Research Wire

The very latest Washington University research news

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11.21.17
Daniel S. Marcus, associate professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, received a four-year, nearly $2.7 million competing continuation grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “The XNAT Imaging Informatics Platform.”


11.21.17
Samuel I. Achilefu, the Michel M. Ter-Pogossian Professor of Radiology at the School of Medicine, Richard L. Wahl, MD, the Elizabeth E. Mallinckrodt Professor of Radiology and director of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, and Pamela K. Woodard, MD, professor of radiology, received a five-year, $933,700 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for Training Opportunities in Translational Imaging Education and Research (TOP-TIER). The new interdisciplinary clinician-scientist post-doctoral program will prepare residents and fellow trainees on how to bring preclinical imaging innovations to patients and the practice of medicine.


11.17.17
Joaquin Barnoya, MD, associate professor of surgery at the School of Medicine, has received a two-year, $180,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for research titled “Building capacity for chronic kidney disease research in Guatemala,” and a two-year, $188,000 grant from the NIH for research titled “Preventing noncommunicable diseases in Guatemala through sugary drink reduction and capacity building.” Read more about his research.


11.15.17
Joseph Ippolito, instructor in radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in the School of Medicine, received a $151,339 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “Characterization of Sexual Dimorphism in Glioma Metabolism.”


11.15.17
Stephen Roll, research assistant professor at the Brown School, has received a $64,000 grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The grant will support research on the relationships between household dynamics, financial well-being and state public policy. Roll researches financial behaviors, asset building and financial indicators for low-income households.


11.15.17
Sanjay Jain, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the School of Medicine, received a $10,000 grant from the Children’s Discovery Institute for a research project titled “Disease modeling and validation of pathogenic mutations in children with kidney malformations.” Jain will study causative variants leading to congenital anomalies of the kidney or lower urinary tract. Occurring in 1 in 250 live births, such anomalies are the most common cause of renal failure in children.


11.15.17
Moe Mahjoub, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the School of Medicine, received a $10,000 grant from the Children’s Discovery Institute for a research project titled “Analysis of ciliopathy genes in zebrafish.” Mahjoub’s proposal will work to identify novel genes involved in the pathogenesis of human ciliopathy syndromes.


11.9.17
Xuan “Silvia” Zhang and Christopher Gill, both at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a four-year, $936,504 grant from the National Science Foundation. They will use the award to better design and manage power distribution and energy storage in cyberphysical systems, the kind of technology used in drones, self-driving vehicles and many other products. Read more about their project on the engineering website.


11.8.17
Adetunji Toriola, MD, PhD, assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences at the School of Medicine, received a two-year, $375,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “RANK pathways and mammographic density in postmenopausal midlife women.” Close to 2 million U.S. women 50-64 years old have very dense breasts as shown on mammograms, one of the strongest risk factors for breast cancer. Yet little is known about how to reduce that risk. Graham Colditz, MD, PhD, the Niess-Gain Professor of Surgery, and Catherine Appleton, MD, associate professor of radiology, are co-investigators.


11.8.17
Carolyn Lesorogol, professor and associate dean for global strategy and programs at the Brown School, received a $275,115 grant from the National Science Foundation for a collaborative research project with Colorado State University titled “Community-based Conservancies: Investigating the Prospects for Cooperation and Conflict.”


11.8.17
Benjamin Humphreys, MD, PhD, the Joseph P. Friedman Associate Professor of Renal Diseases in Medicine and chief of the Division of Nephrology at the School of Medicine, received a two-year $220,000 grant from Barnes-Jewish Hospital for a research project titled “Reducing ESRD Patient eo-Day Readmissions.” On average, a dialysis patient is admitted to the hospital twice a year, and over 30 percent of those admissions have a recurrent hospitalization within 30 days. Humphreys is researching ways to reduce readmission rates.


11.8.17
Joaquin Barnoya, MD, associate professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences at the School of Medicine, received support from the Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science Research of The New York Academy of Sciences for a research project titled “The effect of occupations and school attendance on rural adolescent girls’ nutritional status in Guatemala: a mixed methods study.” Barnoya’s study will identify the risk factors associated with poor diet and physical activity in Guatemalan rural female adolescents.


11.2.17
Systems engineer ShiNung Ching and biomedical engineer Barani Raman, both of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, are part of a team that received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The group will work to figure out whether there are rules governing how different organisms’ brains process sensory stimuli. Read more on the engineering site.


10.26.17
Kimberly Parker, an incoming assistant professor of energy, environmental and chemical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a four-year, $469,227 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study the environmental fate of a pesticide that uses RNA interference biotechnology and is produced by novel genetically modified crops. Read more on the engineering site.


10.26.17
Brian Carpenter, professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $10,000 in seed grant funding from the Gary and Mary West Foundation. One of five seed grants awarded Sept. 28-29 at the Second National Symposium for Academic Palliative Care Education and Research near San Diego, the grant will support Carpenter’s research on “Enhancing Palliative Care Knowledge Through a National Lifelong Learning Network.”


10.24.17
Sheng-Kwei Song, professor of radiology at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in the School of Medicine, received a three-year, nearly $650,000 grant from the National MS Society for a research project titled “How does optic neuritis impact nerve function and its assessment?”


10.24.17
Kelsey Prissel, a doctoral student working with Mike Krawczynski, assistant professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a $45,000 graduate fellowship from NASA toward a project titled “Experimental investigation of lunar iron isotope fractionation and implications.”


10.24.17
Maggie Chen, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology at the School of Medicine, received a $7,500 Children’s Discovery Institute and Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Core Pilot Grant for a research project titled “Modeling tubular endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced renal fibrosis using human induced pluripotent stem cells.”


