Tag: Moving Science

Birmingham’s Southern Research appoints CEO, EVP

Southern Research, the groundbreaking scientific discovery and research institution headquartered in Birmingham, on Thursday announced that its board of directors has appointed Josh Carpenter, Ph.D., as its new president and CEO, and Allen Bolton as its new executive vice president for Strategy and Finance.

Both appointments are effective June 1.

Founded in the Magic City in 1941, Southern Research is an independent, non-profit scientific research organization where more than 400 scientists and engineers work across three divisions: Life Sciences, Engineering, and Energy & Environment. Southern Research has attracted national research partnerships with leading industries in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, the environment and energy.i

“Josh and Allen are forward-thinking leaders who are ready to chart a bold new course for Southern Research,” stated University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray L. Watts, who is chairman of the Southern Research board of directors. “They have the full support of the Board as they begin to lead an amazing team of scientists, engineers and innovators who are working to solve problems and change the world for the better.”

Southern Research generates over $150 million in annual economic impact and supports more than 1,000 Alabama jobs.

“The work of Southern Research results in life-changing advancements and innovative solutions,” said Southern Research board member Mark Crosswhite, who also serves as the chairman, president and CEO of Alabama Power Company. “Josh and Allen’s vision and expertise will play an important role in leading this institution forward as a continued center of excellence.”

Carpenter most recently served as director of Innovation and Economic Opportunity for the City of Birmingham, where he led the City’s efforts in workforce development, COVID recovery and business expansion. Previously, he served as the director of External Affairs at UAB. He earned his doctorate in political economy from the University of Oxford where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.

“I am truly honored to take the helm of Southern Research and lead this incredible team that is finding solutions to improve people’s lives around the world. Southern Research has had 80 successful years, but I know the best is yet to come,” commented Carpenter.

Bolton most recently served as senior vice president for Finance and Administration at UAB, where he was also a member of the board for Southern Research. He was previously an executive in finance and strategy at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and was senior associate dean for Administration and Finance at the UAB School of Medicine as well as executive administrator at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the largest research center in the University of Alabama System.

“Discoveries made at Southern Research have provided breakthroughs in cancer research, pushed the boundaries of science and saved lives. I am grateful for this opportunity to work alongside dedicated and talented people who have an unmatched passion for science and discovery,” concluded Bolton.


Birmingham’s Southern Research under new leadership

Josh Carpenter, PhD, has been appointed president and CEO and Allen Bolton executive vice president for strategy and finance at Birmingham-based Southern Research.

The scientific discovery and research institution employs more than 400 scientists and engineers.

“Josh and Allen are forward-thinking leaders who are ready to chart a bold new course for the company,” said University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray Watts, chairman of the Southern Research board of directors and interim CEO since the departure of Art Tipton in 2019.

“They have the full support of the board as they begin to lead an amazing team of scientists, engineers and innovators who are working to solve problems and change the world for the better.”

Carpenter served as director of innovation and economic

opportunity for the City of Birmingham before coming to Southern Research. Previously, he was director of external affairs at UAB. He holds a doctorate in political economy from the University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

“I am truly honored to take the helm of Southern Research and lead this incredible team that is finding solutions to improve people’s lives around the world,” Carpenter said.

Bolton most recently served as senior vice president for

finance and administration at UAB.
Founded in Birmingham in 1941, Southern Research is an independent, nonprofit scientific

research organization where scientists and engineers work across three divisions: life sciences, engineering and energy & environment.

Southern Research Appoints Josh Carpenter as President and CEO and Allen Bolton as Executive VP for Strategy and Finance

Two prominent Birmingham leaders have been named to leadership posts at Southern Research – the scientific discovery and research institution headquartered on Birmingham’s Southside.

Josh Carpenter has been named president and CEO, and Allen Bolton has been named executive vice president for strategy and finance. They begin the new roles on June 1.

They’ll be taking the reins at an organization with vast potential for shaping the future of Birmingham’s economy and its innovation ecosystem.

Carpenter, a Rhodes Scholar, most recently served as director of innovation and economic opportunity for the city of Birmingham. He previously worked at UAB.

Bolton most recently was senior vice president for finance and administration at UAB where he also served on the board of Southern Research.

“I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about what’s in front of us because of the people who are there,” Carpenter said.

