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The new year will bring exciting changes to the Graduate School’s Discoveries in the Making program. Join us in January 2017 as we launch Discoveries in the Making Happy Hour and Discoveries in the Making Coffee Break.

Happy Hour will be the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at rotating Birmingham breweries and bars. This series will be kicked off at Cahaba Brewing Company on January 10 by Karim Budhwani speaking about his work on “Crushing Cancer” – turning a simple idea like blowing bubbles into a powerful weapon in the fight against cancer. Karim – a double-PhD cancer bioengineering researcher – is the Birmingham Business Journal's 2016 CEO Award winner, State of Alabama's Trade Ambassador, and the second-place winner of UAB’s 2016 Three Minute Thesis competition.

Coffee Break will be the last Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. at The Abbey Coffee Shop in Avondale. We’ll start Coffee Break in 2017 on the topic of ketamine and depression. You might have heard about ketamine only in terms of its potential for prescription drug abuse, but on January 29, neuroscience Ph.D. student Allie Widman will explain how the drug sometimes called "Special K" can actually be used to help those suffering from depression.

Check the Discoveries website – – and Facebook page – – for the latest information on upcoming events.

Discoveries in the Making provides a platform for UAB graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to share their research with the greater Birmingham community and puts these scholars in the spotlight at local venues.

“The goal of Discoveries in the Making is to help the lay public understand the critical work going on at UAB and research universities, what drives us, what their tax dollars are paying for, and how the work our trainees do, and the faculty do, improves the lives of the public – whether it’s developing new computer technology and data analysis software to help the power company, new medicines to help a person with diabetes or a person with Parkinson’s disease, or whether it helps us learn better ways to care for the planet and the environment,” UAB Graduate School Dean Lori McMahon said.

Discoveries in the Making scholars spoke at Hoover and Homewood public libraries to rapt audiences throughout 2016. Topics have ranged from eating disorders to cystic fibrosis to distracted driving to tourism versus wildlife conservation. In 2017, the Graduate School is delighted to share even more knowledge with the community through our Happy Hours and Coffee Breaks.

The audience is encouraged to ask questions throughout the Discoveries talks, and the speaker will stop and clarify anything if needed. The Graduate School hopes audience members feel comfortable discussing the topic of the evening with the speaker even after the presentation is over, and our new venues will provide an ideal setting for those who choose to stick around afterward – for a beverage, bite to eat, conversation, or all of the above.

The UAB Graduate School’s Discoveries in the Making continues to evolve as we find new ways to engage the community in the discoveries UAB students and postdocs are making. What we know for sure is that the greater Birmingham community is hungry for this exciting new knowledge being generated by UAB’s talented scholars. Discoveries in the Making will continue to share it.