Ryans deliver on the promise to foster groundbreaking research
Aurora Kerscher, PhD Woong-Ki Kim, PhD

Ryans deliver on the promise to foster groundbreaking research

The importance of encouraging creative, risk-taking science and the ways it can impact the region's health have not escaped Louis and Prudence Ryan. That’s why they’ve given more than $2 million to establish a research fund through the EVMS Deliver on the Promise campaign.

THE RYAN TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH FUNDwill stimulate interdisciplinary research among faculty with expertise in biomedical science, healthcare disparities/delivery science, and clinical disciplines to improve the models of care and patient outcomes, as well as to meet community health needs. EVMS faculty will be invited to seek funding for research projects, collaboration expenses and/or equipment or technology procurement to advance the institution’s research excellence.

“Translational research is a crucial step in the development of new disease therapies from years of laboratory research,” says William Wasilenko, PhD, Vice Dean of Research. “The Ryan fund will have a significant impact on promoting and accelerating the development of translational research at EVMS with the potential of developing new treatments for illnesses in our community.”

The fund currently supports two major research fronts at EVMS: cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

CANCER   Aurora Kerscher, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology (pictured above left), should have Phase 1 of her project ready to publish by year end. EVMS houses one of the nation’s largest urological biorepositories, allowing Dr. Kerscher’s lab to identify a subset of microRNAs closely associated with advanced forms of prostate cancer. Her group aims to translate their work into effective clinical tools for late-stage prostate cancer. The Ryan funding enables her lab to generate key data toward this goal and aids in securing external government funding.

ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE   Woong-Ki Kim, PhD, Associate Dean for Research Faculty Development and Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology (pictured above right), is utilizing Ryan funding for his project. The study is a unique opportunity that will advance the development of a neurodegeneration research program in the newly developed Center for Integrative Neuroscience and Inflammatory Disease at EVMS. The aim of the study is to identify disease-specific changes in the metabolic profile of human blood and cerebral spinal fluid in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.