ASPET recognizes Conn
Jeff Conn (Pharmacology) has been chosen as the Julius Axelrod Award in Pharmacology recipient by the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) in recognition of his commitment to academic mentoring of trainees and his cutting-edge research in developing therapies for psychiatric diseases. Conn will receive the award during the ASPET Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology in April 2020 and will deliver the Julius Axelrod Lecture at the 2021 meeting.
Calipari awarded Provost Research Studio
Tracey George, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, has named 13 faculty as 2019-2020 Provost Research Studio (PRS) recipients, including Erin Calipari (Pharmacology). The PRS supports the professional development of full-time tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure track faculty by providing them the ability to visit or to bring to Vanderbilt scholars from other universities to consult and learn from them.
Lopez lands NSF Career Award
Carlos Lopez (Biochemistry) has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, the most prestigious NSF award that supports early-career faculty. Lopez’s research attempts to parse out the role of noise and randomness in determining cell fate.
Whitney Foundation Fellowship for Wexler
Postdoc Aaron Wexler (Skaar lab, PMI) has been awarded a Helen Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship. This award is meant for “imaginative, well-trained and dedicated medical scientists” who are early in their career, and was awarded to only 23 scientists out of a pool of over 380 applicants.
As always, our trainees are demonstrating to be stellar researchers by landing fellowships. This month’s fellowship earners are Adalberto Díaz Casas (Chazin lab, Biochemistry), from NIGMS; Matt Cottam (Hasty lab, MPB), from NIDDK; Magdalene Ameka (Hasty lab), Heather Caslin (Hasty lab), and Abin Abraham (Capra lab, Biological Sciences), from the American Heart Association; and Shannon Smith (Meiler lab, Chemistry), Matthew Madden (J. Rathmell lab, PMI), and Samantha Beik (Lopez lab, Biochemistry) from the National Cancer Institute. Congratulations!
Sorting out anxiety and stress
Members of the Sachin Patel (Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) lab figured out that signaling by an endogenous molecule, 2-AG, controls anxiety-like behaviors by targeting the same receptor as THC. This research was featured in the mainstream media (Newsweek, Inverse). A second paper indicates that targeting COX-2 reverses anxiety-like behaviors in a mouse model of chronic stress, strengthening COX-2’s status as a potential drug target in stress-related psychiatric disorders.
Improving our defenses against influenza and dengue
The lab of James Crowe has published research exploring neuraminidase-targeting antibodies as preventative and curative approaches against H7N9. Another paper describes how they took the gene of a neutralizing monoclonal antibody against dengue and inserted it into mosquito embryos, thereby preventing them from getting infected or transmitting the virus.
CATIFA: A new genetic disease
Work from Ela Knapik’s (Medicine) lab recently defined a new genetic disease, named for its core symptoms (cleft palate, cataracts, tooth abnormality, intellectual disability, facial dysmorphism and ADHD), that arises from a loss of collagen function.
Modeling precancerous gut cells
A collaboration between the labs of James Goldenring (Surgery), Eunyoung Choi (Surgery), and VUMC and external investigators has generated a new laboratory model of precancerous cells in the lining of the gut. The model can be used to understand the cellular and tissue changes that lead to gastric cancer.
Know Your Core
Did you know that Basic Sciences boasts over 19 cores that can help you with an assortment of needs and techniques? We’ll be featuring them each month so that you can get to know them. Maybe they can help you with that project you’ve been putting off… Just don’t forget to acknowledge them in your publications!
The Small Molecule NMR Facility performs state-of-the-art 1D and 2D experiments, focusing on synthetic samples, polymers, metabolites and other small molecules. The facility currently houses 4 NMR spectrometers that range from 400–600 MHz and are equipped with sample changers. The 600 MHz spectrometer also has a 5-mm TCI cryo-probe that enables users who are sample limited (<100 mg) to acquire complete data sets for structural characterization and identification in a matter of days. Additionally, they perform advanced LC-NMR and LC-SPE-NMR experiments. For more information, visit their website or contact the director, Donald Stec.
Looking for a new postdoc or a new research assistant? Let us know and we’ll promote your job openings.
Internal Funding Opportunities
Global Research and Engagement Micro-Grants
The Office of the Provost invites faculty to submit proposals for the Global Research and Engagement Micro-Grants to help with the opportunity to pursue international research, scholarship, and creative expression projects, or to pursue strategic, time-sensitive opportunities for global research and engagement. Applications for this grant are received on a rolling basis through June 2020, and winners are announced monthly.
Research Scholar Grants
Proposals for Research Scholar Grant funding are being accepted until February 3, 2020. All full-time VU faculty are eligible.
Proposals for Discovery Grant funding are being accepted until February 10, 2020. All full-time VU faculty are eligible.
Limited Submission Opportunities
Additional LSO information
Information regarding limited submission opportunities may be found on the University and Medical Center websites. You can also sign up to receive regular updates by email. These opportunities are not limited only to faculty. Make sure you check these opportunities out, as some are open to postdocs and graduate and medical students.
Looking for a campus collaborator?
If you’re looking to create a collaboration with partners across campus, then don’t miss the Explorations in Research event that’s taking place on January 29 from 4:00-6:00 PM at the Student Life Center Ballroom. This event is designed to convene researchers from all disciplines for an evening of networking and discovery. Registration is not required, but if you want to present a poster or demo your research, it is encouraged. Students can register on Anchor Link and faculty can register here. Light refreshments will be served.
The 2020 REDCap Day will be held on February 25, 2020. The sessions – which will cover exciting upcoming features in REDCap, unique ways researchers are using REDCap to do great work, REDCap training, and more – will begin at 8:00 AM. Registration will open in January, so stay tuned for a link (or check REDCap Messenger). If you have an interesting use case of REDCap that you’d like to share, submit your information here. You will be entered into a swag drawing and may be invited to present during the plenary lecture.
NIH & You to occur in Nashville
One of the NIH’s Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration for 2020 will take place right here in Nashville on October 28-30. Registration opens in late January. Attend this event, sponsored by the Office of Extramural Research, to learn about the application and review process, federal regulations and policies, current areas of special interest or concern, and more.