Category Archives: NIH

Health science researchers: Apply by November 17 for opportunity to receive release time next spring

Writing a quality proposal requires time, energy and thought, three commodities in short supply when you’re teaching a full class load. If you’re an A&T faculty researcher in health science who would benefit from release from one class to prepare a competitive proposal, we have an opportunity for you. And it’s an opportunity with a short turn-around time.

Applications are being taken through Monday November 17 for faculty release time from one class during the Spring 2015 semester to develop a proposal in the health science area in response to a solicitation from an external sponsor. The number of faculty members receiving funding will be limited only by the quality of proposals submitted by the November 17 deadline.

Apply only if you will work on a proposal due in late summer 2015 or early fall 2015. Spring 2015 deadlines are too close for faculty to benefit from this opportunity.

A question-and-answer session will be held on Wednesday November 5, 5:30 p.m., in the Fort IRC, Room 410.

Full details are here.

This is an especially good opportunity to collaborate with researchers at UNC Chapel Hill and RTI International, A&T’s partners in the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS).  A&T faculty members are encouraged, but not required, to consider how their research interests may coincide with the priorities of NC TraCS.

N.C. A&T’s Dr. Muganda to appear on UNC-TV report to speak on triple-negative breast cancer research

Dr. Perpetua Muganda, professor in A&T’s Department of Biology, will be featured in a segment on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Now this evening (October 15).  Muganda and a team of researchers from A&T and UNC-CH are investigating the role of viral factors in the aggressive nature of triple-negative breast cancer. Their work will be included in a special October report on breast cancer.

The program will air on UNC-TV at 7:30 p.m. EDT and on UNC-MX at 11 p.m.

Dr. Muganda’s study is funded by a grant from the NC TraCS Institute at UNC-CH and money from both universities.  A&T and RTI International are partners with UNC-CH on its current Clinical and Translational Sciences Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Research commercialization webinar course begins Tuesday, produced by NIH and free to researchers

What: Research Commercialization Introductory Course

When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., October 7 to November 20. Lecture 1: The Importance of Commercializing Research, Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 1:00 to 2:30 pm ET

Registration: The course is free.  Click this link to register for all sessions: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/158991634 (or copy and paste this URL to your browser: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/158991634).

Once registered, you will receive an email reminder 24 hours before each session.

About the course:

Each lecture is a live 90-minute online class with Q&A.

Now on its seventh run, the Research Commercialization Introductory Course is a popular online course designed to help science and engineering researchers better understand how research commercialization works. Over 5,000 students, faculty and researchers have taken this course since it’s been offered.

Research commercialization involves taking articles, documentation, know-how, patents, and copyrights, which are created during research activities and getting them to users and patients for real societal impacts. In some cases, commercialization involved taking patents based on the research and licensing them to a company. This usually involves also having the researchers consult to the company. In other cases, commercialization involves forming of creating a startup and applying to federally funded commercialization programs. In all cases, though, research commercialization typically involves defining the nature of the research being commercialized (e.g., in a patent or intellectual property agreement), establishing a commercial relationship with another party (e.g., employment, a sale or license), and negotiating a contract (e.g., compensation).

Areas covered in the course include intellectual property, patents, copyrights, trade secrets, trademarks, licensing agreements, employment agreements, consulting agreements, tech transfer, creating and funding companies, and federally funded Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs

Who should take this course?

The Research Commercialization Course is recommended for all science, engineering and medical researchers in public or private research institutions (e.g., grad students, post-docs, and faculty). This is an indispensable course for S&E grad students looking for jobs in the next 6-18 months.

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Welcome back! Here’s a summer news recap: Hypoallergenic peanuts, EPICS, NC TraCS & more

To all who were gone over the summer, welcome back. Here’s a rundown of the top research-related news at A&T since May:

Faculty members, department chairs, and deans: We want to write about your research, scholarly and creative activity!  Let us know about it; click here for email.

Advice on NC TraCS proposals available Tuesday

A leader of the NC TraCS Institute will visit campus on Tuesday and throughout the semester to answer faculty members’ questions about  biomedical, health sciences and translational research funded by the institute.

Dr. David Carroll, Director, Research Funding Development, will be be in the Fort IRC, Room 408, on Tuesday, August 12th, 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

If you or a colleague at A&T are working on an NC TraCS or NIH proposal or have questions about the NC TraCS/NIH proposal process, please click here to sign up for an appointment to meet with him.

Dr. Carroll will be on campus twice monthly this semester. Contact Dr. Laura Collins, 285-3188 for specific dates.

The next monthly NC TraCS $2K proposal deadlines are August 19 and September 16.

The next NC TraCS $50K proposal deadline is November 4.  These proposals require a biostats consultation in advance of submission.

NIH seeks input on racial disparities in R01 grants

National Institutes of Health logoFrom Dr. Richard Nakamura, director of the NIH Center for Scientific Review:

“We want you to know NIH is working on multiple fronts to get to the bottom of unexplained racial disparities in R01 grant funding and to maximize fairness in NIH peer review. Since the problems and the solutions are bigger than NIH, we have reached out to the scientific community and other concerned citizens for help. Now armed with a team of experts and a set of new initiatives, we’d like to tell you about our efforts to address this important issue –- particularly an exciting opportunity for you to submit your input.”

