CTSI awards 13 new Translational Pilot Studies grants for 2024

Pictured, in alphabetical order, are the principal investigators and co-investigators for projects awarded 2024 CTSI Translational Pilot Studies Program funding.

Published January 3, 2024

The University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) Translational Pilot Studies Program annually provides seed money to investigators to assist them in developing promising new technologies and therapeutics from the conceptual stage to clinical studies. For 2024, 13 new grants, involving more than 50 principal investigators and co-investigators, have been awarded to support studies addressing complex and serious public health issues, including multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, work-related concussions, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The projects incorporate cutting-edge technology, including artificial intelligence, biomedical imaging, and the use of nanoparticles. 

“The projects awarded pilot studies grants for 2024 address valuable translational research and translational science questions,” says CTSI Pilot Studies Program Director Brahm Segal, MD, Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Professor of Oncology, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “These are innovative projects that will advance new methods and technologies to impact health, foster cross-disciplinary collaborations, and lead to mentoring relationships.”

Projects awarded 2024 CTSI Translational Pilot Studies Program funding are:

Image Guided Surgery Followed by Intraoperative Photodynamic Therapy for Improving Local Tumor Control in Patients With Loco-regionally Advanced or Recurrent Colorectal Cancer Undergoing Surgery (Principal Investigator: Anthony Dakwar, MD)
Initiative for Private and Secure Collaborative AI Training in Computational Pathology (Principal Investigator: Scott T. Doyle, PhD)
AHEAD — Acoustic Hemodynamic Examination Through AI Diagnosis (Principal Investigator: Ciprian N. Ionita, PhD)
Nanofusion Machines for Direct Cytosolic Delivery and Tumor Penetration (Principal Investigator: Amy Jacobs, PhD)
Understanding the Cortical Inflammatory and Neurodegenerative Changes in Underserved People With Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Cross-sectional Case-controlled Study (Principal Investigator: Dejan Jakimovski, MD, PhD)
Impact of the Increase in Availability of Ambulatory Surgery on Treatment Decision Making: A Mixed Methods Study (Principal Investigator: Jessica Martinolich, MD)
Feasibility of Aerobic Exercise for Recovery from Work-related Concussion (Co-principal Investigators: Jacob I. McPherson, PT, DPT, PhD, and Christopher Stavisky, PhD, OTR/L)
Feasibility of Reducing Postpartum Mortality Among Rural Patients: Use of Remote and Community-based Interventions (Co-principal Investigators: Pauline Mendola, PhD, and Thaddeus P. Waters, MD)
Buffalo Bioimaging Brain Bank for Neurological Disorders (B4ND) (Principal Investigator: Ferdinand Schweser, PhD)
Increasing Lung Cancer Screening: An Urban Primary Care Health Center Approach (Principal Investigator: Darryl Somayaji, PhD, MSN, CNS, RN, CCRC)
Immune Priming Strategy to Improve Delivery and Efficacy of Immunotherapeutics in Pancreatic Cancer (Principal Investigator: Robert M. Straubinger, PhD)
The Missing Link: Elucidating the Role of Periodontitis-derived Extracellular Vesicles As Mediators of Cardiovascular Disease (Principal Investigator: Michelle B. Visser, PhD)
Metformin As an Add-on or Monotherapy in Treatment of Aging People With Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Randomized, Placebo-controlled Pilot Study (Principal Investigator: Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD)