UMaine COBRE announces seed grant awardees for 2023-24

The University of Maine Center for Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) has awarded seed funding to support pilot projects from three early career faculty during the 2023-24 academic year and through April 1, 2025. 

The seed funding from UMaine COBRE’s pilot project program will help awardees secure instruments and other supplies for their projects, all of which will explore cellular signaling in response to extracellular cues. The research has the potential to inform future treatment of infectious diseases, neuromuscular disorders and muscle aging and regeneration. Funding recipients also will have access to additional mentoring by senior faculty. 

This year’s awardees are: 

  • Zhao Xuan, assistant professor of neurobiology at UMaine, for her project titled “In vivo interaction between the active and periactive zones in sustaining synaptic transmission.”
  • Robert Augustine, assistant professor with the Department of Biology at Colby College, for his project titled “Genetic and Proteomic Characterization of Moss SUMO Signaling During Heat Stress.”
  • Karissa Tilbury, associate professor of biomedical engineering at UMaine, for her project titled “Determining the Role of α11β1 Collagen Binding Integrins in the Progression of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) to Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC).”

This is the first round of funding from the UMaine COBRE pilot project program to support interdisciplinary biomedical research from early career scientists. The program is one of several initiatives from the center, which UMaine established after receiving an $11.3 million award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)