Final recipients of COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity grants announced

Photo of VCU campus.
VCU has awarded nearly $350,000 in funding to 31 COVID-19 related research proposals. (File photo)

Eleven Virginia Commonwealth University faculty members are among the final researchers to receive internal funding to pivot their work to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health system and the community.

They were among the nearly 70 investigators who applied for support through the VCU COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity, sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research. The 11 researchers join 20 previously selected faculty members whose projects were awarded in April.

Through this initiative, VCU has now awarded nearly $350,000 in funding to 31 outstanding and timely proposals across a broad range of disciplines. In addition to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation and the Wright Center, this effort was also supported by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and VCU’s Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation.

“While we were able to fund nearly half of the submitted projects, all the proposals submitted clearly demonstrated VCU’s wealth of inventiveness, breadth of faculty expertise and desire to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” said P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D., vice president for research and innovation. 

In addition to the previously announced grant recipients, the following faculty members are new recipients of the VCU COVID-19 Rapid Research Funding Opportunity:

  • Albert Arias, M.D., School of Medicine, “A Web-Based Longitudinal Study of the Effects of COVID-19 Related Stress on Drug and Alcohol Use in Addicted Persons”
  • Melanie Bean, Ph.D., School of Medicine, “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Household Food Environments and Child Feeding Practices”
  • Rachel Gomez, Ph.D., School of Education, “Mitigating K-12 English Language Learners Academic and English Language Acquisition Regression During COVID-19: A Rapid Response Examination of a School-Community Partnership”
  • Matthew Halquist, Ph.D., School of Pharmacy, “Determination of Remdesivir Following Intramuscular Injections: A Preclinical Study to Identify Clinically Relevant Formulations…”
  • Pamela Parsons, Ph.D., School of Nursing, “Older Adults Lived Experiences During the COVID-19 Pandemic”
  • Derek Prosser, Ph.D., College of Humanities and Sciences, “Inhibition of Viral Uptake as a Mechanism for Reducing SARS-CoV-2 Infection”
  • Jennifer Rohan, Ph.D., School of Medicine, “Psychological Support During COVID-19: The Impact of Psychological Telehealth Interventions on Psychological Functioning, Quality of Life and Health Behaviors in Pediatric Chronic Illness”
  • Maria Thomson, Ph.D., School of Medicine, “Assessing Psychological Well-being and Access to Care in Rural Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Those With and Without Cancer”
  • Christian Wernz, Ph.D., College of Health Professions, “Telehealth in the COVID-19 Area: Simulation-based Decision Support for Hospital Operations”
  • Faika Zanjani, Ph.D., College of Health Professions, “Telephone-Based Health Coaching to Address COVID-19 Risk, Stress, Social Isolation on Racial/Ethnic Minority Low-Income Older Adults”
  • Hua Zhao, Ph.D., School of Medicine, “Identification of Social-Contextual and Built-Environment Factors Associated with the Disparities of COVID-19 Pandemic”

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