Synergy Award winners exemplify collaborative research across health sciences

Woodruff Health Sciences Center | Nov. 15, 2019

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Since the Synergy Awards were initiated in 2016, more than $4.8 million in funds have been awarded to more than 130 researchers throughout the health sciences, supporting 48 proposals.


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Synergy Awards

The Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) has announced the seventh cycle of Synergy Awards, and the 10 winning proposals highlight the innovation that defines Emory’s research enterprise.

The awards support collaborative projects among faculty at Emory University School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Winship Cancer Institute, and all other units in the WHSC.

“These awards bring together researchers across disciplines who contribute energy and inspiration to our research enterprise and are a catalyst for creativity and innovation,” says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, executive vice president for health affairs, Emory University, and executive director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

Proposals for these awards are required to include faculty members with primary appointments in at least two different schools as co-principal investigators. The awards are intended to support new, highly innovative projects that are not yet funded or published and that have potential to generate scientific achievements of the highest quality and impact. The research also must have a high likelihood of external funding and advance the goals of the WHSC Strategic Plan.

WSHC received 35 proposals in this round of awards. The projects selected address three of WHSC’s priority themes: (1) innovative discovery and (2) transforming models of care, and (3) data science.

Synergy Awards offer up to $100,000 in support for an award term of one year, with potential carryover to a second year under special circumstances. The Synergy Awards are funded from the Office of the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs with support from the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center Fund, Inc.

Since the Synergy Awards were initiated in 2016, more than $4.8 million in funds have been awarded to more than 130 researchers throughout the health sciences, supporting 48 proposals.

The 10 selected proposals and their investigators are as follows:

Dynamics of the skin microbiome, skin inflammation, and skin toxicities and symptoms during breast radiation therapy

  • Jinbing Bai, PhD, MSN, RN (Nursing)
  • Jolinta Lin, MD (Medicine)
  • Deborah Bruner, PhD, RN, FAAN (Nursing)
  • Pretesh Patel, MD (Winship)
  • Despina Tsementzi, PhD (Nursing)

Video-assisted directly observed therapy for high-risk youth living with HIV

  • Ann Chahroudi, MD, PhD (Medicine)
  • Sophia Hussen, MD, MPH (Public Health)
  • Andres Camacho-Gonzalez, MD (Medicine)
  • Aaron Siegler, PhD (Public Health)

Development of a new prediction algorithm for smartphone application for a non-invasive measurement of hemoglobin levels in infants

  • Cassandra Josephson, MD (Medicine)
  • Wilbur Lam, MD, PhD (Medicine)
  • Amita Manatunga, PhD (Public Health)
  • Kirk Easley, MS (Public Health)
  • Robert Mannino, PhD (Medicine)
  • Ravi Patel, MD, MSc (Medicine)

Effects of splanchnic nerve cryoablation on glycemic control and weight loss in obese patients with type 2 diabetes

  • Jennifer Frediani, PhD, RD (Nursing)
  • Alexandra Migdal, MD (Medicine)
  • Sean Dariushnia, MD (Medicine)
  • J. David Prologo, MD (Medicine)
  • Guillermo Umpierrez, MD (Medicine)

Transportation vulnerability and geographic patterns of diabetic foot ulcer-related limb loss

  • Howard Chang, PhD (Public Health)
  • Marcos Schechter, MD (Medicine)
  • Julie Clennon, PhD (Public Health)
  • Lance Waller, PhD (Public Health)

Job preference of advanced practice registered nurses in Georgia: A discrete choice experiment

  • Jason Hockenberry (Public Health)
  • Yin Li, PhD (Nursing)

A systems immunology approach to personalized immune monitoring through profiling and modeling of B cell response trajectories

  • Chris Scharer, PhD (Medicine)
  • Qiang Zhang, MD, PhD (Public Health)

Religion and spirituality as resources for HIV prevention and support for black gay men in Atlanta

  • John Blevins, PhD (Public Health)
  • Daniel Geller, RN (Nursing)
  • Mimi Kiser, RN, MPH (Public Health)
  • Jessica Wells, PhD (Nursing)

Novel ways to reduce heart failure hospitalizations: Applying the social-ecological model

  • Alanna Morris, MD (Medicine)
  • Shivani Patel, PhD, MPH (Public Health)
  • Neal Dickert, MD, PhD (Medicine)

Pilot study of the epigenetic mechanisms of an endocrine disrupting chemical in the development of endocrine-sensitive cancers

  • Lauren McCullough, PhD, MSPH (Public Health)
  • Alicia Smith, PhD (Medicine)
  • Michele Marcus, PhD, MPH (Public Health)
  • Karen Conneely, PhD (Medicine)