Kent Willis, M.D.
Dr. Willis is an assistant professor and neonatologist physician-scientist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He completed medical school at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, pediatric residency in Baton Rouge, and fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine in Memphis. His translational research program seeks to understand how commensal fungi, the mycobiome, influence newborn physiology and disease, principally via exploring the gut-lung axis in bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Dr. Willis’s research uses a series of novel gnotobiotic mouse, in vitro organoid and ex vivo tissue models, in addition to studies of preterm infants.
Dr. Willis holds a prestigious career development award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The Willis Lung Lab is also supported by grants from the UAB Microbiome Center, UAB Lung Health Center, the Kaul Pediatric Research Institute at Children’s of Alabama, and UAB Pediatrics.