UAB Magazine Online Features
Unique Team Inspires Spinal Cord Studies
By Jeff Hansen
At age 17, Candace Floyd, Ph.D., worked as an emergency medical technician and a hospital volunteer. She saw wreck victims and shaken babies who had suffered central nervous system trauma, and she resolved to help them.
Roman Reed of California was paralyzed when a tackler crushed his vertebrae in a 1994 college football game. After his injury, Roman and others convinced the California legislature to pass "Roman's Law," an added fine on traffic tickets that would fund spinal cord injury research. In 11 years, the Roman Reed Foundation has awarded $12.5 million to researchers in spinal cord injury and regenerative medicine.
In Alabama, Chatom native and nursing student T.J. Atchison was determined to bolster spinal cord injury research after becoming paralyzed in a 2010 car wreck.
These three young people, from different parts of the country, are now helping to push the boundaries of the field and set the stage for potential new treatments at UAB.
"There is nothing we can do to repair the damaged tissue, or regenerate it," says Floyd, now a UAB associate professor who studies both brain and spinal cord injuries. "It's a travesty. I vowed that I was going to fix that."
By Susannah Felts
Technological advances in the last 10 to 15 years have given everyone greater power to manipulate music, from professionals in state-of-the-art studios to kids with laptops. But when those kids come to campus with visions of music industry glitz in their eyes, they often need help figuring out how to turn their hobby into a career.
|Scott Phillips's new book offers secrets to success for students and teachers of music technology.|
Now they can turn to Beyond Sound: The College and Career Guide in Music Technology, written by Scott L. Phillips, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UAB Department of Music. (The book, published by Oxford University Press, is available at the UAB Bookstore, Amazon.com, and many other outlets.)
Written for students and teachers of music technology, Beyond Sound offers a comprehensive list of academic programs in the field. There are also chapters devoted to potential job paths for music technology graduates, and interviews with leading professionals working in recording studios, live sound engineering, film and TV, video gaming, and computer programming.
Phillips shared with UAB Magazine five key things students need to know and do to make their music technology expertise pay off. He points out that UAB’s unique music technology degree program, which he co-directs, is designed to reinforce each of these important ideas.
By Grant Martin
If you have driven any distance along an Interstate highway in the past couple of decades, you have probably passed the work of UAB engineering professor Dean Sicking, Ph.D. And if you’ve had the misfortune to crash your car along that Interstate—and lived to read this story—it could be that you have Sicking to thank.
For more than 30 years, Sicking has been a leading figure in highway safety research. His designs have reshaped guardrails and other roadside barriers throughout the United States. He was also one of the developers of the Steel and Foam Energy Reduction (SAFER) barriers that are used on NASCAR and Indy Racing League tracks around the world. Last fall, Sicking joined the UAB School of Engineering as a professor and the vice president of product development.
of safety devices, to the point where it’s virtually impossible to drive more than a mile on any major freeway in this country without encountering one of our systems,” says Sicking, who spent the past two decades as director of the Nebraska Transportation Center at the University of Nebraska. “Our roadside safety devices save hundreds, if not a thousand, lives per year without getting a whole lot of attention, but when we build a device that saves one or two racecar drivers, everyone wants to know about it.”“Over the years, we have generated dozens
Beckman Scholars Jumpstart Research Careers
By Matt Windsor
Tim Fernandez has been fighting killers throughout his college career. As a UAB freshman, Fernandez began tracing the cell signaling pathways that allow the HIV virus to replicate. He eventually moved on to cancer, targeting the interactions of the cell death receptor known as Fas and the protein Calmodulin, which play a major role in cancer. By his senior year, Fernandez’s research journey produced more than a dozen conference presentations, four papers in professional journals, an acceptance letter from the UAB School of Medicine—and more than $19,000 in funding.