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Advances in Research


APRIL 2016


UAB Presents First Results of CBD Oil Studies at Neurology Meeting

Investigators with the UAB Cannabidiol Program will present the first results drawn from the CBD oil studies underway at UAB and Children’s of Alabama. Three abstracts will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Vancouver, Canada. UAB launched the studies of CBD oil as a treatment for severe, intractable seizures in April 2015. The studies, an adult study at UAB and a pediatric study at Children’s of Alabama, were authorized by the Alabama Legislature in 2014 by legislation known as Carly’s Law.

UAB Continues To Be a Powerhouse in Cardiovascular Research

UAB is home to many talented investigators who study various aspects of heart disease within the School of Medicine’s Division of Cardiovascular Disease, at the Comprehensive Cardio-vascular Center and across UAB. A primary goal of both the division and CCVC is to actively promote innovative, interdisciplinary and translational cardiovascular research. Many distinct –yet often complementary – basic and clinical studies are ongoing at UAB. With Alabama’s ranking among states with the most heart-related deaths, this innovative research is providing benefits to patients now and in the future. UAB researchers are focusing on five key areas with an ultimate goal of improving the care of CVD patients including heart failure, hypertension, electrophysiology, regenerative medicine and cardio-metabolic diseases.


UAB Research:  Is Zero-Effort Computer Security a Dream?  Breaking A New User Verification System

Researchers from UAB and Aalto University have found vulnerabilities in a recently proposed user-verification security system for computers. This new security system, developed by Dartmouth College researchers, was created in response to a need for easy-to-use systems that determine whether some-one is, in fact, who he or she is declaring to be – a process known as authentication. It is particularly crucial in multiuser organizations, such as hospitals involving confidential patient information, to prevent one person from using someone else’s login session, even accidentally.

UAB Study Shows Prescription Sleep Medicine Linked to Motor Vehicle Collisions in Older Adults and Women

A recent study by UAB student assistant John Booth, III, and UAB Department of Epidemiology Professor and Vice Chair Gerald McGwin, PhD, published in Sleep Medicine linked the use of prescription sleep medicines containing zolpidem among aged drivers and the incidence of motor vehicle collisions. A total of 2,000 north central Alabama zolpidem users, age 70 and up, who had driven within the previous three months and held a valid driver’s license were studied. The researchers evaluated each participant’s five-year MVC history, obtained from the Alabama Department of Public Safety, and then estimated at-fault MVC rate ratios by comparing zolpidem users’ and nonusers’ data in age- and sex-defined subgroups.


UAB Study Shows Generic Drugs Match Brand Name Drugs in Treatment of Epilepsy

A new multi-site study shows that two approved generic medications for epilepsy had no detectable difference in clinical effects when compared to their brand name counterpart. The findings were published in Lancet Neurology.The study, led by investigators at the University of Cincinnati, looked at two generics for the drug lamotrigine, a prescription antiepileptic medication. UAB was one of eight institutions involved in the study, which showed that, as long as patients adhere to treatment, the two generics did not show any difference in their bioequivalence.


New Study at UAB Shows Link Between ADHD and Vision Impairment in Children

Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most frequently encountered neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood, and a new study from researchers at UAB recently published in Optometry and Vision Science shows a relationship between ADHD and vision impairments in children. Results from a large survey of 75,000 children suggest an increased risk of ADHD among children with vision problems that are not correctable with glasses or contacts relative to other children with 15.6 percent of children with vision impairment also having an ADHD diagnosis, compared with 8.3 percent of children with normal vision. These types of vision problems could range from color vision deficiency to a lazy eye but would also include children with vision impairment. The study included children ages 4 to 17 enrolled in the National Survey of Children’s Health.


UAH Economics Instructor Publishes Chapter

Richard White, Economics instructor, had an article re-printed as a chapter in a monograph. “Death and re-birth of Alabama beer” in the book The History of the Beer and Brewing Industry.


UAH Finance Professor has Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Dr. Xuejing Xing, Associate Professor of Finance, had his manuscript titled “Firm performance and survival: The effects of human resource executives” accepted by the Strategic Management Journal, one of the top journals in management.


Paper Co-Authored by UAH Assistant Professor Accepted for Publication

Dr. Wei-Cheng Milton Shen, Assistant Professor of Accounting, had a paper titled “Gamification of Technology-Mediated Training: Not All Competitions Are the Same” accepted for publication in Information Systems Research (ISR).


Paper by Two UAH Professors Accepted for Publication

Cynthia L. Gramm, Professor of Management, and John F. Schnell, Professor of Economics, had a paper entitled, “Remedy-Seeking Responses to Discrimination: Does Management-Employee Similarity Matter?” accepted for publication as a chapter in a scholarly book. The book is a special volume of Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations: Managing and Resolving Workplace Conflict, edited by David Lipsky (Cornell University), Ariel Avgar (University of Illinois), and J. Ryan Lamare (University of Illinois).


