Intramural Grants Program


The Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine provides funds for basic, clinical and translational research
through an annual competitive Intramural Grants Program (IGP). This year, two tracks are offered:

Seed funding: This will provide funds for projects that are conceptually new, have not been supported from any other funding sources (excluding start-up funds), and have a clear potential to be competitive for extramural grants support.

Funding to support revised grant submissions: This provides funds to allow investigators to obtain preliminary data required to increase the competitiveness of revised grant applications. To qualify for these funds, an application based on the project must have been submitted to an external funding agency within the last 18 months. For both tracks, collaborative proposals are encouraged. Clinical trials will not be supported.








Award Year: 2023

Luis del Pozo-Yauner, Ph.D.
Role of Polyploid Giant Cancer Cells in Resistance to Therapy and Tumor Recurrence in High-grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma
Awarded $50,000

Jin Kim, Ph.D.
Combinational therapy for Influenza A infection in mice to extend the treatment window
Awarded $50,000

Wito Richter, Ph.D.
Targeting cAMP signaling and PDE4 in metabolic syndromes
Awarded $50,000

Award Period: 04/01/22-03/31/23 

1. Natalie Bauer, Ph.D.

Extracellular Vesicle Signaling in the Pulmonary Circulation

Award Amount: $25,000

2. Victor Solodushko, Ph.D.

Testing the efficacy of a novel easily modifiable replication-deficient influenza A

Award Amount: $50,000

Award Period: 11/1/21-10/31/22

1. Jonathan Audia, Ph.D.

Request for an Additional Year of Bridge Funding Support

Award Amount: $25,000

2. Jin Hyun Kim, DVM, Ph.D.

Identification of highly selective packaging signal sequences of influenza A virus
for developing drug-resistance free therapeutics

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Wito Richter, Ph.D.

Targeting cAMP signaling and PDE4 in metabolic syndromes

Award Amount: $50,000

Award Period: 11/1/20-10/31/21

1. Casey Daniel, Ph.D.

A longitudinal study of COVID-19 sequelae and health disparities

Award Amount: $49,901

2. Jonathan Audia, Ph.D.

Bridge funding for R01 HL118334 entitled Caspase-1, the microvascular endothelium, and infection

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Glen Borchert, Ph.D.

Salmonella sRNAs drive the decision between active stress resistance and persister cell dormancy

Award Amount: $44,961

4. Natalie Gassman, Ph.D.

Inhibition of caspase-1 as a cardioprotective strategy during doxorubicin treatment

Award Amount: $50,000

5. Sarah Sayner, Ph.D.

Role of AC10 in gender disparities associated with ARDS

Award Amount: $50,000

Award Period: 11/1/19-10/31/20

1. Robert Barrington, Ph.D.

Defining immunologic heterogeneity as a means to biomarker identification and precision medicine for PAP

Award Amount: $49,730

2. Natalie Bauer, Ph.D.

Mechanisms of Extracellular Vesicle Signaling

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Steve Lim, Ph.D.

Nuclear FAK regulation of VSMC phenotypic switching in atherosclerosis

Award Amount: $50,000

4. Jon Simmons, Ph.D.

Establishment of a porcine model of hemorrhagic shock at the University of South Alabama

Award Amount: $50,000

5. Xiangming Zha, Ph.D.

Functional importance of GPR4 in brain microvascular endothelial cell

Award Amount: $50,000

Award period: 3/1/19-2/29/20

1. Erin Ahn, Ph.D.

Targeting SON-mediated RNA splicing in glioblastoma

Award Amount: $50,000

2. Donna Cioffi, Ph.D.

Effects of IgG glycosylation on endothelial barrier function

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Annabelle Fonseca, Ph.D.

Quantitative imaging analysis of pancreatic cysts

Award Amount: $25,000

4. Brian Fouty, Ph.D.

Quantitative imaging analysis of pancreatic cysts

Award Amount: $50,000

Award period: 11/1/18-10/31/19

1. Lyudmila Rachek, Ph.D.

Effect of bariatric surgery on mtDNA DAMPs, inflammation and diabetes outcome

Award Amount: $50,000

2. Mykhaylo Ruchko, Ph.D.

Role of circulating mtDNA fragments in the development of insulin resistance and heart failure

Award Amount: $50,000

Award period: 11/1/17-10/31/18

1. Robert Barrington, Ph.D.

Underlying mechanisms mediating autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis

Award Amount: $48,019

2. Donna Cioffi, Ph.D.

Regulation of endothelial store-operated calcium entry by an FKBP51/PP5C axis

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Lawrence LeClaire, Ph.D.

