Eric Pietras DOM Team Science Award RecipientDepartment of Medicine | Medicine Jan 10, 2017
The Department of Medicine (DOM) has selected three interdisciplinary research groups to receive funding through its Team Science Program, which is designed to facilitate the development or enhancement of collaborative research teams that will be competitive for multi-investigator grant proposals and innovative new approaches within the DOM.
Kristen Demoruelle, MD (Division of Rheumatology) and Eric Pietras, PhD (Division of Hematology) will receive funding for a project aimed at identifying the earliest steps in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Specifically, their work will establish how deregulation of blood-forming hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) caused by early inflammatory events can alter blood system function and promote development of RA pathogenesis. The project will lead to novel insights into RA pathogenesis, identify novel potential targets for RA prevention, and strengthen interdisciplinary collaborations that will lead to future collaborative R-01 level proposals.
Catherine Lozupone, PhD (Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine) and Colm Collins, PhD (Department of Pediatrics) will receive funding to advance their work exploring the immunomodulatory activities of ZPS (Zwitterionic Capsular Polysaccharide) and ZPS-producing bacteria. In particular, they will explore whether the novel ZPS/ZPS-producing bacteria identified in previous collaborative work using genomic screens can protect against colitis, providing key preliminary data for an R01 grant application focused on probiotic/prebiotic approaches to treating and preventing Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Nicholas Walter, MD (Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine) and Martin Voskuil, PhD (Department of Immunology & Microbiology) will receive funding to develop novel treatment response markers to aid in the development of new drug regimens for the treatment of tuberculosis, the leading infectious cause of death worldwide. Specifically, this project will focus on treatment effectiveness during the months-long “sterilizing” phase that follows initiative treatment, in which sub-populations of “persister” bacteria are targeted – failure to adequately remove these “persister” bacteria is the cause of treatment failure and relapse, so novel markers for treatment response are crucial to overcoming this lethal disease.
The DOM Team Science Program funds up to three awards each year, up to $40,000 per award. Funding is typically used to generate collaborative preliminary data, or to purchase essential equipment that will be used jointly by the multiple investigators. Through this program, the Department of Medicine hopes to support its faculty in successful programmatic or multi-PI federal grants.
Since the DOM Team Science Program was launched in 2014, nine projects have been funded. Applications for this program are accepted each year in October, and review is by an ad hoc committee assembled each year based on the proposals received. The Department of Medicine wishes to thank the 2016 Team Science review committee members for helping to advance this important program:
- Carlyne D. Cool, MD; Department of Pathology
- Tobias Eckle, MD, PhD; Department of Anesthesiology
- Nicolas Foreman, MD; Department of Pediatrics
- Eva Grayck, MD; Department of Pediatrics
- Kathryn Haskins, PhD; Department of Immunology & Microbiology
- Elizabeth Kovacs, PhD; Department of Surgery
- Lorna G. Moore, PhD; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Alex Polotsky, MD; Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Theresa Powell, PhD; Department of Pediatrics
- Angeles Ribera, PhD; Department of Physiology and Biophysics
- David Riches, PhD; Department of Immunology & Microbiology; Department of Medicine
- Andrew Thorburn, DPhil; Department of Pharmacology
- Linda van Dyk, PhD; Department of Immunology & Microbiology
See the article on the Department of Medicine website.