Copeland Grants Awarded



Pittsburgh, July 8, 2019 -- Over $150,000 in grant money was awarded recently by the Pittsburgh Foundation through the Walter L. Copeland Fund to support 19 cranial research projects at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery. The intent of the awards is to grant funding to department residents and junior faculty who have novel research proposals related to neurosurgical or neurologic diseases of the brain. The projects include:

Project Title: Function of the melatonin synthesized in neuron after ischemic/reperfusion injury
PI: Yalikun Suofo
Mentor: Robert M. Friedlander, MD
Amount: $10,000

Project Title: Use of Photopolymers for Cranial Base Reconstruction in Endoscopic Endonasal Surgery
PI: Pierre-Oliver Champagne, MD
Mentor: Paul Gardner, MD 
Amount: $10,000

Project Title: The role of SLC26A11 in neuronal swelling in memory impairment following TBI
PI: Rajaneesh Gupta, PhD
Mentor: Nilkantha Sen, PhD 
Amount: $10,000

Project Title: Altered intrasynaptic properties and impaired neurotransmission after blast injury
PI: Shaun Carlson, PhD 
Mentor: N/A
Amount: $10,000

Project Title: Melatonin regulate mtDNA mediated inflammation in Huntington Disease
PI: Abishek Jauhari, PhD
Mentor: Robert M. Friedlander, MD 
Amount: $10,000

Project Title: Porting high-definition fiber tracking to neurosurgical navigator for mapping critical fiber pathways in tumor patients
PI: Jessica Barrios Martinez, MD
Mentor: Fang-Cheng Yeh, MD 
Amount: $10,000

Project Title: Melatonin receptor 1 dual localization and function
PI: Daniela Leronni, PhD
Mentor: Robert M. Friedlander, MD
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: Epigenetic subclassification of cranial base chondrosarcoma
PI: Michael McDowell, MD 
Mentor: Paul Gardner, MD 
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: SGI-110 in combination with peptide vaccine immunotherapy for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma
PI: Gary Kohanbash, PhD 
Mentor: N/A
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: The Ras pathway presents unique therapeutic opportunities in pediatric brain tumors.
PI: Sameer Agnihotri, PhD 
Co-I: Matthew Pease, MD 
Mentor: N/A
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: ER stress in neuroinflammation after TBI; a view from PERK phosphorylation
PI: Tanusree Sen, PhD
Mentor: N/A
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: Small molecule platelet inhibitors for prevention of cerebral aneurysm formation
PI: Kamil Nowicki, MD, PhD 
Mentor: Robert M. Friedlander, MD 
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: Huntingtin’s N-terminal region regulates mitochondrial targeting and toxicity through phosphorylation
PI: Svitlana Yablonska
Mentor: Robert M. Friedlander, MD 
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: The Role of Pulsatility in the Management of Hydrocephalus: A Pilot Study
PI: Stephanie Greene, MD 
Co-PI: Song Kim
Mentor: N/A
Amount: $8,000

Project Title: Investigating mitochondrial protein import in Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
PI: Tanisha Singh
Mentor: Diane Carlisle, PhD 
Amount: $6,000

Project Title: Role of Neuritosis in Alzheimer disease
PI: Sergei Baranov, PhD
Mentor: Robert M. Friedlander, MD 
Amount: $6,000

Project Title: Comparison of Iatrogenic subcortical injury caused by balloon dilation versus standard cannulation in a rat model
PI: Justice Kallos, MD
Mentor: Nduka Amankulor, MD 
Amount: $6,000

Project Title: The role of cell cycle in neuroinflammation after TBI
PI: Nilkantha Sen, PhD 
Mentor: N/A
Amount: $6,000

Project Title: Biomarkers in Chronic Subdural Hematoma: A prospective study
PI: Enyinna Nwachuku, MD 
Mentor: David O. Okonkwo, MD, PhD 
Amount: $2,000

The Copeland Fund was established at The Pittsburgh Foundation in 1961 through a $1 million estate gift granted to the University of Pittsburgh by Walter L. Copeland, a local businessman who was a director at the former Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation. All proceeds of the gift were specifically directed to support brain research in neurosurgery.

Since its inception, it’s been estimated that approximately $3 million has been granted through the fund to support hundreds of research projects that, ultimately, have improved the lives of countless patients.