Skip Navigation
OU Public Affairs WebsiteOU homepagePublic Affairs homepage

OU Researchers Receive OCAST Awards for Health Research Projects

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

7-8-13

CONTACT: Jana Smith, Strategic Communications for R&D, (405) 325-1322, jana.smith@ou.edu

NORMAN — Four University of Oklahoma Norman campus researchers were awarded OCAST grants for health research projects on subjects that range from the development of bone grafts using adult stem cells to the identification of genes to block parasite development in mosquitoes to new drug development pipelines to improvements in limb movement.  

OCAST made the following $135,000 awards for a three-year period to these OU researchers in bioengineering, biology and chemistry and biochemistry:

Vassilios Sikavitsas, Chemical, Biological and Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering Center, to study the creation of bone grafts that exhibit enhanced osteoinductive properties providing a superior alternative to the current therapies in patients with large bone defects. Interest in tissue engineering, biodegradable scaffolds and the use of 3D culturing systems has grown to address the deficits of current clinical practice.

Jun Li, Chemistry and Biochemistry, whose research aims to aid the control of mosquito-transmitted diseases including West Nile virus in Oklahoma. Mosquito innate immunity can be used to control mosquito transmitted pathogens. The purpose of this project is to identify genes that can be used to block Plasmodium parasite development in mosquitoes.

Susan Schroeder, Chemistry and Biochemistry, to study viral RNA structure, which is a goldmine of undiscovered drug targets. Extremely few drugs exist to treat or cure human viral diseases. The current challenge is to use the abundance of new sequence information to predict function and drug targets and, thus, translate sequence into new drug development pipelines.

Ari Berkowitz, Biology, whose project will investigate a type of spinal cord nerve cell or neuron discovered in the OU laboratory that is activated quickly and strongly when the foot is tapped to produce flexion reflex, but inhibited during locomotion. This research will help explain how the spinal cord produces flexion reflex and how it is modulated during other behaviors.

Recent News

OU Board of Regents to Hold Special Meeting

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents will hold a special meeting on Friday, Aug. 11, in Oklahoma City. Read More

OU Biologist Receives $1.2 Million NSF Grant in Support of Ecological Research

NORMAN – A University of Oklahoma biology professor, Michael E. Kaspari, has been awarded a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant to study MacroSystems ecology—exploring how Earth’s temperature, precipitation and biogeochemistry govern the abundance, diversity and activity of ecological communities. Kaspari will test these models by generating the first standardized field data from entire communities of ground dwelling arthropods—an invertebrate animal having an exoskeleton, a segmented body and paired jointed appendages. Read More

OU Named Among Architectural Digest's Top 18 Stunning Libraries Around the World

NORMAN – The University of Oklahoma’s Bizzell Memorial Library has been named among 18 stunning university libraries around the world, according to Architectural Digest. OU is the only Big 12 University to be recognized, joining the ranks of other university libraries such as Duke Humfrey’s Library at Oxford University in England; Trinity College Library at the University of Dublin..  Read More

KGOU Wins Top Radio Award

NORMAN – KGOU-FM has won the radio sweepstakes award from the Arkansas-Oklahoma Associated Press Broadcasters Association for the sixth time in the past seven years. The honor is given for most awards won in the AOAPB’s annual journalism contest.  Read More

News Archives

2016  | 2015  | 2014  |  2013  |  2012


For requests for past releases, please contact OU Public Affairs at (405) 325-1701 or publicaffairs@ou.edu.