NIH Grants for VMS Researchers

NDSU Microbiology
by NDSU Microbiology

Dr. Glenn Dorsam and Dr. Jane Schuh were recently informed that they will both receive NIH funding to further their work on allergic fungal asthma. The new grants will support two graduate students, six undergraduate summer internships, technicians, and a summer seminar symposium.

“Having the opportunity to help bring these grants to VMS is a dream come true,” says Dr. Dorsam. “These grants will help make a difference in our department’s student’s lives.”

Although the two research groups use the same mouse model to explore asthma, they focus on understanding two different elements of the disease: (1) cell signaling (Dr. Dorsam’s group) and (2) the pathology of allergic fungal asthma (Dr. Schuh’s group).

More specifically, Dr. Dorsam’s group aims to understand how a specific neurotransmitter recruits eosinophils to the lung. Eosinophilia is a hallmark of asthma, and “new treatments against asthma that specifically control eosinophil recruitment to the lungs is a hot topic as this cell has both adverse and beneficial effects towards the progression of asthma,” explains Dr. Dorsam.

The Schuh lab’s interest lies mainly in “the disease pathology of asthma, particularly cellular inflammation that results in airway wall remodeling,” says Dr. Schuh.

But their research isn’t intended to be independent. Instead, the new grants will allow for interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate training. “A lot of what we'll do with the grants will be to cross-train students in both the cell signaling and pathology of allergic fungal asthma,” explains Dr. Schuh.

In addition to being an exciting new development for our department, these grants are important for NDSU. “These grants bring much needed NIH money to campus,” says Dr. Dorsam. And in a small way, this funding also reinforces “that we are a research 1 category institution.”