In addition to the expertise of the people and the legacy of Southern Research, Carpenter said he was attracted to the role because of the organization’s potential to transform the region’s economy.

Historically, he said Birmingham has been home to many islands of innovation. One of his goals is to create a better through-line to connect those pockets of R&D excellence in the community and raise their collective impact.

“Southern Research, perhaps better than any other organization, is specifically geared toward playing the role of that translational bridge – translating ideas to innovation and economic opportunity,” Carpenter said. “If we can create the storefront to access those immense capabilities, we can present ourselves as the next frontier market in biotech.”

Carpenter said Birmingham is well-positioned for growth in life sciences, precision medicine and related fields, and he said Southern Research, with expertise in those fields and others, can play a critical role in that innovation economy.

With the way the medical sector is trending, Carpenter sees a growing need for the type of capability expertise that can be found on the campus of Southern Research, which has 400 employees.

He’s also excited about the role the organization can play in building the local innovation ecosystem – an effort with vast implications for Birmingham’s economy.

There have been numerous examples of successful biotech companies that have originated from research conducted in Birmingham but ultimately moved elsewhere. One of his goals at Southern Research is to help build an environment that keeps those companies – and the jobs they create – in metro Birmingham.

“Southern Research is at it’s finest when the halls are brimming with first-rate intellect that come up with a novel discovery that becomes a commercial enterprise and creates jobs right here in Birmingham,” he said.

Carpenter said there will be a focus on having a deeper and more profound relationship with UAB, which is located adjacent to Southern Research’s campus.

“We have not tapped the potential of working to integrate our approach,” he said.

Carpenter also said a priority will be adapting Southern Research’s business model to capitalize on the opportunities at hand. What that will entail is likely to become more clear with a strategic plan that could be released later this year to coincide with Southern Research’s 80th anniversary.

He said he’s happy to have a veteran leader like Bolton joining him at Southern Research.

“No one has better experience navigating not just the UAB ecosystem, but a labyrinth of medical systems,” Carpenter said. “He’s going to be a really effective arbiter of our strategic and financial interests.”


Southern Research selects new president and CEO

Birmingham’s Southern Research announced today that Josh Carpenter will be its new president and CEO, effective June 1.

Allen Bolton will also serve as its new executive vice president for strategy and finance.

Carpenter recently served as the City of Birmingham’s director of innovation and economic opportunity, where he led the city’s efforts in workforce development, COVID recovery and business expansion. He will lead the independent, non-profit scientific research organization which employs more than 400 engineers and scientists.

UAB President Ray Watts, who chairs the Southern Research Board of Directors, said Carpenter and Bolton are “forward-thinking leaders who are ready to chart a bold new course for Southern Research.” Alabama Power President and CEO Mark Crosswhite, a board member, said the two men’s “vision and expertise will play an important role in leading this institution forward as a continued center of excellence.”

Carpenter also previously served as UAB’s director of external affairs and earned a doctorate in political economy from the University of Oxford, where he studied on a Rhodes Scholarship.

“I am truly honored to take the helm of Southern Research and lead this incredible team that is finding solutions to improve people’s lives around the world,” he said. “Southern Research has had 80 successful years, but I know the best is yet to come.”

Bolton most recently served as UAB’s senior vice president for finance and administration and served as a Southern Research board member. He was also executive administrator at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, the largest research center in the University of Alabama System.

“Discoveries made at Southern Research have provided breakthroughs in cancer research, pushed the boundaries of science and saved lives,” Bolton said. “I am grateful for this opportunity to work alongside dedicated and talented people who have an unmatched passion for science and discovery.”

Southern Research generates more than $150 million in annual economic impact and supports more than 1,000 Alabama jobs.


Histotechnology Professionals Day at Southern Research

In honor of Women’s History Month and Histotechnology Professionals Day, Southern Research wants to take a moment to recognize our team of histotechnologists and their team leader, LaVinia Ray.  She was deemed by the National Society of Histotechnology to be the 2020 Histotechnologist of the Year and the 2016 Advanced Laboratory Technician of the Year.

