Five students will be selected annually to receive the Zannoni
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, which encourages careers
in pharmacological or pharmaceutical sciences and aims to help
undergraduates gain research experience.
Yijun Sun, PhD, assistant professor of microbiology and
immunology, is using a $519,000 award from the National Science
Foundation to develop novel analytic methods for the study of
The UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences was one of
five institutions to receive the largest portion of a $10.6 million
New York State Department of Health grant promoting medical
training in ambulatory settings.
The Office of Graduate Medical Education announced the Evan
Calkins, MD, Fellowship for Community-Based Research, an award for
residents and junior faculty members who conduct community-based
research or quality improvement projects.
Li, PhD, studies the molecular mechanisms of coronary artery
disease, the most common cause of age-related cardiovascular
disease. He seeks novel strategies to boost patients’
tolerance of cardiac stressor events and prevent their loss of
Lee, PhD, demonstrated for the first time, in an animal model,
that injecting adult bone marrow stem cells into skeletal muscle
can repair cardiac tissue, reversing heart failure. He and his team
showed that this non-invasive procedure increased heart cells
Dietz, PhD, investigates cellular changes by which drugs
“hijack” the central nervous system’s reward
circuitry, causing addiction. He studies how differences in
individuals’ molecular and behavioral plasticity mediate
susceptibility to drug abuse and relapse.
Popescu, PhD, is studying NMDA receptors in the brain, which
are involved in synaptic development, plasticity, memory and
learning, as well as in pathologies such as stroke,
neurodegeneration, chronic pain, addiction, schizophrenia and
Kosman, PhD, studies how organisms acquire and metabolize iron
and copper, intrinsically toxic metals essential to cellular
respiration and oxygen transport. One of his goals is to develop
antifungal drugs to treat infections in humans.
R. Olson, PhD, has traveled to Egypt to work with cotton
laborers exposed to pesticides. His research links genetics, an
individual’s degree of exposure to pesticides and effects on
health, seeking to improve workplace and environmental health
Williams, PhD, studies parasitic protozoans, including
Trypanosoma brucei, which causes African sleeping sickness,
transmitted by the tse-tse fly; and Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes
Chagas’ disease, transmitted by the reduviid bug.
Russo, MD, is internationally known for his work with strains
of E. coli that cause infections outside the intestine and result
in morbidity worldwide due to pneumonia, urinary tract infections
J. Sim, PhD, studies the molecular mechanisms controlling stem
and progenitor cell fate in the human brain. His lab seeks to
develop novel drug- and cell-based therapies for repair and
regeneration in demyelinating diseases, such as multiple
Patel, PhD, is a specialist in nutritional biochemistry. He
found that fetuses of obese mother rats were programmed in utero to
develop obesity in adulthood, and was the first to show that this
metabolic programming occurs in the fetal hypothalamus.
Garrick, PhD, identified the first protein essential for normal
intestinal iron absorption and the first mammalian iron transporter
to be characterized at the molecular level. His work provides a
major step forward in the understanding of iron metabolism.
Rajnarayanan, PhD, studies interactomes of the human estrogen
receptor, which is expressed in 70 percent of breast cancers. His
lab seeks to design molecules to improve the effects of
tamoxifen, a drug commonly prescribed to treat breast cancer.
L. Dubocovich, PhD, works to elucidate melatonin’s
mechanism of action and role in modulating circadian rhythms. Her
lab develops novel molecules targeting melatonin receptors to treat
depression, sleep disorders and cardiovascular disease.
Laychock, PhD, is investigating the cellular mechanisms
regulating insulin secretion in pancreatic cells. Her group has
used pancreatic cells in primary culture to develop in vitro
systems that mimic aspects of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.