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Johns Hopkins Military and Veterans Health Scholars Program Awards First Grants - 07/15/2014

Johns Hopkins Military and Veterans Health Scholars Program Awards First Grants

Release Date: July 15, 2014

The Johns Hopkins Military and Veterans Health Institute announced its first-ever grant awardees on July 15. The pilot research grants will go to projects aiming to improve the health and health care of service members, veterans and their families.

The Military Scholars Program supports young investigators from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Health System, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Whiting School of Engineering and the Applied Physics Laboratory. Tier 1 winners — students, residents and fellows — will receive up to $10,000 each year for two years. Tier 2 winners — assistant professors — will receive up to $25,000 each year for two years. Fifty-three applications were received and judged on their relevance to the health needs of service members, veterans and their families; their likelihood to receive additional funding in the future; their potential impact on their scientific field; the soundness of their research protocol; and the potential merit of collaborative relationships.

The grant program was created to provide some incentive for young investigators at The Johns Hopkins University to specifically consider the needs of those connected to the military when designing research projects, says James Gilman, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Military and Veterans Health Institute. “These researchers are at a formative time in their careers,” he says. “They are choosing which scientific questions to pursue, and we want some of those questions to be relevant to the needs of the special people that serve or have served in our military and their families.” He hopes that the grants will help the investigators become more competitive for future grants from the Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administration.

Most of the projects being funded cover the three biggest issues faced by members of the armed forces today: traumatic brain injuries, behavioral health problems and severe physical injuries caused by improvised explosive devices. “The projects that the awardees designed indicate that they understand what is important to our service members, our veterans and their families,” says Gilman.

This year’s awards will be given in honor of retired Maj. Gen. Philip Russell, M.D., who served as a medical researcher in the U.S. Army Medical Corps from 1959 to 1990 before becoming a professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. A professor emeritus since 1997, Russell still works as a consultant to the biodefense community and in vaccine development.

The recipients are:

Adam L. Hartman, M.D., assistant professor
Departments of Pediatrics and of Neurology and Neurosurgery, School of Medicine
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health
“Amino acid treatment for neuroprotection after traumatic brain injury”

Ben Pen Jui Hung, M.Eng., Ph.D. candidate
Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Medicine and Whiting School of Engineering
“Three-dimensional printing of native bone matrix”

Zachary Kaminsky, Ph.D., assistant professor
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine
“Identification of cross tissue epigenetic biomarkers for suicidal behavior in military service members”

Denver Lough, M.D., Ph.D., resident
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, School of Medicine
“A study evaluating healing of a critical sized murine cranial defect using rhBMP2 and muscle derived stem cells in a novel functionalized hydrogel scaffold”

Devin Miller, B.S., medical student
School of Medicine
“Impact of donor-specific antibodies and mechanisms of antibody-mediated rejection in vascularized composite allotransplantation”

Aleah Roberts, B.S., Ph.D. candidate
Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health
“Elucidating downstream pathways of a validated drug target for treatment of malaria in deployed service members”

Sujith Sajja, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow
Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, School of Medicine
“Chemical exchange saturation transfer imaging as a diagnostic tool for the identification of mild-moderate blast traumatic brain injury”

For the Media

Contacts:

Catherine Kolf
443-287-2251
ckolf@jhmi.edu

Shawna Williams
410-955-8236
shawna@jhmi.edu

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