UAB students working in one of the center laboratories. The College of Arts and Sciences is home to many interdisciplinary research, education, and community outreach centers. Our faculty is involved in collaborative projects with other faculty in the Schools of Business, Engineering, Health Professions, Medicine, Optometry, and Public Health. Just as important, several of these centers welcome the active participation of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral students.

Birmingham-area students learning at one of CORD's intensive summer programs. The College believes that the collaboration of faculty, students, research staff, and the community is the best way to encourage discovery, understanding, and creation. Our centers are active participants in local, state, and national projects. Some have industrial partners and engage in commercialization of the projects they work on. Others support seeding of pilot research projects in emerging areas of research and education. Some maintain specialized core facilities that are available to users in CAS as well as external users.

Centers Directory

Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research logo. The Center is a collection of professors, students, and professional partners across myriad disciplines, all devoted to one mission: Making the world a safer place for citizens of the 21st century. With all the wonderful advantages and incredible conveniences that modern technology has bestowed upon us in the past 10-20 years, we've also been introduced to a litany of new dangers to our privacy, our finances, and even our very identities. Some of our principal areas of focus now include computer forensics, classical "wet" forensics, as well as image processing and natural language processing forensics, in order to provide greater service and protection from these new breeds of criminal. Learn more.

CNMB logo. The Center for Nanoscale Materials and Biointegration has identified several Grand Materials Challenges that can be most effectively addressed through interdisciplinary efforts by involving the expertise of faculty members from six different academic disciplines:
  • Create the next generation of polymeric and ceramic biomaterials that mimic natural extracellular matrix and hierarchical architectures of bone and blood vessels.
  • Design nanostructured functionally graded metalloceramic and super-lattice ceramic thin film materials that can provide ultra smooth wear resistance surfaces in biomedical implants and double the life expectancy of these implants.
  • Understand the basic mechanisms of cell/biomaterial interaction and integration at different length scales and develop new techniques and methodologies for the characterization of the cellular response to biomaterials and biomaterial behavior in a bioenvironment.
  • Provide a new paradigm for research training at the interfaces of physics, chemistry, cell biology, materials, mechanical, and biomedical engineering to undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and high school teachers.
  • To accelerate the deployment of promising biomaterials, bioimaging, and biosensor technologies through collaborative partnerships with leading manufacturers of biomedical implants and devices.
Learn more.

CORD logo. The Center for Community OutReach Development (CORD) was established by UAB in 1998 to advance the outreach efforts of UAB in the Birmingham community. CORD's primary focus is on advancing K-12 science education in the area and throughout the state and nation. We are particularly interested in developing programs that will decrease the regional, racial, and gender disparity in science, math, and engineering, by early engagement of students in science and the development of their competitiveness for the best college science and math programs. These programs will build an exceptional science workforce locally and nationally; a workforce that will strengthen America's position as the economic leader in science and technology. Learn more.

COSS logo. COSS is a multi-institutional center consisting of researchers and facilities from UAB, the University of Alabama, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville. It works to improve sensor techniques using recently developed revolutionary laser and spectroscopic technologies for detecting of biological, chemical, environmental, and explosive agents with high sensitivity. Laser-enabled optical sensor and spectroscopic technologies had a significant impact all over the world on the major institutions in health care, biomedicine, communications, materials characterization and processing, defense, aerospace, and national security, and this trend can only be expected to accelerate in the future. Learn more.

CRAG logo. The focus of the UAB Center for Research on Applied Gerontology is to develop and evaluate interventions which will allow older individuals to remain independent and to experience a high quality of life. Specifically, our program seeks to improve those visual, attentional, and cognitive functions that decline at varying rates among older adults, and that are particularly relevant to maintaining functional abilities such as mobility and driving skills. Learn more.


ELI logo. The English Language Institute (ELI) offers a range of English language courses to non-native English-speaking students and scholars, Birmingham residents, business people, local corporations, and international visitors. Through its full-time Intensive English Program, the ELI prepares both undergraduate and graduate students for academic studies at UAB and other universities. The ELI also serves as a cross-cultural training resource for Americans and internationals in the Birmingham area. To meet specific needs of local companies, English classes and cross-cultural training are available on site. As the city's professional English language learning resource for adults and higher education, the ELI is committed to "Bridging Cultures through Language" through playing an active role in our region's international identity. Learn more.
The Institute for Human Rights will serve as a permanent location where scholars, educators, and activists may come together and collaborate on initiatives designed to promote and protect human rights in an increasingly complex and globalized landscape. In this capacity, the Institute will integrate existing University and community strengths and capacities with the use of innovative technologies and scientific methods to create and foster new research, policy solutions, educational programming, and outreach activities relating to all aspects of human rights. Learn more.

