2017 Surgical Seed Grant Awards announced

Recipients of the 2017 Surgical Seed Grant Awards were announced as the grand finale of Texas Children’s Hospital Surgical Research Day. This grant program, funded by the Department of Surgery, allows surgery researchers to generate the preliminary data necessary for National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applications and other extramural funding.

Recipients of the 2017 Surgical Seed Grant Awardees are:

  • Dr. Elton Ashe-Lambert, Otolaryngology, “Transcervical Ultrasound of Subglottis and Cervical Trachea”
  • Dr. Swathi Balaji, Pediatric Surgery, “The Role of Exosomes in the Pathogenesis of Cutaneous Scarring and Fibrosis”
  • Dr. Daniel Curry, Neurosurgery, “Investigation of Movement Disorders in a Mouse Model of Rett Syndrome with Optogenetics and DREADDs”
  • Dr. Thao Galvan, Transplantation, “Bioengineered, 3D Printed Vascular Constructs in the Porcine Model”
  • Dr. Chester Koh, Urology, “Ureteral Stent Electromagnetic Removal (USER) Device for Pediatric Patients”
  • Dr. Zoel Quinonez, Anesthesiology, “The impact of Cdk5 signaling and Tau phosphorylation in the development of anesthetic neurotoxicity”
  • Dr. Scott Rosenfeld, Orthopedics, “MRI Utilization and Surgery Decision-Making in Pediatric Musculoskeletal Infections: A Prospective Multi-Center Assessment”

Twenty-six applications for grants were submitted this year. The Surgical Seed Grant Committee selected the grant recipients based on the merit of the proposal and the ability of the researcher to complete the grant within the specified time frame and budget. As these research projects progress, faculty who receive grants will publish and present their research results.

“The research projects awarded grants this year have great potential to improve the care of pediatric patients,” said Dr. Jed Nuchtern, chief of Pediatric Surgery and co-chair of the Surgical Seed Grant Committee. “I am very pleased that we were able to fund seven seed grants in basic, translational and clinical research in surgery and anesthesiology.”

The Surgical Seed Grant Planning Committee was chaired by Dr. Nuchtern and Dr. Sundeep Keswani, and included: Drs. Jennifer Dietrich, Chester Koh, Sandi Lam, and Carlos Mery, with Melinda Mathis from Research Administration, Kathy Carberry, RN from the Outcomes & Impact Service, and Matt Girotto, vice president for the Department of Surgery.

Previous winners of Surgery Seed Grants reviewed and scored this year’s applications. The planning committee discussed the applications and reviewer comments and scores. Those submitting grants or mentoring those who submitted grants recused themselves from those discussions.

In total, nearly $300,000 in grants will be awarded to seven researchers representing Anesthesiology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology, Pediatric Surgery, Transplantation and Urology.