Biologists Awarded Grants from Pittsburgh Foundation’s Kaufman Fund
Yongxin (Leon) Zhao
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Zheng Kuang received a $150,000 New Investigator grant. The New Investigator grants empower scientists at the beginning of their careers.
Kuang will explore the mechanics of why metabolism is different in males and females. Using a mouse model, his research team will study how gut microbiota regulates sexspecific rhythms in the intestine and how that affects nutrient absorption and energy stores.
Eberly Family Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Yongxin (Leon) Zhao and Maxwell H. and Gloria C. Connan Professor of Biological Sciences Alison Barth received a $300,000 New Initiative Grant. The New Initiative grants encourage investigators with strong research records to establish interdisciplinary collaborations that require expertise beyond that of any single researcher and take a novel approach to a topic.
Zhao and Barth will seek to better understand how inhibitory neurons in the mammalian brain reconfigure within the brain’s cortical circuitry to facilitate learning.
Grants from the Kaufman Foundation, a supporting organization of the Pittsburgh Foundation, go to institutes of higher learning in Pennsylvania for scientists pursuing research that explores essential questions and/or crosses disciplinary boundaries.
■ Jocelyn Duffy
Maxwell H. and Gloria C. Connan Professor of Biological Sciences Alison Barth and Eberly Family Career Development Associate Professor Yongxin (Leon) Zhao.