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X-Grants

WHAT IS THE X-GRANTS PROGRAM?

The X-Grants, part of the Texas A&M President’s Excellence Fund, is an interdisciplinary program designed to bring faculty together across disciplines. The program’s goal is to unlock creative and imaginative ideas that will address important problems in areas that will significantly impact the most important challenges facing global society. A mix of smaller awards and larger-scale collaborative research awards will share $7 million.

WHAT IS THE SELECTION PROCESS?

Among the teams that submitted one-pagers, some were selected to submit preliminary proposals. Some of those were selected to submit final proposals. These teams will give public presentations about the research April 25, 2019, and final proposals will be submitted May 6, 2019. Announcement of which proposals will be funded will be the week of May 27, 2019.

WHICH PROJECTS WERE SELECTED TO SUBMIT FINAL PROPOSALS?

  • Predicting and preventing opioid misuse through innovative technologies and care models: A transdisciplinary collaboratory, led by Marcia Ory, PhD, MPH, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and initiatives, Health Science Center, chair of Opioid Task Force, associate dean of research and Regents and Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health.
  • 3D bioprinted pancreas to treat type-I diabetes includes Robert C. Alaniz, PhD, director of the College of Medicine Cell Analysis Facility, director of the Core for Integrated Microbiota Research, and research assistant professor, College of Medicine; Kayla Bayless, PhD, associate professor, College of Medicine; and Travis W. Hein, PhD, professor, College of Medicine. 
  • Biology hidden in RNA structures and modifications includes Jun-Yuan Ji, PhD, associate professor, College of Medicine, and Kristin Patrick, PhD, assistant professor, College of Medicine. 
  • Digital twin city for age-friendly communities: Crowd-biosensing of environmental distress for older adults includes Preeti Zanwar, PhD, MPH, MS, instructional assistant professor, School of Public Health. 
  • Early diagnostics of lung cancer with biomarkers includes Jane N. Bolin, PhD, JD, BSN, associate dean for research at the Texas A&M College of Nursing, professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health; Genny Carrillo, MD, ScD, associate professor, director of the Program of Asthma Research and Education, School of Public Health; and Mahua Choudhury, PhD, associate professor, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy. 
  • Engineering brain health: Developing an adaptive closed-loop optogenetic stimulator (CLOPS) to treat neurological and psychiatric disease has William Griffith, PhD, Regents Professor and head of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Medicine, as co-leader. Jun Wang, PhD, assistant professor, College of Medicine, is also on the team. 
  • Generational and transgenerational impacts of air pollution on human health has Jun-Yuan Ji, PhD, associate professor, College of Medicine, and Natalie Johnson, PhD, vice chair Interdisciplinary Program in Toxicology, co-director Program on Asthma Research and Education, assistant professor, School of Public Health, as co-leaders. Members of the team include Cynthia J Meininger, PhD, director of the Division of Vascular Biology, director of graduate studies for the Temple campus and professor, College of Medicine; Rajesh Miranda, PhD, professor, College of Medicine; Virender Sharma, PhD, professor, School of Public Health; and Xiaohui Xu, PhD, department head and associate professor, School of Public Health. 
  • Mitigating mental health stigma in higher education through complementary facilitated dialogues, remote monitoring and telehealth counseling has Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE, director, NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), professor, School of Public Health, joint associate professor, College of Medicine; Israel Liberzon, MD, professor and head of the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine; Carly McCord, PhD, director of Telebehavioral Health, clinical assistant professor, College of Medicine; and Ranjana Mehta, PhD, assistant professor, School of Public Health, as co-leaders. 
  • Soft robots capable of freeform motions: From biomedical to disaster response applications includes Brandon Williamson, MD, clinical assistant professor, College of Medicine. 
  • Targeting insulin resistance by estrogen receptor in control of type 2 diabetes mellitus has David Threadgill, PhD, University Distinguished Professor, College of Medicine, as co-leader. Members of the team include David Dostal, PhD, professor, College of Medicine; Lih Kuo, PhD, professor, associate department head for the College of Medicine Temple campus and director of the Ophthalmic Vascular Research Program, College of Medicine; Ravikumar Majeti, PhD, professor, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; and Mariappan Muthuchamy, PhD, professor, College of Medicine. 
  • Treating the untreatable: phages for personalized medicine has Carrie L. Byington ’85, MD, vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, senior vice president of the Health Science Center and dean of the College of Medicine; Mansoor A. Khan, RPH, PhD, vice dean for the College of Pharmacy College Station campus, professor and head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, director Formulations and Drug Delivery Core Laboratory, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; and Jay Treat, PhD, chief manufacturing officer, Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing, as co-leaders. Members of the team include Carolyn Cannon, MD, PhD, associate director, Texas A&M University MD/PhD Program and associate professor, College of Medicine, and Ziyaur Rahmen, PhD, associate professor, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy.

