Natalie Bauer, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently among one of five faculty members to receive the 2019 USA College of Medicine Faculty Intramural Grants Research Award. The award, which provides funds through an annual competition, targets five full-time basic science faculty members.

Published Nov 11th, 2019

By Nichelle Smith

nsmith@health.southalabama.edu

Natalie Bauer, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently among one of five faculty members to receive the 2019 USA College of Medicine Faculty Intramural Grants Research Award. The award, which provides funds through an annual competition, targets five full-time basic science faculty members.

Bauer’s research, titled “Mechanisms of Extracellular Vesicle Signaling,” seeks to understand how extracellular vesicles interact with target cells and deliver their messages – good or bad.

“In each of us every day, both when we are healthy and when we are sick, we have circulating extracellular vesicles that are released from our cells,” Bauer said. “These tiny vesicles play important roles to keep our blood vessels healthy and functioning. During various diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and pulmonary hypertension, these vesicles change and can cause damage.”

According to Bauer, this research is important as many individuals and companies are attempting to develop extracellular vesicles as drug delivery vehicles, but we don’t yet know how they target certain cells nor how they are processed once they reach the cells. “Without this vital information, we will not be able to use them as valuable resources,” she said. “On the flipside, understanding how they signal inside cells will help us design ways to inhibit the detrimental effects of the dangerous extracellular vesicles.”

The USA College of Medicine provides seed funding for basic science or translational research through an annual competitive Intramural Grants Program for faculty to develop new research ideas and develop new critical preliminary data for revised extramural proposal submissions, or to provide bridge funding to enable sustained research progress between extramural grant funding periods.

To learn more about the USA College of Medicine Intramural Grants Program, click here.

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