The grants, totaling over $17 million, were announced in early December. The winning research projects were selected by peer review from a pool of 97 applications in a highly competitive grant review process. The funded portfolio spans the breadth of university scholarship, including arts and humanities, health, social and physical sciences and engineering. Other highlights from among the funded projects include:
UC Valley Fever Research Initiative ($1.7 million)
Led by UC San Francisco physician Anita Sil, this effort will bring researchers together from Berkeley, Merced, Riverside and San Diego to address a significant public health issue in California’s Central Valley.
Little is known about the soil-borne fungal pathogen that causes Valley Fever, but its impact is far-reaching: Over the last decade, hospitalizations from Valley Fever have cost patients and taxpayers $2 billion, and incidence of the disease is on the rise.
Sil and others plan to assemble and sequence the DNA of the fungus strains that cause the disease, then map and test the genes for virulence. UC is particularly well-suited to undertake this work because it has special laboratory facilities for handling such pathogens.