Iron is the most common chemical element found on earth, and it plays a key role in the biochemical processes of almost all organisms. Though iron is an important building block of life, it is also attributed to causing cellular damage when it is released into its free catalytic form. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently published a report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation which sought to help understand the relationship between the protein ferritin and kidney damage caused by this free iron. This study set a foundation for future research into potential treatments to prevent acute kidney injury.
Science Market Update
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, led by Donald Buchsbaum, PhD, received a $2.2 million grant from the NIH this year to study pancreatic cancer. According to the University of Alabama website, Dr. Buchsbaum is quoted as saying of his research goals: "My interests are focused on the use of monoclonal antibodies that bind to the tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) receptors for cancer therapy in combination with chemotherapy agents and radiation.” Dr. Buchsbaum and his research team began receiving funding for their studies of pancreatic cancer six years ago, though funding was limited at that time. The NIH RePORTER sheds light on the project that has received $2.2 million from the NIH this year in the proposal’s abstract:
Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center received a $5.1 million support grant from the NIH this year. The abstract for the grant on NIH RePORTER says of the Comprehensive Cancer Center:
Science researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently received a $3 million grant that will be distributed over five years to join the Women’s Interagency HIV study (WIHS). Michael Saag, M.D. is the study’s principal investigator, and Mirjam-Collete Kempf, Ph.D., M.P.H. is the co-principal investigator. The researchers will begin recruiting women for the study this coming October.
The University of Alabama is an unexpected standout in the science research marketplace. This campus ranks among the top in the nation, flanking closely with the top NIH funded universities, and yet there is surprisingly little sales rep traffic on campus.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has been awarded a $7 million research grant to continue its leadership in pioneering clinical trials in the treatment of neurofibromatosis 1 and 2 and schwannomatosis, all rare genetic diseases. According to the Birmingham Business Journal, the circumstances of these diseases lead to non-cancerous tumors forming on the nerves and potentially causing blindness, hearing loss, learning disabilities, pain or deformity.
One of the ways to encourage companies to invest in research is to offer them a tax credit incentive, and that's exactly what many states do, including, soon, Alabama. If the company does their own research, they get one tax break, but if they have it done by a public research institution like the University of Alabama, they get a much larger break: 15% under Alabama's proposed new law. That's good news for UAB, UAT, and other major research campuses in the state. And the rate may be even higher if Alabama tries to match North Carolina's incentive, which just went up to 20%.
The University of Alabama in Birmingham runs one of an elite group of Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States, as designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI's Translational Research Program is in charge of administering SPORE awards, which are focused on specific organ sites. Now UAB is also a SPORE grantee for its brain tumor program, thanks to a recent $2.3M award over three years to its Cancer Center in conjunction with the UAB Division of Neurosurgery. UAB is one of only four institutions to receive a brain-tumor SPORE grant.
Despite controversy surrounding stem cell research, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, partnering with SANYO corporation, are pressing forward with a new machine representing a breakthrough in the treatment of patients using stem cells.