Jointly funded projects address the partnerships’ priorities in clinical and translational research.
After a successful initial set of collaborative research projects in 2016, Carle Foundation and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign opened up the second round of seed funding to investigators and clinicians earlier this spring. The recent call for proposals specified that funding would focus on projects relating to four priority areas: population health, imaging, data analytics, and rural health. Carle and Illinois are pleased to announce that five proposals have been selected to receive support.
Neal Cohen, founding director of the Interdisciplinary Health Science Institute (IHSI) at Illinois, said senior leadership at both institutions identified the priority areas, which help provide focus and promote real opportunities to improve positive health outcomes.
“For the second year in a row, there was a robust response from researchers to our call for proposals,” Cohen said. “As barriers to doing clinical and translational research at Illinois continue to be lowered, coupled with innovative proposals of such a high caliber, the review committee faced the difficult task of selecting only a small number of projects to fund.”
Proposals were required to list a lead investigator from both Carle and Illinois on the project, as well as demonstrate a strong connection between physicians and faculty. Each of the one-year projects receives $50,000 in research funding.
The Carle Illinois Collaborative Research Seed Program chose to fund the following proposals:
- Measuring cerebral spinal fluid shunt flow with MRI using flow enhancement of signal intensity (Shunt-FENSI) (Illinois PI: Brad Sutton; Carle PI: Jason Huston)
- Improving quantitative molecular imaging accuracy in clinical practice and assessing response to therapy (Illinois PI: Shiva Abbaszadeh; Carle PI: Brett Yockey)
- Patient specific models for virtual prototyping and 3D printing: simulation-based imaging to predict risk of peripheral vascular complications in TAVR (Illinois PI: Arif Masud; Carle PI: Naveed Adoni)
- Impact of hormonal changes and environmental chemicals on sleep disruptions in a population of menopausal women (Illinois PI: Megan Mahoney; Carle PI: Charles Davies)
- Infrared spectroscopic imaging based histopathology and subtype classification of B-cell lymphomas (Illinois PI: Rohit Bhargava; Carle PI: Priyank Patel)
Jennifer Eardley, vice president for research at Carle, said one of the goals of the program is to enable collaborators to acquire preliminary data for subsequent external collaborative grant applications.
“The financial seeding of collaborative projects provides a jumpstart and can help researchers get new ideas off the ground that should eventually attract larger private or federal funding,” Eardley said. “This investment is a catalyst for researchers that can eventually lead to solutions to some of today’s clinical challenges.”
A couple of the program’s initial seed project teams are already making strides toward landing external funding to extend their collaborative work. Illinois Professor Jacob Sosnoff and Carle’s Dr. Sanjiv Jain applied for an R21 grant last fall and have an R01 grant submission to the National Institutes of Health currently in progress. Another collaboration, involving Illinois PI Dipanjan Pan and Carle PI Blair Rowitz is actively pursuing outside funding based upon initial results from a feasibility study of their research. The first round of projects will wrap up by the end of 2017, while the second round is underway. The program’s third call for proposals is expected to be announced during the 2017-2018 academic year, pending available funding.
For more information about the Carle Illinois Collaborative Research Seed Funding Program or the projects awarded, contact Ruth Sosnoff at email@example.com/217-300-3223.