Research Resources

Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development (OVPRED)

Leadership for all administrative research units serving the research enterprise at UAB. OVPRED oversees Core Facilities, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and Institutional Review Board.

Integrated Research Administration Portal (IRAP)

Electronic submission of funding applications and compliance forms for future research initiatives.

UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The nexus for UAB innovation, entrepreneurial educational models, applied research, and management of intellectual property.

Funding Sources and Grant Opportunities

Presentations and general information related to effective grant writing.

Office of Postdoctoral Education

UAB is committed to the development and success of outstanding postdoctoral scientists.

Conflict of Interest Review Board (CIRB)

Charged with the ongoing development of policies and procedures related to conflicts of interest in sponsored research, review of disclosures of financial interests submitted by investigators, and the development of conflict of interest management plans.

Research News

King crabs threaten Antarctic ecosystem due to warming ocean
King crabs threaten Antarctic ecosystem due to warming ocean
Predators’ arrival could radically alter marine life

king crabThe king crab Paralomis birsteini, photographed on the continental slope off Marguerite Bay, Antarctica, at a depth of 1100 m.King crabs may soon become high-level predators in Antarctic marine ecosystems where they have not played a role in tens of millions of years, according to a new study on which University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers worked in conjunction with the Florida Institute of Technology and other institutions.

“No Barrier to Emergence of Bathyal King Crabs on the Antarctic Shelf,” published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ties the reappearance of these crabs to global warming.

This study is a continuation of previous work in the field of Antarctic marine ecology done by James McClintock, Ph.D., paper co-author and professor in UAB’s College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, along with his colleagues.

“The rising temperature of the ocean west of the Antarctic Peninsula — one of the most rapidly warming places on the planet — should make it possible for king crab populations to move to the shallow continental shelf from their current deep-sea habitat within the next several decades,” said lead author Richard Aronson, Ph.D., professor and head of Florida Tech’s Department of Biological Sciences.

Researchers found no barriers, such as salinity levels, types of sediments on the seafloor or food resources, to prevent the predatory crustaceans from arriving if the water became warm enough. That arrival would have a huge impact.

“Because other creatures on the continental shelf have evolved without shell-crushing predators, if the crabs moved in they could radically restructure the ecosystem,” Aronson said.

nathaniel palmerNathaniel B. Palmer in the ice off Marguerite Bay.The study provides initial data and does not by itself prove that crab populations will expand into shallower waters.

“The only way to test the hypothesis that the crabs are expanding their depth-range is to track their movements through long-term monitoring,” McClintock said.

In the 2010 to 2011 Antarctic summer, in research funded by the National Science Foundation, the team used an underwater camera sled to document a reproductive population of the crabs for the first time on the continental slope off Marguerite Bay on the western Antarctic Peninsula. That area is only a few hundred meters deeper than the continental shelf where the delicate ecosystem flourishes.

“The mounting anticipation as the researchers watched the transmissions from the seafloor culminated in a mixture of both satisfaction and unease upon the seeing the first image of a king crab on the Antarctic slope,” said Margaret Amsler, a research assistant and co-author from UAB.

“The overall effect of the migration of king crabs to shallower waters,” said postdoctoral scientist and study co-author Kathryn Smith of Florida Institute of Technology, “would be to make the unique Antarctic ecosystem much more like ecosystems in other areas of the globe, a process ecologists call biotic homogenization.”

sea sledSeaSled towed vehicle being deployed from the Palmer off Marguerite Bay.Such changes, the researchers concluded, would fundamentally alter the Antarctic seafloor ecosystem and diminish the diversity of marine ecosystems globally.

The data used in the paper were collected during an expedition to Antarctica run jointly by NSF, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the Swedish Research Council. The expedition included scientists from Florida Tech, UAB, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

Journalists may access the embargoed paper through EurekAlert. They should register with and request access to PNAS materials. Already registered journalists may request access to PNAS at

A video version of this news story available by contacting Dena Headlee at or (703) 292-7739.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Summary: Several activities are planned in and around UAB for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

pink ribbonBreast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. Thanks to early detection and improvements in treatment, millions of women are surviving the disease.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama has raised more than $5 million to support cancer research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center. The BCRFA helps to ensure that physicians and scientists can seize every opportunity for groundbreaking discovery.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the BCRFA and other organizations are hosting local events:

Sept. 25–Oct. 25: Calera Goes Pink!

