STONY BROOK, NY, June 22, 2020 – The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Institute for Engineering-Driven Medicine (IEDM) at Stony Brook University provided $398,200 in seed funding for 17 research projects directly related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The OVPR & IEDM COVID-19 Seed Grant Program will allow Stony Brook University investigators to begin critical research that will address urgent health care challenges, including prognostic and therapeutic studies, as well as the far reaching social impacts of the pandemic.
The call for applications, which was released in late March 2020 and open for less than three weeks, received an overwhelming response with a total of 63 submissions from the Stony Brook University research community. Applicants were evaluated by a peer review panel based on the project’s scientific innovation and excellence, potential to mitigate the impacts of the current pandemic, strength of the research team, clarity and efficiency of the proposed budget, practicality of completion in the 12-month award period, and opportunities to attract external funding.
The special initiative seed grant program is managed by the Office of Proposal Development and was designed to give Stony Brook University faculty a competitive edge in securing external funds for COVID-19 research. As such, proposals were submitted with the intent to develop larger, more extensive and collaborative research projects to further the understanding of the virus and to improve the response to a pandemic.
Principal Investigators of the awarded proposals represented the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the School of Medicine. Funds were made available as of May 22, 2020 and all projects are expected to be completed within one year.
“It’s exciting to see the remarkable breadth of topics reflected in these seed funding awards. It is a clear demonstration of the vast expertise and creativity of our researchers across the entire University,” said Richard J. Reeder, Vice President for Research.
The projects funded by the OVPR & IEDM COVID-19 Seed Grant Program are:
- Interferon-lambda as a Broad-spectrum Antiviral Drug for COVID-19. PI: Dr. Nancy Reich, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Co-PIs: Dr. Janet Hearing, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Dr. Patrick Hearing, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Dr. Hwan Kim, Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
- Multiscale molecular simulations to develop inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus membrane fusion protein. PI: Dr. Carlos Simmerling, Department of Chemistry and Laufer Center for Physical & Quantitative Biology. Co-PI: Dr. Evangelos Coutsias, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics and Laufer Center for Physical & Quantitative Biology.
- Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19-Induced Social Isolation (PICSI) on Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Longitudinal Study. PI: Dr. Matthew Lerner, Department of Psychology. Co-PI: Dr. Jennifer Keluskar, Department of Psychiatry.
- Targeted degradation of the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro protease as a novel therapy for treating COVID-19 infection. PI: Dr. Peter Tonge, Department of Chemistry. Co-PIs: Dr. Dima Kozakov, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Dr. David Thanassi, Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
- Adapting Social Behaviors during the Ebola and COVID-19 Emergencies: A Household Level Analysis from the West African Region. PI: Dr. Shobana Shankar, Department of History.
- Structure-based Development of Novel Cyclophilin Inhibitors for Studying and Blocking Viral Replication of Human Coronaviruses. PI: Dr. Markus Seeliger, Department of Pharmacological Sciences. Co-PI: Dr. David Liu, Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
- Therapeutic Targeting SARS-CoV-2 Induced ACE2/Bradykinin Pulmonary Edema. PI: Dr. Erich Mackow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology.
- Effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on the Academic, Career, Mental, Psychosocial, and Physical Functioning of the SBU Community. PIs: Dr. Brady Nelson, Dr. Lauren Richmond, and Dr. Jessica Schleider, Department of Psychology. Co-PIs: Dr. Bonita London, Dr. Sheri Levy, and Dr. Dan Klein, Department of Psychology.
- Inter-Species Modeling for Spillback/Spillover Avoidance. PI: Dr. Liliana Davalos, Department of Ecology and Evolution. Co-PIs: Dr. Jaymie Meliker, Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine; Dr. Kristjan Mets, Department of Ecology and Evolution.
- The COPE Study (COVID-19 Pregnancy Experiences) – Experiences of Women Pregnant During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Associated Health Impacts. PI: Dr. Heidi Preis, Department of Psychology. Co-PIs: Dr. Marci Lobel, Department of Psychology; Dr. Brittain Mahaffey, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.
- Investigating the role of the Sts enzymes in coronavirus-induced hyper-inflammation: establishing a foundation for immunomodulatory-based therapeutic intervention. PI: Dr. Nicholas Carpino, Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Co-PI: Dr. Erich Mackow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
- COVID-19 Prognosis with Interpretable Deep Learning Methods. PI: Dr. Chao Chen, Department of Biomedical Informatics. Co-PIs: Dr. Prateek Prasanna and Dr. Janos Hajagos, Department of Biomedical Informatics.
- Biomarker Identification for COVID-19 Risk Stratification in Maternal Fetal Heath. PI: Dr. Wadie Bahou, Department of Medicine. Co-PIs: Dr. Cecilia Avila, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine; Dr. Dimitri Gnatenko, Department of Medicine; Dr. Wei Zhu, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics.
- The Virus is in the Details: Discovering Subtle COVID-19 Visual Features on Chest X-rays Using Machine Learning. PI: Dr. Prateek Prasanna, Department of Biomedical Informatics. Co-PIs: Dr. Dimitris Samaras, Department of Computer Science; Dr. Elaine Gould, Department of Radiology.
- Use of Chest CT and Machine Learning for Diagnosis and Management of COVID-19 Patients. PI: Dr. Arie Kaufman, Department of Computer Science. Co-PI: Dr. Marlene Zawin, Department of Radiology.
- Pharmacological Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 Replication. PI: Dr. Miguel Garcia-Diaz, Department of Pharmacological Sciences. Co-PI: Dr. Robert Rizzo, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics.
- Multiscale Modeling of Binding SARS-CoV-2 to Various Substrates. PI: Dr. Peng Zhang, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics. Co-PIs: Dr. Yuefan Deng, Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics; Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering; Dr. Marcia Simon, Department of Oral Biology and Pathology.