Funding News: AHW Announces $1 Million in Awards to Accelerate Collaborative Research Projects

July 22, 2020 Posted by AHW Endowment


The Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment (AHW) has announced the award of $1 million to four Medical College of Wisconsin-based collaborative health research projects aimed at improving health for residents statewide. 

“Fostering opportunities for research collaborations is critical to creating the new knowledge necessary to address Wisconsin’s health challenges,” said Dr. Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, director of the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment and senior associate dean at the Medical College of Wisconsin. “Through these awards, we are excited to advance research that has the potential to improve lives statewide.”

AHW, a statewide health philanthropy, was established by the Medical College of Wisconsin to serve as a resource to those working to advance health research, develop the health care and public health workforce, and support community health initiatives across the state. Through its Basic, Clinical, and Translational Research pathway, AHW drives research discoveries that can increase discovery, accelerate the translation and dissemination of new knowledge, and develop effective and sustainable research partnerships.

The following research projects began their work on July 1, 2020:

BCG Boosted CAR-T Cell Therapy to Treat Bladder Cancer ($250,000)
Principal Investigator: Weiguo Cui, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology
Co-Investigators: William See, MD, Urology; Bryon Johnson, PhD, Medicine
Investigating an innovative strategy to generate robust T cell responses in the bladder to treat bladder cancer and provide long-term protection from recurrence and metastasis.

Relationship Between Resting Metabolic Rate, Body Weight, and Gut Microbiome in African-Americans ($250,000)
Principal Investigator: Srividya Kidambi, MD, MS, Medicine
Co-Investigators: Justin L. Grobe, PhD, Physiology; John R. Kirby, PhD, Microbiology and Immunology; Joni Williams, MD, MPH, Medicine
Investigating differences in the resting metabolic rates and gut microbiota between African-American and Caucasian women to inform novel avenues to formulate therapeutics and preventive measures for obesity and cardiovascular disease.

The Role of LLGL1 in Cardiac Development and Regeneration ($250,000)
Principal Investigator: Brian A. Link, PhD, Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy
Co-Investigator: Caitlin C. O’Meara, PhD, Physiology
Investigating how the Hippo-Yap pathway can be regulated at a molecular level in the heart to inform therapeutic targets for stimulating the regeneration of adult heart muscle cells.

A Translational Study of Epigenetic and Neural Mechanisms of Risk Phenotypes for PTSD ($250,000)
Principal Investigator: Gwen Lomberk, PhD, Surgery
Co-Investigator: Terri deRoon-Cassini, PhD, Surgery
Investigating how patterns in DNA methylation and changes in brain function after traumatic injury may serve as indicators of risk for chronic PTSD to inform patient-centered screening and intervention approaches.