Join the City of Calera as they Go Pink to support breast cancer research in Alabama. This citywide event kicks off with the Calera High School football game on Friday, Sept. 25, and culminates with a golf tournament at Timberline on Oct. 25. For details, call BCRFA at 205-996-5463.

October: Pink Ribbon Project

Dozens of fire stations across the state will Go Pink! throughout the month of October and will be selling specially designed Pink Ribbon Project T-shirts for $15 and $20. Proceeds from shirt sales will help the BCRFA provide seed dollars required to secure sustaining, national grants for breast cancer research at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.

October: Tameron BC Awareness Campaign

Tameron Automotive Group will donate $100 in support of breast cancer research for every car sold during October at Tameron Honda (1675 Montgomery Highway, Birmingham) and Tameron Hyundai (1595 Montgomery Highway, Birmingham).

Oct. 9 and Oct. 20: BCRFA’s Go Pink! T-shirt Sale

From 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Oct. 20, short-sleeved and long-sleeved T-shirts will be on sale by the elevators in the North Pavilion Building at UAB Hospital. Short-sleeved shirts are $15, and long-sleeved shirts are $20.

Oct. 10: Ross Bridge Uncorked! On the Green

The community is invited to come out to this free annual event at Ross Bridge (2101 Grand Avenue, Hoover) to sample beer and wine, and make a donation to support BCRFA. Wine tasting is from noon-2 p.m., and beer sampling is from 2:30-5 p.m. A valid ID is required prior to sampling. For more information, visit

Oct. 16: Pink Luncheon “Crazy for a Cure”

Make a minimum donation of $15 to BCRFA and enjoy a Mexican buffet, fun and prizes at the MSE Building Co. at 5500 Derby Drive, Birmingham. RSVP at 205-833-9010.

Oct. 17: Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is the largest series of 5K run/fitness walks in the world. The local race will begin at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham. The survivor parade will be at 8:30 a.m., the 5K starts at 9 a.m., and the 1-mile fun run/walk is at 10 a.m., with awards ceremony at 11 a.m. Detailed information is online at

Oct. 17: New Light Support Group

In lieu of the New Light Support Group meeting, members of the support group will participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Oct. 17, which will be held in Linn Park in downtown Birmingham. To join a team and help celebrate the life, bravery and the memory of survivors, contact Kimberly Robinson at 205-975-7912 or

Oct. 18: Fashion and Friends Charity Expo

This charity business expo will be held in the Main Hall at the Bessemer Civic Center from 4-8 p.m. There will be vendors, speakers and food, with ticket proceeds going to support BCRFA. Tickets are $10 in advance. For more information, visit

Oct. 25: Pink Private Shopping Night, Belk at the Summit

From 6:30-9 p.m. BCRFA and Belk are once again partnering to host this exclusive private shopping night. A $25 ticket includes complimentary food and beverages, live entertainment, fabulous door prizes, and the opportunity to shop exclusive shopping discounts at Belk. Tickets are available for purchase online at or by calling BCRFA at 205-996-5463.

New multidisciplinary clinical center for care, diagnosis and state-of-the-art research
New multidisciplinary clinical center for care, diagnosis and state-of-the-art research
The Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, UAB and Seahorse Bioscience announce establishment of comprehensive mitochondrial patient care clinical program.
Joint Press Release: FMM, Seahorse, UAB

victor darley usmarVictor Darley-UsmarThe Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Seahorse Bioscience today announced the creation of the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine Program at UAB — a comprehensive clinical program for the diagnosis of neuromuscular mitochondrial diseases using precision medicine models for monitoring therapeutic interventions.

The shared academic, philanthropic and medical mission of the clinic is to revolutionize the treatment and diagnosis of mitochondrial diseases by establishing and integrating state-of-the-art techniques in bioenergetics and therapeutics using a precision medicine approach. The clinic plans to realize this vision by developing two parallel components: 1) a monthly multidisciplinary clinic to evaluate and care for adults and pediatric patients with mitochondrial disease and 2) a reference laboratory for metabolic bioenergetics focused on establishing mitochondrial-targeted clinical, noninvasive laboratory measurements and instruments.

