School of Medicine


Research Enhancement Program Recipients 
















Bridge Grants


Ashok Aiyar, PhD.

"Factors that modulate the deleterious effect of ammonia generation by chlamydial tryptophan synthase"


Jeffrey Gidday, PhD.

"Resilient Phenotypes: Gender-Specific Remodeling of the Retinal Proteome Within and Across Generations by Conditioning Therapeutics "


Tiffany Wills, PhD.

"Sex Specific Effects of Adolescent Alcohol Exposure on BNST Plasticity "


Matthew Whim, PhD.

"Use of NPY1 Antagonist as a New Approach to Preventing Hypoglycemia-associated Autonomic Failure"



Clinical Research Grants


Frank Lau, MD.

"A Prospective, Double-Blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial of Dehydrated Human Amniotic-Chorionic Membrane for lncisional Hernia Prophylaxis "


Diego Aviles, MD.

"Intestinal microbiota in obese children with hypertension"



COVID-19 Research Grants


Frank Smart, MD.

Team Members: David Lefer, PhD, Bennett deBoisblanc, MD, David Welsh, MD, Carol Mason, MD, and Kyle Happel, MD.

"Nitric Oxide Gas Inhalation in Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in COVID-19 (NOSARCOVID)"


Nicolas Bazan, MD.

Team members: Jorgelina Calandria, PhD, Surjyadipta Bhattacharjee, PhD, Marie-Audrey Kautzmann, PhD, Khanh V. Do, PhD, Aram Asatryan, MD, William Gordon, PhD, Bok Kyoo Jun, PhD, and Thang Pham, PhD.

"Disruption of the Tetraspanin Membrane Lipidome, ACE2 and Proteases to Block COVID-19 Entrance Into Human Pneumocytes in Primary Culture"


Augusto Ochoa, MD.

Team Members: John Cole, MD. and Matthew Dean, PhD.

"Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells and Arginine Depletion during COVID-19 Infection - Mechanisms and Clinical Outcome Implications "


Rinku Majumder, PhD, Pratyadipta Rudra, PhD, Judd Shellito, MD, and Sabyasachi Chatterjee, PhD.

"A Retrospective Study to Determine the Levels of Protein S, a Physiological Anticoagulant in COVID-19 Patients"


Shyamal Desai, PhD.

"ISGylation Blood Test for Diagnosing Asymptomatic and Symptomatic COVID-19 Patients"


Judd Shellito, MD, David Welsh, MD, Alistair Ramsay, PhD, Christopher Taylor, PhD, Robert Siggins, PhD, Meng Luo, PhD, and Min Gu, PhD.

"The Gut Microbiome and SARS-CoV-2 Infection"


Jennifer Cameron, PhD, and Timothy Foster, PhD.

"Aloxistatin as a Pan-Coronavirus Therapeutic Agent"


Michael Hagensee, MD, PhD, Jennifer Cameron, PhD, Alistair Ramsay, PhD, and Hui-Yi  Lin, PhD.

"Utilizing Quantitative COVID-19 Serological Testing to Determine Current Immune status and Predict Future Protection"






New Project Grants


Emma Schachner, PhD,  and Brandon Hedrick, PhD. 

"Evolution of Structure and Function in the Archosaurian Respiratory System"


Juan Gao, MD,

" Identification of a New Drug to Treat Polycystic Kidney"


Brandon Hedrick, PhD, and Emma Schachner, PhD.

"The Evolution of Limb Architecture in Bats as a Result of Ecology and Body Mass"



Resident Research Grants


Christopher Girardo, DO, and Ritu Bhalla, MD.

"CDX2 in Primary and Metastatic Prostate Adenocarcinoma "


Katharine Thomas, MD, and Ramcharan Thiagarajan, MD.

"Outcomes of Capecitabine and Temozolomide (CAPTEM) in Advanced Neuroendocrine Neoplasms (NENs)"


Sara Bressler, MD, and Michael Dunham, MD.

"A Microlaryngoscopy Surgical Simulator for Resecting Vocal Fold Carcinoma Incorporating Phantom Tumor Modeling and Oncologic Margin Detection "


Jourdain Artz, MD, and Gerhard Mundinger, MD.

"Can tDCS Improve Proficiency in Microsurgical Training?: A Pilot Study"


Kody Bolk, MD, and Michael Dunham, MD.

"A Surgical Site Evacuator for Open Airway Surgery"


Christine Settoon, MD, and Larissa Sweeny, MD.

"Characterization of the Pathogenesis and Tumor Microenvironment in Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma Tumors"


Ashley Kraft, MD,  and Rohan Wlavehar, MD.

"Novel Transoral Approach to the Hyold Bone - Reinventing Thyroglossal Duct Cyst Excision "