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Awards Page

Competitive Research Grant Award Recipients

2017 Global ASPIRE Investigator Awards in TTR Amyloidosis

Plasma neurofilament concentration as a biomarker of peripheral neuropathy in patient with TTR amyloidosis
PI: Pedro José Tomaselli (Clinical Hospital of Ribeirão
Preto - São Paulo University, Brazil)

Expanding the frontiers of Familial Amyloidotic Polineuropathy Transthyretin- a multicenter epidemiologic study
PI: Carolina Lavigne Moreira (Hospital das Clínicas da
FMRP/USP, Brazil)

Pathogenesis and pharmacological modulation of tafamidis on the ethnic-specific transthyretin (TTR) Ala97Ser mutation - from nanotechnology to flies
PI: Yo-Tsen Liu (Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipai)

Genomic modifiers of TTR familial amiloidotic polyneurophathy in Val30Met and non Val30Met patients
PI: Marta Cordoba (Instituto de Neurociencias Buenos Aires (INEBA), Argentina)


Competitive Research Grant Award Recipients

2016 Global ASPIRE Investigator Awards in TTR Amyloidosis

Pathomechanism of transmission of TTR-related amyloidosis after domino liver transplantation: why can domino recipients develop FAP in a very short time after liver transplantation
PI: Tsuneaki Yoshinaga
(Shinshu University School of Medicine, Japan)

Sumoylation in TTR Amyloidosis. Effect of Tafamidis in patients affected with TTR-Amyloidosis
PI: Fernando Martinez-Valle
(Vall d'Hebron Research Institute, Spain)

Autonomic dysfunction in Transthyretin Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP): combining physiological and morphological autonomic biomarkers to aid earlier diagnosis and influence treatment
PI: Valeria Iodice (University College London, United Kingdom)

Continuous real-time monitoring of transthyretin dissociation for improved therapeutic intervention
PI: Brett VanVeller (Iowa State University, United States)

Deciphering the genetic network associated with age-at-onset variability: increasing awareness of genetic carriers
PI: Carolina Lemos
(Instituto de Investigacao e Inovacao em Saude, Portugal)

Screening for familial amyloid polyneuropathy associated with transthyretin in a non-endemic FAP country
PI: Marcelo Chaves (Hospital San Martin, Argentina)

DETOX-TRIAL: Determination of toxic cardiac effects by transthyretin amyloid
PI: Mathias Konstandin (Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany)

Mechanisms of Sex-Specific Differences in the Pathogenesis of Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis
PI: Kevin Alexander
(Brigham and Women's Hospital, United States)

Competitive Research Grant Award Recipients

2015 ASPIRE Investigator Awards in TTR-FAP Research

Proteomic analysis of transthyretin (TTR) post- translational modifications (PTMs) as a disease activity marker in hereditary TTR- related amyloidosis (ATTR) under current treatment options: a proof of concept study
PI: Jose Maria Campistol Plana (Spain)

Early diagnosis and high sensitive methods for evaluating early pathological changes in transthyretin-related familial amyloid polyneuropathy
PI: Mitsuharu Ueda (Japan)

CATCH ATTR__ CArpal Tunnel ligament amyloid: The Clue for early identification of Hereditary or wild-type systemic ATTR amyloidosis
PI: Fabian aus dem Siepen (Germany)

Prevalence of Transthyretin-type Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy in ATTR-FAP Patients and Its Early Diagnosis Using PiB-PET Imaging
PI: Yoshiki Sekijima (Japan)
Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy Type I (ATTRV30M) in Cyprus: An updated epidemiological, clinical and genetic study
PI: Theodoros Kyriakides (Greece)
Screening of TTR Mutations in a Sample of Patients with Axonal Polyneuropathy by Melting Curve Analysis
PI: Adriano Jimenez-Escrig (Spain)

Competitive Research Grant Award Recipients

2014 ASPIRE Dermatology Awardees

Wilson Liao
University of California San Francisco
Immunogenetic Profiling of Heterogeneity in Plaque Psoriasis

Johann Gudjonsson
University of Michigan
Impact of disease duration versus age-of-onset on the inflammatory network in psoriasis.

