Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer names faculty and student recipients of research grants for 2018

Published: November 29, 2017
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The Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer, or AURIC, has announced the recipients for its 2018 research grants programs for faculty and students.

A total of two major grants; four seed grants; and 10 graduate fellowship grants were awarded for the 2018 academic year, announced AURIC director Dr. Bruce Smith.

“These grants highlight the cutting-edge cancer research being performed by AURIC,” Smith said.

Major grant awards are $200,000 to support two years of the selected research program. Recipients are chosen on a competitive basis, Smith says.

“Collaborative teams participate in a three-step process for these funds,” Smith said. “They first attend a team-building meeting where they present the strategy and approach for pursuing their grant application and recruit additional researchers to join their team. They then develop a pre-proposal that outlines their plan. After review and selections by the grant committee, full proposals are developed and presented. It is a very rigorous process.”

A key component of the requirement on recipient research teams is that they must apply for external funding at the end of their major grant.

“These major grants from AURIC only are intended to take excellent cancer research programs partly through,” Smith said. “Programs that are good enough to be awarded a major AURIC grant are expected to be good enough to compete and to receive much larger external support funds.”

AURIC seed grants are in the amount of $20,000 for one year. Selection also is by competitive process. Although not as rigorous as the major grant competition, seed grant recipients also present a strategy for their research and are expected to seek external funding at some point during their progress.

Graduate research fellowships are awarded to doctoral students who are engaged in cancer research. These fellowships provide a stipend to help support the student’s work and may be renewed for up to three years with sufficient progress demonstrated during the previous year, according to Smith.

“Seven of the 2017 fellowship recipients were renewed for 2018, and three new fellowships were selected for a first time in the 2018 rounds,” Smith said.

2018 AURIC research grant recipients are:

Major Grants Program ($200,000 for two years)

  • “Nanoencapsulation to Enhance the Tumor Suppressing Effects of Checkpoint Inhibitors and Immunostimulants,” led by Dr. Allan E. David, Department of Chemical Engineering.

  • “Transcriptomic Analysis of Canine Tumors for Precision Medicine Applications,” led by Dr. Bruce F. Smith, Scott-Ritchey Research Center.

Seed Grants Program ($20,000 for one year)

  • “Mammaglobin -- An Immunogenicity in Canine Mammary Cancer Vaccine Development,” led by Dr. R. Curtis Bird, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • “Racial disparities in glucose-lowering therapies use and survival outcomes among breast cancer patients with co-existing type 2 diabetes,” led by Dr. Edward Chou, Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, Harrison School of Pharmacy.

  • “Cellulose Nanocrystal Cantilever Beam Array MEMS for Early Cancer Detection,” led by Dr. Virginia A. Davis, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

  • “Evaluation of zoledronate for the treatment of canine metastatic osteosarcoma,” led by Dr. Annette N. Smith, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine.

 

Graduate Fellowship Recipients and their Mentors

  • Madison Chandler with Dr. Nancy Merner, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Ning Chen with Dr. Richard Hansen, Dean, Harrison School of Pharmacy. 

  • Richard Cullum with Dr. Allan David, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and Dr. David Riese, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy.

  • Iman Hassani with Dr. Elizabeth Lipke, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

  • Shanese Jasper with Dr. Robert Arnold, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy.

  • Partha Saha with Dr. Virginia Davis, Dr. Robert Ashurst, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

  • Barry Yeh with Dr. Allan David, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

  • Nichole Habbit with Dr. Elizabeth Lipke, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

  • Anna Huskey with Dr. Nancy Merner, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Prachi Sangle with Dr. Allan David, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.