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More than $2 million will support College of Medicine projects

Faculty members at Penn State College of Medicine received more than $2 million in funds this fall to continue their work investigating novel cancer treatments, outcomes for adopted children and treatment of neurological disorders.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Katheine Aird, PhD

Katheine Aird, PhD

Cyclin E-dependent metabolic vulnerabilities in ovarian cancer

Investigator: Katherine Aird, PhD, assistant professor of cellular and molecular physiology

Grant amount: $780,000

Awarded by: American Cancer Society

Goal: This study will build upon recent findings and seeks to understand why approximately 20 percent of ovarian cancer patients are resistant to U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies known as poly adenosine diphosphate ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors.

Aird and members of her lab will study the biology of this resistance and use it as a way to sensitize these types of ovarian cancers to PARP inhibitors.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Brian Allen, PsyD

Brian Allen, PsyD

Pennsylvania Adoptees Longitudinal Study (PALS)

Investigator: Brian Allen, PsyD, associate professor of pediatrics and psychiatry

Grant amount: $650,262 ($3,083,389 anticipated through August 2024)

Awarded by: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Goal: This study will examine various factors within the home of children adopted from the child welfare system that may impact their future development.

Results will yield clues on how providers may better serve adopted children and their families.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of Steven Schiff, MD, PhD

Steven Schiff, MD, PhD

Collaborative research in computational neuroscience: State-dependent control for brain modulation

Investigator: Steven Schiff, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery and Brush Chair Professor of Engineering

Grant amount: $347,038 ($1,039,579 anticipated through May 2020)

Awarded by: National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Goal: These funds will support the continued investigation of how electrical activity in the brain is related to disease.

It will build upon prior work that demonstrated it is possible to electrically suppress seizures and spreading depression.

Understanding these mechanisms can better help researchers improve the treatment of conditions, including epilepsy, migraines, traumatic brain injury and stroke.

A head-and-shoulders professional photo of John Elfar, MD

John Elfar, MD

Novel deployable diagnostic use of 4-aminopyridine for peripheral nerve injury

Investigator: John Elfar, MD, Michael and Myrtle Baker Professor and vice chair for Research in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation; professor of public health sciences and neural and behavioral sciences

Grant amount: $521,097

Awarded by: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command

Goal: These funds will be used to investigate whether 4-aminopyridine, commonly used to treat multiple sclerosis, can be used to help diagnose and treat traumatic peripheral nerve injuries, which are difficult to diagnose in trauma patients by current methods.

Other awards

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