Drug discovery at UAB is uniquely driven by partnership with Southern Research Institute. Southern Research is a not-for-profit, independent contract research organization (CRO) located adjacent to the UAB campus and formally affiliated with the University. The Institute employs more than 550 scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff and has a highly successful track record in drug development. More than 20 drugs generated in Southern Research’s discovery program have entered clinical trials, and seven are on the market as FDA-approved therapies. 

Through the CTSA-sponsored Center for Clinical and Translational Science, UAB and Southern Research have partnered to form the Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance (ADDA). The ADDA funds UAB researchers with promising targets to support assay development, high-throughput screening, and medicinal chemistry to develop lead compounds. The strong medicinal chemistry support is a unique feature not found in most academic drug discovery enterprises.