BME faculty secure new R01 awards

October 26, 2022 — Biomedical Engineering faculty have recently secured major awards — including two R01 grants — to advance cardiovascular and neural engineering. 

Brenda Ogle R01

The National Institutes of Health have awarded Professor and Department Head Brenda Ogle a $1.7 million grant to bolster scientists’ understanding of epicardial-myocardial signaling and the role of the extracellular matrix in modulating cell behavior in the developing heart. 

The clinical relevance of this work lies in the application of epicardial cells to enhance the pump function of a perfusable, chambered, human cardiac tissue model that will be ideal to study the impact of cardiac disease and therapeutics on pressure-volume dynamics, stroke work, and ejection fraction. In the future, this living, human muscle pump generated in a dish might be used to restore cardiac function in patients with heart disease.

Alexander Opitz R01 and Mentored K99/R00

In addition, Associate Professor Alexander Opitz has received a $1.6 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). With this award, Prof. Opitz and his team are developing a multi-scale network model for transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). 

The project aims to develop biology-driven, computer-assisted personalized TMS therapies to promote neural plasticity. This project is funded under the Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS) program and includes partner institutions at Temple University and the University of Freiburg and the University of Giessen in Germany.

In addition, Prof. Opitz’s mentee, BME researcher Ivan Alekseichuk, has received a Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) from the National Institute of Mental Health. The award will enable Alekseichuk to develop a personalized closed-loop brain stimulation system as a therapeutic for clinical depression.