UT Southwestern Announces Synergy Grant Recipients

Donor-funded awards celebrate research collaborations between physicians and scientists

UT Southwestern Medical Center announced this year’s recipients of the Synergy Grants for Collaborative Research. Seventeen faculty at the institution were recognized for research partnerships spanning clinical and basic science research and received a total of $700,000 in awards.

Each of the seven research partnerships received $100,000, which will support one year of investigation. Funded by community support, the grants recognize collaboration between practicing physicians and basic scientists who are rapidly moving discoveries from the laboratory into clinical practice. With work that spans new non-invasive ways of mapping the brain to improving immunotherapy responses in cancer, the teams were recognized at an event in February.

Group photo of the recipients of the 2023 Synergy Grants for Collaborative Research.
Recipients of the Synergy Grants for Collaborative Research include, standing from left, Anil Agarwal, Ph.D., Jacques Lux, Ph.D., Kareem Azab, Ph.D., Guiyang Hao, Ph.D., Prasanna Alluri, M.D., Ph.D., Joseph Hill, M.D., Ph.D., Sasha Alick-Lindstrom, M.D., Steven Gray, Ph.D., Raiyan Zaman, Ph.D., Hans Hammers, M.D., Ph.D., Abhimanyu Garg, M.D., Peter Ly, Ph.D., and seated from left, Jue Wang, M.D., Elizabeth Davenport, Ph.D., Li Liu, Ph.D., and Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D. Not pictured is Xiankai Sun, Ph.D. Henrik Olund/UT Southwestern Medical Center

"UT Southwestern brings many of the best minds together to advance clinical care and scientific research,” said Joan Conaway, Ph.D., UT Southwestern's Vice Provost and Dean of Basic Research, who is also a Professor of Molecular Biology. “This year’s outstanding faculty recipients captured the spirit of cooperation and complimentary innovation embodied by the award. We’re grateful for the community support that makes it possible to celebrate faculty engaged in such promising collaborations.”

The 2023 Synergy Grant for Collaborative Research recipients are:

  • Anil Agarwal, Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine; Abhimanyu Garg, M.D. (Fellow ’87), Professor of Internal Medicine; and Steven Gray, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Molecular Biology, Neurology, and in the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, for their research into using gene therapy to treat lipodystrophies, rare genetic or autoimmune disorders that result in patients having a severe lack of healthy fat tissue.
  • Sasha Alick-Lindstrom, M.D., Assistant Professor of Neurology and Radiology, and Elizabeth Davenport, Ph.D. (Fellow ’18), Assistant Professor of Radiology and in the Advanced Imaging Research Center, for their research to understand new technology for mapping brain function in medical settings without using invasive procedures.
  • Prasanna Alluri, M.D., Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences ’06), Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, and Jacques Lux, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Radiology, for their research on ultrasound-guided modulation of DNA repair pathways to stimulate the body's immune system to fight against cancer.
  • Kareem Azab, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Joseph Hill, M.D., Ph.D., a cardiologist and Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Biology; and Raiyan Zaman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Internal Medicine, for their research into precision treatments for narrowed or blocked arteries that cause insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle and may lead to heart attack.
  • Hans Hammers, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, and Xiankai Sun, Ph.D., Professor of Radiology and in the Advanced Imaging Research Center, for their research into drug therapies that may improve cancer immunotherapy.
  • Guiyang Hao, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Radiology, Li Liu, Ph.D. (Fellow ’04), Associate Professor of Radiology, and Jue Wang, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, for their research into using imaging techniques to predict the effectiveness of therapies used to treat advanced bladder cancer.
  • Peter Ly, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology, and Ravikanth Maddipati, M.D., Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine with a secondary appointment in the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern, for their research into how genetic material is shared around a tumor where the immune system is active.

Since 2019, philanthropic gifts to UT Southwestern have supported 26 total Synergy Grants for Collaborative Research, providing more than $2.6 million awarded to further collaborative research across the institution.

  • Dr. Conaway holds the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair in Cellular and Molecular Biology.
  • Dr. Garg holds the Distinguished Chair in Human Nutrition Research.
  • Dr. Hill holds the James T. Willerson, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Diseases, and the Frank M. Ryburn, Jr. Chair in Heart Research.
  • Dr. Sun holds the Dr. Jack Krohmer Professorship in Radiation Physics.