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Biology

Dr. Michael Sanders, class of 1992Dr. Michael Sanders, class of 1992

A specialist in pancreatic care

For Dr. Michael Sanders, his career in medicine was jumpstarted by his early research experiences at Birmingham-Southern.

“As a freshman at BSC, I was uncertain of my career goals. My early experience in Professor [Leo] Pezzementi's biology lab resulted in several abstracts, publications, and presentations at scientific meetings,” says Sanders, a Birmingham native. “Those experiences solidified my decision to pursue a career in scientific research and academic medicine.”

Sanders graduated from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in 1998 and now is an academic gastroenterologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, specializing in the treatment of pancreaticobiliary disorders.

“Although the majority of my work involves direct patient care, I continue to be involved in both clinical and translational research,” he notes. “I also enjoy teaching medical students, residents, and fellows, as well as interacting with faculty members within our division and other disciplines.”

Over the years, Sanders has engaged in quite a bit of national and overseas travel either as an invited speaker or researcher. As a senior at BSC, he traveled with Pezzementi to Paris, France, to continue their research project, which was funded by the National Science Foundation. While in medical school one summer, an NSF grant allowed him to conduct scientific research in Tokyo, Japan. Furthermore, a Howard Hughes Research Scholarship gave him the opportunity to conduct research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., in between his sophomore and junior year of medical school.

“The faculty and staff within the Biology Department were always accessible and approachable, a characteristic I try to emulate now as a junior faculty member,” says Sanders. “BSC is truly a unique institution that offers the possibilities to achieve your dreams.”