Inaugural CORNET Awards Ceremony at UTHSC Presents a Total of $422,504 to Nine New Collaborative Research Initiatives

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The 2016 Collaborative Research Network (CORNET) Awards were presented recently to investigators for nine research projects on the UTHSC campus.

Nine research grants were announced recently as the 2016 awardees for the inaugural University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) Collaborative Research Network (CORNET) Awards.

Based on the ideals of cross-disciplinary team science, the CORNET Awards were created to stimulate innovative, interdisciplinary, team research that crosses not only UTHSC’s Memphis colleges, but also encourages collaboration across all UT campuses and beyond.

“The creation of the CORNET Awards is an important step in stimulating team-based multidisciplinary research,” said UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD. “Beginning with cross-college collaboration, and then moving to cross-campus, and ultimately, multi-institution collaboration meets our vision for UTHSC research.”

The 2016 UTHSC CORNET Award winners and their project titles are:

  • “Novel Approach to Treat Drug Resistant Clostridium Difficile Infections: Proof-of-pharmacological Concept” – Isaac Donkor, PhD; Michio Kurosu, PhD; Ying Kong, PhD
  • “Genetic Analysis of Rapid Desensitization of the CB1 Receptor in BXD Mice” – Bob Moore, PhD; Byron Jones, PhD; Megan Mulligan, PhD
  • “Exploring the Therapeutic Potential of a Novel Drug for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease by Targeting Neuroinflammatory Processes” —Detlef Heck, PhD; Francesca-Fang Liao, PhD; Anton Reiner, PhD; Bob Moore, PhD
  • “Nanogel Delivery of TRIM56-derived Peptide as a Broad-spectrum Antiviral Against Influenza” – Kui Li, PhD; Tao Lowe, PhD
  • “Selective Targeting of TRPC3 Ion Channel for Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy” – Catherine Kaczorowski, PhD; Wei Li, PhD; Kristen O’Connell, PhD
  • “Clinical, Demographic, Genetic, and Epigenetic Determinants of Health Related Quality of Life Post Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage” – Ansley Stanfill, PhD; RN; Lucas Elijovich, MD; Brandon Baughman, PhD; Claire Simpson, PhD
  • “Novel 20-hydroxyvitamin D3 (20D3) Analogues for Periodontitis Treatment” – Liang Hong, DDS, PhD; Franklin Garcia-Godoy, DDS, PhD, PhD; Wei Li, PhD; David Tipton, DDS, PhD; Yanhui Zhang, PhD
  • “MFCI, BURST and OMICS: Mining Actionable Insights for the Biomedical Researcher” – Charisse Madlock-Brown, PhD, MLS; Robert Davis, MD, MPH; Panduka Nagahawatte, MS
  • “Scavenger Receptor-mediated Mechanisms in Age-related Macular Degeneration” – Francesco Giorgianni, PhD; Marko Radic, PhD

The CORNET Awards will unfold in three phases: (1) UTHSC CORNET Awards in Memphis, (2) UT CORNET Awards, and (3) Southeastern CORNET Awards. Steven R. Goodman, PhD, vice chancellor for research at UTHSC, who created the vision for the CORNET Awards, said he was thrilled at the number and caliber of the applications received in Phase 1, and is looking forward to seeing the submissions for Phases 2 and 3.

“The overarching goal of Phases 2 and 3 is to create more connectivity between faculty at UTHSC, campuses within the UT system, and across universities nationally,” Dr. Goodman said. “The 2016 UTHSC – Memphis CORNET awardees represent a broad spectrum of new research collaborations occurring across colleges at UTHSC. They have the potential to engage in expansive studies that address a broad array of complex health disorders.”

To be eligible for a UTHSC CORNET Award, each proposal must include, at minimum, one faculty member from at least two of the UTHSC colleges and promote new lines of research. Resources are available for up to $50,000 per award for one year, and became accessible to each winning research team on May 1. A symposium will be hosted at the end of the year in which the awardees will present their findings.

“As a fellow investigator, I understand how much time and hard work goes into being successful on grant applications. We want our researchers to know that UTHSC supports their continual quest for knowledge and collaboration, and serves as a catalyst for those collaborations. Creating the CORNET Awards is one way we can satisfy that promise,” Dr. Goodman said.

Resources are being provided by Chancellor Schwab. More details regarding Phases 2 and 3 will be released in the near future.