LaVinia was able to receive a proclamation from the Governor of Alabama to name this week Histotechnology Professionals Week and from the Mayor of Birmingham to mark March 10th Histotechnology Professionals Day in Birmingham.  She constantly lifts up her team members and enjoys bringing her team deeper into the field by helping them get ready to sit for their HT American Society of Clinical Pathologists certification exam.  We’re proud to have her and her team with us at Southern Research.

Histotechnology is a science that centers around the microscopic detection of abnormal tissue that helps in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.  This knowledge and understanding of composition is what allows pathologists to give a clinical diagnosis and treatment plan based off of differences in appearances from healthy tissue and the abnormality.

Our highly skilled technicians are HT American Society of Clinical Pathologists (ASCP) certified or certification eligible experts in their field.  Our full-service laboratory team has established a long track record of proven success and high quality work.  Southern Research provides necropsy and histology services tailored to the unique needs of research and veterinary clients.  If you want to know more about the customized services that our qualified team can offer, check out our page on Anatomic and Clinical Pathology.

Southern Research makes key leadership announcements

Southern Research has named Michael Catalano and Mark Suto, Ph.D., chief operating officer and vice president for Life Sciences, respectively. Previously, Catalano served as interim COO, and Suto was VP for Drug Discovery and interim VP for Drug Development.

Southern Research
Michael Catalano is chief operating officer of aSouthern Research.

University of Alabama at Birmingham President Ray L. Watts serves as Southern Research interim CEO and chairman.

“Michael and Mark have provided forward-thinking and effective leadership during this critical time of notable progress for SR and collaboration with UAB,” Watts said. “Solidifying these positions of leadership will enable SR to build on its strong trajectory and positive momentum.”

Catalano joined SR in 2017 as general counsel and assumed the interim COO role in 2018. As permanent COO, he will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of SR.

“I am honored to continue to serve in this role and humbled every day to work with our incredible teams at SR,” Catalano said. “I am proud of all we continue to accomplish together and excited about our future.”  

Since joining SR in 2011, Suto has developed multiple research collaborations spanning a diverse array of diseases. In his new role, he will build on ongoing efforts to unite Drug Discovery and Drug Development to optimize growth in SR’s Life Sciences portfolio and impact.

“We have made great strides in evolving drug discovery and drug development in recent years as we ensure SR is well-positioned as a modern life sciences organization,” Suto said. “We have a bright future, and I am excited for this opportunity.”

Both promotions are effective immediately.  

Southern Research
Mark Suto, Ph.D., is vice present for Life Sciences at Southern Research.

Prior to SR, Catalano was general counsel and privacy officer at Influence Health; chief operating officer, corporate secretary and general counsel for SilverStaff Inc.; vice president of finance for Caesars Entertainment Inc.; and senior development counsel for pharmacy health care provider CVS Caremark.

Suto has more than 35 years of experience working in several large pharmaceutical companies, as well as smaller biotech and venture-backed organizations. He has led multidisciplinary programs that resulted in the identification of clinical candidates in several therapeutic areas.

2nd Southeast Energy Storage Symposium focuses on policy, regulation

Southern Research is again hosting the Southeast Energy Storage Symposium, bringing together an array of speakers and panelists to provide attendees with perspectives, benefits, challenges and trends in energy storage, solar policy and regulation.

Now in its second year, the event is begins today at Southern Research’s Oxmoor location on Tom Martin Drive.

The symposium is the only event of its kind in the region and includes keynote speeches and panel discussions featuring experts and professionals from Southern Research, Southern Company, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Tennessee Valley Authority, NextEra, Avista Utilities, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory, among many others.

Bert Taube, Ph.D., Energy Storage and Renewables Program Manager at Southern Research’s Energy & Environment division, said the symposium is designed to inform key industry stakeholders about the value of innovative energy storage systems in an effort to accelerate the technology’s development, testing and adoption.

Southern Research energy storage
Steve Baxley, R&D manager at Southern Company Services, is one of the industry panel moderators at Southern Research’s Southeast Energy Storage Symposium, which begins Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Taube said energy storage systems represent a critical technology in the smart electricity grids envisioned for the future because they will support important parts of grid modernization such as the integration of renewables or the coverage of peak demand to help lower costs and cut emissions.

“The symposium provides a collaborative forum for policymakers, regulators, utilities, vendors and technology integrators from the Southeast and across the U.S. Collectively, this group will discuss various aspects of energy storage, including grid interconnection, economic modeling, performance, safety, standards and regulation,” Taube said.


Attendees will participate in a wide breadth of panels and sessions hosted by leaders in the industry.

Keynote presentations will be provided by Alejandro Moreno, DOE’s director of water power technologies; Jeff Burleson, senior vice president of environmental and system planning for Southern Company; and Tim Echols, a commissioner on Georgia’s Public Service Commission.

The symposium will cover topics such as emerging energy storage technologies and its impact on diversification of technologies in the grid infrastructure, regulatory and policy perspectives, project development and finance, economics and valuation, as well as compliance with safety and performance standards.

Panel moderators include:

  • Gary Brinkworth, director of technology and innovation at TVA
  • Richard Simmons, director of energy policy and innovation center at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Charlie Vartanian, senior technical advisor at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Steve Baxley, R&D manager at Southern Company Services
  • Russ Weed, president of CleanTech Strategies
  • Michael Starke, energy storage program manager, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


Southern Research energy storage
Southern Research is formally opening its Energy Storage Research Center as an industrywide resource for testing and validating energy storage technologies. The center is located on Southern Research’s Oxmoor campus.

Attendees will be able to see the first grid-scale vanadium-redox flow battery test system from Avalon Battery to be tested and researched at Southern Research. Southern Research is partnering with Southern Company, EPRI, DOE and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to comprehensively evaluate the Avalon technology at the new Energy Storage Research Center, located on Southern Research’s Oxmoor campus.

The test system is expected to be integrated into the Southern Company system’s infrastructure after an extended period of grid-connected performance and safety testing in compliance with an industry-wide developed test manual.

“Flow battery systems have been around for years, but their adoption into mission-critical parts of utility infrastructures has been very limited,” Taube said.

“Flow batteries offer longer-duration energy storage, which makes them a potentially valuable option as a technology choice; however, researchers must continue to evaluate how they can be used to support grid-scale transmission and distribution systems.”


This year’s symposium takes place on the heels of Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Energy Storage Research Center, Alabama’s first industrywide resource to accelerate the development and deployment of energy storage technologies. The center is designed for third-party innovators from the electric utility industry, academia, government and technology companies to research, develop and demonstrate energy storage solutions.

Symposium attendees will learn more about the technologies and innovations under way at the Energy Storage Research Center and at other laboratories and utilities nationwide.

This year’s event will offer detailed perspectives on energy storage overall and with respect to policy and regulation. It will provide participants the opportunity to explore the various factors that impact current and future energy storage efforts in the Southeast and beyond.


Southern Research employees provide $150,000 for internal research projects

Southern Research employees continue to contribute funds to spark research projects that can lead to major discoveries and funding opportunities.

“I’m constantly inspired by the relentless pursuit of discovery that our employees engage in every day. And on top of that, they believe and care so deeply for the mission of Southern Research the they are willing to support it through contributions to the Employee Give Campaign,” said Brynne MacCann, the organization’s development officer.

“Already, the campaign has provided seed funding for significant projects that are on their way to delivering real-world results,” she added. “The campaign perfectly embodies the spirit and mission of our organization.”

Southern Research launched the Employee Give Campaign in June 2016 with the goal of raising $1 million over five years. As of May 2019, nearly $760,000 has been pledged, leaving the Birmingham-based non-profit organization three quarters of the way toward its target.

Funds raised through the Employee Give Campaign provide Southern Research employees the opportunity to pursue novel projects that hold significant promise but may not fit within the organization’s traditional funding structure.

The goal is to drive innovation and collaboration from the bottom up to  foster promising research projects that can attract substantial external funding from sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other longstanding partners.


Southern Research
Southern Research employees have provided $150,000 in funding for internal projects through the Employee Give Campaign’s Innovation Grand Challenge.

A key element of the Employee Give Campaign is Southern Research’s Innovation Grand Challenge, awarded annually by peer review.

So far, six scientific projects have received seed funding under the Innovation Grand Challenge, allowing researchers to access significant support from the NIH, the National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Winners of Southern Research’s Innovation Grand Challenge for 2018 were:

  • Seth Cohen, senior electrical engineer on the Engineering Systems Development team. Cohen launched a project to develop advanced real-time signaling processing technologies with broad applications in the consumer, aerospace and defense industries.
  • Nathan Fisher, Ph.D., associate director of Bacteriology Laboratory, is leading a team targeting the development of a new treatment for sepsis caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The team is focusing on novel anticancer therapeutics developed by Southern Research as an immune booster to combat the bacterial infection.
  • Susan Schrader, Ph.D., senior scientist in the Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, is working to identify a new therapeutic target that could be key to the discovery and development of new anti-HIV drugs.

Southern Research employees were able to award $150,000 to these projects through the Innovation Grand Challenge.


The Employee Give Campaign has also generated funds for improvements to Southern Research’s campuses. For 2019, the Wellness Committee is outfitting a workout facility with new equipment for employees on the Southside campus.

Previous projects renovated the Thomas Martin Library on the Southside campus and updated the lobbies at three Southern Research locations.

The Employee Give Campaign is part of a broad-based philanthropic program at Southern Research.

“Philanthropic funding is crucial to the success of early stage scientific research,” MacCann said. “The more we can raise to support our work, the faster we can bring life-saving therapeutics and technologies to those in most need. Our employees are the driving force behind this effort.”

Southern Research’s four operating divisions focus on drug discovery, drug development, engineering, and energy and the environment. Its staff of more than 400 scientists, engineers and researchers work at facilities in Alabama, Georgia, Maryland and Texas.



3 new members join Southern Research Advisory Board

The Southern Research Advisory Board, comprised of emerging leaders in the Birmingham business community who are committed to enhancing the organization’s mission of scientific and engineering advancement, has added three new members.

Key Foster of McWane Inc., Angele Monconduit of Alabama Power, and Beeland Nielsen of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED joined the Advisory Board during its first quarter meeting on Feb. 21.

“Southern Research is making great strides in its endeavors today, and we are pleased that these three outstanding leaders have elected to contribute their time and talents to help support the organization’s mission of solving the world’s hardest problems,” said Advisory Board Chairman David Perry, vice president of Corporate Strategy at Protective Life Insurance Co.


Southern Research
Key Foster

Foster joined McWane in 2011 and has responsibility for operating divisions focusing on high-tech companies and commercial real estate investments, as well as corporate development initiatives. Previously, Foster helped lead the turnaround of two public companies, advised Lehman Brothers during its bankruptcy, and executed $13 billion in mergers and acquisitions, financing and real estate transactions.

Foster has held senior management roles in public and private companies and has a successful track record leading early stage growth companies, corporate turnarounds, principal investments and corporate development. He was co-founder of Redmont Hospitality and served in senior roles at Gaylord Entertainment and the Trust Co. of Sterne, Agee & Leach.

Foster received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Washington and Lee University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.


Southern Research
Angele Monconduit

Monconduit serves as the assistant to the executive vice president of External Affairs for Alabama Power. Since 2002, Monconduit has served in a variety of leadership roles responsible for ensuring the safe, reliable, and cost-effective operation and maintenance of the company’s generating power plants.

She is engaged with several civic and charitable organizations, including the Women’s Fund of Birmingham and the National Society of Black Engineers, where she co-hosts an engineering camp for over 200 Birmingham students every summer. She has been recognized by the Engineering Council of Birmingham for her service to the community and is a Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Monconduit graduated from the University of Evansville with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.


Southern Research
Beeland Nielsen

As corporate senior director of Commercial Leadership at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. UNITED, Nielsen has responsibility for all commercial leadership and capability functions. He previously served as director of Commercial Leadership-Retail for the company, with responsibility for leading project development and implementation focusing on Go-To-Market processes, strategic route planning, commercial capabilities, and sales force automation.

Prior to joining Coca-Cola UNITED in 2004, he worked for Regions Bank as a management trainee and retail branch manager. He completed a comprehensive management training rotation in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and served as retail sales manager for Coca-Cola UNITED’s Tennessee Valley Division.

Nielsen received a bachelor’s degree in English literature from The University of the South, Sewanne and later completed an MBA at Vanderbilt University.

“The addition of these new members will enhance Southern Research’s relationship with the Birmingham business community,” said Watson Donald, the organization’s senior director of External Affairs. “They will join with the other Advisory Board members to provide us with valuable feedback on our multifaceted activities as they move forward in their own business careers.”

