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Science Unbound Foundation Recognizes Outstanding Investigators

July 12, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Science Unbound Foundation has announced its 2013 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 2012 in the areas of obesity, nutrition and statistical science.

George Howard, DrPH, professor in the UAB Department of Biostatistics, and Andres Azuero, PhD, assistant professor in the UAB Department of Nursing Com Hlth, Outcomes, Sys, were awarded co-recipient best papers by a UAB-based investigator in the area of general statistics. Dr Howard’s paper, “A simple, assumption-free, and clinically interpretable approach for analysis of modified Rankin outcomes”, was published February 16, 2012 in Stroke, Dr Azuero’s paper, “A simple distribution-free algorithm for generating simulated high-dimensional correlated data with an autoregessive structure”, published January 1, 2012 in Communication in Statistics – Simulation and Computation,,

Degui Zhi, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Section on Statistical Genetics in UAB’s Department of Biostatistics, was awarded best paper by UAB-based investigator in the area of statistical genetics. His paper, “Genotype calling from next-generation sequencing data using haplotype information of reads” was published online January 27, 2012 in Bioinformatics,

Stella Aslibekyan Ph.D., assistant professor in UAB’s Department of Epidemiology, was jointly awarded best paper by UAB-based investigator in the area of obesity or nutrition. Her paper, "Preliminary evidence of genetic determinants of adiponectin response to fenofibrate in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network" published in the May 2010 issue of Nutrition, Metabolism, & Cardiovascular Diseases,

Ari Shechter, Ph.D. & Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., investigators at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital, were awarded best paper on obesity-related research by an investigator affiliated with the New York Obesity Research Center. Their paper, "Alterations in sleep architecture in response to experimental sleep curtailment are associated with signs of positive energy balance” was published September 12, 2012 American Journal of Physiology Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology,,

Felix Kishinevsky, recent graduate from UAB’s Department of Psychology, was awarded best paper by a UAB student in obesity-related research. His paper, "fMRI reactivity on a delay discounting task predicts weight gain in obese women” was published in the April 2012 issue of Appetite,

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.

About Science Unbound Foundation, Inc.

The Science Unbound Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation whose mission is “Furthering scientific knowledge in the service of health, happiness, and the quality of life of humankind through scientific research and education.” Additional information, including links to award winners’ biographies, published papers and pictures, is available online. Please visit us at