Other University Centers

UAB encourages collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts through its University-Wide Interdisciplinary Research Centers (UWIRCs). Besides the Center for Social Medicine, faculty in Sociology work closely with a number of other centers, including: Comprehensive Center for Healthy Aging, Geriatric Education Center, Center for AIDS Research, Center for Women's Reproductive Health, Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center, and Lister Hill Center for Health Policy.
The College of Arts and Sciences organizes monthly innovation forums to focus on some of the world's biggest problems where interdisciplinary innovations could have a significant impact and where UAB has existing strengths/interests. These interdisciplinary innovation forums are held in collaboration with faculty from the Schools of Business, Dentistry, Engineering, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Optometry, and Public Health, as well as representatives of the UAB Research Foundation and the Birmingham Business Alliance.

Phase I of this initiative are the monthly innovation forums, which will continue into the future.

As part of Phase II, the College is now issuing a call for interdisciplinary team proposals. Available awards will be valued at up to $30,000 for a maximum duration of up to one year. An application guideline is available for download.

Submission Deadlines and Questions

The next deadline for proposal submission is January 15, 2015. If you have questions about the program or the application process, contact Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra by phone (975-3675) or email.

Proposals should be electronically submitted as a single PDF file to Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra.
Illustration of a key that could also be a lightbulb or a computer power button.Interdisciplinary research is a key to unlocking the future. The world's biggest problems will be solved through the collaboration of faculty, staff, and students in a variety of academic fields. The College is dedicated to developing and supporting these efforts.

The Interdisciplinary Innovation Forums provide opportunities for faculty members across the UAB campus to network with each and with external entities to promote innovation, transformation, and excellence in our research programs. Participating faculty come from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Education, Business, Engineering, Health Professions, Medicine, Optometry, Dentistry, and Public Health. Other participants come from the UAB Research Foundation (UABRF) and Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA).

Be a Part of the Future

The College is now soliciting Interdisciplinary Team Proposals. Available awards will be valued at up to $30,000 for a maximum duration of up to one year.

Three Graduate Entrepreneurship Awards worth $10,000 each will be awarded in 2014. All MS and PhD students currently enrolled in the College are invited to apply for these awards.

Participation is a key ingredient to the future success of the forums. Presentations and other materials from past forums are available on this site. Researchers are invited to propose future topics for discussion and research.

To learn more about the CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Forums, contact:

Yogesh K. Vohra
Professor & University Scholar; Associate Dean
(205) 934-6662
Illustration of a person sharing ideas with others. The Theodore Haddin Arts and Sciences Forum is an ongoing lecture series at UAB's College of Arts and Sciences. It is a venue for Arts and Sciences faculty to talk about their research with their colleagues, students, and members of the public, and is designed to celebrate faculty work and to launch new conversations.

Each academic year, the Forum presents a series of five to six informal lectures from a cross section of departments in the university. The main criterion for inclusion is that the topics presented be of interest to a broad range of faculty members, students, and the public. Meetings of the Haddin Forum currently take place in Heritage Hall room 125 and are free and open to the public. Lunch is provided.

Please note: The location of the Haddin forum has changed for the remainder of the 2014-2015 season. It is being held in Heritage Hall 121.

Next Haddin Forum

Friday, April 3, 2015
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Stretching the Frame: Ekphrastic Poetry and the Visual Art and Audience that Inform It
Adam Vines, MFA, Assistant Professor, Department of English

Adam Vines will discuss the ideas behind and read selections from Out of Speech, his current poetry manuscript comprised of ekphrastic poems, which are poems informed by visual art. Poets have written ekphrastic poems for thousands of years; one of the earliest examples is Homer's description of Achilles' shield in The Illiad. Vines visited art museums across the country and drafted poems that focus on the works of art and the patrons viewing the art, stretching the frame around both so the two are married in the poems. The poems, therefore, attempt to capture the anxieties and visual rhetoric and acuity in the paintings as well as the concrete particulars, social interactions, and implications of the audience, which many times includes the speaker in the poems.

2014-2015 Schedule

Friday, September 26, 2014
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

The Future of Human Health and Longevity
Dr. Steven Austad, Chair of the Department of Biology

Friday, October 31, 2014
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

A Constructivist Approach to Intercultural Competency
Dr. Lourdes Sanchez-Lopez, Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

November 14, 2014
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Reconstructing the Ancient Human Diet
Dr. Stephen Merritt, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Friday, January 30, 2015
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Managing Stage Fright (For All of Life’s Little Performances)
Dr. Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk, Associate Professor, Department of Music

Friday, February 27, 2015
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Polymer Nanomaterials for Drug Delivery and Cell Transplantation
Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry

Friday, April 3, 2015
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Stretching the Frame: Ekphrastic Poetry and the Visual Art and Audience that Inform It
Adam Vines, MFA, Assistant Professor, Department of English
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