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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Florida International: Research Team is Perfect in Receiving NIH Grant

A research proposal submitted by a team of researchers led by Florida International University Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work dean and professor Dr. Tomás R. Guilarte received a perfect impact score of 10, ranking in the top one percentile of all grants submitted to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The grant is to study a novel interaction of two proteins (Translocator Protein 18 kDa (TSPO) and NADPH Oxidase (NOX2) in microglia, brain cells that are involved in neuroinflammation.  Entitled Peripheral BDZ receptor: A Biomarker of Neurotoxicity (ES007062-20), the research project has received continuous NIH funding for 20 years and has now received five years of additional funding for a total of $2.31 million.

“We are delighted in receiving such a wonderful score,” said Dr. Guilarte.  “This research has the potential to open new therapeutic treatments for mitigating brain inflammation, a common mechanism in many neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.”

The NIH study section summary of the grant proposal indicated that “the proposal was perceived as exciting, highly innovative, extremely significant, with an exceptional investigative team, and outstanding environment.”

Dr. Guilarte stated that “scientific breakthroughs can be accomplished when we bring together groups of outstanding scientists as we have done in this case.”  Besides Guilarte, the other essential members of the research team are associate professor Dr. Jeremy Chambers, assistant professor Dr. Diana Azzam, and professor Dr. Kim Tieu.

Stempel College has created an environment of collaboration, collegiality and respect for peers, which is the glue that brings researchers together with a common goal.

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