Research highlights

October 31, 2018

Image with caption: Rebecca Deegan, PhD, biochemistry and molecular biology, received a National Institutes of Health award for $600,000 to purchase a special irradiator unit to support translational cancer biology research on campus.

Rebecca Deegan, PhD, biochemistry and molecular biology, received a National Institutes of Health award for $600,000 to purchase a special irradiator unit to support translational cancer biology research on campus.

August research grants

UNMC College of Medicine faculty received 19 grant awards representing more than $2.5 million in new funding during the month of August. Four of the highlight awards included:
 
Rebecca Deegan, PhD, biochemistry and molecular biology, received a National Institutes of Health award for $600,000 through the NIH Director’s Office. This Shared Instrument Program grant will fund the purchase of a special irradiator unit that combines computed tomography (CT) imaging with X-ray irradiation, which will provide precise irradiation that more closely mimics clinical radiation dosing schemes. This new instrumentation will be available to support translational cancer biology research across the campus.
 
Padmashri Ragunathan, PhD, neurological sciences, received a National Institutes of Health award for $215,000 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to study the effects of developmental alcohol exposure on astrocyte calcium signaling and synaptic plasticity.
 
Howard Gendelman, MD, pharmacology & experimental neuroscience, received a National Institutes of Health award for $181,000 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This Institutional Training Grant will fund the "Neuroimmunology of Disease Training Program," which will provide unique research training experiences in infectious, developmental, and degenerative nervous system diseases to further translational research within the discipline of neuroimmunity.
 
Murali Ganesan, PhD, internal medicine - GI, received a National Institutes of Health award for $136,000 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This Mentored Research Scientist Development Award will fund a study into the effects of alcohol on the immune system’s ability to present hepatitis B viral peptides on hepatocytes.
 
Industry-sponsored grants:
 
The following industry-sponsored contracts and foundation grants were received.  Information on clinical trials enrolling patients at UNMC can be found here.
 
Cyrus Desouza, MBBS, internal Medicine - diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, is the UNMC lead on a phase III clinical study of the effects of a novel drug on cardiovascular and renal events in patients with type 2 diabetes. Dr. Desouza also has received support through Tufts University to assist in their study of the potential for vitamin D to prevent type 2 diabetes. He also has received an award to cover technical salary support for his Veterans Affairs’ Nebraska Educational Biomedical Research Association-sponsored clinical trials.
 
Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD, internal medicine - oncology/hematology, is the UNMC lead on a phase III clinical study that compares the subcutaneous treatment with a novel antibody versus active monitoring in subjects with high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma.
 
Lori Maness Harris, MD, internal medicine - oncology/hematology, is the UNMC lead on a phase II clinical dose-finding study of a novel drug in patients receiving high-dose chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia.
 
James Talmadge, PhD, pathology and microbiology, received support to study the disinfectant properties of ozonated water, which is cold water infused with ozone gas.
 
Vijaya Bhatt, MD, internal medicine - oncology/hematology, is the UNMC lead on a phase II clinical study of bone marrow biomarkers and the safety and efficacy of a novel combination therapy in patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
 
Hani Haider, PhD, orthopaedic surgery, received support to use a knee simulator to conduct a device wear study for the durability of a novel total knee replacement system.
 
Christopher Gillis, MD, neurosurgery, is the UNMC lead on a case study of the use of a novel spinal implant that provides additional support during lumbar intervertebral body fusion.
 
Gregory Pavlides, MD, PhD, internal medicine - cardiology, is the UNMC lead on a post approval clinical study of a novel coronary stent system for the treatment of patients with coronary artery disease.
 
Susan Swindells, MBBS, internal medicine - infectious disease, is the UNMC lead on a phase IIb clinical study of a combination, long-term antiretroviral therapy for patients with HIV-1 infections.
 
Matthew Lunning, DO, internal medicine - oncology/hematology, received funding through the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to assist with their phase II clinical study of the impact of cell dose on survival following stem cell transplantation in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
 
Robert Norgren, PhD, genetics, cell biology and anatomy, received funding through Tulane University to assist on a study of a model of ataxia telangiectasia.
 
Ashutosh Tripathi, PhD, pharmacology and experimental neuroscience, received funding through Johns Hopkins University to assist with their translational research study on neuro-AIDS and mental health.
 
Ted Mikuls, MD, internal medicine - rheumatology, received funding for a Resident Research Preceptorship through the Rheumatology Research Foundation.
 

September research grants

UNMC College of Medicine faculty received 25 awards representing more than $3.7 million in new funding during the month of September. Eleven of the highlight awards included:
 
Minglei Guo, PhD, and Shilpa Buch, PhD, pharmacology/experimental neuroscience, have received a National Institutes of Health award for $362,000 from the National Institute for Drug Abuse. This research project aims to explore the molecular mechanisms underlying how the dysregulated neuroimmune signaling caused by HIV proteins, drugs of abuse, and cART impacts the function of neuronal receptors.
 
Sowmya Yelamanchili, PhD, pharmacology/experimental neuroscience, and a George Mason University scientist have received a National Institutes of Health award for more than $241,000 from the National Institute for Drug Abuse. This exploratory/development grant will provide important new information on how methamphetamine influences EV biogenesis and as well as further our understanding on the impact of the released extracellular vesicles cargo from HIV- infected macrophages on re-activation and latency in the central nervous system.
 
