2019 John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program
The Gulf Coast Consortia (GCC) is pleased to announce the RFA for the 2019 John S. Dunn Foundation Collaborative Research Award Program. Launched in 2009 with generous support from the John S. Dunn Foundation, this seed grant program continues to build the collaborative environment and the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional culture of the Gulf Coast Consortia.
The purpose of this program is to foster new, exemplary inter-disciplinary and inter-institutional engagement in the quantitative biomedical sciences by providing research seed grants of up to $100,000 per team to support research/preliminary work for 2 years with the goal that these exploratory, high-risk projects will be competitive for future peer-reviewed funding.
Funds are awarded to new collaborative teams in which each member of the team is from a different GCC member institution: Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, University of Houston, UT Health Science Center at Houston, UT Medical Branch at Galveston, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and The Institute of Biosciences and Technology of Texas A&M. Note that this approach differs from that of previous years, as the requirement that each team include a faculty member affiliated with the Bioscience Research Collaborative has been eliminated.
Selection Criteria for the Full Proposal
Three teams from each institution will be invited to submit full proposals (we anticipate a total of 21 full proposals). Three full proposals will then be selected to receive a Dunn Collaborative Research Award of up to $100,000 per team for a two-year period.
The selection criteria for the Dunn Collaborative Research Award Program include the following:
- novelty of the proposed research
- interdisciplinary nature of the work/integration of the team
- quality of the science
- qualifications of the investigators
- anticipated level of impact/long-term sustainability
Please note: Funds of up to $100,000 per team are provided for a 2-year research project period. Funds may be used for graduate student or postdoctoral fellow stipend/salary and fringe, limited supplies, limited travel. No funds are provided for faculty support, F&A/indirect costs, tuition or tuition remission.
The John S. Dunn Collaborative Research Award Program has been renewed for another 10 years (2019-2029). We are deeply appreciative of the Dunn Foundation trustees for their generosity and tremendous commitment to biomedical research and the work of outstanding scientists in our community and for their continued confidence in the GCC.
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.