Pilot Project Awardees

Below are the recipients of CTSI Pilot Project Awards. Funding is typically made in three categories — Trainees, Junior Faculty, and Novel Methods and Technologies. Occasionally special categories are added for a particular funding cycle. In each case, awards are for one year. Due to the number of major initiatives funded late in 2009, no awards were made during calendar year 2010. See the Pilot Project Awards page for information about applying for funding.

Congratulations to all the recipients.


Clinical Research Using the Clinical Research Center

Hyochol “Brian” Ahn, Ph.D., ARNP, ANP-BC, Assistant Professor, Adult and Elderly Nursing, College of Nursing
Project Title: “Predictors of Clinical Pain Intensity in Asian Americans with Knee Osteoarthritis”

Guohua An, Ph.D., M.D., Assistant Professor, Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy
Project Title: “Explore the Synergy of Combination TKI Therapy – A Pilot Study to Evaluate the Effect of Imatinib on Dasatinib Pharmacokinetics in Healthy Volunteers”

Barry Byrne, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Associate Chair, Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Assessment of Cardiopulmonary Function in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy”

Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff, Pharm.D., M.S., FAHA, FACC, Associate Professor, Pharmacotherapy and Translational Research, College of Pharmacy
Project Title: “The Effect of Low Furanocoumarin Grapefruit Hybrid Juice Consumption on
Midazolam Pharmacokinetics”

Charlene Krueger, Ph.D., RN, Associate Professor, Women, Children and Family, College of Nursing
Project Title: “Maternal Voice as a Regulator of Neurobehavioral Development in Preterm Infants”

December 2012


Michael Byrne, DO, Clinical Fellow, Hematology & Oncology, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Stratification of PKR expression as an AML biomarker”

Jason Gravano, Graduate Student Assistant, Clinical & Health Psychology, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “An Investigation of Structural Connectivity in PTSD, mTBI, and PTSD/mTBI”

Rena Harrington, M.D., Clinical Fellow, Pediatric Endocrinology, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Hypoglycemia in Prader-Willi Syndrome: A Pilot Study”

Tanisha Hill-Jarrett, Graduate Student, Clinical & Health Psychology, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “White matter lateralization of the parietofrontal orienting network as a biomarker predicting degree of attention impairment following Traumatic Brain Injury: Insights from diffusion MRI tractography”

Junior Faculty

Josephine Allen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Materials Science & Engineering, College of Engineering
Project Title: “Bioactive ssDNA polymers for directed stem cell differentiation”

Natalie Ebner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Psychology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Project Title: “Neuro-Behavioral Effects of Oxytocin on Decisions of Trust in Aging”

Thomas George, M.D., Associate Professor, Hematology & Oncology, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Mucosal Inflammation and Digestive Cancer Correlation Science Biorepository”

Xin (Cindy) Qi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy
Project Title: “Identification of Biomarkers to Target Breast Cancer Through Peptoid Library Screening and Microarray Technology”

Stephan Schmidt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy
Project Title: “Personalizing Antiplatelet Therapy: Development of a CYP2C19 Genotype-Directed Dosing Algorithm for Clopidogrel”

Nishanth Sunny, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Targeted Profiling of Nutrient Classes in Human Subjects with Obesity and Fatty Liver”

Novel Methods and Technologies

Andrew H. Ahn, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Neurology, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Multimodal brain imaging of pain: novel pathways for targeted therapy”

Beata Clapp, D.V.M., Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Infectious Diseases & Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine
Project Title: “Humanized mouse: a preclinical model system to evaluate vaccines against human brucellosis”

Timothy Garrett, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor, Pathology, Immunology & Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Targeted Metabolomics to Probe Glycolysis, Tricarboxylic Acid (TCA) Cycle and Acyl-CoA Metabolism in Mitochondrial Dysfunction”

Shouguang Jin, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, College of Medicine
Project Title: “A Novel Protein Delivery Technology for Cellular Reprogramming”

April 2012


Taj Azarian, M.P.H., Ph.D. Student, Epidemiology, College of Medicine/ College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “Utilization of Phylogenetics as a Novel Epidemiological Tool to Investigate an Outbreak of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit”

Sankarathi Balaiya, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Ophthalmology, College of Medicine-Jacksonville
Project Title: “Targeting Sirtuins for Diabetic Retinopathy”

Ellie Chan, M.D., Fellow, Hematology and Oncology, College of Medicine
Project Title: “A Pilot Study to Determine cMet Expression and other Genomic Resistance Patterns in Response to Chemoradiotherapy in Patients with Esophageal Adenocarcinoma”

Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, Ph.D., MSPH, Postdoctoral Fellow, Oral Biology, College of Dentistry
Project Title: “Saliva as an Alternative to Plasma to Measure Biomarkers Associated with Pain Mechanisms”

Chen Ling, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Associate, Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Treatment for Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma and Hepatoblastoma Based on Recombinant Adeno-associated Virus Serotype 3 Vectors”

Andrew D. Smith, D.V.M., Resident, Large Animal Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine
Project Title: “Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in an Experimental Equine Model of Osteoarthritis Treated with Self-complementary Adeno-associated Virus-mediated Delivery of Equine Interleukin-1 Receptor Antagonist Protein”

Junior Faculty

Philip A. Efron, M.D., Assistant Professor, Acute Care Surgery, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Emergency Myelopoeisis in Human Trauma and Sepsis”

Joseph Larkin III, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Microbiology and Cell Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
Project Title: “The Role of Suppressors of Cytokine Signaling in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus”

Romina Lomónaco, M.D., Assistant Professor, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, College of Medicine
Project Title: “A Metabolomic Approach for the Discovery of Novel Biomarkers in Patients with NASH”

Michael Leland Stellefson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Health Education and Behavior, College of Health and Human Performance
Project Title: “Design and Feasibility Testing of Patientflix.com for COPD Self-management Education”

Catherine L. Striley, Ph.D., MSW, MPE, Assistant Professor, Epidemiology, College of Medicine/ College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “Comorbidity and Diagnostic Communication Preferences among Patients with Movement Disorders”

Novel Methods and Technologies

Brian L. Hoh, M.D., Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Effect of CYP2C19 Polymorphism and/or P2Y12 Residual Platelet Reactivity on Risk of Ischemic Stroke or TIA in Patients with Symptomatic Intracranial Atherosclerotic Disease Treated with Clopidogrel (Plavix)”

Mansour Mohamadzadeh, Ph.D., Professor, Infectious Diseases and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine
Project Title: “Induction of Immune Regulation by L. acidophilus”

Lyle L. Moldawer, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chairman of Research, Surgery, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Validation of a Genomics-Based Prognostic in Severe Trauma”

Carolynn Patten, Ph.D., PT, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions
Project Title: “Novel Techniques to Study Corticospinal Tract Function during Walking”

Naohiro Terada, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, College of Medicine
Project Title: “Generation of Disease-Affected Cell Types from Patient iPS Cells for Clinical Translational Research”

Deborah Treise, Ph.D., Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies, College of Journalism and Communications
Project Title: “Predictors of the Efficacy of CDC Recommendations for Prevention and Spread of Infection”

March 2011

Community Engagement

Christopher R. Cogle, M.D.
Project Title: “Establishment of a joint program for discovery and development of diagnostic and therapeutic innovatons in hematologic malignancies”

Melanie Sberna Hinojosa, Ph.D.

Amy Tobler, M.P.H., Ph.D.

Cohort Identification Using the Integrated Data Repository

Azra Bihorac, M.D.
Project title: “Data Base Communications Enable Machine Learning Classifiers to Predict Perioperative Acute Kidney Injury”

Susan Nayfield, M.D., M.Sc.
Project title: “Comorbidity Indices and Disability: Targeting Recruitment for Aging Research”


Vijay C. Antharam
Project title: “Probiotics as Treatment for Clostridium difficile Infection (CDI)”

Tiffany M. Day, M.D.
Project title: “Functional magnetic Imaging Assessment of Appetite after Initiation of Metaformin: A Pilot Study”

Emily J. Fox, D.P.T., M.S.
Project title: “Exciting kids to walk: Game technology to enhance sensory input and promote walking recovery”

Ki Park, M.D.
Project title: “Women’s Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation (WISE) and Women take Heart (WTH) Studies Bank”

Robert William Regenhardt
Project title: “Angiotensin (1-7) and hypertension-induced hemorrhagic stroke”

Elizabeth L. Stegemoller, Ph.D.
Project title: “The Effects of Disease Progression on Rate-Dependant Impairments in repetitive Finger Movements in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease”

Junior Faculty

Soonkyu Chung, Ph.D.
Project title: “Molecular mechanisms of brown-like adipocyte differentiation in human white adipose tissue”

Christopher A. Harle, Ph.D., M.S.
Project title: “Designing an Information System for Conducting Community-Based Trials on People’s Health Insurance”

