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UAB NORC 2014 "Creativity is a Decision" Award

August 18, 2014

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Nutrition Obesity Research Center (NORC) Creativity is a Decision Awards were announced on August 18, 2014. This unique competition allows for submission of the most creative ideas for grant proposals in obesity-related research. The contest was open to Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Faculty & Staff members. The NORC had 29 applicants submit one-page proposals, and nine winners were selected.

The selected faculty award winners and their proposed projects are:

  • Paula Chandler-Laney, PhD - “Eating phenotype of children exposed to over-nutrition in utero”
  • Aaron Davis Fobian, PhD - “A sleep and media intervention to improve adolescents’ metabolic health and weight status”
  • Martin Young, PhD - “At the Heart of Dietary Lipid Sensing”

The selected postdoctoral award winners and their proposed projects are:

  • Stephen J. Carter, Ph.D., ACSM-CPT-“Out of Thin Air: An Obesity Intervention through Hypoxia Inducible Factor Activation”
  • Dwight Lewis, PhD - “Social positioning, the environment, and energy intake among black men”
  • Greg Pavela, PhD - “Gender and Food Selection under Stress”

The selected predoctoral award winners and their proposed projects are:

  • Adele Fowler - “Effects of Dietary Coconut Oil on Body Composition and Liver Function in a Zebrafish Model”
  • Stacie Totsch - “Activating brown adipose tissue as a means to combat obesity through natural processes provides a unique potential for interventions”
  • Himel Mallick, MS - “Effectively Selecting A Target Population For A Future Clinical Trial Of Weight Loss”

The graduate level prize is $1,000, $2,500 for postdoctoral fellows, and $5,000 for faculty and staff winners. In order to collect though, they must each submit their proposal to an extramural sponsoring authority (e.g., NIH, NSF, etc.) by November 5, 2014.

The NORC leadership developed the idea for this “outside-the-box” contest (see: This was the fourth time it was held, and the NORC hopes to continue sponsoring on an annual basis.