Synergy II/Nexus Awards Fund Collaborative Research Linking Health Sciences and Emory College

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Emory University’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center (WHSC) and Office of the Provost have announced the recipients of the Synergy II/Nexus Awards, selecting four proposals out of 16 submitted. Funded by the WHSC, Emory School of Medicine, the Office of the Provost, and Emory College of Arts and Sciences (ECAS), the Synergy II/Nexus Awards support collaborative research projects driven by cross-disciplinary cohorts of faculty in both the WHSC and Emory College.

The winning proposals and research communities for round six are as follows:

Building an Interdisciplinary Research Community to Strengthen Capacity and Training for Implementation Science

Matthew Freeman, MPH, PhD (Rollins School of Public Health)

Rachel Patzer, MPH, PhD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Eri Saikawa, MPA, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

Lisa M. Thompson, RN, FHP-BC, PhD, FAAN (Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing) 

Emory Sleep Consortium

Julie Gazmararian, PhD, MPH (Rollins School of Public Health)

Amanda Freeman, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

Dayna Johnson, PhD (Rollins School of Public Health)

Michelle Lampl, MD, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

Hillary Rodman, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

Mapping the Human “Gaitome”: Automated Analysis of Individual-Specific Walking Patterns in Health and Disease

Gordon Berman, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

Christine Esper, MD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Stuart Factor, OD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Trisha Kesar, PT, PhD (Emory University School of Medicine)

J. Lucas McKay, MSCR, PhD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Shamim Nemati, PhD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Ilya Nemenman, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

Lena Ting, PhD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Preparing the U.S. for Climate Change-Induced Infectious Disease Impacts: An Interdisciplinary Research Strategy

Jessica Fairley, MD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Thomas Gillespie, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences)

Uriel Kitron, MPH, PhD (Emory College of Arts and Sciences and Rollins School of Public Health)

Colleen Kraft, MSc, MD (Emory University School of Medicine)

Sharon Vanairsdale, DNP, APRN, ACNS (Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and Emory Healthcare)

The Synergy II/Nexus awards expands the scope of the original Synergy Awards and promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration and discovery by including scientists from both WHSC and Emory. The awards are intended to support new, highly innovative projects that are not yet funded or published and that have potential to generate scientific achievements of the highest quality and impact.

“The Synergy II/Nexus Awards are cultivating cross-disciplinary research communities to pursue challenging questions and far-reaching impacts,” says Dwight A. McBride, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “In so doing, these awards seed the type of academic community and innovative research we are working to achieve through the One Emory: Engaged for Impact strategic framework. We were thrilled to see the ambitious projects proposed through this process and look forward to the breakthrough discoveries they make possible.”

"The Synergy II/Nexus Awards have been a very successful means of encouraging and expanding collaborative research connecting the health sciences and Emory College," says Jonathan S. Lewin, MD, executive vice president for health affairs, Emory University, and executive director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center. "These new awards, which include a broad range of researchers, demonstrate Emory’s university-wide commitment to supporting outstanding research ideas that fit within the One Emory framework.”

Synergy II/Nexus Awards offer up to $100,000 for an award term of one year, with potential carryover to a second year.

The original Synergy awards, which were initiated in the WHSC in 2016, were required to include WHSC faculty members with primary appointments in at least two different health sciences schools or units as co-principal investigators in order to encourage collaboration across schools.

"We are extremely pleased with the level of faculty enthusiasm shown for our Synergy awards program and with the resulting quality of discovery science and innovation enabled by linking researchers from across Emory schools,” says David Stephens, MD, WHSC vice president for research.

Since the awards program began, more than $3.6 million in funds have been awarded to more than 110 researchers in WHSC. In six rounds of awards, Synergy has supported 38 proposals, including two rounds of Synergy Nexus Awards.