OVPR Announces Inaugural Therapeutics Awards

Researcher in the School of Pharmacy on Nov. 8, 2018. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)
Researcher in the School of Pharmacy on Nov. 8, 2018. (Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) recently announced recipients in the inaugural funding round for the Program in Accelerated Therapeutics for Healthcare (PATH). PATH is a partnership that includes the OVPR, the School of Pharmacy, and the School of Medicine to accelerate the translational pathway for researchers to convert their discoveries to new medical therapeutics.

Under PATH, funding is provided to academic research programs designed to quickly develop novel therapeutic approaches focusing on well validated molecular targets for specific disease areas with an unmet treatment need in the current commercial marketplace. Projects focusing on a wide range of therapeutic interventions (small molecule, biologic, antibody, peptide, gene therapy) are eligible for consideration.

Seven PATH grants were awarded in two categories after a selective competition.

PATH Trailblazer Grants – $75,000

Xiuling Lu, Pharmaceutical Science
Cutting Cancer at Its Root: Inhibition of Acute Leukemic Stem Cells Using Doxorubicin-Loaded Nanoparticles 

Jessica Rouge, Chemistry
Determining the pharmacology of a novel DNAzyme-therapeutic formulation for the treatment of allergic airway disease

PATH Ascent Grants – $10,000

Brian Aneskievich, Pharmaceutical Science
Establishing Protein Conformational Flexibility to Enhance Next-Step Drug-Screen Targeting

Nicholas Leadbeater, Chemistry
Towards Development of Novel Therapeutics for Treatment of Toxoplasmosis

Rajkumar Verma, Neuroscience, UConn Health
Discovery of novel purinergic P2X4 receptor antagonist for the treatment of ischemic stroke

Simon White, Molecular and Cell Biology
Screening for small molecule inhibitors against Enterovirus D68 2C helicase

Ming Xu, Genetics and Genome Sciences, UConn Health
Discover drugs targeting cellular senescence to improve healthspan and lifespan

For more information about PATH, visit the program website.


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