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Indiana CTSI announces awards for new projects in chemistry and psychological and brain sciences

IU School of Medicine • 9/14/15

BLOOMINGTON – The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute recently selected three projects to receive $200,000 each in funding for the next two years through the IU Grant Linking University-Wide Expertise Awards. The three projects address issues in psychological and brain sciences and chemistry.

Ken Mackie, M.D., professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University Bloomington is the principal investigator for the Translational Adolescent Cannabis Use Research Center. The goal of this center, after funding from the National Institutes of Health, is to investigate the antecedents and effects of adolescent cannabis use in both preclinical models and in adolescent and young adult populations, as well as to develop novel, evidence based therapies. Its accomplishments will both contribute to the public policy debate on cannabis and help devise more effective therapeutic strategies. Co-investigators include Stephen Boehm, Ph.D., and Karmen Yoder, Ph.D.

Franco Pestilli, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, was awarded funds for his project titled, “Improved accuracy for anatomical mapping and network structure of the Alzheimer’s brain.” The purpose of the study is to investigate the structure of the human brain connectome in individual brains to build predictive models of prodromal Alzheimer’s disease, with the goal of informing precision medicine. Co-investigators on this project include Andrew Saykin, Psy.D., Joaquin Goni, Ph.D., Li Shen, Ph.D., of the IU School of Medicine, and Olaf Sporns, Ph.D., of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Peter Ortoleva, distinguished professor in physical chemistry and chemical biology at IU Bloomington will conduct a study titled, “Integrated Computational and Laboratory Approach for the Efficient Discovery of Antiviral Vaccines.” Through this study, an integrated program of computational and experimental methods will be developed to facilitate the discovery of vaccines that protect against viral infections. Co-investigators include Aaron Ermel, M.D. and Darron Brown, M.D. of the IU School of Medicine.

About the GLUE Awards
The mission of the GLUE awards is to support cross-campus planning and team building with the goal of developing multi-investigator and/or multi-project, milestone-driven translational research teams who eventually plan to submit a multi-year extramural grant. These planning/seed grants increase multidisciplinary collaborations, institutional competitiveness, opportunities for extramurally funded training grants and overall institutional funding.

About the Indiana CTSI
The Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute is a statewide collaboration of Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame along with many public and private corporate partnerships. The goal is to facilitate the translation of scientific discoveries in the lab into new patient treatments in Indiana and beyond. It was established in 2008 with a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health (TR001108, TR001106, TR001107), with additional support from the state, the three member universities, and public and private partners. It is a member of the national network of 62 CTSA-funded organizations across the country. For more information, visit www.indianactsi.org.