REP-UConn Health 2018-2019 Award Recipients

June 6, 2017

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018-2019 Research Excellence Awards for UConn Health. Funding support totaling $492,024.35 will be granted to 10 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 2018-2019 REP-UConn Health competition drew 29 project proposals (9 Stimulus, 15 Convergence Level 1, 5 Convergence Level 2) requesting almost $2M in funding.

Each proposal was reviewed by a team of internal and external reviewers 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 2019-2020 awards will be December 14, 2018.


The 2017-2018 REP awardees are:

Adam Adler, Immunology – $25,000 – Stimulus
Preclinical Development of a Heterodimeric T Cell Costimulator to CD134 and CD137 that Simplifies Combination Cancer Immunotherapy
Co-PIs: Anthony Vella, Immunology

Paola Bargagna-Mohan, Neuroscience – $25,000 – Stimulus
Corneal Schwann Cell Differentiation during Fibrosis.

Stormy Chamberlain, Genetics and Genome Sciences – $74,878.42 – Convergence Level 1
Restoring Neuronal Function in Angelman Syndrome Neurons Using the E6 Protein
Co-PIs: Eric Levine, Neuroscience

Laura Haynes, Immunology – $25,000 – Stimulus
Impact of Aging and Influenza Infection on Muscle Health

Ivo Kalajzic, Reconstructive Sciences – $25,000 – Stimulus
Neuropeptide Y as a Local Regulator of Bone Mass

Syam Nukavarapu, Orthopaedic Surgery – $99,625 – Convergence Level 2
Biodegradable Matrix Platform for Osteochondral Tissue Engineering
Co-PIs: Caroline Dealy, Reconstructive Sciences; Vinayak Sathe, Orthopaedic Surgery

Tannin Schmidt, Biomedical Engineering – $67,558.43 – Convergence Level 1
Investigating PRG4 Re-expression as a Treatment for TMJ Degenerative Diseases
Co-PIs: Sumit Yadav, Orthodontics

Phillip Smith, Surgery – $24,962.5 – Stimulus
The Age-Sensitive Role of HCN in Detrusor Responses to Adrenergic Stimulation: Addressing Reviews of 1 R01 AG058814-01

Ephraim Trakhtenberg, Neuroscience – $50,000 – Convergence Level 1
Novel Optogenetic Tool for Studying the Molecular Mechanisms of Axon Regeneration in the CNS
Co-PIs: Yi Wu, Genetics and Genome Sciences

Sandra Weller, Molecular Biology and Biophysics – $75,000 – Convergence Level 1
Small Molecule Inhibitors of an Essential Viral Replication Protein ICP8
Co-PIs: Adam Schuyler, Molecular Biology and Biophysics; Dennis Wright, Pharmaceutical Sciences

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