New Pilot Funding Opportunities Unveiled at Regional Diabetes Research Symposium

On March 16th, diabetes researchers from across the state convened in Greensboro for the first annual Regional Diabetes Research Symposium, which was hosted by N.C. A&T in collaboration with Duke University, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University. The universities are interested in promoting inter-institutional collaborations in diabetes research as part of the new North Carolina Diabetes Research Center (NCDRC). Pilot funds are now available for eligible new investigator teams!

NC A&T faculty shall notify Meriel Parker and Dr. Moige Ongeri via email, prior to submission of LOI to the NCDRC. Those whom the NCDRC invites to proceed with full proposal, shall submit an NOI to the Division of Research and Economic Development. Letters of intent are due by April 2, 2018. Click here for more information about applying for pilot program funds.

This pilot program is designed to encourage and facilitate novel basic clinical and translational research. Eligible projects will demonstrate a clear path to attracting subsequent grant support, new company formation, licensing, not-for-profit partnering, or other channels. Projects must have a clear diabetes focus and involve co-Principal Investigators at a minimum of two of the four institutions above.

“N.C. A&T was pleased to host the Regional Diabetes Research Symposium which created an opportunity for North Carolina’s diabetes researchers to learn about the research strengths and cores of each partnering institution,” said Meriel Parker, Director of Life Science Research at N.C. A&T. “We are eager to witness the diversity of diabetes research proposals which culminate from the symposium and this unique funding mechanism.”

The event featured presentations from physicians at three of the state’s medical schools. “Multi-center applications require history of collaboration and justification, with an emphasis is on bringing new diabetes investigators in,” said Dr. Donald McClain from Wake Forest University. Dr. John Buse of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said, “The environment is a large focus at UNC-CH, and an area of great opportunity in diabetes research.” Dr. David D’Alessio at Duke University, conveyed his enthusiasm about this regional cooperation. “One advantage of the partnership is the complimentary science of the institutions.”

The one-day event was held at the Union Square Campus in Greensboro, convening around 100 researchers from across the translational spectrum who are interested in developing cross-institutional projects in diabetes, obesity and metabolism. The event featured presentations, workshops, networking opportunities, this information about the pilot research award opportunities and the core research initiatives which are being led by this regional consortium. Lunch and attendance were free, and plans are underway for a similar event next year.