Heritage College faculty play role in Kopchick Award-winning research projects

Dec 6, 2018

Eight faculty members of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine are involved with medical research projects that have received funding through this year’s John J. Kopchick Awards. The winning projects, most of them headed by students, investigate a range of health issues including diabetes, muscle function in older adults, cancer and bacterial infections. 

All eight Heritage College faculty serve as mentors on research projects by OHIO students that received funding. One of the faculty members, Craig Nunemaker, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences, also received a $10,000 award for his own research project, “A novel dual-acting therapeutic compound for the treatment of type 1 diabetes.”

The John J. Kopchick Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB)/Translational Biomedical Sciences (TBS) Faculty Support Fund, Research Fellowship Award and Undergraduate Student Support Fund were created from a $2 million gift commitment from John Kopchick, Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar and Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology at the Heritage College, and Char Kopchick, assistant dean of students at Ohio University.

Another $1.9 million in match support has been provided by the deans of the Heritage College, the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health Sciences and Professions, and the vice president for research and creative activity.

The awards support projects by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty affiliated with Ohio University’s Molecular and Cellular Biology and Translational Biomedical Sciences programs. Both programs take an interdisciplinary approach to research in the science and medical fields.

In addition to his own research award, Nunemaker is mentor on a project by student William Koch of the TBS program.

John Kopchick is mentor to three students who received funding awards: Alison Brittain, in the biological sciences/TBS program; Silvana Duran Ortiz, in the biological sciences/MCB program; and Emily Davis, in the chemistry and biochemistry program.

Xiaozhuo Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences, is also mentor to three students: David Cottrill, in the biomedical sciences/MCB program; Pratik Shriwas, in the biological sciences/MCB program; and Maria Evers, of the Honors Tutorial College – biological sciences.

Brian Clark, Ph.D., professor of biomedical sciences; Harold E. Clybourne, D.O., endowed research chair; and executive director of the Ohio Musculoskeletal & Neurological Institute, is mentor on a project by Dallin Tavoian, a student in the TBS program.

Darlene Berryman, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., professor of biomedical sciences and associate dean for research and innovation, is mentor on a project by student Delaney Geitgey of the Honors Tutorial College – biological sciences.

Vishwajeet Puri, Ph.D., M.S., who holds the Heritage Endowed Professorship in Diabetes,

Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Ralph S. Licklider, D.O., Research Endowment, is mentor on a project by student Kailey Gentner of the Honors Tutorial College – biological sciences.

Ramiro Malgor, M.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences, and Karen Coschigano, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical sciences and research director at the Diabetes Institute, are mentors on a project by student Alyx Hazen in chemistry and biochemistry.

Read more about this year’s Kopchick Awards here.