Junko Takeshita
Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania
The cutaneous microbiota of psoriasis: lesional variation and response to phototherapy

Theoharis Theoharides
Tufts School of Medicinel
The role of the NLRP3 inflammasome signaling in psoriasis and the effect of methoxyluteolin

Jin Mo Park
Massachusetts General Hospital
Proteoglycan-mediated cell signaling and psoriasis

Tasuku Akiyama
Temple University
Factors implicated in itch in psoriasis

2014 ASPIRE Rheumatology Awardees

Megan Clowse
Duke University
Causes of comorbid infertility among women with rheumatoid arthritis

Maria Suarez-Almazor
The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapies on Cancer Outcomes

Rebecca Bader
Syracuse University
Polysialic Acid-Based Drug Delivery Platforms for use in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Richard Pope
Northwestern University 
Development of novel biomarkers for RA using synovial tissue biopsies

Melissa Roberts
LCF Research
Rheumatoid arthritis and comorbid chronic obstructive or interstitial pulmonary diseases: a retrospective analysis of prevalence and outcomes in a Southwestern managed care population 

Robert Winchester
Columbia University Medical Center
Significance of Elevations of Certain Memory-Effector T Cell and Inflammatory Monocyte Subpopulations in Rheumatoid Arthritis for the Presence of Subclinical Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis

2014 ASPIRE Investigator Awards in TTR-FAP Research

Roy Freeman, MD
Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA USA

Collaborating with:

Alejandra Gonzalez-Duarte, MD
Department of Neurology
Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrción Salvador Zubiran 
Tlalpan, México


Fabio Barosso, MD
Department of Neurology
Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research, F.L.E.N.I.
Buenos Aires, Argentina

A Biomarker Consortium in Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy

Teresa Coelho, MD
Professor and Director of Familial Amyloidosis Clinic Unit Hospital Santo Antonio, Porto, Portugal
Transthyretin gene sequencing and clinical characterization of patients with neuropathies of unknown etiology

Sung-Tsang Hsieh, MD, PhD
Professor, Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurology
National Taiwan University
College of Medicine
Taipei, Taiwan
Biomarkers of small fiber neuropathy in amyloid neuropathy

Michael Polydefkis, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology
The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Baltimore, MD USA
Cutaneous nerve measures in TTR-FAP

2013 ASPIRE Investigator Awards in Adult Vaccines Research

Sylvia Becker-Dreps, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Streptococcus pneumoniae in Older Adults in Retirement Communities (SOAR)s
Kristin Dascomb, MD, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Intermountain Medical Center
Serotype Distribution of Pneumonia Isolates and Invasive Pneumococcal Isolates in Adults in Utah After the Introduction of PCV13 in Children and Immunocompromised Adults
Annabelle de St. Maurice, MD
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellow
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Invasive Pneumococcal Disease Among Healthy and High-Risk Adults in the Post-PCV13 Era
Betsy Foxman, PhD
Hunein F. and Hilda Maassab Endowed Professor of Epidemiology
University of Michigan
Influenza Infection and Streptococcal pneumoniae Carriage
Daniel Frank, PhD
Assistant Professor
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Impact of the Human Nasopharyngeal Microbiome on Streptococcus pneumoniae Carriage in Immunocompromised Individuals
Karin Provost, DO, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
SUNY at Buffalo
Defining the Epidemiologic Burden of Streptococcus pneumoniae Colonization and Infection in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Manika Suryadevara, MD
Assistant Professor
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Characterization of Nasopharyngeal Colonization of Streptococcus pneumoniae in HIV-infected Adults in Central New York Following the Introduction of Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccine-13