UAH Management Professor Has Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Dr. Sophia Marinova, Associate Professor of Management, and her colleagues had their manuscript entitled, “Supervisor provided resources: Development and validation of a measure of employee resources”, accepted for publication in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies (JLOS). The journal has been ranked in the 2014 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2015) in the top 100 management journals.


UAH Management Professor Has Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Dr. William (Ivey) MacKenzie, Interim Associate Dean and Assistant Professor of Management, and his colleagues had their manuscript entitled, “Employee entitlement and proactive work behaviors: The moderating effects of narcissism and organizational identification,” accepted for publication in Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies (JLOS).

UAH Director Has Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Dr. Nicholas Loyd, Director of the Center for Management and Economic Research (CMER) and his co-author, Dr. Sampson Gholtson had their manuscript, “Implementation of a plan-do-check-act pedagogy in science and engineering education,” accepted for publication in the International Journal of Engineering Education.

UAH Eminent Scholar Has Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Dr. Jatinder Gupta, Associate Dean, Professor of Information Systems, and Eminent Scholar, and his co-authors had their manuscript,
“A comprehensive review of flowshop scheduling literature,” accepted for publication in Computers and Operations Research.


UAH Management Science Professor Has Manuscript Accepted for Publication

Dr. Laird Burns, Assistant Professor of Management Science, had his manuscript, “An extended framework for supply chain risk management: Incorporating the complexities of emerging industries and large scale systems,” accepted for publication, in the International Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management.

UAH College of Engineering Faculty Receives State Contract

Dr. Michael Anderson, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, received a contract from the Alabama Department of Transportation to continue to develop the Alabama Safety Planning tool to bring safety aspects into the transportation planning process within Alabama.
The award was for $250,000 for one year and teams the University of Alabama in Huntsville and Cambridge Systematics.

UAH Associate Professor of Nursing Awarded Research Grant

Dr. Pam O’Neal was awarded the UA System Collaborative Research grant of $5000 ($2500 for each faculty from each university):
PI – A Collaborative between UAH Nursing and UAB Pathology Faculty. Titled: Salivary Microbiomes, Nitric Oxide, and Systemic Effects.


UAH College of Science Professor Receives $220,000 Award

Atmospheric Science Professor Dr. Michael Newchurch, was awarded $220,000 from NASA/ESD to complement a $100,000 award from the Office for the Vice President for Research and Economic Development to build the Rocket-City Ozone Evaluation in the Troposphere (RO3QET) mobile laboratory for air-quality measurements as part of the international Tropospheric Ozone Lidar Network (TOLNet). This mobile laboratory will complement the SWIRLL mobile fleet of profiling instrumentation placing UAH in the highest echelon of mobile atmospheric measurement capability nationally.


UAH College of Science Assistant Professor Awarded Funding for Proposal

Dr. Jacob Heerikhuisen, of the Department of Space Science and the Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research, was informed that his NASA Heliosphysics Supporting Research proposal was selected for funding. This grant, entitled “Pick-Up Ions and Energetic Neutral Atoms: Implications for the Termination Shock”, is for 3 years and has a total value of $461,264.

UAH College of Science Professor Receives $110,429 Award

Eminent Scholar, Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Space Science and Director of CSPAR Dr. Gary Zank won an award for “Electric Sail Numerical Model Definition and Development and Sustaining Support of the E-Sail Engineering Particle-in-Cell (PIC) Model.”


UAH College of Science Assistant Professor Wins NASA Contract

UAH Atmospheric Science Assistant Professor Dr. Robert Griffin, with the US Space and Rocket Center and UAH ITSC, won a NASA ISS National Lab Office contract to operate EarthKAM for the next five years. EarthKAM is a STEM-education camera system on board the ISS aimed at making satellite-based Earth science observations relevant in classrooms around the globe.


UAH College of Education Clinical Assistant Professor Receives $36K Grant

Dr. Andrea Word-Allbritton received grant funding for the Success Through Academic Research (STAR) Project for AY 2016-2017, through the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.  For its 17th consecutive year at UAH (and Dr. Word-Allbritton’s second year as PI), the grant will support four P-12 teachers in an individualized research study in their area of specialization to be conducted internationally in Summer 2016.


UAH Researcher Presents Paper at Complex Systems Meeting

UAH Rotorcraft Systems Engineering and Simulation Center Researcher Mr. David Arterburn co-authored and presented a paper titled,
“A New Approach to Hazard Analysis for Rotorcraft”, at the American Helicopter Society Specialist Meeting on Complex Systems held February 9-11.


