2023 Department of Medicine Research Pilot Program Awards announced


Nine Department of Medicine (DOM) faculty and research staff recently received funding through the Research Pilot Program sponsored by the department’s Office of Research Services.

The program’s aim is to fund innovative basic, translational, clinical and/or health services research that aims to generate data, publications and/or research collaborations that will be used to support external grant applications by DOM faculty and research staff members.

Trainee Pilot Awards provide up to $10,000 for one year and support development of a solid research foundation, toward a career development award. This year’s recipients are: 

  • Lauren Banaszak, MD, fellow, Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care—Defining the genomic and transcriptomic landscape of telomere biology disorder to improve detection in adults
  • Jea Woo Kang, PhD, MS, research associate, Geriatrics and Gerontology—Short- and branched-chain fatty acids in fecal samples from Microbiome in Alzheimer’s Risk Study (MARS) participants and their impact on Alzheimer’s disease pathology
  • Amy Taylor, MD, fellow, Hematology, Medical Oncology and Palliative Care—Addressing Racial Disparities in Prostate Cancer via Liquid Biopsy Evaluation

Critical Experiment Pilot Awards provide up to $10,000 for one year to support the generation of necessary preliminary data for a manuscript or grant submission. This year’s recipients are:

  • Yuetiva Robles, PhD, research scientist, Geriatrics and Gerontology—Human host genetic variation and gut microbiome interactions in Alzheimer disease
  • Robert Striker, MD, PhD, associate professor, Infectious Disease—Universal and specific pathways to health in bone and immune recovery in treated HIV patients

Career Development Supplemental Pilot Award provides up to $30,000 to support new investigators with a multi-year, extramurally funded career development award. This year’s recipient is:

  • Farhan Raza, MD, assistant professor, Cardiovascular Medicine—Mechanisms of Right ventricular failure in HFpEF

General Pilot Awards provide up to $50,000 for one year to support the collection of pilot data for an upcoming grant submission or a project that represents a new research direction that is currently unfunded for an investigator. This year’s recipients are:

  • Ahmad Alshannaq, PhD, MS, research scientist, Infectious Disease—Antimicrobial activity of aspergillus oryzae fermentate against toxigenic strains of Clostridioides difficile
  • Loren Denlinger, MD, PhD, vice chair for clinical and translational research and William W. and Judith H. Busse Professor in Allergy and Asthma Research, Allergy, Pulmonary and Criticial Care Medicine—Ciliated Airway Epithelial Cell Recovery after Experimental Asthma Exacerbations
  • Anupama Joseph, MD, assistant professor, Cardiovascular Medicine—A Stakeholder-Engaged Approach to Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in the Forest County Potawatomi Tribe

Congratulations to all!