The Penn CNC’s Research Pilot Projects provided seed money to promote integrated basic, translational, and clinical research efforts with the potential to serve as the basis for longer-term funding from federal, foundation or corporate sources.
In order to qualify for funding, projects had to involve co-investigators from at-least two or more departments in the School of Medicine (SOM), or from one SOM department and one in another school.
Fifty-one proposals were submitted in response to the first round of call for applications. A Study Section representing senior neuroscience researchers from multiple departments within SOM as well as other Penn schools reviewed the proposals and selected 12 pilot projects for funding in the total amount of $884,637. These projects represent 15 different departments and four Penn schools.
As stipulated in the funding agreement, the investigators provided regular updates on the progress of their pilot projects. As of the final progress report submissions, in December 2008, the 12 projects had generated $8.2 million in external funding and 37 publications in academic journals.
The titles of the successful Collaborative Research Pilot projects and co-investigators for FY2007 are:
1. Optical Monitoring of Acute Stroke Patients (PI: Joel H. Greenberg, PhD-Neurology; Co-PIs: John A. Detre, MD-Neurology; Arjun G. Yodh, PhD-Radiation Oncology)
2. MONaKA: A Modulator of Normal and Pathogenic Neurotransmission (PI: Tanya S. Ferguson, PhD-Neuroscience; Co-PI: Michael Robinson, PhD-Pediatrics/Pharmacology [CHOP])
3. Informed Consent in Clinical Trials of Acute Neurological Emergencies (PI: Scott E. Kasner, MD-Neurology; Co-PIs: Jill M. Baren, MD-Emergency Medicine; Peter D. LeRoux, MD-Neurosurgery)
4. The Structure of Neurogenic Amyloid (PI: Paul H. Axelsen, PhD-Pharmacology; Co-PI: Robin M. Hochstrasser, PhD-Chemistry [SAS])
5. Valosin-Containing Protein and the Pathogenesis of Frontotemporal Dementia Associated with Inclusion Body Myopathy (PI: Mark S. Forman, PhD-Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Co-PI: J. Paul Taylor, MD, PhD-Neurology) [Note: PI Mark S. Forman, PhD has left Penn.]
6. Detailed Analysis of Hippocampal Recruitment for Implicit and Explicit Learning in Aging and Dementia (PI: Paul A. Yushkevich, PhD-Radiology; Co-PI: Murray Grossman, MD-Neurology)
7. Severe Sleepiness and the Unidentified 3rd Population of Wake-active Neurons in the Lateral Hypothalamus (PI: Max B. Kelz, MD, PhD-Anesthesiology; Co-PI: James Eberwine, PhD-Pharmacology)
8. Stress Pathways in Autism: Examination of a Genetic Mouse Model of Stress Sensitivity (PI: Tracy Bale, PhD-Neuroscience [Veterinary Medicine]; Co-PI: Edward (Ted) Brodkin, MD-Psychiatry)
9. Stress Reactivity and Pathogenesis of Depression (PI: Jionjiong Wang, PhD-Radiology; Co-PI: John P. O’Reardon, MD-Psychiatry)
10. Visual Cortex Structure and Function in Retinal Blindness and After Gene Therapy (PI: Geoffrey K. Aguirre, MD, PhD-Neurology; Co-PIs: David H. Brainard, PhD-Psychology (SAS); Gustavo Aguirre, VMD, PhD-Medical Genetics and Ophthalmology [Veterinary Medicine])
11. Development of a High-fidelity Recording System and a Quantitative Visual Activity Map for Online, Semi-automated, Objective, Functional Localization of Target Brain Structures during Deep-brain Stimulation Surgery for Movement Disorders (PI: Stephen Wong, MD-Neurology; Co-PIs: Gordon Baltuch, MD, PhD-Neurosurgery; Shabbar Danish, MD-Neurosurgery; Jurg L. Jaggi, PhD-Neurosurgery; Abba M. Krieger, PhD-Statistics [Wharton])
12. Light-activated Oligonucleotides for Spatiotemporal Gene Regulation in Neurons (PI: Ivan J. Dmochowski, PhD-Chemistry (SAS); Co-PI: James Eberwine, PhD-Pharmacology).