Clockwise: Jihane Benhammou, MD, Hui Hua Chang, PhD, Jennifer Fulcher, MD, PhD, Slavica Tudzarova, PhD, Marc Liesa-Roig, PhD and Arpana Gupta, PhD.
UCLA CTSI and the CURE: Digestive Diseases Research Core Center (CURE: DDRCC) at UCLA have funded CTSI-CURE Pilot and Feasibility Study Awards to six investigators for high quality and innovative research in the biology, function and diseases of the digestive system. Awarded research has special emphasis on receptor and signal transduction mechanisms, brain-gut interactions, neurogastroenterology, gastrointestinal and pancreatic physiology, pathophysiology and inflammation, or mechanisms underlying diseases of the digestive system.
The Pilot and Feasibility Study Awards provide researchers with up to $40,000 per year. Projects are expected to lead to peer-reviewed extramural funding such as NIH, VA or related agency research grants in which awardees serve as principal investigators.
Below are the 2019 awardees.
Jihane Benhammou, M.D., UCLA, "The novel human long non-coding RNA, OLMALINC, regulates lipid metabolism through differential regulation of the Sterol Response Binding Proteins and SCD"
Hui Hua Chang, Ph.D., UCLA, "Free fatty acid receptors-mediated regulation of YAP activity in obesity-promoted pancreatic cancer"
Jennifer Fulcher, M.D., Ph.D., UCLA, "Investigating the role of gut microbiome maturation in oral polio vaccine response"
Arpana Gupta, Ph.D., UCLA, "Sex differences in brain-microbiome-immune interactions in obesity"
Marc Liesa-Roig, Ph.D., UCLA, "Identification of a mitochondrial antioxidant system that fails in alcoholic liver disease (ALD)"
Slavica Tudzarova, Ph.D., UCLA, "Pancreatic tumor promoting role of β-cell Warburg effect in type 2 diabetes"