Moving Science

Daniel Foundation and Alabama Power Foundation Donate to Southern Research

March 26, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Southern Research Institute today announced that it has received financial gifts from the Daniel Foundation of Alabama and the Alabama Power Foundation to help fund the construction of a new building on the organization’s Engineering Research Center campus and the recruitment of new engineering talent. The gifts from the Daniel Foundation and the Alabama Power Foundation will allow Southern Research to expand its engineering research into critical new areas and advance other research programs.

“The Daniel Foundation of Alabama is pleased to partner with such a well-known and respected research institute,” said Maria S. Kennedy, executive director of the Daniel Foundation of Alabama. “This facility will help to attract top talent to our area and provide the environment for engineering breakthroughs that will affect our lives.”

“Alabama Power has a long history with Southern Research and we are proud to continue to provide support as they recruit world class talent to our state,” said Leigh Perry, president of the Alabama Power Foundation. “The new engineering building will provide new jobs and research facilities to study engineering and environmental sciences, fields that will help spur innovative research that will have a global impact.”

Late last year, Southern Research announced construction of a new research facility on its Engineering Research Center campus in Birmingham using bond funding it received from the City of Birmingham in 2009. This new facility will allow Southern Research to conduct work in new engineering areas, and includes dedicated space solely for the purpose of innovating new engineering technologies and applications.

Historically, Southern Research fundraising has been very limited and very specific with the purpose of funding construction of new laboratory buildings and promising research. Both the Daniel Foundation and Alabama Power contributed to the construction of the existing Engineering Research Center facility built in 1991. Last year, the Daniel Foundation offered Southern Research a Challenge Grant of $300,000. Alabama Power Foundation matched the challenge with a Leadership Gift.

“We are very grateful for these gifts from the Daniel Foundation and Alabama Power Foundation, and are encouraged by their desire to support the work we do,” said John A. “Jack” Secrist III, Ph.D., president and CEO of Southern Research. “We pride ourselves in being operationally self-sustaining. However, one of our greatest challenges is being able to attract and retain top talent in high-technology disciplines in Birmingham. Doing so requires state-of-the-art office and laboratory facilities that allow senior engineers and scientists the ability to develop and grow new program areas.”

Southern Research also holds endowments from Alabama Power Foundation, The Hess Family, and the Ingalls Family. These endowments are used primarily to help newly-hired scientists on Southern Research’s Birmingham campus establish their labs in order to conduct research in cancer, infectious diseases, and disorders and diseases of the nervous system.

About Southern Research

Southern Research Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) scientific research organization founded in 1941 that conducts preclinical drug discovery and development, advanced engineering research in materials, systems development, and environment and energy research. More than 550 scientific and engineering team members support clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, environmental and energy industries. Southern Research is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., with facilities in Wilsonville, Ala., Frederick, Md., and Durham, NC and offices in Huntsville, Ala., New Orleans, La., and Washington, DC.

Southern Research Accomplishments

  • Established the link between gasoline pump fumes and cancer
  • Developed the protocol for combinatorial chemotherapy
  • Discovered seven of the FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs used to treat cancer patients
  • Helped develop heat pump technology
  • Supported NASA’s manned space flight program, primarily in materials development and mechanical engineering programs
  • Played a key role in the space shuttle’s program’s return to flight following the Challenger disaster
  • Plays a critical role in working with the federal government to evaluate flu vaccine responses and pandemic disease therapeutics
  • Helps to advance new alternative energy technologies
  • Has seven potential new drugs in late stage preclinical/early clinical development
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