Congratulations to two new Collaborative Research Seed Grants teams

Two new interdisciplinary research teams have received funding from the Collaborative Research Seed Grants (CRSG) program at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry.

CRSG provides seed funding for the formation and development of new interdisciplinary collaborative research teams. The intent is to promote new collaborations that build on different scientific and scholarly backgrounds, to facilitate breakthroughs in solving research questions in a collaborative manner, and to position the School's researchers to successfully respond to targeted requests for proposals from Tri-Council or other funding agencies.

Congratulations to the recipients:

Project Title: In Vivo Evaluation of Pannexin 1 Inhibition on Glioblastoma Growth in the Chick Model Using Bioluminescence Imaging


  • Silvia Penuela, PhD, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
  • John Ronald, PhD, Department of Medical Biophysics; Scientist, Robarts Research Institute
  • Matthew Hebb, MD, PhD, Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences
Project Title: Complex Airways‐Disease Translational Team: Etiology of Inflammation Towards Precision Medicine Approaches in Asthma


  • Grace Parraga, PhD, Department of Medical Biophysics; Scientist, Robarts Research Institute
  • Cory Yamashita, MD, Department of Medicine
  • Lisa Cameron, PhD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Grant recipient Silvia Penuela, a cell biologist, is working with imaging scientist John Ronald and neurosurgeon Dr. Matthew Hebb to better understand the effects of Pannexin 1 (Panx1) inhibitors in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). In other cancers, Panx1inhibitors have been shown to revert cells to a more normal phenotype, decrease tumour growth and reduce metastasis.

“GBM is the most common and malignant primary brain tumour in adults, and current standard of care results in a median survival rate of 14 months,” explained Penuela. “This highlights the need for new treatment targets.”

She says CRSG funding is key to establishing a new multidisciplinary collaboration with her co-investigators and to generating preliminary data.

“Translational research is by definition a team effort,” said Penuela. “This grant allows us to use state-of-the-art imaging tools and generate data that will be the basis of future funding applications for our research team.”