Projects Funded by Partners in Research

In 2011, Georgetown University Medical Center Dean for Research Robert Clarke, PhD, DSc, invited top GUMC researchers to submit research proposals for the inaugural funding year of the Partners in Research program. The submissions were reviewed by a committee of experts from various research backgrounds who followed the stringent proposal review guidelines used by the National Institutes of Health. Five finalists were selected to present their proposals for consideration at the first Partners selection meeting. The three projects ranked highest by the Partners were awarded $25,000 grants.

Since then, Partners in Research members have contributed more than $760,000 and funded 22 projects.

Grant Recipients: Fiscal Year 2018


  • β2 Containing Subtypes of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors in Body Weight Regulation (Ghazaul Dezfuli, PhD, Kenneth Kellar, PhD)
  • Paternal Pre-Conception Stress, Epigenetics and Neuroblastoma Development (Joanna Kitlinska, PhD, Sonia De Assis, PhD)
  • Improving the Efficacy of Treatments for Alexia with tDCS (Rhonda Friedman, PhD)
  • Translational Approach to reduce HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (Italo Moccheti, PhD, Valeriya Avdoshina, MD, PhD)
  • Attenuating Cognitive Decline with Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists (Patrick Forcelli, PhD, Kathryn Sandberg, PhD, Robert Speth, PhD)
  • Cortical Stimulation Through Scalp Electrodes to Induce Sleep as a Safe Treatment for Insomnia (Gholam Motamedi, MD, Jian-Young Wu, PhD, Peter Turkeltaub, MD, PhD)

Fiscal Year 2017
  • Improving Antidepressant Treatments by Understanding the Role of MMPs (Katherine Conant, Kenneth Kellar)
  • Exploring Brain Function to Shed Light on Autism and its Potential Treatments (Lawrence Kromer, John Partridge)
  • Investigation of Mechanisms of Vasodilation in Pregnancy for the Prevention and Treatment Preeclampsia (Crystal West)
  • Assessing the Benefit of Combination Therapy for Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer (Shahin Assefnia, PhD)
  • The Effects of Opioid Taper on Pain Responses in Chronic Pain Patients (Peggy Compton, RN, PhD, Dennis Murphy, MD and Derek L. Thompson, MD)
  • Validation of Plk2 as a novel therapeutic target for Alzheimer’s disease (Daniel Pak, PhD)
  • Interleukin-4 Induced Protein 1 as a Biomarker and Treatment Option in Multiple Sclerosis (Jeffrey Huang, PhD)
  • Single-Blinded, Randomized Assessment of Post-Mastectomy Analgesia Using Exparel (Liposomal) Versus Standard Bupivacaine Versus Exparel and Bupivacaine of Placebo (Eleni Tousimis)

Fiscal Year 2016
  • Biomarkers of Stroke Recovery (Matthew Edwardson)
  • Adult Human Islets can be Expanded Indefinitely for Curing Diabetes (G. Ian Gallicano)
  • Investigating a Novel Enzyme in Multiple Sclerosis (Jeffrey Huang)
  • Validation of a New Drug Target Candidate for Alzheimer’s Disease (Daniel Pak)

Fiscal Year 2015
  • Developing new Targets for Combating Alzheimer’s Disease (Daniel Pak)
  • Identifying Children with Diabetes at High Risk for Strokes and Heart Attacks (Evgenia Gourgari)
  • A Promising Molecule for Treatment and Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer (Shahin Assefnia)

Fiscal Year 2014
  • Improving Prevention and Treatment Strategies for Osteoporosis (Gerard Ahern)
  • Protecting our Brains from Ongoing Trauma After Injury (Mark Burns, Juan Saavedra)

Fiscal Year 2013
  • Discovering a Drug That Kills Cancer Cells in the Laboratory (Rebecca Riggins)
  • Discovering a Better Way to Determine what Drug Dose is Right for You (John VanMeter, Christopher Albanese, Valeriy Korostyshevskiy)

Fiscal Year 2012
  • Can Healthy Young Adults Reveal Brain Differences that Predict Alzheimer’s Disease Before It Develops? (Tim Mhyre, Adam Green, Bill Rebeck)
  • Creation of Retinal Cells from Human Skin Cells to Treat Age-related Macular Degeneration (Nady Golestaneh)
  • Novel, Single Pill for Both Hypertension and Chronic Kidney Disease (Milton Brown, Christopher Wilcox)

If you have questions or would like to discuss your donation or Partners in Research participation, please contact a member of our staff.

Click here to get in touch about supporting biomedical research at Georgetown.

Paula Frishman
Assistant Vice President for Advancement

Rosemarie Treanor Martini
Associate Director of Development

Maja Breznik
Senior Development Associate

202-687-8463
PartnersinResearch@georgetown.edu