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NEOMED’s REDIzone® Presents First Faculty Researcher Awards

William Chilian, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Integrative Medical Sciences; Gary Niehaus, Ph.D.; professor of physiology; and Charles Thodeti, Ph.D., associate professor of integrative medical sciences, have each been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Research, Entrepreneurship, Discovery and Innovation Zone (REDIzone®) at NEOMED. These inaugural awards will take them one step further toward a REDIzone goal: to accelerate the translation of technology through commercialization in order to improve healthcare outcomes worldwide.

The REDIzone wants to support its researchers every step of the way in high-risk, high-reward research, says program manager Elliot Reed. That includes at the beginning of a project, when funding is needed to generate the preliminary data to test the viability of ideas.

Scientific researchers face a bit of a Catch-22, says Reed. It’s not easy for them to obtain external funding at this preliminary step; but without data, they can’t get to the next stage, at which the more developed project could gain funding from a government entity or a private foundation.

That’s where the REDIzone came in to help. This was the first year for the faculty awards, which were funded by income generated through the REDIzone program, says Reed.

Drs. Chilian and Thodeti work in the Heart and Blood Vessel Research Focus Area, one of six research focus areas at NEOMED.

The research projects

  • Dr. Chilian: Chemical modification of Chromonar to enhance coronary vasodilation (working toward a treatment for heart disease in women)
  • Dr. Niehaus: Rapid, automated detection and identification of bacteria infecting wounds
  • Dr. Thodeti: Identifying novel mechanisms for modulation of hair growth