In addition to Perry, existing Advisory Board members are:

  • Alexia Borden, senior vice president and general counsel, Alabama Power
  • Jay Brandrup, principal, Kinetic Communications
  • Deon Gordon, president, TechBirmingham
  • Danny Markstein, managing director, Markstein;
  • Liz Pharo, managing partner, Featheringill Capital
  • Shannon Riley, president and CEO, One Stop Environmental
  • Elizabeth Scribner, analyst, Model Risk Management & Validation,
    Regions Financial Corp.
  • Mitesh Shah, vice president and assistant general counsel, Vulcan Materials Co.

The Southern Research Advisory Board was established in 2015.

Southern Research’s inaugural Change Campaign advances key research programs

Founded in 1941 as a non-profit organization dedicated to improving lives throughout Alabama and beyond, Birmingham-based Southern Research and its scientists and engineers have made significant contributions to multiple fields in its history – including infectious disease, clean air, space exploration and national defense.

But in fall 2018, Southern Research elected to highlight its multi-faceted efforts in neuroscience, cancer research and “green” chemistry through the inaugural Change Campaign, a peer-to-peer fundraiser generating funds to support ongoing research efforts.

“Our passion at Southern Research is driven by hope: hope for a cure, for a cleaner, greener Earth and for lives to be changed – and ultimately saved,” said Southern Research President and CEO Art Tipton, Ph.D. “Donations to the Change Campaign allow us to continue to explore important scientific breakthroughs within high-risk, high-reward endeavors that are many times difficult to fund through traditional government grants.”

Southern Research
Researchers representing the three pillars under the Change Campaign: Amit Goyal (sustainable chemistry), Rebecca Boohaker (cancer research) and Rita Cowell (neuroscience). Image: Mary Margaret Smith)

Fundraising under the Change Campaign, which relied on volunteer “Change Agents,” began in September and lasted for 30 days. The campaign climaxed on Oct. 11 with a community event called the “Evening of Change” on the grounds of Southern Research’s downtown Birmingham campus.

The one-month initiative ultimately raised more than $200,000 while simultaneously building awareness of the organization’s groundbreaking work in select fields.

“Southern Research’s mission is simple – make the world a better place. Our teams are passionately developing innovative technologies that positively impact real-world problems. We cannot progress our efforts – or be successful – without the support of our partners and the community,” said Southern Research Development Officer Brynne MacCann.

The Change Campaign’s showcase of the following three pillars of scientific inquiry under way at Southern Research included:

  • Neuroscience: This department is devoted to discovering effective central nervous system therapies to prevent, treat or cure neurological diseases and mental health disorders. Investigators are exploring the underlying mechanisms of neuronal cell death and dysfunction in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, ALS and schizophrenia.
  • Cancer Research: Since Southern Research began its cancer research program in 1946, its scientists have saved countless lives through the development of effective chemotherapy techniques, the discovery of seven FDA-approved anticancer drugs and the testing of many medicines now on the market. Today, researchers are evaluating new treatment targets, investigating how to activate the immune system to kill tumor cells, and developing potential new anticancer drugs.
  • Green Chemistry: The goal of Southern Research’s work in sustainable chemistry is to develop environmentally friendly and cost-efficient methods for making valuable chemicals or products from materials essentially considered to be waste. Researchers have devised ways to convert waste biomass sugars into the building block of carbon fiber, as well as to transform harmful carbon dioxide into chemicals needed to make everyday products.

    Southern Research
    Southern Research President and CEO Art Tipton speaks at the Change Campaign’s ‘Evening of Change’ event. (Image: Mary Margaret Smith)


Southern Research’s staff of nearly 400 workers is structured along four operating divisions: drug discovery, drug development, engineering and energy and environment. Besides the Birmingham research complex, it operates laboratories and offices in Maryland, Georgia and Texas.

The organization has and will continue to pursue entrepreneurial and collaborative initiatives to develop and maintain a pipeline of intellectual property and innovative technologies that positively impact real-world problems.

In keeping with this commitment, Southern Research has also worked closely with BioAlabama in 2018, helping the trade organization bring more visibility to Alabama’s growing biotech ecosystem and the incredible work being done in the state. The industry’s impact on the state has been calculated at more than $7 billion annually.