Click here to read Dr. Nakamura’s entire statement. And don’t overlook the comments, which range from insightful to shocked — “absolutely shocked” — that anyone would even suggest that bias exists in the peer review system.

Rhetoric note: There’s really nothing like using five exclamation points at the end of a sentence to underline the thoughtfulness of your argument.

A&T researcher’s work on COPD among ag workers wins support from NC TraCS program for scholars

Dr. Jenora Waterman has made one key discovery toward improving the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) among agricultural workers, and now she’s been accepted into a prestigious career development program to advance her research.

Headshot of Dr. Waterman

Dr. Jenora Waterman

Dr. Waterman is an assistant professor of functional genomics in the Department of Animal Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. COPD is a major cause of death in the United States, most typically found among smokers. A less studied aspect of the disease is the 7% of its U.S. victims who are agricultural workers. They can develop COPD as a result of long-term exposure to animal production facilities containing dust that contributes to respiratory diseases.

High-density swine production houses are one example of such facilities.

Dr. Waterman’s first key finding came from comparing pigs raised indoors with those raised outdoors. Pigs aren’t as severely affected by the dust as humans are, but her work demonstrated that their respiratory systems are uniquely adapted to their housing type.

“My lab recently showed for the first time that pigs reared indoors and those raised outdoors exhibit structural and cellular differences in their respiratory systems,” Dr. Waterman says.

“The next step will be studying those differences to identify potential biomarkers that could serve as diagnostic or prognostic markers of agriculture-related COPD in humans.”

Dr. Waterman will take that step as an NC TraCS K-Scholar, a professional development honor for junior faculty members funded through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program of the National Institutes of Health.

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A&T and UNC-CH researchers launch investigation into triple-negative breast cancer’s link to viral RNA

Researchers at N.C. A&T and UNC-Chapel Hill have been awarded a grant to investigate a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. The team will work to determine the role of viral factors in the virulent nature of triple-negative breast cancer.

Triple-negative breast cancer represents 15% to 20% of breast carcinomas. It is prevalent in younger women, African American women, and in women with BRCA1 gene mutations. This type of cancer is very aggressive, has a poor prognosis, fails to respond to conventional therapy, and appears in many forms. The causes and molecular basis of this cancer are currently unknown, though multiple factors, including viruses, may be involved.

Specifically, this pilot study will investigate the prevalence of three particular types of viral genetic material in triple negative breast tumors and determine what role these passenger virus genetic materials play in the cancer’s malignant properties and survival.

The study will be led by Dr. Perpetua Muganda, professor of biology at N.C. A&T. The team will include Dr. Scott Harrison, assistant professor of biology at A&T; Dr. Dukka KC, assistant professor of computational science and engineering at A&T; and Dr. Jan Prins, professor of computer science at UNC-CH.

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NIH, others change conflict of interest rules; comment period open for new A&T policy

Attention researchers with funding from the National Institutes of Health and other Public Health Service (PHS) agencies and those who are seeking PHS research funding:

PHS has revised its financial conflict of interest reporting requirements for applicants and awardees for proposals and SBIR/STTR Phase II cooperative agreements.

Effective August 24, these changes will affect all faculty and non-faculty EPA employees funded by NIH and the other PHS agencies. These agencies include:

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

N.C. A&T has drafted a financial conflict of interest policy in response to the PHS changes. The policy is open for comment until Monday August 20. An approved policy will be in place by August 24. The draft policy can be found here.

This page on the National Institutes of Health website has further information on changes to the PHS policy. Additional resources:

Zhan selected for NIH early-career program

Dr. Justin Zhan

Zhan

The National Institutes of Health have selected Dr. Justin Zhan to participate in the Early Career Reviewer program of the Center for Scientific Review.  Zhan is an associate professor of computer science at N.C. A&T.

The center evaluates NIH research grant applications through peer review groups.  The Early Career Reviewer program provides review experience to qualified scientists who haven’t previously had the opportunity to participate.  This experience also benefits researchers in developing grant applications for their own research.

The program was launched last year.  Background on the program and information on how researchers can apply are available at the program’s website.

Zhan’s research interests include information assurance and cyber security, social computing and social behavior modeling, and biomedical computing. He is the director of the iLab in the Department of Computer Science, which facilitates problem-driven interdisciplinary research on human-natural systems.

He has previously been a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Center for the Protection of Financial Infrastructure at South Dakota State University. He is editor-in-chief of two scholarly journals, the International Journal of Privacy, Security and Integrity, and the International Journal of Social Computing and Cyber-Physical Systems.

The NIH peer review process is designed to ensure that grant applications are evaluated through a process that is fair, equitable, timely, and free of bias. A two-level peer review system is mandated by federal law.  Initial reviews are conducted primarily by non-federal scientists with expertise in relevant scientific disciplines and current research. The second level of review is performed by the national advisory councils or boards of NIH institutes and centers.