UAB Magazine Weekly - Features on Campus Life
Economic Development at UAB
“UAB discoveries don’t just save lives—they fuel Alabama’s economic growth,” says UAB President Ray L. Watts.
UAB Research Foundation has created more than $60 million in royalty and license fees with more than 2,100 invention disclosures, 650 patents, and more than 400 licenses and other agreements.Since its founding in the mid-1980s, the
Now, its presence will expand, operating as the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, integrating the Research Foundation’s existing strengths and capabilities, enhancing and facilitating service and technology commercialization. A key focus will be on engaging faculty and creating new experiential learning opportunities for students, all the while encouraging more interdisciplinary research.
But UAB’s economic impact on Birmingham and Alabama is greater than the sum of its new knowledge. The university is the state’s largest single-site employer, with an annual impact exceeding $5 billion. “To put that another way, for every dollar Alabama invests in UAB, we return more than $20 through jobs and economic development,” Watts says.
UAB’s education programs, especially its strengths in emerging fields such as biomedical engineering, industrial distribution, computer security, and neuroscience, prepare today’s students to be the leaders of tomorrow, Watts adds.
Get the details on UAB's economic impact at www.uab.edu/impact.
Research at UAB
In modern medicine, scale is crucial to success. UAB’s research enterprise encompasses thousands of specialists with more than $500 million in annual funding support from federal and state government and other donors.
“The days when a single person could do cutting-edge science are over,” says President Watts. “To make an impact, you need a strong team, specializing in everything from basic science to the most effective way to translate new discoveries into forms that can impact the entire world. Because UAB has a strong tradition of cross-campus collaboration, we are perfectly positioned to play a leading role in the future of science, medicine, the humanities, and the arts.”
UAB students don’t have to wait for the future to gain hands-on experience in the university’s state-of-the-art labs. As early as their freshman year, motivated students can take part in real research through UAB’s specialized honors programs and courses like the undergraduate major in neuroscience. Each year, more than 3,500 students take part in UAB research.
UAB ranks first nationally among public universities in terms of federal research funding per incoming freshman. It was also one of only 11 recipients of the prestigious Beckman Scholars Award, reserved for universities demonstrating exceptional mentoring and training of undergraduate researchers.
Travel from outer space to the burning sands of Egypt to learn more about anthropologist Sarah Parcak’s pioneering remote sensing research in “Picture This.”
Watch a clip from Parcak's new documentary, "Rome's Lost Empire."
Step into the lab with junior A.T. Helix, a neuroscience major and member of the Global and Community Leadership Honors Program who is studying brain structure in schizophrenia with psychiatry department chair James Meador-Woodruff, M.D., in “Speak Your Mind.”
Patient Care at UAB
UAB specialists attract patients not just from Alabama but around the country, notes President Watts. UAB has the only hospital in Alabama providing the highest level of certified care for high-risk infants and their mothers, as well as patients with severe trauma and burns.
The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only comprehensive center designated by the National Cancer Institute in a six-state region, offers patients access to the latest clinical trials of new treatments, as well as to physicians with decades of experience in each cancer subtype.
But UAB Hospital should also be a destination for pregnant women with no complications, patients with common, “easily treatable” cancers, and other conditions, says Watts. “Most people think of UAB as the place you go when you’re really sick,” he says. “It’s absolutely true that we offer some of the most advanced specialty care in the world, but we are equally strong in primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and the other clinical areas.”
The latest issue of Best Doctors in America offers plenty of evidence to support that contention. It features 291 UAB physicians in 55 specialties, putting them among the top 5 percent of clinicians in the country, as voted by their peers.
As the primary training ground for physicians, nurses, and other health-care specialists in Alabama, UAB also produces the next generation of professionals who will care for residents around the state. The UAB School of Medicine, for instance, trains some 80 percent of Alabama physicians.
Medical, nursing, and health professions students at UAB don’t just learn how to treat disease. They are shaped by one fundamental lesson: Compassionate care is just as important as cutting-edge therapies.
In UAB’s high-tech Clinical Skills Center, students from all UAB health schools—plus others from universities around the state—practice their bedside manner in a make-it-or-break-it final exam. Feel the pressure in “The Great Pretenders,” a video and story from UAB Magazine:
Several UAB School of Medicine students don’t need help understanding the patient experience. In "The Toughest Tests," third-year student Sarah Gammons and other current medical students talk about their own struggles with chronic illness and how it is shaping their approach to health care:
Selling UAB in the 21st Century
By Matt Windsor
It’s just another day at one of America's largest hospitals. On the ground floor, in an emergency room the size of a football field, staff are treating everything from household accidents to severe trauma. In the floors above, patients are in the middle of life-saving surgeries and other treatments, while new lives are entering the world in the adjacent Women and Infants Center. But right now, in the second-floor atrium, a grandmother is calling out for help, while a camera crew looks on.
How do you summarize UAB in 60 seconds? For a new TV ad, filmmakers traveled from UAB Hospital to Sterne Library to the Comprehensive Cancer Center and beyond, with sequences in Washington, D.C., the Egyptian desert, and outer space. The creators of this minute-long commercial faced a unique challenge: unifying the academic and medical sides of UAB’s campus for the first time under a single branding campaign with a common tagline—“UAB: Knowledge that will change your world.”
Touring UAB’s New Faculty Art Studios
By Matt Windsor
Last fall, UAB art faculty packed up their paintbrushes, cameras, and power tools and cruised across campus to new digs—in a former car dealership on UAB’s eastern edge.
The building’s former life as a showroom brings an added wrinkle: Most of the new faculty studios feature massive glass windows facing the street. Many of the artists say they had some hesitancy about being so visible, but the abundant natural light and outdoor views quickly won them over. They also love the fact that their see-through studios help connect them with the surrounding community.
Here, members of the Department of Art and Art History explain how their new studios influence and inspire their work.