2012 Awards in Antibacterial Research

Jeffrey Caterino, MD MPH
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine
Director of Emergency Medicine Clinical Research
The Ohio State University
Tigecycline for the Treatment of Complicated Skin and Skin Structure Infections in the Setting of Advanced Age, Diabetes, and Immunosuppression: A Retrospective, Propensity Score-Adjusted Analysis
Emily Martin, MPH, PHD
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Wayne State University
Outcomes following Linezolid Therapy in Complicated Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: A Multi-Center Retrospective Study
Kerry LaPlante, PharmD
University of Rhode Island, College of Pharmacy
Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center
The Effects of Obesity on the Comparative Effectiveness of Linezolid and Vancomycin in MRSA Pneumonia
Usha Stiefel, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
Chief, Infectious Diseases Section
Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Role of Microbial Eradication in Preventing Recurrent MRSA Infection

2012 Awards in Vaccine Research

Altreisha Nass-Sheva Foster, PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Effect of PCV13 on Pediatric Pneumococcal Disease in Cleveland
Kerry LaPlante, PharmD
Associate Professor of Pharmacy
University of Rhode Island, College of Pharmacy
Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Burden of Pneumococcal Disease in a National Cohort of Adults 50 years and Older Focus on Incidence and Prevalence of Disease Comorbidities
Kimberly Shea, PhD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology
Boston University School of Public Health
Evaluation of Differences in S. pneumoniae Colonization Among Children With and Without Underlying Comorbidities Following the Introduction of PCV13
Steven Lawrence, MD, MSc
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Washington University School of Medicine
Effect of Medical Comorbidities on Pneumococcal Disease Burden in Older Adults: A Hospital-Based Nested Case-Control Study3
Pui-Ying Iroh Tam, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
University of Minnesota,
Amplatz Children’s Hospital
Clinical Features and Outcomes of Invasive Pneumococcal Disease in Children Before and After Licensure of the 13-valent Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine
Subhashis Mitra, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Michigan State University
Streptococcus pneumoniae Colonization and Immunogenicity of 13-valent Conjugate Pneumococcal Vaccine in Patients 50 Years or Older with End Stage Renal Disease on Dialysis

2011 – Pulmonary Vascular Disease Research

Research Topic: Evaluation of pulmonary vascular disease mechanisms and outcomes

Research Award Recipients: Young/Junior Investigators

Hyung J. Chun, MD
Yale University
Targeting of p53 by MicroRNAs in the Pulmonary Endothelium: Implications in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Corey Ventetuolo, MD
Rhode Island Hospital
Sex Hormones and Genetic Determinants of Right Ventricular Structure and Function: The MESA-RV Study
Tim Lahm, MD
Indiana University
Compartment-specific and Estrogen Receptor-beta Dependent Effects of 17-Estradiol on Pulmonary Vascular and Right Ventricular Remodeling in Angioproliferative Pulmonary Hypertension

2011 – Antibacterial Research

Research Topic: MRSA Clinical Research in Specific Patient Populations and Infection Types

Research Award Recipients: Young/Junior Investigators

Ganapathi Parameswaran, MB, BS
Research Assistant Professor
Division of Infectious Diseases
VA Western New York Healthcare System
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection in COPD and effects of linezolid treatment on inflammation
Michael David, MD, PhD
Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health
Department of Medicine
The University of Chicago
Asymptomatic colonization with S. aureus after therapy with linezolid or clindamycin for acute S. aureus skin and skin structure infections in patients with comorbid conditions: A randomized trial
Delores (Ching Wen) Tseng, PhD
Research Scientist I
Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Effect of linezolid versus vancomycin on treatment of MRSA sepsis in aged hosts

Research Topic: Basic and Translational Research to Understand the Impact of Antimicrobials on Endogenous Gastrointestinal Microflora

