Intramural Awards

The Saban Research Institute Intramural Awards

Each year The Saban Research Institute (TSRI) provides financial support for an important intramural funding program aimed at developing the next generation of leaders in pediatric research. These funds support enhanced opportunities for educational development and research training, and are awarded following a highly competitive application and selection process. TSRI funds the following awards that cut across career stages.

Intramural Funding Opportunities 2017

  • Pre-Doctoral Award
  • Post-Doctoral Research Career Development Fellowship (RCDF)
  • Research Career Development Award (RCDA)
  • 2nd R01 Pilot Grant Program
  • Cores Utilization Pilot Project Program
  • Innovative Pilot Project Grant
  • Team Science Grant

The Pre-Doctoral Award supports the stipend of USC graduate student research assistants working at TSRI under the mentorship of a CHLA-based faculty member. To be eligible, applicants must possess “Advanced to Candidacy” status under USC's PhD graduate program with a Faculty Sponsor who is a full-time faculty member at CHLA/USC. Faculty Sponsors whose trainees have received previous TSRI intramural awards must document that prior commitments (first author publication, grants, etc.) have been fulfilled. The award will provide two years of funding at $30,000 per year. Funding for the second year will be contingent upon satisfactory progress made during the first year.

2017

Hung-Chi Lu

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TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Di Tian
Project Title: To Characterize the Synaptic Abnormalities in Mouse Models Associated with Human Chr16p11.2 Microdeletion

2016

Mohit Dave

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Rusty Lansford
Project Title: Investigating how primordial germ cells develop and move in living amniote embryos

2015

Ryan Kast

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Pat Levitt, PhD
Project Title: Developmental Emergence of Diversity and Vulnerability in Neocortical Layer 6 Neurons”

Mariam Murtadha

TSRI Program: Cancer
Mentor: Muller Fabbri, MD, PhD
Project Title: Exosomic MicroRNAs Secreted by Tumor Associated Macrophages (TAMs) Modulate Neuroblastoma (NBL) Resistance to 13-cis-Retinoic Acid (13-cis-RA)

2014

Céleste Stephany

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Aaron McGee, PhD 
Project: "Programming of Neural Circuits for Metabolic Disease: Nogo Receptor in Developmental Visual Plasticity  

2013

Anna Kamitakahara

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Richard Simerly, PhD
Project: "Programming of Neural Circuits for Metabolic Disease: Role of BDNF and Nutrition"

2012

Xia Sheng

Xia Sheng, PhD

TSRI Program: Cancer, Diabetes and Obesity
Mentor: Steven Mittelman, MD, PhD
Project: "Investigating How Adipocytes Impair Daunorubicin Cytotoxicity in ALL"

Ying Huang

Ying Huang, PhD

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien, PhD
Project: "Roles of IGF in Zebrafish Heart Regeneration"

The goal of the Research Career Development Fellowship (RCDF) is to support post-doctoral fellows working at TSRI under the mentorship of a CHLA-based faculty member. Applicants must be within seven years of receiving their doctoral degree to be eligible and Faculty Sponsors must be full-time faculty at CHLA/USC. Faculty Sponsors whose trainees have received previous TSRI intramural awards must document that prior commitments (first author publication, grants, etc.) have been fulfilled. The award will provide two years of funding at $40,000 per year, and funding for the second year will be contingent upon satisfactory progress made during the first year.

2017

Yeha Kim

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TSRI Program: Cancer and Blood Diseases; Developmental Neuroscience 
Mentor: David Cobrinik
Project Title: Role of SYK Dependent Proliferation Related Signaling in Human Retinal Cone Cell Development

Anup Pathania

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TSRI Program: Cancer and Blood Diseases
Mentor: Anat Erdreich-Epstein
Project Title: Role of GRK2 in Sonic Hedgehog (SHH) Subgroup Medulloblastoma (MB)

