07 December 2012
Fort Detrick Confederation of Biological Research Agencies Collaborate on Three Awarded Projects
NICBR public affairs/Community Relations Subcommittee

The National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research is happy to announce the 2012 NICBR Collaboration Project Award Program winners.  The award, the first of its kind for NICBR, was adapted from the National Cancer Institute’s Young Investigator Award Program.  This year, the CPA was bestowed to three research projects pertaining to collaborations between NICBR agencies.   

“The NICBR collaboration awards are a mechanism to encourage interactions with NICBR partners,” said Dr. Howard Young of NCI.  

The award is meant to foster collaboration among the Fellows, trainees, and other equivalent junior staff affiliated with NICBR partners and sited at or having a strong link to activities at the Fort Detrick location.   It is also designed to give junior investigators the chance to explore new areas of research in a collaborative manner that takes advantage of the complementary strengths of NICBR partner laboratories. Winners received up to $10,000 for each project.  The awards are to be used to purchase materials and supplies to aid in their research.  

The 2012 CPA winners are as follows:  

Capt. Sanjay Krishnaswamy, Bacteriology Division, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and Dr. De Chen, SAIC-Frederick, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research  

Project Title: Mechanistic Characterization of Bacterial Secretion Systems with Super-resolution Fluorescence Microscopy  

Dr. Feng Wei, NCI’s Center for Cancer Research and Capt. Katie Carr, Bacteriology Division, USAMRIID  

Project Title: Evaluating the Alarmin, HMGN1, as a T cell independent immune adjuvant when combined with B. anthracis capsule  

Dr. Michael Lindquist, Virology Division, USAMRIID and Dr. Kimberly Boelte, NCI’s Center for Cancer Research  

Project title: The Role of Pericytes in Hantavirus-Induced Vascular Dysfunction  

The awardees expressed their excitement on being a part of a new and mutually beneficial awards program.   Chen said that she is very happy with the award, which enabled laboratory personnel to purchase a new 100x lens to conduct the appropriate level of microscopy on their project. 

Awardees Lindquist and Boelte decided to look at how viruses affect pericytes (cells found in the central nervous system) to get a more in-depth look at how they influence hantavirus infection – a potentially life-threatening outcome in humans.

“I’m very excited about the award,” said Boelte.  “I knew Michael and his history with infection models, and we thought it was a good idea to collaborate and to pool our backgrounds on a project together.”

NICBR leadership also expressed its enthusiasm for the program. 

 Dr. Kristin Komschlies, NCI Fort Detrick Interagency Coordinating Committee representative, said, “We are very excited to announce the winners of the NICBR Collaboration Awards. 

These investigators embrace what NICBR is all about – advancing biological research through collaboration and sharing of our talents, tools, and resources.  We look forward to future NICBR awardees.”

Summaries and progress of the 2012 awarded projects will be presented at the 2013 Spring Research Festival, taking place May 8-9, 2013, at Fort Detrick, Md.

The call for applicants to the NICBR Collaboration Project Award will be announced around the time of the Spring Research Festival.  The suggested guideline is that applicants should be no more than six years out from receipt of their advanced degree, or be actively working toward an advanced degree.  Expected deadline for submission will be early June, and decisions on awardees will be made in July. For more information, please contact your agency’s NICBR Scientific Interaction Subcommittee representative. 

Posted by PAO

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