The Science Unbound Foundation has announced its 2012 award winners for best scientific papers by investigators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the New York Obesity Research Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The awards, plaque and cash prizes are for works published in 2011 in the areas of obesity, nutrition and statistical science.

Bo Jiang, a student from from UAB's Department of Biostatistics, & Guo Lian Kang, Ph.D., previous postdoctoral fellow in UAB's Department of Biostatistics and currently an Assistant Member, Biostatistics at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, were jointly awarded best paper by a UAB-based investigator in the area of general statistics. Their paper, "A powerful truncated tail strength method for testing multiple null hypotheses in one dataset", was published February 3, 2011 in the Journal of Theoretical Biology,http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.01.029.

Nathan Wineinger, Ph.D., recent PhD graduate from UAB's Department of Biostatistics, & Xiangqin Cui, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Section on Statistical Genetics in UAB's Department of Biostatistics, were individually awarded best paper by UAB-based investigator in the area of statistical genetics for their two papers, respectively: "A method to assess linkage disequilibrium between CNVs and SNPs inside copy number variable regions" published April 25, 2011 in Frontiers in Genetics, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2011.00017 and "Length bias correction for RNA-seq data in gene set analyses" published January 19, 2011 in Bioinformatics, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btr005.

Blandine Laferrere, M.D., associate professor of medicine at St Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University, was awarded best paper on obesity-related research by an investigator affiliated with the New York Obesity Research Center. Her paper, "Differential Metabolic Impact of Gastric Bypass Surgery Versus Dietary Intervention in Obese Diabetic Subjects Despite Identical Weight Loss" was published on April 27, 2011 in Science Translational Medicine, http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.3002043.

Donna Murdaugh, recent master's graduate from UAB's Department of Psychology, was awarded best paper by a UAB student in obesity-related research. Her paper, "fMRI reactivity to high-calorie food pictures predicts short- and long-term outcome in a weight-loss program" was published October 26, 2011 online in Neuroimage, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.10.071.

Emily Dhurandhar Ph.D., T32-funded postdoctoral trainee in UAB's Office of Energetics, was awarded best paper by UAB-based investigator in the area of obesity or nutrition. Her paper, "E4orf1: A novel ligand that improves glucose disposal in cell culture" was published online on August 23, 2011 in PLoS ONE, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0023394.


The institutions named in the awards were selected on the basis of their demonstrated strength at promoting careers of young investigators in the areas of obesity, nutrition and statistical science.