Actin-associated proteins of the Aspergillus cytoskeleton

Award Amount: $46,850

4. Mike Lin, Ph.D.

Pulmonary endothelium-derived amyloid proteins impair neural function

Award Amount: $50,000

5. Mark Taylor, Ph.D.

Role of toxic host factors in endothelial dysfunction during Vibrio vulnificus sepsis

Award Amount: $50,000


About the Program

Eligible Applicants

Applicants must be full-time faculty (Assistant Professor or above) with primary appointments in the COM. Co-investigators may be from any unit or college. The following faculty are not eligible:
•Faculty with startup or other institutional funds currently available to them, with balances
greater than $100,000
•Faculty in their terminal appointment year
•Emeritus faculty

[Note: The prior ineligibility of faculty with current extramural research funding no longer applies].

Key Dates (2023-2024 IGP- second round)

Submission deadline - Friday, March 1, 2024 @ 5:00p.m.
Awards expected to commence in April 2024

Award Budget

Annually, the COM will commit $250,000 to this program, providing individual one-year awards in the range of $25,000-50,000 in direct costs. The amount of each award and the number of awards made will be contingent upon the number of meritorious proposals submitted, the scope of work therein, and proposal budgets.

Application Content

The submission packet must include:
1) A completed Intramural Transmittal Form signed by the PI, any faculty collaborators, and relevant chairs
2) Research Plan (in NIH format) comprising:
A. Specific Aims Page
B. Significance
C. Innovation
D. Approach (one-year work plan)
E. An explanation for how the proposed project will be leveraged to attract extramural funding
F. If applicable, specialized facilities or resources needed for the project beyond what is typically available to COM investigators, e.g. use of outside fee-for-service labs, high performance computing.
G. References Cited
A maximum of one page is allowed for the Specific Aims and a maximum of four pages for sections B-E.
3) NIH Biosketches – for the PI and any faculty collaborators, including other support for the past 3 years
4) Detailed NIH-style Budget and Budget Justification.
    Non-allowable costs – faculty salary; extramural subcontracts.
    Allowable costs – other budget items allowed under NIH policy; equipment requests
    are limited to $15,000.

Other Content:
i) For applications to support a revised extramural proposal, a one-page Introduction must be added (akin to the Introduction to Revised Application section of an NIH resubmission), outlining how the reviewers’ criticisms will be addressed, including revisions to the application and any new data needed. Important: Include the prior Summary Statement or equivalent from the prior peer review as an appendix to the application.
ii) If this is also revised submission to the IGP, the prior Summary Statement from the COM review panel must also be included.
iii) If a current IGP awardee is requesting an additional year of support (i.e., a renewal) toward a revised extramural proposal, a Progress Report for that award must be included.
iv) Any recipients of an Intramural Grants Program (IGP) award within the last five years (as PI) must provide the following information:
• Publications arising directly from the previous award
• A list of submissions for extramural funding based on the project, to include project title, sponsoring agency and funding outcome.

Application Submission

All application materials must be collated into one pdf file and uploaded into the University InfoReady Review platform by 5pm on the submission due date. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Review Criteria

Standard NIH criteria are used to review applications, including Significance, Investigator, Innovation, Approach and Environment (if applicable). For the “Seed” track, reviewers will be asked whether the proposed project represents a new area of research for the investigator(s). For the “revised” track, reviewers will be asked to judge whether applicants are adequately responding to prior critiques in terms of the experimental plan and written response. For both tracks, reviewers will be asked to assess the likelihood that the work proposed will lead to extramural funding. They will also consider productivity arising from prior IGP awards to the investigator(s), if applicable.


Awards will begin December 1. Research compliance approvals must be current prior to release of funds. Expenditures will be audited. Funds remaining at the end of the project period will revert to the COM – no-cost extensions are allowed only by approval of the Associate Dean for Research.


Awardees are expected to leverage these funds to submit new extramural proposals to major funding agencies. In addition, a final progress report (1-2 pages) must be filed with the Associate Dean for Research within 30 days of award close, outlining major findings, publications and proposal submissions to date.

Please direct any questions to:
Christopher Davies, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Research
Tel: (251) 341-3826