RESEARCH INKLINGS Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative
The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain, elucidating how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought. These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and to shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior. This Presidential Grand Challenge aims to provide an initial commitment of
approximately $100 million to fund the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and National Science Foundation (NSF). NIH is working in close collaboration with other government agencies, including DARPA and NSF. Federal research agencies will partner with companies, foundations, and private research institutions that are also investing in relevant neuroscience research, such as the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Kavli Foundation, and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
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AUGUST 2013 In this Issue: P2
HCC Recruits Cancer Stem Cell Expert
NIH Issues New PHS 398 Forms and SF424
MUSC Researchers Study the Human Brain
Biomedical Informatics Center
New Surgeon & Clinical Director of Oncology at HCC
New Features â€“ Research Funding Alerts
MUSC FRD Innovation Award
Resources & Scientific Environment Revised Edition
Special appreciation goes to Drs. Peter Kalivas and Truman Brown for their leadership and guidance with the BRAIN initiative article.
Research INKlings is an on-line Newsletter prepared by the Office of Research Development providing research news, policy changes and other relevant information for MUSC faculty, staff and students.
SmartState™ Endowed Chair Hollings Cancer Center Recruits Cancer Stem Cell Expert The Hollings Cancer Center has recruited top cancer stem cell immunologist, Dr. Xue-Zhong Yu to MUSC. Dr. Yu will hold the Robert K. Stuart Distinguished Endowed Chair in Hematology/Oncology, the second chair within the SmartState™ Cancer Stem Cell Biology and Therapy Center of Economic Excellence. Dr. Yu is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Department of Medicine. The focus of Dr. Yu’s research is the biology of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and graftversus-leukemia (GVL) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The ultimate goal of these studies is to prevent or treat GVHD while preserving GVL effect, which could greatly enhance the therapeutic potential of HSCT.
The SmartState™ Center focuses on developing new technologies for isolating, growing, and manipulating cancer stem cells. Cancer stem cells are adult stem cells that have the ability to reproduce themselves and develop into cancer. Dr. Zihai Li, an expert in the field of cancer immunology, holds the second chair within the SmartState™ Center. His research is contributing to helping the body's immune system recognize and fight cancer cells and control tumor growth. Dr. Li serves as the chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. This SmartState™ Center is a collaborative effort between the MUSC and Clemson University.
Multi-Project Applications â€“ Go Electronic The National Institutes of Health (NIH) piloted the ASSIST service for the electronic preparation and submission of multi-project applications. After piloting several funding opportunities from start to finish, lots of applicant feedback, and numerous system, instruction and process enhancements in place, NIH is ready to move ahead and has announced an adjusted transition schedule (NOT-OD-13-075). The transition to electronic application submission will occur on a program-by-program basis starting with September 25, 2013 deadlines for program project/center grants (P01, P20, P50) and cooperative agreements (U19, U24).
As part of the transition process, R24 and U24 activity codes have been designated as single project activity codes and will require submission using grants.gov downloadable forms rather than ASSIST. The Office of Research & Sponsored Program (ORSP) has confirmed that Cayuse 424 will be able to support electronic submission of NIH Multi-Project applications as NIH transitions programs to require electronic application submission. If you are planning to submit a multi-project application, please consult the updated timeline to see when these changes apply to your application.
Important Changes for Applications due on or after September 25, 2013
NIH Issues New PHS 398 Forms and SF424 (R&R) Instructions Required for Applications The National Institutes of Health has announced the availability of new application instructions and forms for paper-based PHS 398 applications and new Application Guide instructions for electronic SF424 (R&R) applications. The new application instructions and forms must be used for applications for due dates on or after September 25, 2013. All PHS 398 paper application submissions intended for due dates on or after September 25, 2013, must use the new 8/2012 version of the PHS 398 instructions and forms. The 06/09 version of the form is still available to use for funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) that have due dates prior to September 25, 2013. As NIH announced in Notice NOT-OD-13-074 in May, applications using electronic forms will transition to new forms identified with a Competition ID of FORMS-C. Application instructions for FORMS-C are now available. Applicants must return to the FOA or the reissued Parent Announcement to download the new application forms for due dates on or after September 25, 2013. At this time, NIH has revised the general Application Guide for Forms-B and Forms-C. NIH plans to post the SF 424 (R&R) Individual Fellowship Application Guide for NIH and AHRQ in late Fall 2013, and the SF 424 (R&R) SBIR/STTR Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies in Spring 2014.
