October 5, 2006
Contact: Jerry Carey
Phone: (856) 566-6171
Foundation of UMDNJ Awards $1 Million in Research Grants
NEW BRUNSWICK — Research into the origins of multiple sclerosis, the detection of Lyme disease, how cancer cells lay dormant for years only to become virulent again, and the impact of different types of exercise on older, overweight adults were among the 45 programs at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to receive research grants this year from the Foundation of UMDNJ. As part of the Foundation’s Annual Grants Program, the UMDNJ faculty members received a total of $1 million in research grants.
Since its establishment in 1974, the Foundation of UMDNJ has provided funding for an annual grants program exclusively for UMDNJ faculty needs in research and educational enrichment/educational technology. Sandra Brown Sherman, Esq., secretary of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and a partner in the law firm Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, LLP, served as chair of the 2006 committee.
“We are proud to be able to support these outstanding scientists as they positively impact the future of healthcare for all of us,” Sherman said.
This year the Foundation awarded more money to more researchers than ever before. Awards ranged from $7,000 to $35,000 each and are matched by other funding sources. Recipients apply for the grants through the deans of their schools. The proposals are reviewed and scored by a committee of researchers at each school and recommended proposals are then forwarded to the Foundation committee responsible for the final selections.
A critical aspect of the program is the provision of seed and bridge research grants to new faculty who are on the path to breakthrough discoveries. Many of the researchers who receive these awards can then go on to win external funding from outside organizations such as the National Institutes of Health.
Recipients of the awards this year were faculty from The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey Dental School, the School of Nursing, the School of Health Related Professions, the School of Public Health and the School of Osteopathic Medicine. A complete list of the researchers who received awards follows this release.
The Foundation of UMDNJ is a not-for-profit, independent 501(c)(3) organization that solicits private funds for the benefit of research, education, and patient care programs at the University.
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Konstantin Balashov, M.D., Ph.D., Neurology. “Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells in Multiple Sclerosis.”
Sergio L. Zanotti Cavazzoni, M.D., Physiology. “Mechanisms of Hemodynamic Decompensation in Shock.”
John Chuo, M.D., M.S., Pediatrics. “ Customized Monitoring of Neonatal Respiration”
Céline Gélinas, Ph.D., Biochemistry. “Functional Analysis of Bfl-1/A1 in Apoptosis and Oncogenesis.”
Jonathan J. Hwang, M.D., Surgery. “ The Impact of Posterior Urethral Preservation on Post-Prostatectomy Urinary Incontinence in the Era of Robotic Assisted Radical Prostatectomy.”
Kouichi Ito, Ph.D., Neurology. “Tolerance Induction by Transplantation of H ematopoietic Stem Cells Engineered to Express Myelin Protein Gene.”
Isaac Yi Kim, M.D., Ph.D., Oncology. “Role of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptor Type II in Prostate Cancer Cells.”
Terri Goss Kinzy, Ph.D., Molecular Biology. “Unique Aspects of Eukaryotic Translation Elongation Factors.”
Alla Kostyukova, Ph.D., Neuroscience and Cell Biology. “Formation of Tropomodulin / Tropomyosin / Actin Complex at the Pointed End of the Actin Filament.”
Vikas Nanda, Ph.D., Biophysics. “Bioinformatic Tools for Identifying Regions of Mutational Susceptibility in Pathogenic Genomes.”
Dale G. Schaar, M.D., Ph.D., Oncology. “The Role of MicroRNAs in Human Leukemic Cell Differentiation and Survival.”
Emmanuel Selvananyagam Zachariah, PhD, Pediatrics. “Prediction of Recurrence and Therapeutic Responses in Lung Cancer Patients.”
UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Purnima Bhanot, Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. “Genetic Analysis of the cGMP Dependent Protein Kinase of the Malaria Parasite, Plasmodium.”
Diego Cadavid, M.D., Neurology and Neuroscience. “Role of the Vsp/OspC Family of Borrelia Proteins in Tissue Tropism.”
Richard Eckner, Ph.D., Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. “Regulation of Rac1 GTPase Function by p300.”
Ronaldo P. Ferraris, PhD., Pharmacology and Physiology, and Pediatrics. “Role of Glucocorticoids in the Development of the Rat Intestinal Fructose Transporter GLUT5.”
Vinciane Gaussin, Ph.D., Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. “Sarcomeric Disarray and Dilated Cardiomyopathy Following Cardiac Myocyte-specific Deletion of Smad5.”
Andreas Ivessa, Ph.D., Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. “Characterizing the Link between Mitochondrial DNA Fragmentation and Nuclear Genome Instability.”
