The University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Clinical and Translational Science has selected six research projects to receive pilot grants in 2013.
The $30,000 per year pilot grants, designed to give researchers a chance to test new ideas, have been given by the center since 2006.
"The pilot grants have been very successful at providing the opportunity for UIC investigators to develop their ideas and generate the preliminary data necessary for applying for those highly competitive grants from outside sources, like the National Institutes of Health," says Robin Mermelstein, co-director of the center and director of novel translational and collaborative studies.
"The grants also encourage collaboration among researchers from different departments and colleges who may not have a chance to work together otherwise," Mermelstein said.
The program has been highly competitive, receiving more than 200 applications over the past four years. Investigators across 10 colleges and more than 15 departments have received funding since its inception.
The 2013 pilot grant projects are:
Developing an alternative treatment for breast cancer
Debra Tonetti, associate professor in biopharmaceutical sciences, and Greg Thatcher, professor of medicinal chemistry, will investigate newly identified compounds that hold promise as alternatives to tamoxifen, the standard drug therapy for breast cancers fueled by estrogen (about 80 percent of all breast cancers) but which many cancers become resistant to. Tonetti's group has identified a possible alternative to tamoxifen, as well as a biomarker that indicates whether a tumor will respond to the new drug.
Preventing the spread of herpes virus
Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1), which causes cold sores, is one of the most common viruses that infects humans. The virus can cause blindness and encephalitis in rare cases. Once infected, a person ca
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University of Illinois at Chicago