1 0 C r o S S r o A D S
KeNT KeySeR, Ph.D., didn’t realize that
a walk on a sunny beach in California on a
beautiful August day would eventually lead
him to UAB.
“I was working at the University of
California-San Diego at the time, and as I
began to receive my own grants after becom-
ing established there, I began getting calls
and letters asking me to apply for other jobs,”
Dr. Keyser recalls. “My wife and I were tak-
ing a walk on the beach and trying to decide
what to do. We decided that if something
interesting came along, we would look at it,
as long as it wasn’t in the Southeast. And the
minute you say something like that, your fate
That was in 1994. Just over a year later,
Dr. Keyser joined the faculty at UAB as
an associate professor in the Department
of Physiological Optics. The decision to
move was a good one, Dr. Keyser says.
“Birmingham is an easy city to live in, with
the offerings of a big city but the charm of a
small town,” he says. “It’s really great.”
A fUtURE sCIENtIst Birmingham is a long way from Dr.
Keyser’s roots. Born in Texas as the son of
an Air Force major, Dr. Keyser grew up all
over the United States and around the world,
including a three-year stint in Iran. “We
lived there before the Ayatollah,” he says. “It
was during my language-building years, so I
grew up speaking Farsi.”
Growing up, Dr. Keyser remembers always
being interested in science, even going so far
as to make his own rockets—complete with
his own rocket fuel. Once he made a rocket
that flew several hundred feet in the air before
exploding, causing a commotion among his
neighbors. “That was the end of my rocket
career,” he recalls, laughing.
KENT KEysER, PH.D. B y J o s h T i l l
Dr. lobuglio named director emeritus.
Center scientists play active role in development of first-ever vaccine proven to prevent cervical cancer.
Dr. edward Partridge named director of the Cancer Center. Center receives renewal of breast cancer SPore.
UAB Comprehensive CAnCer Center salutes KeNt Keyser, ph.D., professor iN the uab DepartMeNt of visioN scieNces, Director of
the visioN scieNce research ceNter, Director of the uab high resolutioN iMagiNg facility aND scieNtist iN the uab coMpreheNsive
caNcer ceNter. Dr. Keyser is aN iNterNatioNally recogNizeD expert iN the fielD of high-resolutioN iMagiNg. Much of his research
iNterests iNvolve NicotiNic acetylcholiNe receptors, which are fouND iN the braiN aND retiNa aMoNg other boDy tissues aND which
May play a role iN soMe caNcers. iN 2011, he receiveD the saM browN briDge builDer awarD iN recogNitioN of his
MaNy research collaboratioNs across caMpus.
“BIRMINghAM Is AN EAsy CIty tO LIVE IN, wIth thE OffERINgs Of A BIg CIty BUt thE ChARM Of A sMALL tOwN,” – kent keyser, ph.D.
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