November 2, 2023

Life and Health Sciences Summit opens new opportunities for Purdue researchers


Nearly 130 Purdue faculty, staff and university leaders met in a Life and Health Sciences Summit on Oct. 19 to explore and define opportunities to deepen Purdue’s leadership in these fields. 

Ahead of the summit, faculty teams from seven colleges and 22 departments submitted 48 proposals for research topics where Purdue has unique, nationally leading strengths. Funding from a pool of up to $2 million was set aside to catalyze such faculty pursuits as part of a seed investment. 

“At Purdue, we are fortunate to have such passionate faculty in the life and health sciences, and the number of strong submissions underscores this,” said Karen Plaut, executive vice president for research. “Of course, research excellence at scale means prioritizing; this summit enabled us to make investments in promising areas where Purdue has unique strengths and opportunities.”  

In addition to the funded projects listed below, there were many exciting ideas proposed that will enable connections across research teams with complementary projects and the provision of services that continue to foster the success of many of the proposals.

Seed funding was awarded for the following projects:

  • Unlocking a Blueprint for Health: The Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) as a Disease Safeguard. Team: Seema Mattoo, Vikki Weake, Bryon Drown, Fang Huang, Christina Ferriera, Jonathan Schlebach, Rams Subramanian, Eugenio Culurciello, Daniel Flaherty, Alex Chortos.
  • Leveraging Cross-species Digital Twins for Modeling Cancer Progression and Outcome. Team: Nadia Atallah Lanman, Debbie Knapp, Ananth Grama, Mario Sola, Vaneet Aggarwal, Seung-Oe Lim.
  • Using Across-phyla Methods to Increase Genomic Prediction Accuracy to Improve Health and Food Security. Team: Luiz Fernando Brito, Robbee Wedow, Matthew Tegtmeyer, Mitch Tuinstra.
  • Data-Driven Cross-species Auditory Neuroscience for Accessible Mechanistic Precision Audiology. Team: Michael Heinz, Ananth Grama, Edward Bartlett, Josh Alexander, Maureen Shader, Jennifer Simpson.

All teams that submitted proposals for the summit received feedback from reviewers and resource suggestions to advance their ideas.  

“We received many submissions worthy of further exploration,” said Rams Subramanian, director of Bindley Bioscience Center. “Although only a few could be presented and discussed during the summit, our strong hope is that teams continue advancing their ideas.”

Dan DeLaurentis, vice president of Discovery Park District Institutes, added, “There are many important resources that teams can access. These include the SPARK program, which supports interdisciplinary teams pursuing large center research grants, as well as connecting to centers and institutes in Discovery Park District.”

A recording of the summit is available here

Writer/media contact: Peter Shelby

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