Moving Science

Southern Research Seeks Innovative Ideas from Established Investigators and Researchers

April 2, 2012

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Have a new research idea? Southern Research may be interested in hearing about it. The Birmingham-based not-for-profit research organization today announced that it is actively soliciting proposals from established investigators with new, multidisciplinary research ideas as part of its new program “Innovation at the Interface.”

“We want to aggressively expand our research environment by finding, encouraging and supporting new innovative, creative research initiatives that integrate different disciplines to address real-world technology challenges, especially those not commonly addressed in more conventional research silos,” said John A. Secrist III, Ph.D., president and CEO. “Our objective is to identify cutting-edge, visionary research that will set the stage for future technological breakthroughs, and execute those programs by adding talented investigators to our growing team.”

Using the guidelines on the Southern Research website, investigators can submit their ideas in the form of a brief, non-confidential white paper that includes a discussion of the nature and scope of the research and the proposed technical approach. Investigators with prior experience working with or leading interdisciplinary teams are particularly encouraged to submit a white paper. Upon submission, investigators will receive confirmation that their proposal has been received. Then, the Interdisciplinary Innovation Team at Southern Research-comprised of senior level leaders-will review those proposals and follow up with the applicants accordingly.

Southern Research is nearing completion of a new Engineering Building expansion and planning for the construction of a new Discovery Building that will provide a collaborative facility and environment to fuel creative and novel research. Investigators will also have full access to the expertise of diverse groups within Life Sciences and Engineering to support their research. Additionally, Southern Research is committed to assisting investigators with internal funds to facilitate the development of these visionary programs.

For more than 70 years, Southern Research has conducted noteworthy research and development in life sciences and engineering, with successes that include having several marketed oncology drugs and development of the imaging systems critical to NASA’s successful Return-to-Flight. Southern Research’s expertise in discovery and development of new molecular entities, combined with strengths in material science and environmental research, could lead to multiple unique interdisciplinary research opportunities.

More information about the program and submission details can be found on the Southern Research website at Submissions will be accepted through August 1, 2012. Correspondence may be directed to Gini Bell at

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 and scale up new alternative energy technologies
  • Currently has a proprietary pipeline of several potential new drugs in late stage preclinical/early clinical development
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