Intramural Grants Program


The Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine provides funds for basic science or translational research through an annual competitive Intramural Grants Program (IGP). The IGP is intended to provide seed funding for development of new research ideas, and funds to develop new critical preliminary data for revised, or extramural proposal submissions. Collaborative proposals with Co-Is in other departments/units are encouraged. Clinical trials will not be supported.

Award Period: 04/01/22-03/31/23

1. Natalie Bauer, Ph.D.

Extracellular Vesicle Signaling in the Pulmonary Circulation

Award Amount: $25,000

2. Victor Solodushko, Ph.D.

Testing the efficacy of a novel easily modifiable replication-deficient influenza A

Award Amount: $50,000

Award Period: 11/1/21-10/31/22

1. Jonathan Audia, Ph.D.

Request for an Additional Year of Bridge Funding Support

Award Amount: $25,000

2. Jin Hyun Kim, DVM, Ph.D.

Identification of highly selective packaging signal sequences of influenza A virus
for developing drug-resistance free therapeutics

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Wito Richter, Ph.D.

Targeting cAMP signaling and PDE4 in metabolic syndromes

Award Amount: $50,000

Award Period: 11/1/20-10/31/21

1. Casey Daniel, Ph.D.

A longitudinal study of COVID-19 sequelae and health disparities

Award Amount: $49,901

2. Jonathan Audia, Ph.D.

Bridge funding for R01 HL118334 entitled Caspase-1, the microvascular endothelium, and infection

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Glen Borchert, Ph.D.

Salmonella sRNAs drive the decision between active stress resistance and persister cell dormancy

Award Amount: $44,961

4. Natalie Gassman, Ph.D.

Inhibition of caspase-1 as a cardioprotective strategy during doxorubicin treatment

Award Amount: $50,000

5. Sarah Sayner, Ph.D.

Role of AC10 in gender disparities associated with ARDS

Award Amount: $50,000

Award Period: 11/1/19-10/31/20

1. Robert Barrington, Ph.D.

Defining immunologic heterogeneity as a means to biomarker identification and precision medicine for PAP

Award Amount: $49,730

2. Natalie Bauer, Ph.D.

Mechanisms of Extracellular Vesicle Signaling

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Steve Lim, Ph.D.

Nuclear FAK regulation of VSMC phenotypic switching in atherosclerosis

Award Amount: $50,000

4. Jon Simmons, Ph.D.

Establishment of a porcine model of hemorrhagic shock at the University of South Alabama

Award Amount: $50,000

5. Xiangming Zha, Ph.D.

Functional importance of GPR4 in brain microvascular endothelial cell

Award Amount: $50,000

Award period: 3/1/19-2/29/20

1. Erin Ahn, Ph.D.

Targeting SON-mediated RNA splicing in glioblastoma

Award Amount: $50,000

2. Donna Cioffi, Ph.D.

Effects of IgG glycosylation on endothelial barrier function

Award Amount: $50,000

3. Annabelle Fonseca, Ph.D.

Quantitative imaging analysis of pancreatic cysts

Award Amount: $25,000

4. Brian Fouty, Ph.D.

Quantitative imaging analysis of pancreatic cysts

Award Amount: $50,000

Award period: 11/1/18-10/31/19

1. Lyudmila Rachek, Ph.D.

Effect of bariatric surgery on mtDNA DAMPs, inflammation and diabetes outcome

2. Mykhaylo Ruchko, Ph.D.

Role of circulating mtDNA fragments in the development of insulin resistance and heart failure

Award period: 11/1/17-10/31/18

1. Robert Barrington, Ph.D.

Underlying mechanisms mediating autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis

2. Donna Cioffi, Ph.D.

Regulation of endothelial store-operated calcium entry by an FKBP51/PP5C axis

3. Lawrence LeClaire, Ph.D.

Actin-associated proteins of the Aspergillus cytoskeleton

4. Mike Lin, Ph.D.

Pulmonary endothelium-derived amyloid proteins impair neural function

5. Mark Taylor, Ph.D.

Role of toxic host factors in endothelial dysfunction during Vibrio vulnificus sepsis



About the Program

Eligible Applicants

Full-time faculty (Assistant Professor or above) with primary appointments in the COM are eligible to apply as PIs. The following individuals are not eligible:
• Faculty with total current research funding exceeding $300,000 in annual direct costs from startup commitments and/or extramural agency grants/contracts
• Faculty in their terminal appointment year
• Emeritus faculty

Key Dates

Submission Date - October 14

*Changed to one cycle of awards this year

Award Budget

Annually, the COM will commit $250,000 to this program, providing individual one-year awards of up to $50,000 in direct costs. The number of awards is contingent upon the number of meritorious proposals submitted and individual proposal budgets. [Not allowable – faculty salary; extramural subcontracts. Allowable – other budget items allowed under NIH policy; equipment costs are limited to $15,000.]

Application Content

The submission packet must include:
• A completed Intramural Transmittal Form signed by the PI, any faculty collaborators, and relevant chairs
• An abbreviated Research Plan [Preliminary data may be included to support conceptual and technical feasibility but are not required]; NIH PHS398 formatting requirements must be met.
Sections, Page limits
A. Specific Aims Page, 1
B. Significance and innovation, 1⁄2
C. Strategy (one-year work plan), 3 1⁄2
D. References cited, No page limit
• NIH Biosketches – for the PI and any faculty collaborators, including other support (past 3 years)
• Detailed NIH Budget and Budget Justification
• Additional Content: 1) If the purpose of the request is to develop data for a revised extramural proposal, a one-page Introduction must be added, outlining review criterion scores, recommended revisions, and data needed. 2) If a current IGP awardee is requesting an additional year of support, a Progress Report must be included (see Outcomes below); eligibility requirements must still be met.

Application Submission

All application materials must be collated into one pdf file and uploaded into the University InfoReady Review platform by 5pm on the submission due date. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Review Criteria

PI’s research productivity to date, NIH R01 review criteria, budget/ budget justification, feasibility of the work plan, and the likelihood that work proposed will lead to new extramural funding.


Awards will begin November 1 or March 1, depending on the cycle and assuming that research compliance approvals are current. Expenditures will be audited. Funds remaining at the end of the project period will revert to the COM – no cost extensions will NOT be allowed. COM intramural awards may NOT be used as cost-share for extramural awards.


Awardees are expected to leverage these funds to submit a new or revised extramural proposal, after internal review. In addition, a final progress report (1-2 pages) must be filed with the Dean's Office within 30 days of award close, outlining major findings, publications and proposal submissions to date.