Congratulations to Dr. Alejandro Almarza who was awarded with a Restoring Joint Health and Function to Reduce Pain (RE-JOIN) Consortium Project (1UC2AR082196-01) by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is a multi-Principal investigator award with Dr. Kyle Allen (corresponding PI) at the University of Florida. This funding is part of the Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative. The total funding is $5.9M for three years, with potential for equivalent funding for two more years depending on delivery of milestones. Dr. Almarza will lead the team at the University of Pittsburgh focused on the temporomandibular joint, and Dr. Allen will lead the work on the knee. The consortium will be made of 5 teams across to country with similar funding, all of whom bring synergistic expertise and are leaders of defining the innervation patterns of the different articular and peri-articular tissues that collectively form the joint and how these may change with disease. Knowledge about the types and distribution of neurons in joint tissues will facilitate the identification of key receptors and mediators that induce pain by activating specific sensory neurons. These mediators and/or their receptors may provide novel targets for treating or managing pain. Project details can be found on NIH Reporter.
Congratulations to Dr. Jeff Weiss who was recognized as one of the Top Graduate Teachers in the Fall 2022 semester. Jeff is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Utah.