Congratulations to our nine Multidisciplinary Pilot Program Award winners for 2016. Awardees represent five CCTS partner institutions: Auburn, Southern Research, Tulane, UAB, and USA.

The goal of the CCTS Multidisciplinary Pilot Program is to foster collaborative team science and innovative discovery. Projects must address scientific questions consistent with the CCTS mission and may be at any stage of research, from the biological basis of health and disease to interventions that improve the health of individuals and the public.

Proposals investigating the underlying operational principles of the translational process are also strongly encouraged. Applicants must also identify one non-CCTS cosponsor with shared scientific interests (a school, a department, a division, a University-wide Interdisciplinary Research Center, etc.).

This year’s awardees, listed below, will each receive up to $60,000 to cover direct costs of their research for the period of April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017. To learn more about the Multidisciplinary Pilot Program, contact the CCTS Research Commons ( or visit our Pilot Funding page.

Rebecca Arend, MD, assistant professor, Dept. of Medicine, Div. of Ob/Gyn - Gynecologic Oncology, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
“Priming Anti-Tumor Immunity in Ovarian Cancer with Epigenetics”

Javier Campos-Gomez, PhD, research biologist, Infectious Diseases, Drug Discovery Division, Southern Research
“Novel phage therapy approach targeting bacterial biofilm for the treatment of chronic infections with Pseudomonas aeruginosa”

Mai Do, MD, MPH, DrPH, assistant professor, Global Community Health & Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University, and Jennifer McCleary, MSW, PhD, assistant professor, Social Work, Tulane University
“Social, cultural, and cognitive factors that facilitate or impede an individual's use of behavioral health care”

Courtney Gamston, ScM, PharmD, discipline chair for Pharmacology, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, and affiliate assistant professor, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University
“Assessment of the efficacy and economy of an employer-based biometric screening program as a platform for diabetes prevention”

Marguerite Ryan Irvin, PhD, assistant professor, Dept. of Epidemiology, UAB
“Epigenetic biomarkers of preeclampsia risk among mothers with chronic hypertension”

Jeonga Kim, PhD, assistant professor, Dept. of Medicine, Div. of Endocrinology, Diabetes, & Metabolism, UAB
“Investigate the weight loss effect of a novel compound, UAB126”

Saeed Latif, PhD, assistant professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of South Alabama
“Microwave Radar and Infrared Sensing (MiRIS) Based Breast Imaging Device for Cancer Detection” 

Christina Muzny, MD, assistant professor, Dept. of Medicine, Div. of Infectious Diseases, UAB
“Genital Microbiomes of Women with Recurrent BV and their Regular Male Sexual Partners”

Adam Wende, PhD, assistant professor, Dept. of Medicine, Div. of Molecular & Cellular Pathology, UAB
“Human blood DNA methylation and RNA transcript signatures to define diabetic cardiac subtypes”