Recap the research awards earned by UF College of Pharmacy faculty in September

Congratulations to the faculty in the UF College of Pharmacy who received research awards in September 2023.


Principal Investigator and Multiple Principal Investigator Awards

Dr. Lina Cui was awarded a single principal investigator multi-year R21 award for $419,375. Cellular senescence, a process characterized by loss of cell division, is a major aging mechanism that has been implicated in many age-related diseases and is a crucial cause of tissue dysfunction. The Cui lab has been developing senescence imaging probes for cancer and various age-related diseases. Through collaboration with Dr. Clayton Mathews of the UF College of Medicine and Dr. Qiu-Xing Jiang of the University of Buffalo, the R21 project aims to develop a molecular probe for real-time selective detection of cellular senescence in pancreatic islets. The probe will be an indispensable tool for the study of senescence in diabetes, and for the validation of the plausibility of senescence as a therapeutic target for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Caitrin McDonough with co-investigator Dr. Steven Smith were awarded a two-year, $305,000 NHLBI R03 titled “Hypertension Prediction and Identification in All of Us.” Apparent treatment resistant hypertension (aTRH) describes a subset of hypertensive individuals with elevated blood pressure despite the use of multiple antihypertensive medications and is associated with very poor long-term prognosis.  This project aims to use existing data within the All of Us Researcher Workbench to improve our ability to identify hypertension (HTN) patients at increased risk for aTRH and adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Additionally, this project will examine characteristics and predictors of aTRH and adverse cardiovascular outcomes in HTN patients by health care institutions, urban versus rural areas, and geographic regions.

Dr. Mohammed Gbadamosi has been awarded an Early Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health (DP5) to launch his independent career. The DP5 award will provide Dr. Gbadamosi with up to $1.9 million over five years to establish his research program. His research program will focus on employing multi-omic analyses to identify and characterize molecular features that influence the immunomodulatory effect of chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer. Leveraging this data, he and his team will develop machine learning models that predict the degree of immunomodulation a patient will experience when treated with chemotherapy based on their genomic and transcriptomic profile. For more information, visit:

Dr. Haesuk Park was awarded a five-year, R01 through NIDA totaling $3.3 million titled “Assessing performance of a Hepatitis C Emergency Department (HepC-END) Screening Tool.” Drs. Khoa Nguyen and Jenny Lo Ciganic are co-investigators on the award as well as several faculty from the UF College of Medicine and the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions. Using machine-learning algorithms, they proposed to first develop prediction models to identify patients at risk of HCV and then to translate the best prediction algorithm into a best practice advisory platform integrated into the electronic health records system. This innovative and integrated platform will better guide clinical providers and health care systems, improve HCV and HIV screening in emergency department settings and help link patients with care.

Co-Investigator Awards

Drs. John Allen (core lead), Thomas Schmittgen (project lead) and Jatinder Lamba (core co-I) were awarded funds from the continuation of the CaRE2 U54 with Dr. Diane Wilkie in the UF College of Nursing. The long-term goals of the CaRE2 center are to reduce cancer disparities in Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx individuals, to train and increase the pool of 120 underrepresented Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx scientists conducting health disparity research, to increase research capacity at an HBCU (FAMU), and to increase cancer disparity research at UF and the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, or USC-NCCC. The proposed two full projects and pilot project include investigators from the three institutions and will leverage specimens collected across the partnership from Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx, representing a wide range of subpopulations within these minority groups. Thus, the studies will reveal unprecedented findings about these two understudied minority populations, will be instrumental in transferring cutting-edge and innovative technologies to FAMU, and will expand in a significant way the research focus at UF and USC-NCCC to address cancer health disparities in pancreas and lung cancers.