Guoku Hu, PhD, and Ernest Chivero, PhD, pharmacology/experimental neuroscience, and Channabasavaiah (Guru) Gurumurthy, DVM, PhD, Munroe-Myer Institute, have received a National Institutes of Health award for more than $228,000 from the National Institute for Drug Abuse. The goal of this exploratory/development project is to develop an extracellular vesicle-based methodology for RNA drug delivery for the treatment of HIV-associated central nervous system complications including neuroinflammation in cocaine abusers. These findings could have ramifications for future development of therapeutic interventions for treatment of neuroinflammation in HIV-infected cocaine abusers.
 
Jingwei Xie, PhD, surgery - transplantation, has received a National Institutes of Health award for more than $228,000 from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The primary objective of this exploratory/development proposal is to develop and validate absorbable 3D hybrid nanofiber aerogels that topically deliver various ions and small molecules in a controlled and sustained manner for enhancing cellular infiltration, neovascularization, and bone regeneration.
 
Javeed Iqbal, PhD, pathology/microbiology, and John Chan, MD, a former UNMC faculty member now at City of Hope, have received a National Institutes of Health award for more than $89,000 from the National Cancer Institute. The primary objective of this small business cooperative scientific proposal is the development of a novel clinical diagnostic test for commercial application designed to reliably identify the subtypes of peripheral T-cell lymphoma, thus helping to ensure the selection of the most appropriate and effective treatments for each individual patient and ultimately improving the outcomes of individuals with these cancers.
 
Iraklis Pipinos, MD, PhD, surgery - general surgery, is the UNMC lead investigator on a University of Pittsburgh awarded National Institutes of Health award for more than $40,000 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This research project grant will investigate the regulation and expression of HMGB1, a nuclear protein and danger signal, in limb ischemia. These studies have relevance for a large portion of the population that suffers from peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Patients with severe PAD are at risk for limb loss if procedures to improve blood flow cannot be performed. These studies hope to elucidate a mechanism by which danger signals like HMGB1 can promote local regeneration of ischemic muscle.
 
Matthew Zimmerman, PhD, cellular/integrative physiology, is the UNMC lead investigator on a Creighton University awarded National Institutes of Health award for more than $20,000 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  The goal of this exploratory/development project is to show proof-of-concept for the delivery of antioxidant enzymes through the skin, designed to reduce skin damage caused by sun exposure. The long-term goal of the project is to develop better strategies for the therapeutic prevention of skin cancer.
 
Scot Ouellette, PhD, pathology/microbiology, has received a National Science Foundation award for more than $82,000. The project will bring together researchers from multiple institutions with distinct and complementary expertise to define molecular mechanisms that regulate discrete steps in the polarized budding process that chlamydia use to divide and it will allow for the training of graduate students at the interface of molecular cell biology and computational biophysics.
 
Two individuals have received support through the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NE DHHS) Stem Cell Research Grant competition. Funded by LB606, this program focuses on stem cell research that does not use human embryonic stem cells. Recipients include Jingwei Xie, PhD, surgery - surgery transplant, for a project titled "ADSCs-seeded 3DAerogels for Bone Regeneration" and Iqbal Ahmad, PhD, ophthalmology and visual sciences, for a project titled "Human Disease Modeling of Glaucoma."
 
Peter Iwen, PhD, pathology/microbiology has received support through the Bioterrorism Laboratory Services Agreement.
 
Surinder Batra, PhD, biochemistry and molecular biology has received support for graduate research assistant, Joseph Carmichael, through the NASA Nebraska Space Grant Fellowship for 2018-2019.
 
Industry-sponsored grants:
 
The following industry-sponsored contracts and foundation grants were received.  Information on clinical trials enrolling patients at UNMC can be found here.
 
Erika Boesen, PhD, cellular/integrative physiology, has received support through the Lupus Research Alliance for a study titled "Ferroptosis as a novel driver of inflammation in lupus nephritis."
 
Vijay Shivaswamy, MBBS, internal medicine - diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, has received support through the Nebraska Education Biomedical Research Association for Renee Tillson, research nurse coordinator.
 
James P. Murphy, MD, internal medicine - pulmonary, has received support through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for a mental health coordinator.
 
Pierre Fayad, MD, neurological sciences, has received support through the American Heart Association for a study titled "Virtual Reality Augmented Gait Adaptation in Stroke Survivors."
 
Meaghann Weaver, MD, pediatrics - pediatrics administration, has received an award through the National Palliative Care Research Center to support interdisciplinary pediatric telehospice consultations for hospice teams.
 
Michael Weaver, DO, physical medicine and rehabilitation, has received an award through an industry sponsor to support the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Student Fair.
 
Hani Haider, PhD, orthopaedic surgery, has received support to test novel carbon fiber reinforced materials for use as bearings in total joint replacement as part of a wear durability study.
 
Zaid Al-Kadhimi, MD, internal medicine - oncology/hematology, is the UNMC lead on a clinical study of the safety and effectiveness of a drug added to the standard of care immunoprophylaxis for the prevention of graft vs. host disease.
 
Vijaya Bhatt, MD, internal medicine - oncology/hematology, is the UNMC lead on a clinical study of the safety and effectiveness of a drug in the treatment of chronic graft vs. host disease.
 
Sarah Holstein, MD, internal Medicine - oncology/hematology, is the UNMC lead on a clinical study of the safety and effectiveness of a drug for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
 
Scott Koepsell, MD, PhD, pathology/microbiology, is the UNMC lead on two control and analyzer studies on reagents to evaluate multi-site reproducibility among clinical pathology laboratories.
 
James Harper, MD, pediatrics - hematology/oncology, is the UNMC lead on a clinical study evaluating the impact of hemophilia treatment on neurodevelopment, intelligence, and other cognitive functions.
 

Comments

Fill out the following and your comment will post once it has been approved.

Name (Required)

Email (Required)

Thank you, your comment will appear below once it has been approved.