KY INBRE funds more than $1 million for biomedical research in Kentucky (May 6, 2022)

May 6, 2022


Louisville, KY — The Kentucky IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence (KY INBRE), a statewide multi-million dollar, five-year renewable grant program funded by The National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), is pleased to announce the awarding of a combined total of $1,035,000 to our 2022 Awards grants recipients. A total of 28 awards are being distributed to faculty at six Kentucky institutions: Center College, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Northern Kentucky University, University of Louisville and Western Kentucky University.

KY INBRE Investigator Development Award (IDeA)

The objective of the KY INBRE Investigator Development Award (IDeA) grant program is to provide support to promising junior investigators at Kentucky colleges and universities to establish a research program involving undergraduate students that is competitive for NIH funding. In addition to providing funds for research support, the program requires release time from teaching, training and mentoring in NIH proposal development, and the development of collaborative relationship with a senior scientist (mentor). Each project awards up to $40,000 for one year, with a possibility of applying for a second year of funding.

The 2022 KY INBRE IDeA Award recipients are:

  • Simran Banga, PhD, Department of Biology, Western Kentucky University
    Bacterial nucleomodulins mediated transcriptome analysis in macrophages during L. pneumophila infection
  • Katrina Burch, PhD, Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University
    Investigating the spillover and crossover effects of workplace incivility on family health and behavior
  • Bradley Kraemer, PhD, Department of Psychological Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University
    Effects of p75NTR on Oxidative Stress-Induced Degeneration of CNS Neurons
  • Diane Lickenbrock, PhD, Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University
    The development of emotion regulation with the parent-infant relationship: Intrinsic and extrinsic predictors
  • Laura Rowe, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Eastern Kentucky University
    Improving the properties of antimicrobial peptides and CO releasing molecules
  • Daniel Scott, PhD, Department of Chemistry, Centre College
    Gold-coated iron oxide nanoparticles for adaptable paper-based point-of-care diagnostics
  • Catherine Shelton, PhD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Kentucky University
    Characterization of the isomerase and lyase mechanisms of MST enzymes
  • Emily Shifley, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University
    The role of FGF signaling in patterning the Xenopus pharynx
  • Jessica Torelli, PhD, School of Teacher Education, Western Kentucky University
    Advancing the Effectiveness of Functional Communication Training for Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Schools
  • Lauren Williamson, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University
    Maternal helminths as a possible anti-inflammatory intervention in a model of neonatal infection
  • Matthew Woodward, PhD, Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University
    A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Trauma-Informed and Peer-Supported Mobile Brief Intervention for Alcohol and Cannabis Users with Interpersonal Trauma

KY INBRE Postdoctoral Fellow Awards

The KY INBRE Postdoctoral Fellow Awards provide partial support (up to 50%) for a postdoctoral research associate for NIH-R15 funded investigators at the primarily undergraduate institutions (PUIs). The purpose of this program is two-fold: 1) to enhance the productivity of the NIH-R15 funded faculty member during  the award period by providing full-time management of the laboratory; and 2) to train and develop new PhD investigators for faculty positions at PUIs. It is expected that this support will increase the PI’s research productivity to enhance the competitiveness of subsequent R15 renewal applications, and will increase the pipeline of biomedical research faculty at Kentucky institutions. If a postdoctoral fellow cannot be recruited, funds may be requested for partial support of a full-time post-baccalaureate trainee. The maximum annual award is $33,000 (total direct cost) for support of a postdoctoral fellow or $25,000 (total direct cost) for a post-baccalaureate technician.