Soheila Shirinbak

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TSRI Program: Cancer and Blood Diseases
Mentor: Shahab Asgharzadeh
Project Title: Role of Neutrophils in Biology and Immunotherapy-Resistant Neuroblastomas

2016

Sargis Sedrakyan

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Laura Perin
Project Title: Extracellular Vesicles Regulate VEGF Homeostasis and Improve The Glomerular Endothelial Structure and Function in Kidney Disease

Soyoung Park

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Sebastien Bouret
Project Title: Maternal obesity programs hypothalamic ER stress: long-term effects on metabolic regulation

Marta Kubala

TSRI Program: Cancer and Blood Disease
Mentor: Yves De Clerck
Project Title: Dissecting a novel pro-tumorigenic role of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) in the polarization of tumor associated macrophages (TAM)

Anna Kamitakahara

TSRI Program: Institute for the Developing Mind
Mentor: Pat Levitt
Project Title: Developing Neural Connections to the Gut: Impact of the MET Receptor Tyrosine Kinase

2015

Jessica Biddinger

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Richard Simerly, PhD
Project Title: Leptin and Development of GLP-1 Neural Circuits Controlling Ingestive Behavior

Lucia Borriello

TSRI Program: Cancer
Mentor: Yves DeClerck, MD
Project Title: Investigating the Molecular Mechanisms of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells – Mediated Drug Resistance in Neuroblastoma

Donglai Qi, PhD

TSRI Program: Cancer, Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: David Cobrinik, MD, PhD
Project Title: MDM2-Mediated P53-Independent Regulation of MYCN Oncoprotein

Stephanie Shishido

TSRI Program: Cancer
Mentor: Yong-Mi Kim, MD, PhD
Project Title: Understanding Cell Adhesion-Mediated Drug Resistance of ALL Cells

2014

Michael Harrison

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien, PhD
Project Title: "Characterization of Revascularization During Zebrafish Heart Regeneration"

Sophie Croizier

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Sebastien G. Bouret, PhD
Project Title: "Role of MicroRNA-103/107 in Pro-Opiomelanocortin Neuron Development"

2013

Amanda Elson

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Richard Simerly, PhD
Project Title: "Leptin Programs the Development of PVH Preautonomic Projections"

Unice Soh

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Brent Polk, MD
Project Title: "Cytokine Regulation of Epithelial Stem Cells for Mucosal Homeostasis and Injury Repair"

2012

Berengere Coupe

Berengere Coupe, PhD

TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Sebastien Bouret, PhD
Project: "Leptin Regulation of Autophagy- Role on Hypothalamic Development and Metabolic Regulation"

Jieun Kim

Jieun Kim, PhD

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien, PhD
Project: "Functions of PDGF Signaling in Zebrafish Heart Regeneration"

The Research Career Development Award (RCDA) is aimed at supporting a junior faculty member, (MD, PhD or MD/PhD) for a research project that has a primary focus on laboratory research (dry or wet laboratory) with or without a secondary focus on clinical (patient related) research. Junior faculty members at CHLA/USC within four years of their initial faculty appointment, who are establishing their research careers, are encouraged to apply. Newly recruited junior faculty members are eligible as long as they have a CHLA/USC faculty appointment by the date that potential funding begins.

2017

Stefano Da Sacco

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TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Janos Peti-Peterdi
Project Title: Development and Characterization of a Glomerulus-on-a-Chip Platform for Disease Modeling and Drug Screening

2016

Julie Jaffray

TSRI Program: Cancer and Blood Disease
Mentor: Guy Young
Project Title: A Multi-Institutional Risk Factor Evaluation and Risk Stratification for Pediatric Hospital-Acquired Venous Thromboembolism

Christian Hochstim

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: David Warburton
Project Title: Tissue Engineered Trachea for Airway Reconstruction

2015

Denise Al Alam

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine (DBRM)
Mentor: David Warburton
Project Title: FGF Signaling in Human Embryonic Lung Development

