The University of Alabama is at least on par with the University of Washington in terms of medical science (if not superior). For example, just look at where the internal medicine residents go for fellowship (here). UAB is sending their residents to places like Johns Hopkins, Harvard (Massachusetts General Hospital), the University of Chicago, the Mayo Clinic, Columbia University, Vanderbilt, Emory, the NIH itself, etc.Not to mention a place like Huntsville is a well-known hub for scientists, engineers, computer scientists, etc. NASA has a space center there as well.Similar things could be said for other red states like North Carolina (e.g. the research triangle, Duke, UNC, Wake Forest), Georgia (e.g. Emory), Tennessee (e.g. Vanderbilt), Texas (e.g. MD Anderson is the top cancer center in the world, NASA has a huge presence in Houston, UTSW in Dallas is a sprawling medical complex).