2017 John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program for the BioScience Research Collaborative
The Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) is pleased to announce the RFA for the 2017 John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program. Launched in 2009 as a 10-year program with generous support from the John S. Dunn Foundation, this seed grant program continues to build the collaborative environment of the Bioscience Research Collaborative (BRC) and the interdisciplinary and interinstitutional culture of the Gulf Coast Consortia. To be eligible, new collaborative groups must include one BRC tenant (list linked below) and must propose a new research project or event. For the event award, please note that funding will not be awarded for continuing support of existing events or collaborative meetings.
John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program Testimonials
The Shamoo and Arias collaboration started over 6 years ago based on their common research interests. At that time, Dr. Shamoo had developed a system to test evolutionary pathways involved in development of antibiotic resistance and wanted to use it on clinical strains of multidrug-resistant organisms. Dr. Arias’ had a long standing interest in identifying mechanism of resistance in human pathogens and at that time he was studying the mechanism of resistance to daptomycin in multidrug-resistant enterococci, using isolates recovered from the bloodstream of a patient. Thus, using their combined expertise, Drs. Shamoo and Arias set out to understand the molecular and structural bases of resistance to daptomycin in these important hospital-associated pathogens. Starting with the Dunn’s foundation mechanism, this collaboration has now produced several NIH and DoD funded grants and has strengthen the ongoing efforts of both labs to combat multidrug-resistant organisms.
“It was wonderful to obtain funding from the John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program! Not only did I get to know my co-awardees much better, I unexpectedly also got to meet and get to know my Rice collaborator’s colleagues at Rice University who are involved in the GCC! Together, we were able to achieve an important and brand-new proof-of-concept experiment that opens the doors for improved pharmacological control of gene therapy that I feel gets us closer to clinical applications.” Lynn Zechiedrich, Kyle and Josephine Morrow Chair and Professor in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine.
“Were it not for the Dunn Foundation funding opportunity announcement, I would not have thought of looking beyond the comfort zone of my usual collaborators at Rice University and the Texas Medical Center. Since the solicitation specifically sought new interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations between members of GCC institutions and BRC-associated faculty, I went to the list of BRC-associated faculty and stumbled upon Dr. Zubarev’s name and his website. It turned out that there were clearly many areas of parallel interest with largely non-overlapping areas of expertise – Eugene’s group with chemistry and nanomaterial expertise and our group with cancer biology and radiation oncology expertise. It sometimes takes a little prod in the right direction like this to broaden our horizons and explore new possibilities. Eugene and I met a few times in each other’s labs and drafted a proposal, our lab colleagues struck up a conversation and exchanged notes and ideas, joint experiments began in earnest, and slowly and steadily a fun and exciting project has grown where none existed before. We still meet up for breakfast in the Rice Village occasionally to brainstorm and plan next steps. By incentivizing interdisciplinary research, the Dunn Foundation has unearthed a treasure, this untapped collaborative potential, right within the medical center.” Sunil Krishnan Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Radiation Oncology, and John E. and Dorothy J. Harris Endowed Professorship in Gastrointestinal Cancer, Division of Radiation Oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center.