MUSC Scientists Study the Human Brain This new BRAIN initiative plans to accelerate discoveries using high-resolution imaging technologies to observe how the brain is structurally and functionally connected in living humans. With this initial federal investment in brain research, scientists may discover new tools and techniques they need to develop a dynamic picture of the human brain. At the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), several researchers are expanding our knowledge of the brain by studying technological innovations.
Neurobiology of Addiction Research Center The Neurobiology of Addiction Research Center (NARC) is an NIH-funded center that explores the neurocircuitry mediating cocaine addiction. The NARC researchers include Dr. Peter W. Kalivas, Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Neurosciences; Dr. Gary S. Aston-Jones, Professor of Neurosciences, Murray Chair of Excellence in Neuroscience, and the Director of the Neuroscience Institute; Dr. Jacqueline McGinty, Professor of Neurosciences, Acting Dean of the College of Graduate Studies; Dr. Arthur Riegel, Assistant Professor of Neurosciences; and Dr. Antonieta Lavin, Associate Professor of Neurosciences. These investigators are employing new optogenetic and transgenic receptor technologies to manipulate brain circuitry to understand how synaptic neuroplasticity can be manipulated to cure addiction. Dr. Andy Shih who is using in vivo multiphoton imaging to assess how the micro-vasculature is coupled to brain energetics, and how microstrokes affect neurometabolic coupling and lead to memory deficits. Dr. Prakash Kara, Associate Professor of Neurosciences, uses a similar technology to examine synaptic and cell signaling plasticity in visual cortex.
Center for Biomedical Imaging The University-designated Center for Biomedical Imaging (CBI) provides cutting-edge imaging resources to advance imaging, train and mentor young scientists, and provide collaborative opportunities for basic and clinical faculty to discover new ways to study diseases and disease processes. Dr. Joseph A. Helpern, SmartState™ Endowed Chair, Director of the CBI, and a professor in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, is an internationally renowned MRI physicist. Dr. Helpern, recognized as a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research, has developed new brain imaging technology called Diffusional Kurtosis Imaging (DKI) to study the micro-architecture of the brain and water diffusion. Using DKI, Dr. Helpern and his colleagues, Drs. Jens Jensen and Ali Tabesh, both faculty in the Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, are working to diagnose disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD and epilepsy in their early stages. Siemens Medical has licensed Dr. Helpern’s DKI technology. As the Scientific Director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging, Dr. Truman R. Brown uses simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study Alzheimer’s and other neurological disease. EEG is much faster than the fMRI, but fMRI provides better imaging of the deep structures of the brain. Dr. Brown believes that harnessing the power of both to study brain activity in the same subject performing a given task and noting correlations between the findings could help us better pinpoint early changes in the brains of those with
MUSC Scientists Study the Human Brain Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other degenerative neurologic disease, potentially allowing for preventive measures to be taken before the worst of the damage is done. Recognized as a Distinguished Investigator of the Academy of Radiology Research, Dr. Brown serves as the Stephen Schabel Professor of Radiology and Radiological Science. Dr. Colleen A. Hanlon, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and faculty in the CBI, studies ways to improve substance abuse treatment outcomes through the identification and stimulation of neural circuits that are affected in chronically relapsing addicts. Fellow colleague in the department and CBI, Dr. James J. Prisciandaro’s interests include neuroimaging and substance use disorders among others.