Michael Aldape, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Infectious Diseases Research Group
VA Medical Center, Boise, ID
Targeting the inflammatory response during Clostridium difficile infection with tigecycline
David Haslam, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatric and Molecular Microbiology
Washington University School of Medicine
Investigating the prevalence of CA-MRSA as a cause of skin and soft tissue infections in the South London community and potential phenotypic, genotypic and functional differences with colonising CA-MRSA strains
Louis-Charles Fortier, PhD
Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Université de Sherbrooke
Study on how tigecycline affects the microbiota and bile acid composition of the gut and how it impacts Clostridium difficile lifestyle and susceptibility to Clostridium difficile infection
Amee R. Manges, MPH PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology,
Biostatistics and Occupational Health Associate Member
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
McGill University
Antimicrobial use, intestinal microbiota and Clostridium difficile colonization and infection in hospitalized patients
Saul Tzipori, DVM, PhD
Distinguished Professor
Department of Biomedical Sciences
Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
Evaluate the impact of tigecycline on Clostridium difficile infection in a newly developed animal model with normal human gut microflora
Vincent B. Young, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Internal Medicine/Infectious Diseases Division
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
The University of Michigan
Effects of tigecycline on the murine intestinal microbiome and experimental Clostridium difficile infection


2010 – Antibacterial Research

United States & Canada
Research Topic: Post-Influenza Bacterial Pneumonia: Disease Pathogenesis, Host Response and Impact of Antibacterial Therapy Including Linezolid

Research Award Recipients - Young Investigators

Urvashi Bhan, MD
University of Michigan
Linezolid for the treatment of murine post influenza
cMRSA pneumonia
Tanyalak Parimon, MD
Infectious Disease Laboratory Research, Boise ID
The effect of linezolid upon extracellular toxin suppression and the formation of platelet / neutrophil aggregates induced lung necrosis in a murine post-influenza MRSA pneumonia model
Dawn Bowdish, PhD
McMaster University
Intranasal administration of Linezolid to prevent seasonal &
post-influenza pneumococcal pneumonia in the elderly
Marin Schweizer, MD
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Linezolid Therapy and Outcomes in Patients with Post-Influenza Staphylococcus aureus Pneumonia, Controlling for Patient, 
Pathogen and Treatment Characteristics
Jane Deng, MD
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Effect of linezolid on postinfluenza dysregulation of
antibacterial responses
Marin Schweizer, MD
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Linezolid Therapy and Outcomes in Patients with Post-Influenza Staphylococcus aureus Pneumonia, Controlling for Patient, 
Pathogen and Treatment Characteristics
David Feola, PharmD, PhD
University of Kentucky
Impact of linezolid's suppression of interferon-gamma upon immune hyporesponsiveness after influenza infection

2010 Research Topic: Epidemiology of CA-MRSA in Europe and the Role of Linezolid for the Treatment of Infections Due to CA-MRSA

Research Award Recipients

Karsten Becker, MD
University Hospital Münster, Germany
Prevalence of community-acquired and livestock-associated
MRSA in the Dutch-German EUREGIO
Gary French BSc, MD, FRCPath, DipHIC
Kings College London, UK
Investigating the prevalence of CA-MRSA as a cause of skin and soft tissue infections in the South London community and potential phenotypic, genotypic and functional differences with colonising CA-MRSA strains
Albert Pahissa Berga, MD
Hospital Vall d’Hebron, Spain
Impact of linezolid, alone or associated to other antimicrobials,
on the production of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin and on the outcome of experimental necrotizing pneumonia produced by community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus
Kurt Fuursted, MD
University of Aarhus, Denmark
The use of Caenorhabditis elegans and Panagrellus redivivus as
a host-pathogen models for community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) : Evaluation of virulence determinants during colonization versus infection
Alain Bizzini, MD, PhD
CHUV Lausanne, Switzerland
Detection and surveillance of heteroresistance in community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
(CA-MRSA) by isothermal microcalorimetry
Stephan Harbarth, MD
University Hospitals and Medical School, Switzerland
Community-associated MRSA in Europe: multiresistance, 
virulence and patient risk profiles – a collaborative project
Emilio Bouza Santiago, MD, PhD
Hospital G.U. Gregorio Marañon, Spain
Clinical and molecular epidemiology of methicillin resistant community- acquired Staphylococcus aureus in Spain
Brian Kristensen, MD, PhD
Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark
Decolonization strategies for community-acquired MRSA:
Early contact with either prompt or delayed intervention
Delphine Croisier-Bertin, PharmD, PhD
CHU Dijon, France
Evaluation of the antibacterial/antitoxinic activity of a linezolid humanequivalent dosage in a severe Panton Valentine
Leukocidin pneumonia model
Frédéric Laurent, PharmD, PhD
University of Lyon, France
Evolutionary history of the European ST80 CA-MRSA clone based on high-throughput genomics approach
N. Frederik Dagnaes-Hansen, DVM PhD
University of Aarhus, Denmark
In vitro and in vivo activity of tigecycline, linezolid and 
vancomycin alone or in combination with rifampicin on 
community-aquired methicillin resistant Staphylococcus 
aureus: The significance of evaluating both the anti-bacterial 
and anti-biofilm effect.
Marco Ranieri, MD
Torino Hospital University, Italy
CA-MRSA in Turin, Italy: Molecular Characterization and Pharmacokinetic of Linezolid in the ICU
Oana Dumitrescu, MD, PhD
University of Lyon “Claude Bernard”, France
Cooperation between antibiotics and the innate immune system mediators against community acquired meticillin resistant 
S. aureus (CA-MRSA)


