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$320,000 in seed funding awarded for medical research
By Chris Barnett / July 15, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded more than $320,000 in seed funding for 22 promising medical research projects ranging from developing a cloud-based speech system for people with Parkinson’s Disease to exploring effective weight-management plans for people who have kicked the smoking habit.  

“Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to provide critical early funding to local researchers working to advance medical breakthroughs,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “Many of our donors have recognized that Rhode Island’s research infrastructure is one of our state’s strongest assets and made it possible to support and encourage this promising work.”

A review panel made up of scientists and physicians assisted the Foundation in reviewing the medical research proposals. The recipients are: 

University of Rhode Island received $15,000 for "Cloud-connected Mobile Speech Analysis System for People with Parkinson's Disease" led by Dr. Kunal Mankodiya.

University of Rhode Island received $15,000 for "3D Air-grown Lung Cancer Spheroid Models for the Evaluation of Aerosol" led by Dr. Samantha Meenach.

University of Rhode Island received $15,000 for "Validation of T-cell Epitope for Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Vaccine against Nosocomial Infection" led by Dr. Rui Lui.

University of Rhode Island received $14,973 for "Remotely-activated Biomaterials for Regenerating Mature Vascular" led by Dr. Stephen Kennedy.

University of Rhode Island received $15,000 for "Constructing an Integrated Database of PPI Molecular Regulation" led by Dr. Ying Zhang.

University of Rhode Island Foundation received $15,000 for "Development of Tissue-specific Nrf2 Inhibitors Towards Chemoresistance and Target Therapy" led by Dr. Lynnie Trzoss.

University of Rhode Island Foundation received $15,000 for "Mechanism of Nickel's Toxicity on DNA Repair Enzymes and Its Carcinogenicity" led by Dr. Deyu Li.

Brown University received $15,000 for “The Lung Microbiome and Pulmonary Disease Resilience” led by Dr. Amanda Jamieson.

Brown University received $15,000 for “Modulation of Attentional States on Motor Learning” led by Dr. Joo-Hyun Song.

Brown University received $15,000 for “Neuronal Mechanisms Underlying Rewarding Memories of Alcohol Intoxication” led by Dr. Karla Kaun.

Brown University received $15,000 for “Understanding Human Cardiomyocyte Function for Tissue Engineering and Heart Repair” led by Dr. Kareen Coulombe.

Brown University received $15,000 for “Targeting the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) Using 3D Tumor Spheroids” led by Dr. Ian Wong.

Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island received $7,635 for “Skeletal-related Events in Medicare Beneficiaries with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia” led by Dr.  Adam Olszewski.

Providence College received $14,100 “Establishing in Situ Metabolic Approaches for the Study of Gliomas in Drosophila” led by Dr. Marla Tipping.

Providence College received $15,000 for t“An Animal Model for Sociality and Cognitive Processing to Treat Memory Disorders” led by Dr. Victoria Templer.

Rhode Island Hospital received $15,000 for “Exploring MIG and IP-10 as early diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in gastric cancer” led by Dr. Songhua Zhang.

Rhode Island Hospital received $15,000 for the research project entitled “The Role of Lipid Phosphatase SHIP in Skeletal Development and Disease” led by Dr. Olin Liang.

Rhode Island Hospital received $15,000 for “Seat Checks in Pediatric Practice (SCiPP)” led by Dr. Dina Morrissey.

Rhode Island Hospital received $15,000 for “Evaluation of Novel Malaria Transmission Blocking Vaccine Candidate Antigens” led by Dr.  Christian Nixon.

Rhode Island Hospital received $15,000 for “Contingency Management for Weight Maintenance after Smoking Cessation” led by Dr. Erika Bloom.

Rhode Island Hospital received $15,000 for “Contribution of Hedgehog Signaling Pathway to Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma” led by Dr. Shaolei Lu.

Rhode Island Hospital received $15,000 for “RNA Therapy for Post-Traumatic Osteoarthritis via Highly-Effective Nanopieces” led by Dr. Yupeng Chen.

The funding came through 18 endowments at the Foundation that are designated for medical research to help emerging junior investigators achieve permanent funding from national sources: Marquise d’ Andigne Fund, Alice W. Bliss Memorial Fund, Charles V. Chapin Fellowship Fund, Anne Elizabeth Chase Fund, Samuel J. and Ester Chester Medical Research, Gilbert Clappin, Jr. Memorial Fund, Clean Competition, Frieda Dengal Fund, the Charles Goss Memorial Fund, Haire Family Fund, Herbert E. Hopkins Fund, Alice Newton, Phebe Parker Fund, Edythe K. and Jane E. Richmond Memorial Cancer Fund, John O. Strom Fund, Helen Walker Raleigh Vision Fund, Colonel Lee Walton and Xenia Roberts Memorial Foundation and Mary A. Young Cancer Fund.

With this round of funding, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 million in grants for medical research since 2008.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.

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