Neuroimaging Division The Neuroimaging Division was established to provide support for the thriving neuroimaging research within the Department of Neurosciences. The team, led by Dr. Jane Joseph, offers imaging analysis support and study design consultation for basic, translational and clinical researchers. The division works closely with the Center for Biomedical Imaging. Research in the Brain, Cognition and Development laboratory of Dr. Jane E. Joseph, Professor of Neurosciences, focuses on the neural basis of various cognitive and affective behaviors throughout the human lifespan. One of Dr. Joseph’s current research project focuses on functional and anatomical brain developmental associated with face recognition in both typical and atypical development like autism. The Joseph laboratory uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and cutting-edge network analysis techniques to discover how different brain components communicate.
Using fMRI and computational modeling, Dr. Thomas P. Naselaris, Assistant Professor in Neurosciences, studies how the human visual system interprets and generates complex images. Working as a physician-scientist with MUSC’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and the Department of Neurosciences, Dr. Leonardo Bonilha is devoted to studying epilepsy, and understanding why seizures can be very difficult to control in spite of medication or surgery. Dr. Brett Froeliger, an experimental psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurosciences and Psychiatry, directs the Translational Research of Addiction and Integrative Neurosciences (TRAIN) lab. His research interest is focused on psychiatric populations that are particularly vulnerable to becoming dependent on nicotine and have a more difficult time quitting, including individuals suffering from major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Brain Stimulation Laboratory A pioneer in the field, Dr. Mark S. George, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurosciences, serves as the founder of the MUSC’s Brain Stimulation Laboratory (BSL). The BSL mission is to use advanced brain imaging methods to develop hypotheses about regional brain dysfunction in neuropsychiatric diseases and then to use the ever-expanding toolkit of brain stimulation methods to test whether these brain-behavior theories are correct. MUSC’s team members are world leaders in these specialized techniques: transcranial magnetic stimulation, Vagus nerve stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, electroconvulsive therapy, deep brain stimulation, and epidural cortical stimulation.
Translational Researchers Receive Funding to Create a Biomedical Informatics Center The review board that oversees the state's Centers of Economic Excellence (SmartState™) Program has approved state funding for a new Center of Economic Excellence. The newly approved Translational Biomedical Informatics SmartState™ Center plans to provide the critical mass of informatics experts to establish a state-of-the art Biomedical Informatics research hub in South Carolina, with an academic center at MUSC within the framework of the South Carolina Clinical & Translational Research Institute (SCTR).
Dr. Kathleen Brady
In collaboration with the University of South Carolina (USC), Clemson University, and Health Sciences South Carolina (HSSC), the center's research will integrate with other IT organizations statewide to achieve a progressive vision of 21st century medicine that is personalized, preventative, predictable, and participatory. In total, the Translational Biomedical Informatics SmartState™ Center received a $2 million award, which must be matched by private, federal or municipal funds.
Dr. Jihad Obeid
Dr. Kathleen T. Brady, Associate Provost for Clinical & Translational Science and Professor in the College of Medicine, will lead the project and will work with Dr. Jihad Obeid, Endowed Chair for Biomedical Informatics in Patient Safety and Clinical Effectiveness SmartState™ Center at MUSC; Dr. Jay Moskowitz, President of HSSC and Endowed Chair of the Healthcare Quality SmartState™ Center at USC; and Dr. James R. “Jim” Bottum, Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer for Computing and Information Technology at Clemson University.
"Through methodological contributions to data sharing and analysis, the Center will help to decrease cost and increase efficiency of our healthcare delivery and promote the development of cutting-edge technologies, “ Brady said. "In addition, this Center will enhance the state’s knowledge base in biomedical informatics by providing targeted instruction in master’s and doctoral-level degree programs, effectively establishing a continuum of formal informatics training programs.” "In addition to the statewide collaborations, the new center will act as the catalyst for extramural and interprofessional biomedical informatics research activities across MUSC campus, " said Dr. Stephen Lanier, Associate Provost for Research. "Another goal of the Center is strengthen the potential for research funding, industry partnerships and entrepreneurial opportunities in the biomedical informatics area in South Carolina.” The SC Centers of Economic Excellence Program was established by the South Carolina General Assembly in 2002. The legislation authorizes the state's three public research institutions (Clemson, MUSC and USC) to use state funds to create Centers of Economic Excellence in research areas that will advance South Carolina's economy.
