Six VCU Internal Medicine physicians awarded research grants by VCU Johnson Center

Top row: Punett Puri, M.D., Samira Shojaee, M.D. and Jason Kidd, M.D.
<br>Bottom row: Daniel Gri...
Top row: Punett Puri, M.D., Samira Shojaee, M.D. and Jason Kidd, M.D.
Bottom row: Daniel Grinnan, M.D., Luis Guzman, M.D. and Jayanthi Koneru, M.D.

Six physicians at Virginia Commonwealth University have received research grants from the Johnson Center for Critical Care and Pulmonary Research. The grants are part of the Johnson Center’s mission to support collaborative and novel clinical research for both emerging and seasoned clinical and bench scientists.

The awardees are:

  • Luis Guzman, M.D., Division of Cardiology
  • Jayanthi Koneru, M.D., Division of Cardiology
  • Jason Kidd, M.D., Division of Nephrology
  • Daniel Grinnan, M.D., Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine
  • Punett Puri, M.D., Division of Gastroenterology
  • Samira Shojaee, M.D., Division of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine


Each recipient’s research will be collaborative, focusing on bench-to-bedside translational research, and is proposed to enhance research in critical care medicine and pulmonary disease. This is the second round of grants given by the Johnson Center since August 2016. This year, grant amounts ranged from $16,000 to $24,000. The grant is offered twice annually and awardees are selected by an internal advisory board that includes Antonio Abbate, M.D., vice-chairman of cardiology at VCU Pauley Heart Center; Alison Montpetit, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Adult Health and Nursing Systems; Mary A. Peberdy, M.D., professor of emergency medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine; and John Ryan, Ph.D., associate vice president for research development.

Clinicians’ grant work will raise the visibility of scholarly work happening in critical care medicine and pulmonary disease, said Chris DeWilde, associate director of clinical research services at the Johnson Center.

“With a focus on bench research or patient-based research, these grants not only further the Johnson Center’s cause of providing opportunity, but they support the hands-on work of finding solutions for critical care disorders and other diseases that deserve clinical attention and resolution,” she said.

Global engagement, public dissemination of information, interdepartmental and interschool collaboration and bridging multiple disciplines are hallmarks of the Johnson Center’s mission and its defining characteristics. If a division needs research help but lacks resources, the Johnson Center can provide assistance with research development, protocol writing, study planning, identification of funding opportunities, and even study staffing.

“Everything that we offer is an opportunity to grow the quantity and quality of research being done,” DeWilde said.

The center has already begun accepting applications for its third set of grant recipients. For information on how to apply, contact DeWilde at