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Grants encourage innovative research

Worcester Foundation Grants allow researchers to explore promising work

By Ellie Castano

UMass Medical School Communications

July 27, 2011

The Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research (WFBR) has chosen 12 promising UMMS scientists to receive 2011 Worcester Foundation Grants, continuing a tradition of sowing seeds for innovative research across a broad array of disciplines. 

These grants of $35,000 each allow researchers to pursue innovative research for which they may not currently have funding, enabling them to produce preliminary data they can use to compete for federal and other funding. The grants are supported by contributions to the Annual Research Fund and the Hudson Hoagland Society. Past grants have accelerated research in cancer, heart disease, ALS, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, RNA interference (gene silencing) and stem cell research, and represent some of the most innovative and medically promising work being done at UMass Medical School. 

The following grants were awarded: 

Eric Baehrecke, PhD, professor of cancer biology: Identification of genes that are required for cancer initiation and metastasis 

Daryl Bosco, PhD, assistant professor of neurology: 
Defective stress responses and alterstress granual function in neurodegeneration 

Edwin Boudreaux, PhD, professor of emergency medicine and psychiatry: 
Using volunteers to deliver tobacco cessation interventions in the emergency department 

Raphael Carandang, MD, assistant professor of neurology: 
Genetic determination of post-traumatic cerebral edema: A pilot study 

Craig Ceol, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine: 
Use of comparative genomics to identify oncogenes 

Gang Han, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology: 
Near infared emitting upconverting nanoparticles for in vivo imaging of siRNA delivery and silencing in neurodegenerative disease management 

Hemant Khanna, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology: 
Pathogenic mechanisms of CEP290-associated early childhood blindness disorder Leber Congenital Amaurosis 

Andrei Korosatelev, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry & molecular pharmacology: 
Structural basis for translation regulation of proto-oncogene c-Myc 

Carlos Lois, PhD, associate professor in neurobiology: 
A songbird transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease

Junhao Mao, PhD, assistant professor of cancer biology:
 Non-canonical Gli regulation in pancreatic cancer 

Klaus Pechhold, MD, associate professor of medicine: 
Gene expression profiling of newly developing islet 6-cells in adult mice 

Joel Richter, PhD, professor of molecular medicine: 

Correcting the Fragile-X Syndrome