OCAST Approves 23 Health Research Awards

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OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) -- Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology has approved 23 new health research awards.

The funding is based on the recommendation of a nationwide team of out-of-state peer reviewers who evaluated the proposals. The Oklahoma Health Research program contributes to medical research areas and resources necessary for Oklahoma to compete for federal health research funding in health care. In the fiscal year ended June 30, $9 of federal and private research dollars was leveraged for every tax dollar OCAST invested in this program.

"The OCAST health research program advances science and technology that will improve the health and quality of life for all Oklahomans," said Bruce Roe, George Lynn Cross research professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma.

The 23 award recipients included:

Sanjay Bidichandani at the OU Health Sciences Center was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Mutation Analysis in Friedreich Ataxia.

Richard Bunce at Oklahoma State University was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Tandem Reaction-Strategies for Drug Synthesis."

Randle Gallucci at the OU Health Sciences Center was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "The Role of Interleukin-6 in Cutaneous Wound Healing."

Frank Holloway at the OU Health Sciences Center was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Atypical Antipsychotics for Methamphetamine Abuse."

Muna Naash at the OU Health Sciences Center was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Ribozyme Therapy for Stationary Night Blindness."

Leonidas Tsiokas at the OU Health Sciences Center was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Structure-Function of TRPC1."

Michael Bachmann at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Initiation of Autoimmunity by Somatic Mutations."

Margaret Clarke at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Membrane Dynamics in Endocytic Pathway."

Rong Zhu Gan at the University of Oklahoma was awarded $135,000 for a three-year study titled "Middle Ear Simulator for Sound Transmission. …