Skip to main content

Fall 2022 Awards

The fall 2022 round of funding was focused on recognizing the importance of fundamental research by supporting interdisciplinary, technology-focused, basic science research that can lead to new discoveries or technologies. Previous ECBR rounds have provided pilot support for Health Equity Research, COVID-19, Zika, Alzheimer’s Disease, Precision Healthcare and Vaping research.

“Biological Template for Sinoatrial (SA) Node Tissue Engineering”

Michael Bressan, PhD (Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology), Donald Freytes, PhD (Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering), Frank Conlon, PhD (professor, Biology and Genetics)

“Identifying the Role of Local Cell-Type Neighborhoods on Catecholamine-Induced Focal Necrosis”

Christoph Rau, PhD (Assistant Professor, Computational Medicine and Genetics), Jeremy Purvis, PhD (Associate Professor, Genetics)

“The New Metabolic Mouse Model for Immunometabolic Study of Regulatory T cells in Atherosclerosis”

Xianwen Yi, PhD (Assistant Professor, Surgery), Yisong Wan, PhD (Professor, Microbiology and Immunology)

Fall 2021 Awards

The Fall 2021 ECBR cycle partnered with both the North Carolina Translational Clinical Sciences Institute and the UNC Center for Health Equity Research to support projects that broadly address strategies for reducing health disparities and promoting equity for historically marginalized populations.

“Identifying Barriers to Participation in Prospective Autism Infant Sibling Research for Black Families: A Qualitative and Quantitative Approach”

Joseph Piven, MD (Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor, Psychiatry, Pedaitrics, Psychology, CIDD), Kelly Caravella, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow, Psychiatry, CIDD)

“Reducing Health Inequities in the Rapid Response System for Hospitalized Patients that Self-Identify their Primary Language as Spanish”

Evan Raff, MD (Assistant Professor, Medicine), Carlton Moore, L, MD, MS (Professor, Medicine), Lauren Raff, MD (Assistant Professor, Surgery)

Spring 2020 Awards

The purpose of the Spring 2020 challenge was to support the important efforts of our School of Medicine investigators to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by investing in projects that constitute critical research activities.

“Effect of Prior Pathogen Exposure on SARS-CoV-2 Pathogenesis and Immunity in Mice”

Victoria Baxter, DVM, PhD (Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), Mark Heise, PhD (Professor, Genetics and Microbiology and Immunology), Martin Ferris, PhD (Assistant Professor, Genetics)

“Measurement of Plasma Biomarkers to Determine the Mechanism of Coagulopathy in COVID-19 Patients”

Nigel Mackman, PhD, FAHA (John C. Parker Distinguished Professor, Medicine), Nigel Key, MB, ChB, FRCP (Harold R. Roberts Distinguished Professor, Medicine), Yohei Hisada, PhD (Research Associate, Medicine), Anton Ilich, MD (Postdoctoral Fellow, Medicine), C. Adrian Austin, MD, MSCR (Instructor, Medicine), Robert Hagan, MD, PhD (Clinical Instructor, Medicine), Jason Mock, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor, Medicine), William Fischer, MD (Associate Professor, Medicine), Claire Doerschuk, MD (Professor, Medicine, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine)

“Targeting the Coronavirus Envelope Protein (CoV E) for Development of Novel Treatments for COVID-19”

Martina Gentzsch, PhD (Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology), Andrei Aleksandrov, PhD (Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics), Raymond Pickles, PhD (Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology)

Fall 2019 Awards

This ECBR award cycle sought to support fundamental, technologically sophisticated, interdisciplinary, discovery research projects to recognize the importance of basic science research. Furthermore, due to the current vaping epidemic and reports on vaping related illnesses, basic science research related to vaping was considered as high-priority.