Yaling Yang

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Community Health Outcomes and Intervention Research (CHOIR)
Mentor: Pat Levitt, PhD
Project Title: The Effect of Bullying Victimization on Cortisol Stress Reactivity and Brain Maturation

2014

Lily Chao

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Diabetes & Obesity
Project Title: “Nur77 Regulation of Autophagy and Mitophagy in Skeletal Muscle”

2013

Senta Georgia

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: David Warburton, MD
Project Title: “Genome-wide Epigenetic Mapping of NGN3+” 

Christopher P. Gayer

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Mentor: Henri Ford, MD, MHA
Project Title: “The Role of Bile Acids in Necrotizing Enterocolitis” 

Ashwini Lakshmanan

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Community, Health Outcomes and Intervention Research
Mentors: Michele Kipke, PhD and Istvan Seri, MD, PhD
Project Title: “Quality of Life Among Caregivers of Preterm Infants After Discharge from the NICU: Los Angeles Cohort” 

2012 Award Recipient

Di Tian

Assistant Professor of Pathology
TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Mentor: Alex Judkins, MD and Richard Simerly, PhD
Project Title: “Characterization of an Autism Model for Human Chromosome 16p11.2 Microdeletion” 

The R01 is the original and oldest grant mechanism used by the National Institutes of Health for health-related research and development. As an institution committed to faculty career development, The Saban Research Institute (TSRI) has established an intramural funding program to help faculty investigators secure pilot data to be submitted for a second NIH R01 grant. To be eligible for TSRI's 2nd R01 Pilot Grant Program, applicants must be USC faculty with appointments at CHLA and have a rank of associate or assistant professor. Additionally, applicants must be affiliated with one of TSRI’s seven scientific priority areas. They must also have an active NIH R01 grant at the time of application. The award provides $50,000 per year for up to two years.

2017

Sebastien Bouret

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TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Project Title: Impact of Maternal Obesity on the Development of Parasympathetic Circuits Involved in Glucose Regulation

Ellen Lien

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TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: Cardiac Lymphatics in Heart Development and Regeneration

 

2016 Grant Recipient

Mark Frey

TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: Suppression of pro-inflammatory macrophages by ErbB4 during colitis

2012 Grant Recipients

Sebastien G. Bouret

Associate Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Project Title: “miRNAs and Development of Hypothalamic Appetite-Related Pathways”

Steven Mittelman

Associate Professor
TSRI Program: Obesity and Diabetes, Cancer
Project Title: “The Role of Lymphocytes in Obesity-Induced Adipose Tissue Inflammation and Diabetes"

Wei Shi

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: “The Role of Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Lung Injury Repair and Regeneration”

Core facilities are an essential component of modern research infrastructure, and The Saban Research Institute (TSRI) is committed to expanding utilization of these resources by investigators. TSRI has established a Cores Utilization Pilot Project Program to support the ability of research investigators to obtain experience and training in the use of TSRI Core facilities and technologies. This support is expected to facilitate development of new lines of experimentation, or to obtain preliminary data that will facilitate acquisition of extramural funding. Cores Utilization Pilot funding is open to USC faculty with appointments at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and affiliations with one of TSRI’s seven scientific priorities. The Cores Utilization Pilot Projects are funded in the form of a voucher at a maximum of $5,000.

2012 Cores Utilization Pilot Project Program Awardees

Yves DeClerck

Professor
TSRI PRogram: Cancer
Project Title: “Bone Marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells are Selectively Recruited to Solid Tumors”

Barbara Driscoll

Associate Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: “Proteomic Analysis of the Aged Lung Cytokine Milieu Following Stem Cell Treatment”

Mark Frey

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: “Pitx2, a Key Player in Small Intestine Elongation”

Ching-Ling (Ellen) Lien

Assistant Professor
TSRI PRogram: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: “Proteomic Study of Heart Regeneration”

Takako Makita

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Neuroscience
Project Title: “Molecular Basis of Enteric Nervous System Development”

Wei Shi

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: “Identification and Characterization of Novel Lung Mesenchymal Cell Lineages”

Kasper Wang

Assistant Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: “Role of Extracellular Proteins on the Differentiation of Progenitor Cells and Biliary Morphogenesis”

David Warburton

Professor
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: “Proteomic Core Facility to Determine Gene Regulatory Networks During Lung Development and Injury Repair and Regeneration”

Innovation drives the novel discovery, development and delivery of a more thorough understanding of disease and novel treatment options. A critical part of innovation is team-based science. It is with this in mind that The Saban Research Institute allocated $100,000 for a new intramural funding program, “The Saban Research Institute Innovative Pilot Project Grant.”