Michael B. Mathews, Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Hartmut Hanauske-Abel, M.D., Ph.D., Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women ’s Health, and Pediatrics; Bernadette M. Cracchiolo, M.D, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health; Debra S. Heller, M.D., Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, and Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health. “Hypusine-dependent Protein Synthesis in Gynecological Cancer.”
Nikhat Parveen, Ph.D. Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. “Development and Analysis of Bioluminescence-based Detection Systems for Lyme Disease Spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi.”
Melissa B. Rogers, Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “BMP2 RNA Binding Proteins.”
Tibor Rohacs, Ph.D., Pharmacology and Physiology. “Direct Regulation of Phospholipase C by Calcium Channels.”
Janine Hertzog Santos, Ph.D., and Debkumar Pain, Ph.D., Pharmacology and Physiology. “Understanding the Role of the Human Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT) Subunit in Mammalian M itochondria.”
Natalia Shirokova, Ph.D., Pharmacology and Physiology. “Mitochonria and Calcium Signaling in Skeletal muscle.”
Patricia Soteropoulos, Ph.D., Salvatore Marras, Ph.D., and Fred Russell Kramer, Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. “Quantitative Self-Reporting Arrays for miRNA Profiling.”
Bin Tian, Ph.D., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “Phylogenetic Analysis of mRNA Polyadenylation in Vertebrates.”
UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine
Michael F. Henry, Ph.D., Molecular Biology. “Hypoxia Induced Nuclear-Mitochondrial Protein Transport.”
Gary S. Goldberg, Ph.D., Molecular Biology. “The Role of Cadherins in Contact Normalization.”
Ronald E. Ellis, Ph.D., Molecular Biology. “Are the Tob Proteins Conserved Regulators of Germ Cell Fates?”
Katrina F. Cooper, Ph.D., Molecular Biology. “The Role of Chromosome Cohesion, Checkpoints and Time in Regulating Meiotic Chromosome Segregation.”
Eric G. Moss, Ph.D., Molecular Biology. “Phenotypic Analysis of Lin28 Mutant Mice.”
Rachel Pruchno, Ph.D., Geriatrics. “ Engaging Overweight and Obese Elderly People in Exercise Programs: Strength Training vs. Cardiovascular Exercise.”
Venkat Venkataraman, Ph.D., Cell Biology. “Alzheimer’s Disease and ROS-GC Signaling.”
UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School
Lisa K. Ryan, Ph.D., Oral Biology. “In Vivo Role of Beta-defensin 1 in Immunity to HSV.”
Barbara L. Greenberg, R.N., Ph.D., Infectious Epidemiology. “The Prevalence of Comorbidities in HIV Infected Patients, Assessment of Oral Health and Necessary Modifications to Dental Treatment.”
Cecile Feldman, D.M.D., Dean. “Translational Research Grant.”
Kenneth J. Markowitz, D.D.S., Oral Biology. “Precarious Lesions on the Occulusal Surfaces of Human Posterior Teeth: Their Incidence, Clinical Significance and Structure.”
UMDNJ-School of Nursing
Dula F. Pacquiao, Ed.D., R.N., C.T.N., Community and Environmental Health. “Culturally Competent Care from the Perspective of Hispanic Elders in the Community.”
Kathleen A. Fagan, D.N.Sc., R.N., B.C., A.P.N., C., Tobacco Dependence. “Perspectives of Culturally Competent Smoking Cessation Counseling Practices - A View from College/University Healthcare Providers and Students from Diverse Ethnic/Racial Backgrounds.”
Rula Btoush, D.N.Sc., R.N., Social Sciences and Related Disciplines . “Health Issues Associated with Intimate Partner Violence among Minority Women.”
UMDNJ-School of Public Health
Marcia M. Sass, Sc.D., Disease Prevention and Control. “Consumers/Patients, Information Technology, and Improved Health Outcomes for Patients with Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes.”
David Q. Rich, Sc.D., M.P.H., Epidemiology. “Ambient Air Pollution and the Risk of Fetal Growth Restriction.”
UMDNJ-School of Health Related Professions
Barbara Gladson, Ph.D., Oncology/Allied Health Professions. “The Effect of Supervised Exercise Training on Immune, Physical, and Psychological Status in Breast Cancer Patients during Their Initial Cycle (C1) of Chemotherapy.”
David Roe, Ph.D., Psychiatric Rehabilitation. “Exploring the Subjective Experience of Adherence and Non-adherence to Prescribed Psychiatric Medication.”
Weili Lu, Ph.D., Psychiatric Rehabilitation. “A Pilot Study on Social Support Intervention among Consumers with Schizophrenia.”
UMDNJ is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.