2010 – Pulmonary Vascular Disease Research

United States & Canada
Research Topic:Evaluation of pulmonary vascular disease mechanisms and outcomes

Research Award Recipients

Hubert Chen, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Development of a New Patient-Reported Activity-Based 
Measure of Functional Status for Patients with Pulmonary 
Arterial Hypertension
Greg Lewis, MD, MSc
Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard School of Medicine
Right Ventricular-Pulmonary Vascular Coupling in Pulmonary Hypertension
Brian Graham, MD
University of Colorado Denver
Intranasal administration of Linezolid to prevent seasonal &
post-influenza pneumococcal pneumonia in the elderly
Marc Simon, MD, MSc
University of Pittsburgh
Right Ventricular Regional Contractile Responseto Pulmonary Vascular Disease
Anna Hemnes, MD
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
End Tidal Carbon Dioxide: A Biomarker in Pulmonary 
Arterial Hypertension


2009 – Antibacterial Research

United States
Research Topic:In vitro, in vivo, and clinical investigations of linezolid’s role in modulating Gram-positive pathogens specifically MRSA pathogenesis and host-pathogen interactions

Research Award Recipients

Morohunfolu Akinnusi, MD
Clinical Assistant Instructor
Department of Medicine
University at Buffalo
[email protected]
Linezolid Modulation of Lung Innate Immunity in a Murine 
Model of MRSA Pneumonia
George Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and the Immunobiology Research Institute
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center David Geffen School of Medicine at The University of California, Los Angeles
[email protected]
Effect of Linezolid on Panton-Valentine Leukocidin Mediated 
Tissue Injury
Natalie Boyd, M.S., Pharm.D.
Research Scientist, Lecturer
College of Pharmacy
University of New Mexico
[email protected]
Linezolid-mediated potentiation of host defense efficacy 
against MRSA and MSSA
Govindarajan Rajagopalan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, College of Medicine
Mayo Clinic
[email protected]
Effect of Linezolid on S. aureus Superantigen Production and Immune Activation In vivo and In vitro
Jiwang Chen Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine
Northwestern University
[email protected]
Linezolid Benefit in CA-MRSA Pneumonia: Toxin Suppression 
vs Host Immunomodulation
Eric Skaar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
School of Medicine
Vanderbilt University
[email protected]
Imaging the impact of linezolid on bacterial abscess dynamics using magnetic resonance
Binh Diep, Ph.D.
Instructor, Department of Medicine
University of California San Francisco
[email protected]
Linezolid vs. Vancomycin for Treatment of Necrotizing 
Pneumonia Caused by PVL-producing CA-MRSA
Brian Tsuji, Pharm.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo
[email protected]
Impact of Linezolid on MRSA Accessory Gene Regulator (agr) Profiling Pharmacodynamics and RNAIII
Apoorv Kalra, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Michigan State University
[email protected]
Effect of Linezolid on factors influencing S. aureus adherence 
and invasion of human cells