“By establishing the clinic and sharing this vision, we plan to address the unmet clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic needs of the mitochondrial patient community,” said Laura Stanley, Executive Director of FMM. “Clinical needs of the patient community will be coordinated under one roof, and multiple specialists will join together to serve complex patient populations whose symptoms require the collective knowledge of neurologists, geneticists, gastroenterologists and others. UAB and Seahorse Bioscience have made revolutionary advancements in the field of bioenergetics, and UAB’s established research expertise and longstanding work in neuromuscular diseases make it the ideal location for the program.”

Mitochondrial disease can be caused by genetics and mutations to the mitochondrial or chromosomal DNA or can be acquired due to metabolic, aging or environmental stress. Despite significant advances in recognizing, diagnosing and treating patients over the last 40 years, there are still lacks of effective treatments that are targeted to the specific deficit in a patient. The precision instrumentation developed by Seahorse Bioscience and the bioenergetics testing from UAB will allow advances in metabolic and genetic analysis to be applied to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with mitochondrial disorders. Mitochondrial dysfunction is an underlying cause of many neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and cardiometabolic syndromes. From Parkinson’s to Alzheimer’s, diabetes and beyond, an understanding of mitochondrial stresses can lead to better treatments and quality of life for many.

fmmClick to enlargeUAB has a tradition of excellence in research and participation in clinical trials. UAB is also uniquely placed to advance the field of diagnostics, biomanufacturing systems and consumable labware products for biological research. Scientific expertise in mitochondrial medicine is longstanding at UAB and is available through a network of departments and the centers, especially the Center for Free Radical Biology. The UAB Mitochondrial Medicine Laboratory was established in 2011 in the Department of Pathology in the School of Medicine, and has been pioneering translational tests to assess mitochondrial function through noninvasive tests in human subjects.

“The most serious diseases that affect developed nations, such as atherosclerosis, neurodegeneration and diabetes, are known to involve changes in bioenergetic health,” said Victor Darley-Usmar, Ph.D., endowed professor of mitochondrial medicine and pathology, vice-chair for research in the UAB Department of Pathology, and scientific director of the program. “The challenge is to translate the findings in basic research in mitochondrial function and the pathology of disease to the clinic, and this program will be a major step toward achieving that aim. For the first time, we will apply new means of measuring bioenergetic health to the management and care of patients with mitochondrial diseases.”

Seahorse Bioscience developed the enabling technology upon which bioenergetics measurements, for the first time, can provide the necessary precision and reliability required to establish Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) tests for mitochondrial pathologies. Seahorse is the industry leader in metabolic analyzers and assay kits for measuring cell metabolism in live cells, in real time. XF Technology and stress test kits render the understanding and diagnosis of mitochondrial disease into a simple, efficient and user-friendly process, enabling researchers to understand better how bioenergetics regulates cellular function. Utilizing XF Technology and a bioenergetics stress test, researchers will measure and analyze respiratory complex activities and mitochondrial DNA damage in white blood cells and platelets from blood samples. This information will then form the basis of a Bioenergetic Health Index (BHI). The test is much easier to administer than a diagnostic muscle biopsy, and can effectively monitor the progression and response of patients to treatment. An important objective for the first three years of the UAB Program and Clinic will be to validate and provide CLIA certification for these tests using the XF platform.

“One of the keys to the resurgence in mitochondrial research and treatment has been our ability to redefine metabolism in the context of the complete cellular architecture of a living cell,” stated David Ferrick, chief scientific officer of Seahorse Bioscience. “Making this complexity addressable allows researchers and physicians to ask and answer questions that were out of reach, and thus limited them to theory and speculation. The combination of compelling patient advocacy by the FMM, basic and clinical expertise of UAB, and enabling technology from Seahorse will be the perfect storm for mitochondrial diseases.”

UAB receives prestigious funding for aging research center
UAB receives prestigious funding for aging research center
An interdisciplinary effort among the College of Arts and Sciences and several schools across campus results in a $2.5 million grant.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been named one of the country’s six Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging.

nathan schock centerThe prestigious award, which amounts to more than $2.5 million over a five-year period, will support the establishment of UAB’s Nathan Shock Center.

