Current Grants Awarded to Faculty

  • Control of lung inflammation by a TLR-interacting SP-A-derived peptide

    Principal Investigator (pilot project) – Shanjana  Awasthi, Ph.D.
    Agency – NIH-NIGMS COBRE (OSU)

    Lung infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Serious lung infections lead to respiratory distress syndrome for which there is no specific treatment available. In the wake of rise in lung infections caused by multi-drug resistant pathogens and unavailability of a 'wonder-drug' to control associated inflammation, it is important to develop novel therapies. An ideal therapeutic would be the one that can suppress the inflammatory response, but preserve the anti-pathogen host defense and lung homeostasis.

    Our long-term goal is to develop therapies based on boosting the natural host defense mechanisms mediated by pathogen-recognition receptors. Surfactant protein (SP)-A and Toll-like receptor (TLR) are known as "secretory" and "signaling" pathogen-recognition receptors, respectively. Interaction between SP-A and TLR4 inhibits the TNF-[alpha] response, but preserves the phagocytic activity of antigen-presenting cells. Thus, a TLR4-interacting region of SP-A, mimicking these properties of SP-A may be developed into a novel SP-A based immunotherapeutic. Using cutting-edge technology, we have recently identified a TLR4-interacting region of SP-A (SPA4 peptide).

    The objective of this application is to define the biological relevance and determine the mechanism of action of SPA4 peptide. We hypothesize that the SPA4 peptide will inhibit TLR4-induced inflammation, while maintaining TLR4-mediated bacterial-phagocytosis and clearance.

    The specific aims are to: (1) determine if SPA4 peptide inhibits inflammatory responses and improves clinical symptoms in an animal model of lung inflammation; (2) determine if SPA4 peptide inhibits the inflammatory response and maintains the phagocytic response at a cellular level, and (3) assess the biological effects of SPA4 peptide in clinically-relevant animal models of lung infection and inflammation.

    This project is innovative because it uses a unique concept of developing an immunotherapeutic that will not only control inflammation, but also help maintain anti-pathogen responses and lung homeostasis. It is expected that an SP-A-based therapeutic will have a significant impact on improving lung health during infection and inflammation.

  • Immunomodulation by a TLR4-interacting surfactant protein-A peptide

    Shanjana Awasthi, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - OU Growth Fund

  • A Radiopharmaceutical Kit for PET Renography

    Hariprasad Gali, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - OCAST

  • The role of IL-6 receptor in irritant dermatitis

    Randle Gallucci, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - NIH-NIOSH/CDC

  • Inhaled caprazamycin for tuberculosis therapy

    Lucila Garcia-Contreras, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator (subcontract)

    Agency - NIAID/NIH (through RTI International)

  • Stable needleless vaccine against Shigella spp

    Lucila Garcia-Contreras, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator (subcontract)

    Agency - NIAID/NIH (through Univ. of Kansas Ctr. for Research)

  • Inhaled SHetA2 dry power aerosols as novel treatment for tuberculosis

    Lucila Garcia-Contreras, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - Presbyterian Health Foundation Seed Grant

  • Opioid analgesic policies and prescription drug abuse in state Medicaid programs

    Shellie Keast, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator (subcontract)

    Agency - DHHS/CDC (through Oregon State University)

  • Bacteriophage control of DNA repair in streptococcus pyogenes

    W. Michael McShan, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - NIAID-NIH (R15)

  • Deep South Musculoskeletal CERTS (DSMC)

    Michael Miller, Ph.D. - OUHSC PI (Subcontractor)

    Agency - Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham (DSMC)

  • 2014 Ambulatory Care PRN Grant Program

    Katherine O'Neal - Principal Investigator

    Agency - American Colleges of Clinical Pharmacy

  • Oklahoma Shared Clinical and Translational Resources (OSCTR)

    H. Anne Pereira, Ph.D. - Project Core Leader (Clinical & Translational Research Pilot Grants Program)

    Agency - NIH-OSCTR IDeA (U54)

  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Poison Prevention Outreach Project

    Scott Schaeffer, D.Ph., DABAT - Principal Investigator

    Agency - HRSA Poison Center Incentive Grant

  • Inhibition of autophagy by Entercoccus faecalis

    Nathan Shankar, Ph.D. - Principal Investgator

    Agency - Presbyterian Health Foundation Seed Grant

  • Synergistic chemo-siRNA combination therapy

    Kelly Standifer, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator (subcontract)

    Agency - DHHS/NIH/NCI (through Optimum Therapeutics

  • Fluorescence cystoscopy-photodynamic therapy for early bladder cancers

    Youngjae You, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - American Cancer Society

  • A synergistic combination therapy of photodynamic therapy and chemotherapy for breast cancer.

    Youngjae You, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - Department of Defense BCRP Idea Expansion Award

  • NIR-activatable prodrugs for treating peritoneally metastasized ovarian cancers

    Youngjae You, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - NIGMS/NIH (R01)

  • Function and regulation of OATP1B1 and OATP1B3

    Wei Yue, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

    Agency - NIH-NIGMS (R01)