22 faculty receive grants to fund developmental projects at UAB

The grant program funds early-career faculty to advance their skills and careers across campus and beyond.
Written by: Burel Goodin and Samil Baker
Media contact: Savannah Koplon

The University of Alabama at Birminghamfdgp stream Faculty Senate, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, awarded support to 22 faculty through the UAB Faculty Development Grant Program. The grant program provides early-career faculty approximately $100,000 annual funding with seed money to pursue research, creative works and scholarly activity.

“The UAB Faculty Development Grant Program helps faculty take on creative new efforts for which funding is not generally available,” said Provost Pam Benoit, Ph.D., senior vice president for Academic Affairs. “Funding faculty in this way enables them to build new skills to enhance peer recognition across campus and beyond the UAB community.”

The grant provides one-year funding with a match from the recipients’ departments and schools or colleges. Applicants go through a rigorous process of providing details of their research or project and submit letters of support from their department chair and dean. The applications are reviewed by the UAB Faculty Senate Faculty Development Grant Program committee led by Burel Goodin, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology.

“The committee would like to thank the Office of the Provost for providing a little extra money this year, which allowed one additional application to be funded,” Goodin said. “The Faculty Development Grant Program represents a sound investment in faculty career development on behalf of the Provost’s office, with the goal of helping each recipient realize their academic potential.”

This year’s recipients received between $3,000 and $5,000 to pursue projects in the 2022-2023 academic year.

  • Patrick Aaron Alford, Ph.D., will work on the project Developing the Future of Safer MRI Contrast Agents: An Advanced Undergraduate Chemistry Lab Experience.
  • Brandon Blankenship, J.D., will advance his project Bad Boy Bias in the Law.
  • Ksenia Blinnikova, M.D., will pursue Implementation of Jumpstart Plant-Based Dietary Program in Primary Care.
  • Megan Brooker, Ph.D., will begin the project Sparking the Sociological Imagination through Experiential Learning: Civil Rights in Alabama Field Tour Experience.
  • Carlos Cardenas, Ph.D.’s project is RT-WATCHER, a tool designed for the safe deployment and continuous monitoring of automated contouring and automated planning systems in radiotherapy.
  • Huachun Cui, Ph.D.’s work will be based on characterization of MafB dependent NLRP3 inflammasome activation and acute lung injury.
  • Yulong Fu, Ph.D., will work on development and implementation of a comprehensive cancer genomic test at UAB.
  • Jakub Godzik, M.D.’s project is a pilot study on social and psychological correlations between structural back pain.
  • Kayla Goliwas, Ph.D., will work on Defining the Human TCR Repertoire within Lung Tumors Following Immune Checkpoint Blockade.
  • Josh Harm, Ph.D.’s project is Radioluminescence Imaging of Proton FLASH Beams.
  • Mohammad Zain Hashmi, M.D., will advance the project Perceived Barriers Regarding the use of Telemedicine to Improve Trauma Triage in Alabama.
  • Chao He, M.D., Ph.D., will research how neighborhood-level disadvantages impact the disparities of streptococcus pneumonia.
  • Marshall Holland, M.D., will work on the ESCAPE study about epidural spinal cord stimulation for hypertension in patients with neuropathic pain and its effects on blood pressure.
  • Zohaib Iqbal, Ph.D., will pursue a retrospective analysis of low-dose effects on brain tissue T1 relaxation following stereotactic radiosurgery.
  • Emily Jaworski Koriath, Ph.D., will use the funding to support her project 21st Century Chamber Music for Mezzo Soprano.
  • Mary Latimer, Ph.D., will investigate Glyc-A as a predictive biomarker of pain in the ERASED study.
  • Christine Loyd, Ph.D., will explore the physiological effects of stress on the gut microbiome among racial and ethnic minority undergraduate students.
  • Muhammad Sherif, Ph.D., will work on the development of Bio-Engineered Self-Healing Cementitious Composites for Civil Structures.
  • Benjamin Turner’s project is The Cultivation of Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms.
  • Michelle Wooten, Ph.D., will work on dismantling light pollution in Birmingham and positioning introductory astronomy students as agents-of-change.
  • Fei Xue, Ph.D., will explore electrical control of magnetic topological semimetals.
  • Qing Zhao, Ph.D., will dive into microbiota flagellin-specific antibodies in IBD pathogenesis.