Pilot & Feasibility Program

The Pilot & Feasibility (P&F) Program provides modest research support for a limited time (1–2 years). The goal is to enable eligible investigators to explore the feasibility of a concept related to the overall goals of UT Southwestern Medical Center's George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Core Center, and to generate sufficient data to pursue the concept through other funding mechanisms (e.g., NIH R01 grant).

Investigators who are eligible for pilot and feasibility funding generally fall into three categories:

  • New investigators without current or past extramural research equivalent to an NIH R01, VA Merit Award, or P01 as a principal investigator (current or past support from other sources should have been modest). The majority of the investigators will fall into this category.
  • Established non-nephrology investigators who wish to apply their expertise to a problem in nephrology.
  • Established investigators who propose testing innovative ideas that represent a clear departure from ongoing research interests.

All eligible investigators must have faculty appointments and must be independent investigators. Postdoctoral fellows or their equivalent are not eligible.

Letter of Intent

A Letter of Intent is due October 21, 2013. The application deadline is January 1, 2014, and the projected start dates are March 1, 2014 (Grant 1) and June 1, 2014 (Grant 2).

The letter is limited to a maximum of 400 words and should include:

  • Overall goal and specific aims
  • Relevance to the scientific focus of the O’Brien Center
  • Proposed utilization of the O’Brien Core Centers
  • Eligibility of the applicant

In addition to the letter, please attach the following:

Please submit the letter of intent on or before October 21, 2013, via email to obriencenter@utsouthwestern.edu. Letters received after October 21, 2013, or without the required information/attachments, will not be reviewed. Your letter of intent will be reviewed to determine eligibility based on the established criteria listed above. Once eligibility has been determined, you will receive an email with an invitation to submit a full application. If you are deemed ineligible for the grant, you will receive written notification. If you have any questions, please contact Lauren Smith at 214-648-7222 or via email to obriencenter@utsouthwestern.edu.

2014 Awardees

David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.
Professor & Chairman of Pharmacology
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Probing the roles of FGF15/19 and γ-Klotho in the kidney

Saikat Mukhopadhyay, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Cell Biology
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Role of Gpr161 in kidney development and disease

2013 Awardees

Lily Jun-shen Huang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Erythropoietin Receptor in Renoprotection

Denise Marciano, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
The role of afadin in renal tubulogenesis

2011 Awardees

Massimo Attanasio, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Role of GLIS2 in the development of cystic kidney disease (2nd year of funding)

Aylin Rodan, M.D., Ph.D.
Instructor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Using Drosophila to study renal basolateral membrane inward rectifier K channels

2010 Awardees

Massimo Attanasio, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Role of GLIS2 in the development of cystic kidney disease

Michelle Tallquist, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Molecular Biology
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Analysis of PDGF receptor function in the kidney

Amelia Eisch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Identification of nestin-progeny in the adult and developing kidney: application of a novel transgenic mouse

Ion Bobulescu, M.D.
Instructor in Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Molecular mechanisms of renal phosphate transport in human physiology and pathophysiology

2009 Awardees

Vishal Patel, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Role of microRNA in kidney development and pathogenesis of PKD

Quan-Zhen Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Immunology
UT Southwestern Medical Cener
Kallikrein gene targeting to modulate spontaneous lupus nephritis

John Wallingford, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology
UT Austin
PCP Signaling in kidney development and disease

Michihisa Umetani, Ph.D.
Instructor in Pediatrics and Pharmacology
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Modification of Kidney Function by 27-Hydroxycholesterol

2008 Awardees

S. Susan Hedayati, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center and Dallas VA
Association of WNK1 with Hypertensive and CV Effects of Dietary Potassium Deficiency
  (2nd year of funding)

Joseph A. Garcia, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Molecular mechanisms regulating erythropoietin production in mammals

2007 Awardees

S. Susan Hedayati, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center and Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Association of WNK1 with Hypertensive and CV Effects of Dietary Potassium Deficiency

Leighton James, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF), Blood Pressure and Albuminuria