 

 

WHICH PROJECTS WERE SELECTED TO SUBMIT PRELIMINARY PROPOSALS?

  • Drugs from bugs: Defeating human, animal and plant diseases with pathogen-derived “effector” proteins , led by Paul de Figueiredo, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine

  • Development of non-invasive biomarkers and therapeutic interventions for obesity associated mental health , led by Narendra Kumar, PhD , associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy

        • Co-led by Jayshree Mishra, PhD , research assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy and Srinath Palakurthi, PhD , professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy
        • Members of the team include William Griffith, PhD , Regents Professor and head of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Medicine; Karienn Montgomery, PhD, postdoctoral research associate, College of Medicine; and Hongwei Zhao, ScD , professor, School of Public Health

  • Bridging dimensions of alcohol and substance abuse, from genes to psycho-social determinants: Implications for individualized prevention and treatment , led by Rajesh Miranda, PhD , professor, College of Medicine

  • Predicting and preventing opioid misuse through innovative technologies and care models: A transdisciplinary collaboratory , led by Marcia Ory, PhD , MPH, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and initiatives, Health Science Center, chair of Opioid Task Force, associate dean of research and Regents and Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health

  • Investigating the role of infection in triggering and exacerbating neurodegenerative disease , led by Kristin Patrick, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine

  • Electroceuticals as innovative nerve-stimulating therapies for chronic nervous system disorders , led by Samba Reddy, PhD, RPh , professor, College of Medicine

        • Co-led by Roderic I. Pettigrew, PhD, MD , Chief Executive Officer of Engineering Health (EnHealth) and executive dean for the Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program
        • Members of the team include Mansoor A. Khan, RPH PhD , vice dean College of Pharmacy College Station campus, professor and head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, director Formulations and Drug Delivery Core Laboratory, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; Ranjana Mehta, PhD, assistant professor, School of Public Health; Ashok K Shetty, PhD, professor, College of Medicine; Rahul Srinivasan, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine; Gerard Toussaint, MD , assistant professor, College of Medicine; and Xin Wu, MD , research assistant professor, College of Medicine

  • Brain health and the gut microbiome , led by Farida Sohrabji, PhD , professor and associate department chair, College of Medicine

        • Co-led by Lee Shapiro, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine, and Michelle Hook Schapiro, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine
        • Members of the team include William Griffith, PhD , head of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Medicine, and Karienn Montgomery, PhD, postdoctoral research associate, College of Medicine

  • New health discoveries through space life science research , led by David C Zawieja, PhD , head of the Department of Medical Physiology, College of Medicine

  • Anti-cancer combinatorial drug discovery through high-throughput synergy learning , led by Ke “Kurt” Zhang, PhD , associate professor, Institute of Biosciences and Technology

        • Co-led by Peter Davies, MD, PhD , director of the Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology
        • Members of the team include Clifford Stephan, PhD , research associate professor and director, Center for Translational Cancer Research, Institute of Biosciences and Technology, and Hongbin Wang, PhD, professor, College of Medicine

 

