Researchers Receive Grants from Sapphire North America and CABRI in Joint Effort to Help Scientists Return to Research

ANN ARBOR, MI, August 2, 2021Sapphire North America partnered with the Cayman Biomedical Research Institute (CABRI) to offer recovery grants to help re-engage the research of investigators affected by COVID-19 this past year. From the qualifying applicants, the following five researchers have been selected to receive $2,000 each in grant funds to support their work.

2021 Return to Research Grant Recipients

Elizabeth Delorme-Axford, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at Oakland University who is launching an independent research program to identify the cellular and molecular mechanisms regulating autophagy. Her goal is to develop new therapeutics for human diseases associated with aberrant autophagy such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and lysosomal storage disorders. She plans to use the funding to investigate post-transcriptional mechanisms regulating autophagy-related gene expression and autophagy activity with a focus on pseudouridine synthase 7-mediated pseudouridylation as a posttranscriptional RNA modification.

Jorgelina Calandria, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Neuroscience at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center New Orleans who is interested in the mechanisms of neuroprotection exerted by bioactive lipids derived from docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). She focuses on age-related neurodegenerative diseases related with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia, seeking to counteract the effects of deregulated phospholipase A2 group VI in these pathologies by treating her acute and chronic rat models of Parkinsonian disorders with bioactive lipids.

Mariola Edelmann, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Cell Science at the University of Florida who studies the roles of exosomes and lipid‐based extracellular signals in host‐pathogen interactions to design new methods for the prevention and treatment of Gram-negative infections. She plans to use the funding to purchase cannabinoid libraries to study the function of cannabinoids in the host response to Salmonella and other enteric infections. Dr. Edelmann also has a research collaboration to find new therapeutic treatments for Krabbe disease. She will use the same library in testing potential therapies for this leukodystrophy.

Pengda Liu, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who is searching for new therapeutic directions for cancer treatment by working to decipher aberrant cell signaling events as well as modification-mediated changes in the protein-protein interactome that contribute to tumorigenesis. His lab is planning to use their expertise in protein degradation to investigate if several SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins are targeted by the host E3 ubiquitin ligase Speckle-type BTB–POZ protein (SPOP), which is regulated by casein kinase I, and how that process can be reinforced as an approach to treat or block SARS-CoV-2 infection.

 

Carmen De Miguel, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Medicine – Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham whose research program is focused on understanding how immune cells and immune mediators impact renal function and end‐organ damage during hypertension and diabetes. Her laboratory is investigating the role of endothelin‐1 in hypertension‐induced inflammation and end-stage organ damage, endothelin‐1 and kidney inflammation in diabetic kidney disease, and mechanisms involved in hyperoxia-induced kidney damage. They are also working to determine if sex differences in diabetic kidney disease are mediated by activation of different immune cell populations.

“COVID-19 has been a tremendous opportunity for those scientists already studying RNA viruses, vaccinations, and viral enzyme inhibitors, as well as those who could pivot their research from a related field to include the study of SARS-CoV-2,” said Dr. Kirk Maxey, President and Director of CABRI. “Unfortunately, lockdown prohibitions, the loss of cell lines and animal colonies, and institutionally limited working hours impaired investigators in all fields, including those with no prospect for new, COVID-related funding. Sapphire North America and CABRI want to provide a boost, especially to these worthy young investigators as they return full time to their labs.” The above recipients were selected based on the merits of their research and the proposed use of the grant funds to support their work.


About Sapphire North America
Sapphire North America is a distributor of specialized biochemical tools and reagents sourced from overseas suppliers, mainly in Europe and Asia. We offer scientists in North America a convenient, domestic source for unique products made around the world without the complications of customs clearance, currency conversion, and international ordering. Our dedication to our customers extends to our supplier relationships. As a distributor of life science research products, we provide marketing, sales, logistics services, and R&D opportunities to our international suppliers. We are actively seeking suppliers outside North America who are looking for a partner to help them expand in this important market.


About CABRI
Cayman Biomedical Research Institute (CABRI) is a nonprofit organization that supports research into the rare illnesses and orphan diseases that are often neglected by the corporate pharmaceutical industry and actively pursues new developments that will treat these diseases. To support this endeavor, we offer research grants to specific principal investigators at academic research institutions who have a plan to extend the clinical or pre-clinical development of therapeutics for these conditions. We also provide undergraduate research grants targeted primarily at students whose financial needs preclude them from taking unpaid internships in advanced academic laboratories. The application period for these grants opens in August each year. Grants range from $2,000 to $10,000 per PI/undergraduate team. To learn more or apply, visit www.cabrimed.org.

Past Research Grant Recipients

CABRI is proudly dedicated to research new treatments for rare diseases. To support this effort, we offer research grants to individual principal investigators at academic research institutions who have a plan to extend the clinical or pre-clinical development of our mission.

