TTUHSC School of Medicine Announces More Than $20 Million in New Research Grants

TTUHSC Lubbock Campus Building


The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine announced $20.5 million in new research funding this year.
Steven Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president, provost and School of Medicine dean, said these grants focus in areas such as cancer, alcoholism, pain management, neuroscience and infectious diseases. 

Dean Berk Speaks About Awards for the School of Medicine

Steven Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice president, provost and School of Medicine Dean

“The School of Medicine is dedicated to providing the best care and one way to achieve that is through research,” Berk said. “Research leads to new knowledge and discoveries which allows our experts to seek new treatments and develop new medications. Research goes hand-in-hand with better technology, cures and teaching future physicians.”
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the Department of Defense (DOD), along with others from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), awarded the grants.  

President Mitchell honors research awardees

President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., Texas Tech University System Interim Chancellor and TTUHSC President

“This celebration is to recognize the outstanding work of our investigators in cancer, vaccine and drug development, pain management, aging, infectious diseases and other fields,” Texas Tech University System Interim Chancellor and TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., said. “They have the full support of our leadership and our faculty. Externally funded peer-reviewed research at TTUHSC is truly excellent and is growing rapidly. The discovery of new knowledge has always been a core mission.”

Dean Smith discusses the impact for research

Quentin Smith, Ph.D., TTUHSC Senior Vice President of Research

Grants include:
Sanjay Awasthi, M.D., Department of Defense, $1,147,500.00 over three years
“Prevention of Breast Cancer by Haploinsufficiency of RALBP1”
Patrick Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D., and Min Kang, Pharm.D., NIH/NCI, $2 million over five years, “MYC Activation in Tumor Progression of Neuroblastoma” and also NIH/NCI, $1,622,266 over three years, “Characterization of a panel of neuroblastoma patient-derived models for preclinical therapeutic studies” 
Reynolds, also received an NIH/NCI, $1,749,940 over five years 
“Alternate telomere maintenance mechanisms in high-risk neuroblastoma as prognostic indicators and therapeutic targets”
H. Liang, Ph.D., CPRIT, $200,000 over two years
“Polymer nanodiscs: Novel lipoprotein-mimicking nanocarriers with high stability and long circulation time for enhanced anticancer drug delivery”
Yangzom Bhutia, Ph.D., NIH, $153,000.00
“Carbidopa as an inhibitor of the TrpT/IDO1 complex: Potential for use as an immunotherapy agent?”
H. Liang, Ph.D., NSF, $457,931 over three years
“Nanostructure engineering is another approach toward membrane-active antimicrobials with desirable activity and selectivity”
Lan Guan, Ph.D., NIH NIGMS, $1,300,500 over five years
“Integrated approaches to symport mechanisms of membrane transporters”
Luis Cuello, Ph.D., NIH, $1,247,868 over five years
“High-resolution crystallographic and functional studies of potassium channel function”
Volker Neugebauer, Ph.D.,NIH/NINDS, $1,536,123.00 over five years
“Stress-induced descending facilitation from amygdala kappa opioid receptors in functional pain”
Josée Guindon, Ph.D., NIH from NIDA, $691,332.00 over five years
“Mechanisms of cannabinoid tolerance”
Ion Bobulescu, M.D., NIH/NIDDK, 1,047,717.00
“Role of gut bacteria and renal lipids in obesity-related kidney disease” 
Susan Bergeson, Ph.D., and Ted Reid, Ph.D., NIH/NIAAA, $60,000 over one year, “Development of Tetracycline Analogs for Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment,” and NIH/NIAAA, $1,639,120.00 over five years, “Chemically modified minocycline for treatment of alcohol use disorder”
Andrey Karamyshev, Ph.D.,NIH/NINDS,$153,000.00 over two years
“Identification of Translational Regulators of Alpha-Synuclein Folding and Aggregation”
Sam Prien, Ph.D., NSF, $50,000
“A non-invasive technique for embryo assessment”

View the full press conference through Facebook live at

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