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USciences Awarded $4.9 Million in Research Grants in 2019

By Jenna Pizzi

Published on December 19, 2019

USciences faculty researchers and students were supported by $4.9 million in grant funding awarded to the University in 2019. The additional dollars support ongoing investigations in each of the University’s three colleges as well as student involvement in those projects.

The funding includes support from private foundations and federal sponsors including W.W. Smith Charitable Trust, National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), PA Department of Health and the PA Pharmacists Association Foundation, among others. 

Jason Heindl, PhD, assistant professor of biology, was awarded $440,000 from the NIH in addition to another grant from W.W. Smith. Dr. Heindl said the NIH funding will allow his lab to continue work on virulence mechanisms of Brucella abortus and Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The award has a strong training component allowing him to bring in more undergraduate and graduate students to his lab. 

George Downs,PharmD, Dean Emeritus of Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and professor of clinical pharmacy, received nearly $150,000 to support an effort to increase the distribution of Naloxone by community pharmacists and his colleague Dan Ventricelli,PharmD, MPH, assistant professor of clinical pharmacy, also received grant support for an effort to explore the perceptions of PA pharmacists on medication-assisted treatment and other harm reduction strategies for opioid use disorder. 

Gregory Theilman, PT, EdD, professor of physical therapy and neuroscience, was awarded $57,000 from the REACT Center, to expand his research to develop strategies for rehabilitation of the upper extremity for post-stroke patients. Dr. Thielman said this work means his work is innovative and relevant, but it also supports students working in his lab. 

“I can only do this work with the help of lots of students and their efforts as they put in the time to engage in the training activities with the patients,” he said.”I continue to seek out innovative projects.” 

Ashley de Marchena, PhD, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, was awarded $10,000 from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation to study the comprehension of gesture-speech integration by children with autism.

Zhihong Wang, PhD, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, was awarded more than $400,000 from the NIH to support her research into new drug therapies to target cancer resistant to BRAF therapies

“Our findings will not only facilitate a better understanding of the complex biochemical mechanisms of the RAF kinase family, but also would have an impact on the treatment of BRAF-driven cancers,” said Dr. Wang. “Moreover, this grant offers great research opportunities to undergraduate students who are interested in life science, in particular, protein biochemistry.”

Categories: News, Misher College of Arts and Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Samson College of Health Sciences, Faculty, Grant, Research,