Research & Scholarship
Since its formative years, UAB has conducted groundbreaking research and scholarship across the traditional boundaries among disciplines, with different schools and departments sharing resources, labs, and of course, sharing knowledge. The result is an intensely collaborative, interdisciplinary culture that thrives to this day.
Over four decades, that collaborative culture has produced many “firsts" in science and medicine, and that pioneering spirit continues in every classroom, lab, library, and some 80 campuswide, interdisciplinary research centers, as students work alongside faculty toward the next major breakthrough.
- 32nd nationally in total federal research funding
- 21st in funding from the National Institutes of Health
- Classified as an institution of “very high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation
- Research funding exceeding $503 million in 2011
- In Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities, ranked top 100 overall and No. 34 in clinical medicine, No. 52 in life sciences, No. 127 in social sciences
Pushing the envelope in science and medicine...
UAB faculty and students are daily pushing the envelope in science and medicine. They are engineering revolutionary new materials and composites for use in everything from dental implants to body armor to spacecraft. They are developing new technologies for virtual reality, robotic surgery and cleaner, greener vehicles. And they are shedding new light on a host of human diseases and conditions — from Alzheimer's to diabetes to AIDS to sickle cell anemia — and giving hope to patients throughout the state, nation and indeed the world.
UAB faculty have recently earned some of the highest honors in their respective fields, such as election to the National Academy of Sciences, and they were concurrently elected to or served in top national posts, including president of the American Cancer Society, president-elect of the American Heart Association, president of the Society for Gynecologic Oncology, and president and president-elect of the American Society of Transplantation (making the first time in two decades that the both officers come from the same institution). UAB alumna Regina Benjamin, M.D., is U.S. Surgeon General.
- In spring 2012, UAB recieved the largest single grant in its history — a $67 million NIH award to the School of Dentistry to establish and lead the national Dental Practice-based Research Network.
- UAB is among only four schools in the nation with an NIH Neurosciences Interdisciplinary Center Grant ($8.6 million) that links investigators from institutions across the state and region to speed discovery and development of new drugs and therapies for neurological diseases, and is also among 25 inaugural members of the NIH-funded NeuroNext Network.
- NIH has designated UAB as one of only six Diabetes Research and Training Centers in the country, putting the university at the forefront in development of new methods to treat, prevent and ultimately cure diabetes.
- In the Materials Processing and Application Development (MPAD) facility, the largest academic research facility of its kind in the nation, UAB engineers are pioneering leading-edge metals and composites for a range of applications--from missile systems to lighter, more fuel-efficient city buses.
- NCI has awarded the Comprehensive Cancer Center four highly competitive Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grants for research on cervical, brain, breast and pancreatic cancers. Only three of the nation’s 41 NCI-designated centers have more of these grants than UAB.
- UAB excels at taking discoveries from the lab to the bedside in the form of revolutionary treatments and therapies. The Center for Clinical and Translational Science, created with a $26.9 million NIH grant, accelerates the bench-to-bedside process through partnership among UAB researchers, our community, and other premier health centers around the nation.
UAB research knows no bounds. Literally.
Faculty and students conduct research in Antarctica, investigating chemical defenses of marine life and the role these could play in prevention of diseases such as heart disease, cystic fibrosis, cancer and AIDS.
They are using satellite imaging to discover ancient settlements, tombs and pyramids in Egypt--research that was featured in recent BBC and Discovery Channel documentaries--and to track global public health threats at the UAB Laboratory for Global Health Observation.
They are doing vital, leading-edge research in cybercrime perpetrated from computers around the globe, partnering with such agencies as the FBI, IRS, NASA, Homeland Security, CIA and Interpol. A recent NBC special highlighted the leading role of UAB's renowned cyber-forensics program in a global FBI investigation.
They are also pushing the "final frontier." UAB has long partnered with NASA in space exploration, doing crystallography experiments aboard the space shuttle Columbia, operating spectrometers of Mars Rovers,and designing cryogenic freezers that flew aboard space shuttles and the International Space Station.
...And in the Liberal Arts.
As a true "renaissance" university, UAB excels and conducts research and scholarship in a range of disciplines--the sciences and medicine to business and education to the arts and humanities.
- Faculty and students from the Music, Theatre and Art departments, such as pianist and Van Cliburn Medal winner Yakov Kasman, perform and exhibit to great acclaim around the state, the nation and the world -- from New York to Florence to Moscow to Tokyo.
- In the College of Arts and Sciences, 25 faculty published 30 books in 2011-12, on topics ranging from epigenetics to criminal justice to Victorian literature.
- The Center for Urban Education is pioneering new and effective strategies for teachers in inner city schools and has trained some eighty teachers for high needs schools throughout the Birmingham area.
- Three faculty from the departments of English and Art/Art History recently won competitive fellowships from the Alabama State Council for the Arts.
- The UAB Green and Gold Fund, a business student-managed investment portfolio valued at $525,000, has won two consecutive national titles at the largest national collegiate portfolio competition in the U.S. and outperforms the S&P 500.
- UAB in recent years has won national championships in Mock Trial, the Ethics Bowl and the Bioethics Bowl.
- With 24 Steinway pianos, The Department of Music is designated as an All-SteinwaySchool, the first in Alabama and one of only 125 in the world.
- UAB’s Mervyn H. Sterne Library houses the 3rd largest Marcel Proust collection on the planet.
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