“Defining the Role of Xrn1-Resistant Viral RNA Stability in Replication of Mosquito-Borne and Tick-Borne Flaviviruses”

Qi Zhang, PhD (Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics), Helen Lazear, PhD (Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Immunology)

“Aai-Assessing Aedes Adaptation and Introgression using machine learning and population genomics”

Corbin Jones, PhD (Professor, Integrative Program for Biological and Genome Sciences, Biology), Ross Boyce, MD, Msc (Assistant Professor, Medicine), Dan Schrider, PhD (Assistant Professor, Genetics), Daniel Matute, PhD (Assistant Professor, Biology), Jeremy Wang, PhD (Research Assistant Professor, Genetics), Kara Moser, PhD (Post-Doctoral Fellow, Medicine)

“Peripheral and Central Immune Pathology Following Electronic Vaporization of Vitamin E Acetate in Male and Female Mice”

Melissa Herman, PhD (Assistant Professor, Pharmacology), Robert Tarran, PhD (Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology)

“A Mouse Genetics Approach to Understand E-cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI)” 

Samir Kelada, PhD (Associate Professor, Genetics, Medicine), Ilona Jaspers, PhD (Professor, Pediatrics), Timothy Moran, MD, PhD (Assistant Professor, Pediatrics)

“New insights into insulin-responsive LPL trafficking”

Saskia Neher, PhD (Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics), Stephanie Gupton, PhD (Associate Professor, Cell Biology and Physiology).


Summer 2018 Awards

The challenge of the 2018 ECBR award cycle was to identify studies focused on pressing issues in healthcare and precision medicine. Two teams received ECBR awards in 2018, and each award is for $50,000 for one year.

“Human centered-design to assess and address social determinants of health in maternity care”

Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc, Associate Professor of OB/GYN, Ana Whitney, MS, PMP, Population Health Project Manager in Practice Quality and Innovation, Kim Young-Wright, BA, Population Health Solutions Coach, Kristin Tully, PhD, Research Associate within the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, Sarah VerbiestDrPH, MSW, MPH, Director of the Jordan Institute for Families, Katherine Bryant, MA, MSPH, Program Manger within the Center for Maternal and Infant Health.

“Implementation of a Preemptive Approach to Pharmacogenomics in Oncology”

Jill Bates, PharmD, MS, BCOP, FASHP, Oncology Precision Medicine Pharmacist, William Kim, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Tim Wiltshire, PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Pharmacogenomics and Individualized Therapy, John Valgus, PharmD, MHA, BCOP, Assistant Director of Pharmacy, Scott Savage, PharmD, MS, Regional Director of Pharmacy.


Spring 2017 Awards

The focus for the 2017 ECBR Award was Alzheimer’s disease research.  Three teams received ECBR Awards in 2017.  Each award is for $50,000 for one year.

“Inflammation, Aging and Alzheimer Disease Vulnerability”

Rick Meeker, PhD, Research Professor of Neurology, and Todd Cohen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology.

“Aquaporin gene therapy for AD”

Aravind Asokan, PhD, Associate Professor of Genetics, and Juan Song, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology.

“Strategies from the Healthy Brain for Alzheimer’s Disease: Focus on miR-29”

Todd Cohen, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology; and Mohanish Deshmukh, PhD, Professor of Cell Biology & Physiology.


Spring 2016 Awards

The inaugural ECBR awards went to three teams working on the Zika virus.  Each award is for $50,000 for one year.  The intent of the awards is to support innovative, early stage research relevant to the priorities set by the NIH.

“Targets of Zika Virus in the Adult Brain”

Juan Song, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, and Helen Lazear, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.

“Understanding maternal-fetal Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in Colombia: From epidemiology to effective diagnostics and interventions”

Elizabeth Stringer, MD, Associate Professor of OB/GYN; Aravinda de Silva, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology; Jeff Stringer, MD, Professor of OB/GYN; Matt Collins, MD, PhD, Infectious Diseases Fellow; and Helen Lazear, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.

“Is Zika a sexually transmitted infection?”

Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine; Myron Cohen, MD, Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Health and the Yeargan-Bate Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology, and Epidemiology, Director of the Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases; and Filemon Bucardo, University of Nicaragua-Leon.