Eligible applicants include domestic and international researchers alike, along with domestic and international group collaborations. Our grants are open to investigators of any career stage who are capable of leading an independent research study and supervising personnel. Funds may only be used for research. CABRI does not fund institutional overhead costs.

PAST GRANT RECIPIENTS

2018 Grant Recipients

$50,000 – Dr. Sven-Erik Dahlen, Karolinska Institute Research entitled: “Inhibition of prostaglandin D2 biosynthesis: an unmet need in many inadequately treated diseases.”

$50,000 – Michael Holinstadt, University of Michigan Research entitled: “Assessing whether 12-LOX deficiency reduces incidences of thrombocytopenia.”Dr. Sven-Erik Dahlen

2017 Grant Recipients

$59,200 – Dr. Peter Krieg, DKFZ, Research entitled: ““Novel therapeutic approached for the treatment of autosomal recessive congenital ichthyoses (ARCI).”

$17,000 – Dr. Stefan Zwingenberger, University of Dresden Research entitled: “Enhancement of bone regeneration by functionalization of various bone substitution materials with a novel and potent lactam acetylene EP4 receptor agonist (KMN-159).”

2016 Grant Recipients

$50,000 – Migual Gijon,  University of Colorado-Denver Research entitled: “Lipid mediators in urine as indicators of ongoing inflammation and progression of disease when mice are injected with maresin 1 into the peritoneal cavity.”

2015 Grant Recipients

$59,200 – Dr. Peter Krieg, DKFZ Research entitled: “Novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of autosomal recessive congenital ichthyoses (ARCI).”

40 Women Researchers Receive $40,000 in Grants from Cayman and CABRI

Each year during Women’s History Month, Cayman provides travel grants to help women researchers attend conferences to benefit from and contribute to the larger scientific community. This year, because the COVID-19 pandemic caused most conferences to cancel or postpone and many academic labs to close, Cayman introduced a new program to help support women in research. This new program has doubled the grant amount to $1,000 for each recipient, designating the funds for use in research instead of travel. A record high of forty women will benefit from Cayman’s Women in Research program this year.

“We planned to award five well-qualified applicants,” said Dr. Kirk Maxey, President and CEO of Cayman. “But the applicant pool was so impressive, we extended the award to forty women who are working to answer essential research questions. Reviewing the value of the contributions these women are making to scientific discovery has made us optimistic for overcoming the many challenges facing human health and disease.”

2020 Women in Research Grant Recipients

  • Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, USA
  • Ana-Maria Raicu, Michigan State University, USA
  • Annelies Cannaert, PhD, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Antonia Rotolo, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Aurélie de Rus Jacquet, PhD, Laval University, Canada
  • Caitlyn Norman, University of Dundee, UK
  • Carla Madelaire, PhD, Northern Arizona University, USA
  • Carley Lowe, Northern Arizona University, USA
  • Carmen De Miguel, PhD, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA
  • Chang Jiang, PhD, Moffitt Cancer Center, USA
  • Christine Arbour, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
  • Diane McConnell, DVM, PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA
  • Eline Pottie, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Elizabeth Delorme-Axford, PhD, Oakland University, USA
  • Friederike Pohlin, PhD, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna
  • Georgina Fabro, PhD, National University of Córdoba, Argentina
  • Harriet Allan, PhD, Queen Mary University of London, UK
  • Jennifer Speth, PhD, University of Michigan, USA
  • Jiska van der Reest, PhD, Harvard Medical School, USA
  • Kara Rood, MD, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, USA
  • Laila Ziko, PhD, American University in Cairo, Egypt
  • Laura Torrente Fernandez, PhD, Moffitt Cancer Center, USA
  • Luiza Oliveira Perucci, PhD, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil
  • Marcella Sharma, Wayne State University, USA
  • Margaret Nolan, PhD, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Maria Fedorova, PhD, Leipzig University, Germany
  • Marthe Vandeputte, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Merran Dunford, University of Bath, UK
  • Nerea Alonso, PhD, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Nona Ehyaei, Michigan State University, USA
  • Paloma Gonzalez Sanchez, PhD, Moffitt Cancer Center, USA
  • Renata Whitton, PhD, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Samanta Funes, PhD, National University of San Luis, Argentina
  • Shea Sickles, University of Kentucky, USA
  • Stefanie U. Wetzels, PhD, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Austria
  • Stefanny Titon , PhD, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Swati Venkat, PhD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA
  • Swetha Gowrishankar, PhD, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
  • Tina Sumpter, PhD, University of Pittsburgh, USA
  • Tinna Traustadóttir, PhD, Northern Arizona University, USA

Cayman worked with the Cayman Biomedical Research Institute (CABRI) to fund these extra awards. Cayman’s mission of helping make research possible fully aligns with the founding values of CABRI, which awards research grants to academic scientists and undergraduate students to support their pursuit of new therapeutic approaches against diseases of highest unmet need as well as scholarships to college-bound students who have lost a parent to a rare disease. To further support the research of these grant winners, Cayman will provide 20% off their catalog orders for the entirety of 2021. The work of these recipients will be highlighted over the months to come through Cayman’s social media outlets.

