Blindness, autism, influenza, Kaposi’s sarcoma, developmental disorders are focus of WNPRC Pilot Project winners

Nov. 21, 2014 / by Jordana Lenon

Studies aimed on advancing treatments for blindness, influenza and other viral lung infections, developmental disorders and injuries, autism and Kaposi's sarcoma are among seven new pilot research projects the WNPRC has awarded to investigators for 2015.

Following are the winners and their pilot research projects:

  • Gamm, David M., M.D., Ph.D., McPherson Eye Research Institute and Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, UW-Madison ( Co-PI: Paul L. Kaufman; Key personnel: Michael Nork, James VerHoeve). Stem cell-derived photoreceptor transplantation in the non-human primate eye: an initial evaluation of delivery, safety, and cellular integration. (Age-related macular degeneration, Best’s disease, Stargardt’s disease, retinitis pigmentosa, chronic retinal detachment)
  • Ikonomidou, Hrissanthi (Chris), M.D., Ph.D., Pediatric Neurology, UW-Madison (Co-Investigators: Kevin Brunner, Elizabeth Meyerand, James A. Zagzebski). Detection of apoptosis in the developing primate brain. (Early developmental brain injuries, neurotoxicity of anesthetic and anticonvulsant drugs in infancy)
  • Kapoor, Amita, Ph.D., WNPRC (Co-PI: Toni Ziegler). A radiometabolism study of hair hormones in rhesus macaques. (Primate hormone metabolism pathways, early developmental disorders)
  • Ogembo, Javier G., Ph.D., Dept. of Medicine, Div. of Infectious Disease and Immunology, Lazare Research Bldg, Worcester, MA (Co-PI: Nancy Schultz-Darken; Significant Contributor: Buddy Capuano). Towards KSHV VLP-based vaccine development. (Kaposi’s sarcoma, HIV/AIDS defining malignancy)
  • Populin, Luis C., Ph.D., Dept. of Neuroscience, UW-Madison (Co-PI: Andrew Alexander). Self-recognition in nonhuman primates. (Basic research on self awareness, approaches to autism research)
  • Reyes, Leticia, D.V.M, Ph.D., Dept. of Infectious Disease and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville (Co-PI: Ted Golos; Consultant/Collaborator: Charles J. Czuprynski). P. gingivalis-macrophage interplay in obstetric disease. (Assessing the impact of Porphyromonas gingivalis uterine and placental infection on fetal macrophages, maternal decidual macrophages, placental development, and fetal health)
  • Suresh, Marulasiddappa, D.V.M., Ph.D., Prof. of Immunology, Dept. of Pathological Sciences, UW-Madison (Co-PI: Tom Friedrich). Priming protective CD8 T-cell memory in the lung. (Immunity to influenza and other pulmonary viral infections)

Read more here about the WNPRC Pilot Awards Program.