  • Engineering brain health: Developing an adaptive closed-loop optogenetic stimulator (CLOPS) to treat neurological and psychiatric disease includes William Griffith, PhD , Regents Professor and head of the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics, College of Medicine, and Jun Wang, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine
  • Omics data analysis and machine learning on the cloud includes David Threadgill, PhD , University Distinguished Professor, College of Medicine
  • Integrative Structural Biology includes Vytas A. Bankaitis, PhD , Distinguished Professor, E.L. Wehner-Welch Foundation Chair in Chemistry, College of Medicine
  • Early diagnostics of lung cancer with biomarkers includes Mahua Choudhury, PhD , associate professor, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy
  • Targeting insulin resistance by estrogen receptor in control of type 2 diabetes mellitus has David Threadgill, PhD , University Distinguished Professor, College of Medicine, as co-leader

        • Members of the team include Lih Kuo, PhD , professor, associate department head for the College of Medicine Temple campus and director of the Ophthalmic Vascular Research Program, College of Medicine; Ravikumar Majeti, PhD, professor, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; and Mariappan Muthuchamy, PhD , professor, College of Medicine
  • Treating the untreatable: phages for personalized medicine has Carrie L. Byington ’85, MD , vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, senior vice president of the Health Science Center and dean of the College of Medicine, and Mansoor A. Khan, RPH PhD , vice dean for the College of Pharmacy College Station campus, professor and head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, director Formulations and Drug Delivery Core Laboratory, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, as co-leaders

        • Members of the team include Carolyn Cannon, MD, PhD , associate director, Texas A&M University MD/PhD Program and associate professor, College of Medicine, and Ziyaur Rahmen, PhD , associate professor, Irma Lerma Rangel Collee of Pharmacy
  • Biology hidden in RNA structures and modifications includes Jun-Yuan Ji, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine, and Kristin Patrick, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine
  • 3D Bioprinted Pancreas to Treat Type-I Diabetes includes Robert C. Alaniz, PhD , director of the College of Medicine Cell Analysis Facility, director of the Core for Integrated Microbiota Research, and research assistant professor, College of Medicine; Kayla Bayless, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine; and Travis W. Hein, PhD , professor, College of Medicine
  • Generational and Transgenerational Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health has Jun-Yuan Ji, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine, and Natalie Johnson, PhD , vice chair Interdisciplinary Program in Toxicology, co-director Program on Asthma Research and Education, assistant professor, School of Public Health, as co-leaders

  • The future workplace: smart and healthy design solutions for improved health and performance includes Mark E. Benden, PhD, CPE , director of the Ergonomics Center, department head and associate professor, School of Public Health, and Marcia Ory, PhD , MPH, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and initiatives, Health Science Center, chair of Opioid Task Force, associate dean of research and Regents and Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health
  • Ebola: Fact or Political Fiction includes Brian Colwell, PhD, MS , director of the Program on Global Health Research, professor, School of Public Health; Garrett Sansom, DrPh , research assistant professor, School of Public Health
  • Microorganisms as Living Biofactories: Products from Bugs includes Paul de Figueiredo, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine
  • Mitigating mental health stigma in higher education through complementary facilitated dialogues, remote monitoring and telehealth counseling includes Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE , director, NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), professor, School of Public Health, joint associate professor, College of Medicine; Israel Liberzon, MD , professor and head of the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine; and Carly McCord, PhD , director of Telebehavioral Health, clinical assistant professor, College of Medicine
  • Design lignin nanoparticles (LNP) to transform glioblastoma and Alzheimer’s disease treatment includes Peter J.A. Davies, MD, PhD , director, Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology, professor, College of Medicine; Thomas A. Kent, MD , Welch Professor and associate dean for the Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program, College of Medicine; Mansoor A. Khan, RPH, PhD , vice dean for the College of Pharmacy College Station campus, professor and head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, director Formulations and Drug Delivery Core Laboratory, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; and Clifford Stephan, PhD , research associate professor and director, Center for Translational Cancer Research, Institute of Biosciences and Technology
  • High-throughput drug screening in micro-tissues incorporating inter-personal variations in gut microbiota includes Joseph Rutkowski, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine, and Clifford Stephan, PhD , research associate professor and director, Center for Translational Cancer Research, Institute of Biosciences and Technology
  • Treating the untreatable: phages for personalized medicine has Carrie L. Byington ’85, MD , vice chancellor for health services at The Texas A&M University System, senior vice president of the Health Science Center and dean of the College of Medicine, and Mansoor A. Khan, RPH PhD , vice dean for the College of Pharmacy College Station campus, professor and head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, director Formulations and Drug Delivery Core Laboratory, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, as co-leaders

