovery with people, he says. I discovered the best way to do that would be to incorporate the science of chemistry into some avenue of patient care. It turns out that the desire to com- municate with people was as important as figuring out chemical compositions. That seemed to be a good fit for me.
Dr. Posey received his bachelor s degree in science and chemistry in 1986 from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he also received his medi- cal degree. He worked as a chemist for a year before returning to the nation s capital to complete internships and fellowships at Georgetown University Medical Center. As he completed his training, institutions began recruiting him including UAB.
I did not necessarily envi- sion being in the Deep South, Dr. Posey says. When I came to UAB, I was looking at opportunities in the Northeast, but there was a promise and direction that I pursued in com- ing here.
One of the things that attracted Dr. Posey to the Cancer Center was its collabora- tive environment that fostered scientific research. I came here because I liked having the opportunity to be involved in what I thought was a very sup- portive environment to engage in clinical research in gastroin- testinal malignancies, he says.
My goal is
simply to be
vessel the tool
used to bring
about the most