REP-UCH 2017-2018 Award Recipients

June 6, 2017

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017-2018 Research Excellence Awards for UConn Health. Funding support totaling $491,703.94 will be granted to 9 exciting faculty projects.

The primary goal of the REP is to provide seed funding to fuel innovative and/or transformative interdisciplinary research with strong potential for significant extramural funding.

The 2017-2018 REP-UCH competition drew 37 project proposals (14 Stimulus, 17 Convergence Level 1, 6 Convergence Level 2) requesting more than $2M in funding.

Each proposal was reviewed by external reviewer Hanover Research using the REP program review criteria, which are consistent with the evaluation criteria of competitive extramural funding agencies. Final funding decisions were made by the OVPR in consultation with the Schools of Medicine and Dental Medicine.

Additional information about the program, including the program guidelines, is available on the OVPR website. The anticipated deadline for the 2018-2019 awards will be December 18, 2017.


The 2017-2018 REP awardees are:

Marc Hansen, Genetics and Genome Sciences – $25,000 – Stimulus
Synthetic-lethal Strategies to Exploit Genetic Interaction Networks to Create Vulnerabilities and Novel Druggable Targets in VPS4Bnull Osteosarcoma, a Common Form of Drug Resistant Osteosarcoma

Sivapriya Kailasan Vanaja, Immunology – $25,000 – Stimulus
Modulation of Noncanonical Inflammasome by Bacterial pathogens

Stefan Pinter, Genetics and Genome Sciences – $25,000 – Stimulus
Detecting Erosion of the Inactive X in Human Pluripotency

Rajkumar Verma, Neuroscience – $25,000 – Stimulus
Examination of the Therapeutic Effect of Vortioxetine (VTX) in Post-stroke Depression

George Kuchel, Medicine – $66,823.38 – Level 1 Convergence
Microbiome Plasticity and Pathogenicity in Older Adults: Baselines and Transitions from Skilled Nursing Care
Co-PIs: Julia Oh, Genetics and Genome Sciences; Julie Robison, Medicine

Liisa Kuhn, UCH Biomedical Engineering – $50,000 – Level 1 Convergence
Engineering Embryonic-like Bone Matrix for Bone Regeneration
Co-PIs: Peter Maye, Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Biology

Eric Levine, Neuroscience – $74,800.56 – Level 1 Convergence
Targeting BDNF-TrkB Signaling as a Therapeutic Strategy in Angelman Syndrome
Co-PIs: Elizabeth Eipper, Molecular Biology and Biophysics; Richard Mains, Neuroscience

Reinhard Laubenbacher, Cell Biology – $100,000 – Level 2 Convergence
Understanding the Progression of Ovarian Cancer through the Use of 3D Bioprinting and Mathematical Modeling
Co-PIs: Suzy Torti, Molecular Biology and Biophysics; Anson W. K. Ma, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Julie Wagner, Behavioral Sciences and Community Health – $100,000 – Level 2 Convergence
Remote Peer Learning for US-CAMBOdia Community Health Workers Managing Diabetes (PLUS CamboDIA)
Co-PIs: S. Megan Berthold, School of Social Work; Thomas Buckley, Pharmacy Practice

Back to Award Recipients