        • Members of the team include Carolyn Cannon, MD, PhD , associate director, Texas A&M University MD/PhD Program and associate professor, College of Medicine, and Ziyaur Rahmen, PhD , associate professor, Irma Lerma Rangel Collee of Pharmacy
  • Biology hidden in RNA structures and modifications includes Jun-Yuan Ji, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine, and Kristin Patrick, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine
  • 3D Bioprinted Pancreas to Treat Type-I Diabetes includes Robert C. Alaniz, PhD , director of the College of Medicine Cell Analysis Facility, director of the Core for Integrated Microbiota Research, and research assistant professor, College of Medicine; Kayla Bayless, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine; and Travis W. Hein, PhD , professor, College of Medicine
  • Generational and Transgenerational Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health has Jun-Yuan Ji, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine, and Natalie Johnson, PhD , vice chair Interdisciplinary Program in Toxicology, co-director Program on Asthma Research and Education, assistant professor, School of Public Health, as co-leaders

  • The future workplace: smart and healthy design solutions for improved health and performance includes Mark E. Benden, PhD, CPE , director of the Ergonomics Center, department head and associate professor, School of Public Health, and Marcia Ory, PhD , MPH, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and initiatives, Health Science Center, chair of Opioid Task Force, associate dean of research and Regents and Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health
  • Ebola: Fact or Political Fiction includes Brian Colwell, PhD, MS , director of the Program on Global Health Research, professor, School of Public Health; Garrett Sansom, DrPh , research assistant professor, School of Public Health
  • Microorganisms as Living Biofactories: Products from Bugs includes Paul de Figueiredo, PhD , associate professor, College of Medicine
  • Mitigating mental health stigma in higher education through complementary facilitated dialogues, remote monitoring and telehealth counseling includes Bita A. Kash, PhD, MBA, FACHE , director, NSF Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), professor, School of Public Health, joint associate professor, College of Medicine; Israel Liberzon, MD , professor and head of the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine; and Carly McCord, PhD , director of Telebehavioral Health, clinical assistant professor, College of Medicine
  • Design lignin nanoparticles (LNP) to transform glioblastoma and Alzheimer’s disease treatment includes Peter J.A. Davies, MD, PhD , director, Texas A&M Institute of Biosciences and Technology, professor, College of Medicine; Thomas A. Kent, MD , Welch Professor and associate dean for the Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program, College of Medicine; Mansoor A. Khan, RPH, PhD , vice dean for the College of Pharmacy College Station campus, professor and head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, director Formulations and Drug Delivery Core Laboratory, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; and Clifford Stephan, PhD , research associate professor and director, Center for Translational Cancer Research, Institute of Biosciences and Technology
  • High-throughput drug screening in micro-tissues incorporating inter-personal variations in gut microbiota includes Joseph Rutkowski, PhD , assistant professor, College of Medicine, and Clifford Stephan, PhD , research associate professor and director, Center for Translational Cancer Research, Institute of Biosciences and Technology

Who was selected last year?

In the first round of X-Grants, which was held in 2018, a team led by College of Medicine's Carl Gregory, PhD, was chosen for funding

Additional 2018 X-Grants information

HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?

Please contact Emily Wilson, PhD, for additional details.