Applicants are invited to submit innovative pilot projects in any of the seven The Saban Research Institute scientific program priority areas:

Eligibility

This application is open to USC faculty with Children's Hospital Los Angeles appointments who are affiliated with one of the seven The Saban Research Institute programs and whose appointments allow them to submit external proposals.

A minimum of two faculty members from different campuses, schools or disciplines must collaborate and projects must represent new areas of research for the investigators, within their areas of expertise, but not a continuation of current activities. Collaborations between researchers in different disciplines and between basic scientists and clinician investigators are especially encouraged.

Proposals should include plans for securing external funding to continue the project. Recipients are required to submit a proposal for external funding within 18 months from the start of the project. Applicants should make explicit the federal funding agencies and RFAs that will be targeted for funding the larger projects.

2012 Award Recipients

Innovative Pilot Project Grant 2012 Awardees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an extensive external review process, the recipients of the first award are:

Their project is titled “Unique Pediatric Clinical Cohorts in the Understanding of Brown Adipose Tissue and Thermogenesis .” This collaborative effort between faculty in the Endocrinology (Kim and Geffner), Radiology (Gilsanz and Hu), and USC Electrical Engineering (Hu) disciplines will study the link between the activation of brown adipose tissue and the regulation of body temperature in pediatric endocrine clinical cohorts at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Their novel MRI technique to non-invasively characterize brown adipose tissue in children will allow them to elucidate the importance of brown fat in human health and disease, as well as facilitate large-scale brown fat studies in pediatric patients. This has the potential to greatly impact our understanding of the role of brown fat.

It is this sort of multidisciplinary, cross-competency teamwork that is the goal of the newly established The Saban Research Institute’s Innovative Pilot Project Grant.

This pilot project program has been established to provide an avenue for expanding our portfolio of multidisciplinary research by facilitating new collaborations between researchers who have not previously worked together on a similar project. Collaborations between researchers in different disciplines and between clinical investigators are especially encouraged.

The Team Science Grant is designed to facilitate new collaborations involving diverse teams of experts, directed toward establishing innovative approaches to important problems in pediatric medicine. Funds aim to facilitate new collaborations and support outstanding research and cutting edge discoveries by teams of experts who have not worked together previously on similar projects.

2017

Anat Erdreich-Epstein

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Co Principal Investigator: Xiaojiang Chen (USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences)
TSRI Program: Cancer and Blood Diseases
Project Title: Structural and Functional Studies of PID1, a Novel Growth Suppressor in Brain Tumors

Robert Seeger

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Co Principal Investigators: Muller Fabbri, Ambrose Jong, Alan Wayne (CHLA); Noah Malmstadt (USC Viterbi School of Engineering)
TSRI Program: Cancer and Blood Diseases
Project Title: Natural Killer Cell Extracellular Vesicles for Treatment of Neuroblastoma and Leukemia

 

2016

Pat Levitt

Co Principal Investigators: Linda Rinaman (University of Pittsburg); Hong-Wei Dong (Keck School of Medicine of USC) 
TSRI Program: Institute for the Developing Mind
Project Title: The Developing Connectome: Brain to Peripheral Organs

Ellen Lien

Co Principal Investigators: Megan McCain (Viterbi School of Engineering of USC)
TSRI Program: Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine
Project Title: Heart in a dish, engineering 3D heart tissues with lessons from regenerating zebrafish heart