10.24.17
Richard Powis, a graduate student studying sociocultural anthropology in Arts & Sciences, received a $34,000 Fulbright-Hays doctoral dissertation research award in support of his anthropological work abroad.


10.24.17
Jordan Brock, a doctoral student working with Kenneth Olsen, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, received $6,300 from the National Geographic Society toward a research project titled “History of domestication of the emerging biofuel crop C. sativa.”


10.23.17
Shantanu Chakrabartty, in collaboration with Baranidharan Raman, both of the School of Engineering & Applied Science, received a two-year, roughly $230,000 grant from the BRAIN Initiative of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The research team aims to develop a self-sustaining brain implant that can record neural activity patterns over an organism’s lifetime. Read more on the engineering site.


10.19.17
Kristen Naegle, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received a three-year, $610,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a toolkit that will allow biomedical engineers to study the effects of tyrosine phosphorylation, which becomes dysregulated in cancer. The toolkit would be a fast, inexpensive and accessible way for researchers to produce phosphorylated and soluble proteins compared to current methods. Read more about her hopes to identify new therapeutic interventions for cancer.


10.18.17
Dmitriy Yablonskiy, professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, received a five-year, nearly $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “In vivo MRI biomarkers of microstructural correlates of brain pathology in preclinical and early Alzheimer disease.” The research aims to evaluate an innovative Gradient Echo Plural Contrast Imaging technique, developed in Yablonskiy’s lab, as an MRI tool for detecting early signs of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain.


10.18.17
Zhude Tu, professor of radiology, and Delphine Chen, MD, associate professor of radiology, at the School of Medicine, received a five-year, $2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “PET Sphingosine-1-Phosphate Receptor 1 (S1PR1) radiotracers for multiple sclerosis.”


10.17.17
Postdoctoral researcher Cory Knoot received $66,000 from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation toward a project titled “Blue-green engineering: A sustainable biosynthetic production system for cyanobacterial natural products.” Knoot is working with Himadri Pakrasi, Myron and Sonya Glassberg/Albert and Blanche Greensfelder Distinguished University Professor of biology in Arts & Sciences.


10.17.17
Brendan Haas, a physics graduate student in Arts & Sciences, received a $45,000 graduate student fellowship from NASA toward a research project titled “Characterizing Comet 81P/Wild 2 with Acfer 094 and Tagish Lake analog foils.”


10.17.17
James Janetka, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at the School of Medicine, received a two-year, $300,000 Career Catalyst Research Competitive Renewal Grant Program award from Susan G. Komen for the Cure for his research titled “Multifunctional inhibitors of MET/RON signaling and cross-talk with EGFR/HER2.” The work is focused on developing new drugs to treat breast cancer by dual targeting of the tumor and its microenvironment.


10.12.17
Adam Culbreth, a graduate student in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received an $88,000 research fellowship award from the National Institute of Mental Health within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) toward a project titled “Cognitive effort avoidance in psychotic disorders.”


10.12.17
Dian Tan, a postdoctoral researcher working with Kater Murch, assistant professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, received fellowship funding from Rigetti Computing totaling $84,000 in support of a project titled “Mapping quantum states into and from noisy transmission lines with superconducting qubits.”


10.11.17
The School of Medicine is sharing a $25 million grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support the use of health data to move basic science discoveries into clinical care.

The university’s role, which is supported by a $2 million award, is led by  Philip Payne, the Robert J. Terry Professor, and includes a collaboration between the university’s Institute for Informatics, the Health Systems Innovation Lab and the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences. Read more on the School of Medicine site.


10.11.17
Benjamin Moseley, assistant professor of computer science at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, has received two multiyear grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling $900,000. In one grant, Moseley, Kunal Agrawal and I-Ting Angelina Lee, also assistant professors of computer science, received a four-year, $650,000 grant to find a way to schedule jobs so that the parallel computing process runs fairly and efficiently. In addition, Moseley has received a four-year, $250,000 grant to develop an algorithmic foundation for using a new kind of memory called high-bandwidth memory. Read more on the engineering site.


10.11.17
Marilyn Piccirillo, university fellow in psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received $77,000 from the National Institute of Mental Health within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in support of research on longitudinal risk factors for depression and development of individual risk models.


10.11.17
Corey Westfall, a postdoctoral researcher working with Petra Levin, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, received $68,000 from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation in support of a project titled “Living large: Connecting nutrients, metabolism and cell size.”


10.9.17
Mikhail Berezin, assistant professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, received a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “An Imaging-Based Approach to Understand and Predict Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy (CIPN).” CIPN is a devastating adverse side effect of cancer treatment, occurring in nearly 40 percent of patients treated with common chemotherapy drugs.


10.5.17
Keith Hengen, assistant professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, received $747,000 as part of a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “Homeostatic plasticity mechanisms support brain function in vivo.”


10.5.17
Christine Floss, research professor in physics in Arts & Sciences, received a three-year, $648,000 grant from NASA in support of a project titled “Microanalytical characterization of presolar silicate grains:  Constraints on grain formation in stellar environments and grain survival in the early solar nebula.”


10.5.17
Todd Braver, professor of psychological and brain sciences in Arts & Sciences, received a two-year, $419,000 grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) toward research on the interactions of motivation and cognitive control in older adult decision-making.


10.2.17
Virginia McKay, postdoctoral research fellow working with the Center for Public Health Systems Science and the Center for Mental Health Services Research at the Brown School, received a two-year $419,375 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “De-implementation of Low-Value HIV Prevention Interventions.”


10.2.17
Su-Hsin Chang, assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences at the School of Medicine, received a two-year $419,375 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project titled “Modeling the co-existence of chronic diseases related to obesity.” Chang will use a quantitative modeling approach to study obesity, the co-existence of obesity-related chronic diseases and mortality in the United States in terms of life expectancy and lifetime health-care costs.


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