Darlene A. Kertes, Ph.D.
Project title: “Translational Research on Epigenetic Regulation of HPA Stress Responses”

Novel Methods and Technologies

Kevin P. Fennelly, M.D., M.P.H.
Project title: “A Diagnostic Test of Infectiousness in Tuberculosis”

Mark H. Lewis, Ph.D.
Project title: “A novel method for identification of pathway specific neurons of populations”

Mattia Prosperi, Ph.D.
Project title: “Solving the puzzle of quasispecies reconstruction using next-generation sequencing technologies”

December 2009


Emily Plowman Prine (Junior Faculty)
Project title: “Development of an Electrical Strategy to Propagate Neurogenesis in Upstream and Downstream Basal Ganglia”

Junior Faculty

Azra Bihorac, M.D.
Project title: “Data Base Communications Enable Machine Learning Classifiers to Predict Perioperative Acute Kidney Injury”

Ginger Clark, M.D., M.S.
Project title: “Assessment of Liver Test Abnormalities in Adults with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency”
Major inititative

Novel Technologies

Peter P. Sayeski, Ph.D.
Project title: “In vivo characterization of a novel Jak2 tyrosine kinase inhibitor for the treatment of Jak2-mediated human pathologies”

Mark D. Tillman, Ph.D.
Project title: “Wheelchair Ergonomic Hand Drive”

Major Initiatives

Michael Haller, M.D.
Project title: “Reversing type 1 Diabetes After it is Established: A Pilot Safety and Feasibility Study of Anti-Thymocyte Globulin (Thymoglobulin) and pegylated GCSF (Neulasta) in Established Type 1 Diabetes”

Hartmut Derendorf, Ph.D.
Project title: “Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic Modeling of the Psychomotor Vigilance, Go/No-Go Performance, and Electroencephalogram Effects of Armodafinil in Sleep Deprived Healthly Adults”

John F. Valentine, M.D.
Project title: “Genetic and Microbial Interactions in Crohn’s Disease”

Roger B. Fillingim, Ph.D.
Project title: “Effects of OA-Related Pain on Telomere Length and Telomerase Activity”

Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D.
Project title: “Diaphragm Mitochondrial Dysfunction During Prolonged Mechanical Ventilation”

Erin M. Dunbar, M.D.
Project title: “Phase I, Open-Label, Single-Arm, Clinical and Metabolomic Study of Dichloroacetate DCA in Adults with Recurrent Malignant Brain Tumors”

Connie J. Mulligan, Ph.D.
Project title: “Pilot Investigation of the role of epigenetic methylation in mediating risk of hypertension in a study population of African Americans in Tallahassee”

May 2009


Amber Van Matre
Project title: “Pharmacological treatment of repetitive behavior: targeting adensine, dopamine, and glutamate heteromeric receptor complexes”

Benjamin Keselowsky, Ph.D.
Project title: “- Dandriitic Cell Arrays for Type I Diabetes”

Junior Faculty

Baharak Moshiree, M.D.
Project title: “Comparison of Two Macrolides, Azithromycin and Erythromycin, for Symptomatic Treatment of Gastroparesis”

Novel Technologies

Michael Crary, Ph.D.
Project title: “Development of MALDI hybrid linear ion trap/time-of-flight imaging mass spectrometer”

September 2008


Adam P. Mecca
Project title: “Cerebroprotection via viral-mediated gene delivery of angiotensin AT2 receptors”

Rachael Watson
Project title: “Elucidating the Role of CTGF and TGF Beta-1 in Joint Fibrosis”

Junior Faculty

Rhonda Cooper-DeHoff, Pharm.D., M.S.
Project title: “PRARy Expression in Key Metabolic Organ Systems in Modulated by Treatment with Thiazide Diuretics and ACE Inhibition”

Margaret Ribeiro-Dasilva, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Project title: “Determinants of Pain Response in Temporomandibular Muscle and Joint Disorder (TMJD)”

Novel Technologies

Timothy J. Garrett, Ph.D.
Project title: “Development of MALDI hybrid linear ion trap/time-of-flight imaging mass spectrometer”

Sara Jo Nixon, Ph.D.
Project title: “Applying Nanotechnology to Addiction Recovery”

Major Initiatives

David H. Powell, Ph.D.
Project title: “A Global Metabolomic Approach to Pediatric Neuro-Metabolomic Disorders”

Lakshmyya Kesavalu, M.Sc.
Project title: “Association between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease”