UAB embodies a spirit of discovery that advances knowledge, solves real-world problems and drives economic development. UAB research attracts more than $430 million in sponsored research funds each year, and it is conducted in the departments of 10 schools, 24 universitywide research centers, UAB hospitals and clinics, and field sites by faculty, fellows and students collaborating among themselves and with others around the globe. Research at UAB spans the spectrum and mingles disciplines to investigate, reveal and apply knowledge that changes the lives of individuals and the fates of communities.

Combined photo of UAB researchers who contributed to monoclonal antibody discoveriesIn FY16, UAB directly spent more than $171.7 million on research activity throughout the system, in academic as well as clinical environments. The research activity of UAB generates local as well as statewide impacts through the spending of UAB as well as the employment of research faculty, staff and students.


In FY16, the direct spending of UAB Research in combination with the indirect and induced impacts of dollars’ being re-spent throughout the economy, generated $325.3 million in overall economic impact to the state of Alabama ($171.7 million in direct impact and $153.6 million in indirect and induced impact).


In FY16, UAB Research directly employed 3,689 researchers (full-time or part-time positions). This direct employment generates additional spending throughout the region and state that in turn supports additional indirect and induced jobs created when UAB Research, its employees and visitors spend in the region and state. In total, UAB Research supports 4,842 jobs throughout the state of Alabama.


State and local government revenues attributable to the presence of UAB Research totaled approximately $8.0 million in FY16.


The UAB Research Foundation (UABRF) became a part of the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in October of 2013, which in 2015 was rebranded as the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HIIE). While the UABRF remains the assignee of all intellectual property developed at UAB and is the legal entity for all licenses and other transactions, the HIIE was created to foster an entrepreneurial community and innovative ecosystem. The HIIE not only has integrated the more traditional technology transfer activities of the UABRF but also functions as a resource center for UAB as it continues to advance its role in innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development.

The HIIE serves as a nexus for UAB innovation and includes engagement of faculty and students in creating new and experiential learning opportunities across disciplines in business and entrepreneurship. The HIIE can facilitate rapid development of new ideas, products and technologies and better prepare faculty, students and researchers to be leaders and entrepreneurs in an increasing technology-driven ecosystem. Toward this end, the HIIE recently launched the UAB Commercialization Accelerator, which provides the infrastructure, resources and environment to facilitate and accelerate the movement of research discoveries and innovations into new ventures.

UAB’s partnership with the Birmingham Entrepreneurial Center has produced the largest high tech business incubator in the Southeast — Innovation Depot, home to 100 client companies with a sales impact of $1.25 billion during the past five years, and approximately 870 people working at the facility.

One new resident at the Depot is the UAB Innovation Lab (iLab), a partnership between UAB’s Collat School of Business and Innovation Depot that acts as a conduit between students with big ideas and the city’s entrepreneurial community. UAB, Innovation Depot and other partners are also collaborating on plans for a “Technology Village” to provide a permanent home for companies graduating from Innovation Depot and newly recruited to Birmingham.

Highlights of UAB research commercialization activity include:

  • Extensive portfolio of inventions from which both U.S. and foreign patents have been issued and numerous patent applications are pending

  • Over 520 issued U.S. patents through fiscal year 2016

  • Almost 60 companies based on UAB technologies have been created

  • More than $85 million in revenue generated

  • Greater than 2,500 intellectual property disclosures submitted

  • Launch of the UAB Commercialization Accelerator

Companies started from UABRF technologies include the following: Those highlighted in green are Alabama-based companies

  • Aegis Therapeutics, LLC

  • Atherotech, Inc. (now Ningbo Alabama LLC)

  • BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

  • BioFlage, Inc.

  • BioHorizons IPH, Inc.

  • Blondin Bioscience, LLC.

  • Catherex, Inc.

  • Cilantro Healthcare Solutions, LLC

  • CNine Biosolutions, LLC

  • Discovery BioMed, Inc.

  • Emageon, Inc. (wholly owned subsidiary of Amicas, Inc.)

  • Endomimetics, LLC

  • ErgoScience, Inc.

  • EZ-Snips, LLC

  • Guideway Care Inc.

  • Hemodynamic Therapeutics, Inc. (previously Cato Research Ltd.)

  • Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Merck)

  • Incysus Ltd.

  • Innovative Composite Solutions, LLC

  • Interaction Advisory Group, LLC

  • Liffey Vax, Ltd. (subsidiary of Liffey Biotech, Ltd.)

  • LipimetiX Development, LLC (formerly Benu BioPharma, Inc.)

  • MedMined, Inc. (now a product offered by BD/ CareFusion Corp.)

  • Megan Health, Inc. (now a subsidiary of Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.)

  • MOVI Medical LLC

  • Neurorecovery, Inc. (acquired by Accorda Therapeutics, Inc.)

  • Novab, Inc.

  • PhishMe, Inc. (formerly Malcovery Security, LLC)

  • Photonics Innovations, Inc. (acquired by IPG Photonics, Corp.)

  • PNP Therapeutics, Inc.

  • Rad Physics, Inc. (formerly X-Ray Imaging Innovations, Inc.)

  • Soluble Therapeutics (acquired By CytoBioscience, Inc.)

  • Southern Biotech

  • TransMolecular, Inc. (acquired by Morphotek)

  • Tranzyme Pharma (acquired by Ocera Therapeutics)

  • Vaxin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (now Altimmune Inc.)

  • VectorLogics, Inc. (acquired by DNAtrix, Inc.)

  • Vegas Betts, LLC

  • VIPAAR, Inc. (now Help Lightning, Inc.)

  • Vista Engineering and Consulting, LLC

  • Vivo Biosciences, Inc. (acquired by LifeNet Health, Inc.)

  • Vulcan Analytical, LLC (formerly Aquifex, LLC)