Recipients of the 2014 Seed Grants Announced

Recipients of the 2014 Seed Grants Announced

Apr 21

Five principal investigators from the US and South Africa were awarded the first round of funding from the new Ragon TB Seed Grants.


One of the primary missions of the Ragon Institute is to provide a means for rapidly funding promising studies and emerging concepts in the field of HIV research. Since 2009, the Ragon Institute has supported Innovation and Fellowship awards to provide a substantial pool of accessible, flexible funding for HIV research.  Such funding encourages innovation, compresses the time it takes to conduct bench-to-bedside research and attracts new minds to the field.


The Ragon TB Seed Grants, launched in this year, focused on immunology and microbiology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. The four areas of research for which proposals were accepted are:


  • the human immune response to TB
  • in vitro models of TB pathogenesis
  • TB/ HIV co-infection
  • novel interventions to treat or prevent tuberculosis
These awards, supported by the Mark and Lisa Schwartz Foundation, provide $50,000 direct and $7,500 indirect funding for one year.


The first five recipients of this award and these projects are:


  • Galit Alter (MGH) | Project Title: Extra-neutralizing antibody mediated protection against Mtb infection
  • Anne Goldfeld (Boston Children’s Hospital) | Project Title: Targeting host factors to control TB/HIV co-infection
  • Deborah Hung (MGH) | Project Title: Mycobacterial interference with host control of infection
  • Douglas Kwon (MGH) | Project Title: Effects of HIV infection on M. tuberculosis killing and growth in human alveolar macrophages
  • Thumbi Ndung’u (K-RITH) | Project Title: HIV-1 Nef and HIV/TB pathogenesis in alveolar macrophages
“This award is critical to our continuing efforts to better understand HIV/TB coinfection in lung tissue,” said recipient and Ragon faculty member, Dr. Douglas Kwon.  “We’re truly excited about the opportunities this funding will provide.”


It is anticipated that applications for a second round of TB Seed Grant funding will be open in early 2015.




Image (L-R): Douglas Kwon, Thumbi Ndung’u, Anne Goldfeld, Deborah Hung, Galit Alter