The 2022 KY INBRE Postdoctoral Fellow Award recipients are:

  • Noah Ashley, PhD, Department of Biology, Western Kentucky University

    Sympathetic regulation of inflammation from sleep fragmentation
  • Ty Brumback, PhD, Department of Psychological Science, Northern Kentucky University
    Autonomic Nervous System Functioning in Heavy Drinking Adolescents: Interactions with sleep, circadian functioning, and health
  • Michael Guy, PhD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Kentucky University
    Determining how 2'-O-methylations in the eukaryotic anticodon loop region of tRNA are formed and how they affect translation 
  • Janelle Hare, PhD, Department of Biology and Chemistry, Morehead State University
    Mechanisms of Action of UmuD in Regulating DNA Damage-Induced Genes in a umuC-Deficient Bacterium
  • Christopher Lennon, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Morehead State University
    Inteins: Expanding Biological Roles and Biotechnological Applications
  • Cheri Levinson, PhD, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville
    Personalized Networks and Sensor Technology Algorithms of Eating Disorder Symptoms Predicting Eating Disorder Outcomes
  • Melissa Mefford, PhD, Department of Biology and Chemistry, Morehead State University
    Telomere and telomerase evolution in S. cerevisiae
  • Juw Won Park, PhD, Department of Computer Science Engineering, University of Louisville
    Identifying and characterizing translation of circular RNAs using high-throughput sequencing data
  • Erin Strome, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University
    Characterization of SAM gene mutation impacts on cellular processes and genome instability
  • Jenni Teeters, PhD, Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University
    Evaluation of an Interactive Mobile Phone-Based Brief Intervention to Reduce Substance-Impaired Driving among Emerging Adults

KY INBRE New Faculty Start-Up Awards

The purpose of the KY INBRE Faculty Start-Up Award program is to facilitate the recruitment of qualified junior faculty at Kentucky colleges and universities who have the background, training, and motivation to establish an externally-funded biomedical research program involving undergraduate students. Eligible institutions may request matching funds (up to $25,000) from KY INBRE to create a first-year research start-up package to offer to potential candidates for tenure-track assistant professor positions in research areas consistent with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) priorities. The recruited candidates will become members of the KY INBRE and will receive additional research and proposal development support through the KY INBRE Mentoring Core.

The 2022 KY INBRE Faculty Start-Up Award recipient is:

  • Brittany Smith, PhD, Department of Psychological Science, Northern Kentucky University
    My primary research focus is understanding how early life environment influences executive function, and how early life adversity can increase the risk of cognitive deficits.

KY INBRE Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences Awards

The KY INBRE CUREs Awards provide the opportunity to apply for developmental awards to increase course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). Target budgets will be up to $20,000 per year for one to three consecutive years. These awards can be used for faculty salary support for course development and/or supplies/equipment needed for the initial development.

The 2022 KY INBRE CUREs Award recipients are:

  • Natalie Christian, PhD and Rachel Pigg, PhD, Department of Biology, University of Louisville
    Integrating molecular biology and ecology through a soil microbiome CURE
  • Lili Ma, PhD, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Northern Kentucky University
    UROCC: Undergraduate Research in Organic Chemistry Course

KY INBRE Bridge Funding Awards

The purpose of the KY INBRE Bridge Funding Awards program is to enable NIH-funded faculty to maintain their research program for short periods of time between the lapse of initial grant funding and the start of a new or renewal NIH grant awardBridge Awards are non-renewable and are limited to a maximum of $50,000 for a one-year period.

The 2022 KY INBRE Bridge Funding Award recipients are:

  • Amy Brausch, PhD, Department of Psychological Sciences, Western Kentucky University
    Dimensions of emotion regulation in nonsuicidal self-injury and suicide in adolescents
  • Christine Curran, PhD, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Kentucky University 
    Genetic Susceptibility to Developmental Benzo[a]pyrene Neurotoxicity
  • Rachel Tinius, PhD, EP-C, Department of Exercise Science, Western Kentucky University
    Pilot testing of a mobile health intervention designed to increase physical activity and improve morbidity and mortality-related outcomes among pregnant and postpartum women in a rural setting
  • Justin Yates, PhD, Department of Psychological Science, Northern Kentucky University
    Contribution of NMDA NR2B subunit to risky choice and economic demand for cocaine