Covid 19: Metabolic Dysfunction, Viral Persistence and Bioenergetic T Cell Fatigue in Post Acute SARS-CoV2

Grants and Contracts Details


Philip A. Kern, MD: PI, 0.6 calendar months’ effort, will be responsible for interaction between the clinical and research arms of the proposed work, designing and interpreting experiments consult on all metabolic aspects of the project, including chart review of subjects as needed. He is Director of UK’s CTSA/NCATS-funded Clinical Center for Translational Sciences. Dr. Kern is an experienced clinical researcher who has collaborated with Dr. Nikolajczyk on multiple projects including serving as MPI on R01 DK108056. Dr. Kern has coauthored multiple manuscripts with Dr. Nikolajczyk. Barbara Nikolajczyk, Ph.D.: Co-Investigator, 1.20 calendar months’ effort, will be responsible for designing and interpreting experiments, supervising Dr. Santa Cruz Calvo, maintaining regulatory compliance in the lab. She will help write manuscripts and present findings at meetings and invited seminars. Dr. Nikolajczyk’s leadership of a multi-disciplinary team resulted in publication of the first comprehensive analyses of B cells and T cells in human T2D in 2010 and 2011, respectively. She also led the cross-disciplinary/multi-institutional teams that published the demonstration that B cells support Th17 cells in human and mouse T2D (PNAS 2013; Obesity 2016), and that a Th17 profile is shared in T2D and healthy aging (Cell Metabolism, 2020). Overall, Dr. Nikolajczyk is a seasoned translational investigator with a strong background in molecular mechanisms of immune cell function in human T2D and who is well qualified function as part of this large team. She will bring outcomes to fruition through publication, invited speaking engagements and the introduction of fundamentally new concepts to the expanding field of SARS-CoV2 sequelae. Dr. Nikolajczyk moved from Boston University to University of Kentucky fall 2017 specifically to pursue translational projects such as this proposal. Xiaohua Douglas Zhang, Ph.D., Biostatistics, bioinformatics, 0.6 calendar months. Dr. Zhang is an experienced bioinformatics expert with extensive experience in both academia and industry. He will analyze the cytokine profiles generated by the Nikolajczyk. Previous collaborative work between Drs. Zhang, Kern, and Nikolajczyk is currently in review. Non-Key Personnel Sara Santa-Cruz Calvo, PhD, Research Scientist, 6 calendar months’ effort, will be responsible for all wet lab aspects of the project outside the Immune Monitoring Core. Dr. Santa-Cruz Calvo has been in Dr. Nikolajczyk’s lab since Oct. 2019, and as such has gained expertise in bioplex to complement her extensive training in immunology and metabolism. She has been instrumental in working with the Immune Monitoring Core for determining best practices for project with a (still) poorly understood pathogenic virus. Dr. Nikolajczyk and the co-investigators will advise Dr. Santa-Cruz Calvo in concepts in inflammation and viral responses as the entire group gains expertise on this new pathogen, and help Dr. Santa-Cruz Calvo hone writing and oral presentation skills. Michele Lacey, Coordinator (1.2 calendar months). Ms Lacey is an experienced coordinator/ recruiter who works with Dr. Kern on this and other projects and will devote 10% time to this project. Her duties will involve coordinating the clinic visits, and arranging the visits and interaction of the patients with the clinical research center and the staff at the center. She will stay in close touch with subjects to monitor for side effects and perform all initial assessments, following a script. She will coordinate the payments to participants. Much is asked of these participants, and Ms Lacey is very skilled at maintaining the excellent relationship with the participants that is essential for a clinical research study. Hasiyet Memetimin, MD, PhD. Research Associate (2.4 calendar months). Dr. Memetimin is a skilled research
Effective start/end date3/1/232/29/24


  • Maine Health: $215,730.00


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