Two projects from School of Medicine faculty were selected winners of the first AMC21 Blue Sky Awards, an internal funding opportunity designed to provide highly creative faculty means to test the feasibility of an idea and prepare it for extramural funding. 

Victor Darley UsmarVictor Darley-Usmar, Ph.D.The awards were created to foster high-payoff work that promises to be transformational, but, because of its early stage, has limited external funding opportunities. Each of the selected projects was awarded $100,000 for one year, with the possibility of funding for a second year.  

“The winners of the Blue Sky Awards are outstanding scientists, who have demonstrated excellence at the highest level in the UAB community.” said Selwyn M. Vickers, senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the UAB School of Medicine. 

Those projects selected were: 

“Integrating Energetics with Personalized Medicine”
Principal Investigator: Victor M. Darley-Usmar, Ph.D., endowed professor of Mitchondrial Medicine and Pathology and vice chair for research in the Department of Pathology Co-Investigators: Adam Wende, Ph.D., assistant professor of Pathology, and Degui Zhi, Ph.D., assistant professor of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health

Casey WeaverCasey Weaver, M.D.“A Novel Technology for Mapping and Editing the Mammalian Genome”
Principal Investigator: Casey T. Weaver, M.D., Wyatt and Susan Haskell Professor of Medical Excellence in the Department of Pathology.

A total 24 project applications were submitted for consideration. Applications were reviewed by faculty with appropriate expertise. Evaluation criteria included the track record of the principal investigator, potential impact, innovation of the proposed project and how well the proposal fits the identified AMC21 research focus areas. 

Finalists were invited to deliver a 20-minute chalk talk to the research leaders within the SOM before the winners were selected.

--written by Kendra Carter.

--articled reprinted from the UAB Media page.