About CABRI
Cayman Biomedical Research Institute (CABRI) is a nonprofit organization which supports research on the rare illnesses and orphan diseases that are often neglected by the corporate pharmaceutical industry and actively pursues new developments that will treat these diseases. To support this endeavor, we offer research grants to specific principal investigators at academic research institutions who have a plan to extend the clinical or pre-clinical development for these diseases as well as undergraduate grants to assist students to obtain experience in laboratories while performing research that aligns with CABRI’s mission. CABRI also provides scholarships to college-bound students who have lost a parent to SNUC (sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma).

About Cayman Chemical
Cayman Chemical Company helps make research possible by supplying scientists worldwide with biochemical tools used to understand cancer, neurochemistry, oxidative injury, endocrinology, atherosclerosis, and other human health challenges. Our scientists are experts in the synthesis, purification, and characterization of biochemicals ranging from small drug-like heterocycles to complex biolipids, fatty acids, and many others for use as research reagents and qualified standards. We are also highly skilled in all aspects of assay and antibody development, protein expression, crystallization, and structure determination. In addition, we offer a wide range of analytical services using LC-MS/MS, HPLC, GC, and many other techniques. Cayman performs generic drug development and production in both Ann Arbor, Michigan and Neratovice, Czech Republic

CABRI Awards $15,000 Grant to Vanderbilt University Researcher

ANN ARBOR, MI, October 28, 2019— The Cayman Biomedical Research Institute (CABRI) has awarded Dr. David Aronoff, Addison B. Scoville Jr. Chair in Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, a $15,000 grant to study Clostridium septicum infection in a mouse model of myonecrosis (gangrene). Dr. Aronoff’s laboratory will use a Cayman Chemical-developed alpha toxin ELISA to determine whether a sensitive blood test for alpha toxin can be used to detect C. septicum myonecrosis.

While C. septicum is occasionally present within the human intestine, severe infection leading to a high risk of death can occur if the bacterium enters the bloodstream. Upon infection, C. septicum produce alpha toxin, which is thought to be required for causing its virulence. “Our initial experiments will set out to confirm that C. septicum myonecrosis is accompanied by the systemic release of alpha toxin,” explained Dr. Aronoff. “Our goal is to determine an early diagnostic marker in our mouse model that can be quantified using a sensitive ELISA and can translate to the human population.”

“We are proud to support the work of the Aronoff laboratory as they begin to test real-world applications of Cayman’s alpha toxin ELISA that is in development,” added Stephen Barrett, Director on the Board of CABRI and Vice President of Research, Development, and Production at Cayman. “This research is critical, since specific tests are currently lacking to help clinicians make a diagnosis early enough to implement effective treatments.”

CABRI is dedicated to funding research for new treatments for rare diseases. Research grants are offered to principal investigators at academic research institutions who have a plan to extend the clinical or pre-clinical development of its mission. Research grant applications may be submitted at any time during the year by submitting proposals through an online form.

About CABRI

Cayman Biomedical Research Institute (CABRI) is a nonprofit organization which supports research on the rare illnesses and orphan diseases that are often neglected by the corporate pharmaceutical industry and actively pursues new developments that will treat these diseases. To support this endeavor, we offer research grants to specific principal investigators at academic research institutions who have a plan to extend the clinical or pre-clinical development for these diseases as well as undergraduate grants to assist students to obtain experience in laboratories while performing research that aligns with CABRI’s mission. CABRI also provides scholarships to college-bound students who have lost a parent to SNUC (sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma).

About Cayman Chemical

Cayman Chemical Company helps make research possible by supplying scientists worldwide with biochemical tools used to understand cancer, neurochemistryoxidative injuryendocrinologyatherosclerosis, and other human health challenges. Our scientists are experts in the synthesis, purification, and characterization of biochemicals ranging from small drug-like heterocycles to complex biolipids, fatty acids, and many others for use as research reagents and qualified standards. We are also highly skilled in all aspects of assay and antibody development, protein expression, crystallization, and structure determination. In addition, we offer a wide range of analytical services using LC-MS/MS, HPLC, GC, and many other techniques. Cayman performs generic drug development and production in both Ann Arbor, Michigan and Neratovice, Czech Republic.