UAH Team Makes Ozone Measurement

UAH scientists have used their Rocket-city Ozone (O3) Quality Evaluation in the Troposphere (RO3 QET) Lidar to measure ozone that
was chemically produced by summertime lightning over the United States, research that could be important to air quality prediction and assessment once it is further developed.


UAH Signs Letter of Intent with Indonesia

Dr. Andi Eka Sakya, director general of Indonesia’s Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics, and Larry Carey, chairman of UAH’s Atmospheric Science Department, recently signed a letter of intent agreeing to pursue opportunities for joint research and education between the two institutions. The Indonesian weather bureau is building its weather monitoring and forecasting capabilities, and is working with Baron Services, one of UAH’s local partners, to improve its weather radar network.


UAH Assistant Professor Awarded Funding for Proposal

Dr. Jacob Heerikhuisen of the Department of Space Science and the Center for Space Plasma and Aeronomic Research was informed that his NASA Heliosphysics Supporting Research proposal was selected for funding. This grant, entitled “Pick-Up Ions and Energetic Neutral Atoms: Implications for the Termination Shock,” will cover a small fraction of summer salary for the PI and Co-I’s, as well as a sub-contract with Southwest Research Institute, and support for a graduate student. The award is for 3 years and has a total value of $461,264.


UA Researchers’ Award-Winning Book Shares Strategies for Transforming Shoppers into Buyers

Dr. Dan Bachrach, UA professor of management; Joe Calamusa IV, UA marketing lecturer; and Jessica Ogilvie, marketing doctoral student in UA’s Culverhouse College of Commerce, were awarded the 2016 Axiom Book Award for their collaboration on a business book that explores how in-store and online shopping can meld to create the ultimate shopping experience for consumers. The Axiom Awards honor the best business books, their authors and publishers. The book explores the explosion of online shopping and smartphones and what that means for retail sales. The team’s research reveals that blending online with brick-and-mortar is the way to attract today’s shoppers who desire a seamless consistency between online and physical stores.


UA Pediatric Cancer Study Looking for Parents to Participate

No one can truly understand the challenges faced by parents of a child with cancer, but one University of Alabama professor hopes to get a brief snapshot into that life through a current study. Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader, a UA assistant professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences’ department of human development and family studies, said previous studies have typically been retrospective – looking at a parent’s experience after their child was cured or they finished treatment, but Burns-Nader wanted something more immediate. Her Parent Reflection Study will look at a parent’s experience over a seven-day period and how that relates  to their coping and satisfaction with medical care and medical staff. Parents participating in the study will log on to an online website and complete a daily reflection for seven days.


UA Research Featured in World’s Top Science Journal

Research co-authored by UA geography professors Dr. Angelica Almeyda Zambrano and Dr. Eben Broadbent published recently in an online edition of Nature, the world’s most highly cited interdisciplinary scientific journal. On average, Nature publishes only 8 percent of the 200 or more research papers submitted for publication each week due to rigorous selection criteria, according to the journal. In 2013, only 856 of the 10,952 papers submitted to Nature were published. The research paper, “Biomass Resilience of Neo-tropical Secondary Forests,” is about the natural rate of recovery of secondary forests in the neotropics of Latin America after deforestation. A secondary forest is a forest that’s been naturally regrown – without human interference – after an old-growth forest has been cut down.


UA Professor Commissioned by Park Service in Mapping of Florida Bay

Dr. Michael Steinberg, associate professor in New College and geography, has been commissioned by the National Parks Service to create a map of Florida Bay in Everglades National Park. He and Brad Bates, a graduate assistant to Steinberg, are developing an accurate map of the channels and flats to help ensure the conservation of the bay. The map is crucial to slowing the habitat damage caused by boats and other external, man-made forces, Steinberg said. He also cited the connection between the environment and the economy of the Florida Keys as a major factor in the importance of the map and preserving the ecosystem of Florida Bay.


UA Business Students Partnered with Healthcare Business Solutions on Project

UA’s Business Analytics Lab at the Culverhouse College of Commerce recently completed its first business analytics study for Healthcare Business Solutions, one of its partner companies. The Analytics Lab, which opened in the fall of 2015, is a research-oriented, experiential learning facility where faculty and students partner with companies to solve real world problems. During the UA/HBS project, 13 graduate students worked under the direction of Dr. Denise McManus, director, UA Institute of Business Analytics at Culverhouse, to evaluate the use of emergency rooms by Medicaid patients for primary care services, and particularly whether Medicaid patients used the ER more than those with private insurance or other payment types. The project was more than an academic exercise. The findings of the research can have a meaningful impact on healthcare.