The grant is the result of a collaborative, campuswide effort including researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Health Professions, School of Medicine, and the School of Public Health.

At UAB, and at each of the other five Shock Center institutions, the grants will help foster leadership in the pursuit of basic research into the biology of aging through The Nathan Shock Centers’ services provided by specialized research cores, small startup grants, and the organization of meetings and symposia to highlight specific areas of research.

“This grant, which we were awarded over such eminent institutions as Yale and Stanford, establishes UAB as a national leader in basic aging research,” said Steven Austad, Ph.D., distinguished professor and chair of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology. “We hope to use this new funding as a springboard for establishing UAB as an epicenter of cutting-edge research aimed at enhancing and extending human health — something that we are in desperate need of as our population ages.”

Each Nathan Shock Center has specialized areas of research emphasis. UAB is specializing in understanding how energetics affects aging.

“Discovering how to extend the period of healthy life is something at which we are making great progress,” Austad said. “Getting this Shock Center should accelerate that progress. Aging is the No. 1 cause of death and disability in today’s world. We hope to help find answers that can relieve this enormous health problem.”

Novel research shows social factors may impact younger leukemia patients’ survival
Novel research shows social factors may impact younger leukemia patients’ survival
New UAB research demonstrates social factors that determine survival of younger patients with AML and present opportunities to improve outcomes.

borate costaUma Borate, left, and Luciano CostaA new University of Alabama at Birmingham study reveals that insurance status, marital status and county-level income may affect the chances of survival in young patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

The findings, published online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, indicate that additional efforts and resources are needed to address the social factors that impact critical aspects of health in these patients.

The UAB study is the largest to date to look at socioeconomic factors in outcomes of younger patients with AML.

In 2015, AML will affect about 20,830 people in the United States, and 10,460 will likely die of the disease.

“A cure is possible mostly for younger patients; but treatment is intense, often requiring a bone marrow transplant and using a lot of resources from the health care system, patients and families,” said Luciano Jose Costa, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB Division of Hematology and Oncology. “We have made tremendous progress in understanding the biology of AML. But we need to pay the same attention to resources available to our patients as this greatly impacts their chances to survive their leukemia.”

Investigators at UAB analyzed a database with 5,541 patients younger than the age of 65 to demonstrate that, in addition to age and disease characteristics, other “nonbiological” patient characteristics matter in having a higher or lower chance of cure.

The research showed that patients who were single or divorced, patients who were uninsured or were Medicaid beneficiaries, and patients who lived in areas with lower income had substantially higher risk of death.

The research showed that patients who were single or divorced, patients who were uninsured or were Medicaid beneficiaries, and patients who lived in areas with lower income had substantially higher risk of death.

The first and most immediate implication of these results relates to outcome analysis.

“We believe these three factors indicate lack of material and social support preventing young patients from successfully walking the long and difficult road toward cure,” said Uma Borate, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Division of Hematology and Oncology and lead author of the study.

Costa and Borate, also scientists at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, suggest that the findings show these factors, that are not necessarily related to care, can have significant impacts on AML patients’ outcomes.

“As physicians, we often emphasize more of the biology of the cancer, especially with the recent focus on personalized medicine,” said Costa, the senior author of the study. “But we need to pay the same attention to resources available to our patients, as this greatly impacts their chances to survive leukemia. By pointing to the factors that likely have nothing to do with biology as having a strong effect on survival of younger AML patients, this study reveals other opportunities to improve outcomes. The focus needs to change somewhat from the cancer to the cancer patient.”

This will be especially important as the United States transitions to a health care system that ties physician and hospital payments to patient outcomes.

“Taking from the results of this study, factors that have nothing to do with quality of care need to be accounted for when comparing predicted with actual outcomes,” Borate said. “Otherwise a disincentive for hospitals and doctors to care for less privileged patients may develop.”

GEM Fellowships

The goal of this program is to increase the number of minority students who pursue doctoral degrees in the natural science and engineering disciplines -- chemistry, physics, earth sciences, mathematics, biological sciences, and computer science. Applications and supporting information can be found online at