All of the developmental work for this harm-reduction strategy and resultant published research was accomplished from 1993 to 1999 with only very limited financial support from general accounts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and no external support whatsoever. During that time Dr. Rodu and colleagues established the scientific foundation of the strategy with publications in professional medical journals and in the general-interest press, many of which are abstracted or reprinted on this Web site.
From 1999 to 2004 the University of Alabama at Birmingham received a five-year unrestricted research grant from the United States Smokeless Tobacco Company of Greenwich, Connecticut. The award supported the UAB Tobacco Research Fund, and the principal investigator was Brad Rodu. The agreement between USSTC and UAB broke new ground with regard to industry-sponsored university research. The award was completely unrestricted; the agreement specified that UAB had no obligation to USSTC regarding consequential work products. The grantor had no scientific input or other influence regarding the nature of the research projects or activities and did not have access to research reports prior to their publication. In other words, the structure of this agreement exceeded UAB guidelines with regard to financial support from external sources, and it imposed absolutely no restrictions on academic freedom in the undertaking and communication of funded research. A scientific advisory board oversaw the program. Publications or other work on this Web site supported by the UAB Tobacco Research Fund are clearly marked by the notation (UAB TRF).
In 2005 Dr. Rodu joined the University of Louisville as a professor of medicine and the first holder of an endowed chair in tobacco harm reduction research. Financial support for the endowed chair and research activities was made possible by grants from USSTC and Swedish Match (based in Stockholm, Sweden with North American operations based in Richmond, Virginia). In 2009, U of L received separate grants from Reynolds American Inc. Services Company and Altria Client Services. All U of L grants are unrestricted, which ensures the scientific independence and integrity of research projects and activities.
The chair was also funded in part by the State of Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund, a program that makes it possible for public universities in Kentucky to attract and retain the nation's top scholars and researchers. Publications or other work on this Web site supported by the grants to U of L are clearly marked by the notation (UofL).