Chemical engineering researchers receive funding for cancer research

Published: Nov 29, 2017 3:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Chris Anthony, chris.anthony@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

The Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer, or AURIC, has announced the recipients for its 2018 research grants programs for faculty and students.

A total of two major grants; four seed grants; and 10 graduate fellowship grants were awarded for the 2018 academic year, announced AURIC director Bruce Smith.
 
“These grants highlight the cutting-edge cancer research being performed by AURIC,” Smith said.
 
Major grant awards are $200,000 to support two years of the selected research program. Recipients are chosen on a competitive basis, Smith says.
 
“Collaborative teams participate in a three-step process for these funds,” Smith said. “They first attend a team-building meeting where they present the strategy and approach for pursuing their grant application and recruit additional researchers to join their team. They then develop a pre-proposal that outlines their plan. After review and selections by the grant committee, full proposals are developed and presented. It is a very rigorous process.”
 
A key component of the requirement on recipient research teams is that they must apply for external funding at the end of their major grant.
 
“These major grants from AURIC only are intended to take excellent cancer research programs partly through,” Smith said. “Programs that are good enough to be awarded a major AURIC grant are expected to be good enough to compete and to receive much larger external support funds.”
 
AURIC seed grants are in the amount of $20,000 for one year. Selection also is by competitive process. Although not as rigorous as the major grant competition, seed grant recipients also present a strategy for their research and are expected to seek external funding at some point during their progress.
 
Graduate research fellowships are awarded to doctoral students who are engaged in cancer research. These fellowships provide a stipend to help support the student’s work and may be renewed for up to three years with sufficient progress demonstrated during the previous year, according to Smith.
 
“Seven of the 2017 fellowship recipients were renewed for 2018, and three new fellowships were selected for a first time in the 2018 rounds,” Smith said.
 
Engineering researchers who received 2018 AURIC research grants are:
 
Major Grants Program ($200,000 for two years) 

  • “Nanoencapsulation to Enhance the Tumor Suppressing Effects of Checkpoint Inhibitors and Immunostimulants,” led by Allan E. David, Department of Chemical Engineering. 

Seed Grants Program ($20,000 for one year) 

  • “Cellulose Nanocrystal Cantilever Beam Array MEMS for Early Cancer Detection,” led by Virginia A. Davis, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. 

Graduate Fellowship Recipients and their Mentors 

  • Richard Cullum with Allan David, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and David Riese, Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Harrison School of Pharmacy.
  • Iman Hassani with Elizabeth Lipke, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
  • Partha Saha with Virginia Davis, Dr. Robert Ashurst, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
  • Barry Yeh with Allan David, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
  • Nichole Habbit with Elizabeth Lipke, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
  • Prachi Sangle with Allan David, Department of Chemical Engineering, Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

 A full list of grant recipients from across the university can be found here.

- Written by Mitch Emmons of the College of Veterinary Medicine