University of Alabama at Birmingham: O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center awards $950,000 in cancer-related research grants


The O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has announced its latest O’Neal Invests grants with awards worth $950,000 that will advance new cancer-related projects and initiatives and enable competitive extramural applications.

Two types of grants were awarded: Catalyst grants of $50,000 for one year and pre-R01 grants of $160,000 over two years. The eight awardees are:

Catalyst awards:

Christopher Willey, M.D., Ph.D., and Erin Ahn, Ph.D., for their project titled “Dissecting Alternative RNA Splicing Associated with Radiation Therapy Resistance in Glioblastoma.”
Braden McFarland, Ph.D., for her project titled “Employing Humanized Microbiome Mice to Understand Immune Activation and Translational Therapeutic Potential in Glioblastoma.”
Jianmei Leavenworth, Ph.D., and Pengfei Wang, Ph.D., for their project titled “New Effective Synthetic Adjuvant-Based Cancer Vaccines.”
Pre-R01 awards:

Pran Datta, Ph.D., for his project titled “Novel Functions of STRAP in Colon Cancer Chemoresistance.”
Jonathan McConathy, M.D., Ph.D., and Gregory Friedman, M.D., for their project titled “Hypoxia and Metabolic PET/MRI to Guide Oncolytic Viral Therapy for Malignant Brain Tumors.”
Smith Giri, M.D., for his project titled “Prehabilitation for Older Adults with Myeloma Receiving Stem Cell Transplant.”
Vikas Dudeja, M.D., for his project “TLR4 Agonists Stimulate CD4 Dependent Anti-Cancer Immune Response.”
Mythreye Karthikeyan, Ph.D., for her project titled “Role of Vascular CEMIP in Age Associated Ovarian Cancer Burden.”
There are two rounds of applications per year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Grant applications are peer-reviewed by a panel of UAB faculty. Letters of intent for the next round of O’Neal Invests grants are due Oct. 14, 2022. The final grants will be due Dec. 2, 2022.

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