New Surgeon and Clinical Director of Oncology at the Hollings Cancer Center Kevin F. StaveleyO'Carroll, MD, PhD is a new addition to the Hollings Cancer Center leadership team. He serves as the Alice Ruth Reeves Folk Endowed Chair in Clinical Oncology, Professor of Surgery, and the Hollings Cancer Center's Medical Director of the Center's Oncology Service Line. Dr. Staveley-O'Carroll works closely with the MUSC hospital administration and the MUSC physician's practice plan to ensure that cancer physicians and health professional teams deliver top quality care in both inpatient and outpatient settings. As a physician-scientist, one of his goals is to translate his basic research into clinical practice. One of his studies on the effects of opioid growth factor on the growth of hepatocellular cancer led directly to an investigator-initiated Phase I clinical trial that is nearing completion. Before his recruitment to MUSC, Dr. Staveley-O'Carroll served as Professor of Surgery at Penn State University, where he established one of 15 hepatobiliary surgical fellowships in North America and was elected as President of the Association for Academic Surgery, the largest organization of academic surgeons in the world.
New Features Added to the Research Funding Alerts The Office of Research Development (ORD) has been working in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), Research and Academic Information System team, to enhance the Research Funding Alerts (RFAs). These new features allow investigators to view funding opportunities by keywords, sort by multiple sponsors (DOD, NIH, NSF, Foundations), and review current funding opportunities in a user-friendly format. Â The ORD Research Funding Portal is the place to start when looking for internal, external, federal, and foundation funding opportunities. The Portal connects investigators to the ORD Funding database, allows researchers to sign up for weekly announcements, and other MUSC resources related to research funding. Subscribers receive a weekly email of current funding opportunities targeted towards the research expertise of MUSC faculty. Also, these funding alerts provide information related to internal funding announcements, changes in University and Federal research policies, and opportunities for research training. Â Please email your comments and suggestions to the Office of Research Development at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MUSC Foundation for Research Development Innovation Award On July 11th, the MUSC Foundation for Research Development (FRD) presented Dr. Bärbel (Barb) Rohrer with its first annual Innovation Award. This award was established by the FRD Board of Directors to recognize faculty achievement in research innovation. Dr. Rohrer is the Stanley and Theordora Feldberg for Ophthalmology Endowed Chair, Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurosciences at MUSC and Research Scientist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, Charleston. Award recipient, Dr. Rohrer, was selected by Foundation based on her innovative research and patents targeting diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, generating both novel treatments as well as diagnostics. She collaborates across many disciplines and is an intellectual contributor to two MUSC and one University of Colorado start-up companies, including her own. Currently, Dr. Rohrer has therapies being tested in clinical trials – the furthest a MUSC therapeutic has made it in development.
Copyright Lecture Jocelyn Bolling will be giving a lecture on campus regarding considerations for copyright law as it relates to research and technology commercialization. Learn about the issues researchers face when copyrighting their work. The lecture will be held on Monday, August 26th at 2pm in Bioengineering Building Classroom 112.
Resources & Scientific Environment Booklet Revised Edition Available
The Resources and Scientific Environment booklet provides brief
descriptions of major elements and initiatives to serve as a guide for MUSC faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows as they develop the resources and facilities portion of their proposal. This updated booklet and webpage also serve as a central location for MUSC’s research infrastructure, providing descriptions and links to research administration and support available here at MUSC, along with descriptions of cores and facilities. This format is highly navigable and visual, making it much easier for faculty and administrators to create their resources section.
With this edition, the Office of Research Development (ORD) has made an effort to include current information about all entities but if you would like to update your core, facility, or provide suggestions, please contact ORD at email@example.com. Paper copies of the booklet are available upon request.