DREAM Innovation Grant (DIG)

2017 DIG Banner

The DREAM Innovation Grant (DIG) supports innovative high-risk and potentially high-reward investigations to accelerate anesthesia and pain management research.

2017 DIG Recipients

What is the "DIG"?The concept behind the DREAM Innovation Grant, or DIG, is simple, yet brilliant. First launched in 2010, DIG is an annual competition held among Duke Anesthesiology faculty members. Competitors submit their most innovative research ideas to a panel of judges for review. Proposals that demonstrate the perfect blend of ingenuity and practicality are selected, and winners are announced at the department’s annual alumni reception.

DIG recipients can receive up to $30,000 in seed money for their innovative pilot studies, which ultimately help them apply for and obtain extramural funding. None of the funds awarded are to pay for faculty salary or overhead expenses. This grant creates an avenue for healthy competition among faculty, inspires ingenuity, promotes the careers of young physician investigators, enhances donor communication, and furthers the department’s academic mission.

Another unique aspect of DIG is that it encourages the participation of both junior and senior faculty. DIG helps to bridge the gap between training and progression to independent investigator status.

DIG EligibilityFaculty level appointments within the Department of Anesthesiology are eligible to apply. One of the grants will be reserved to support a beginning scientist (within 5 years of completion of residency or fellowship) by encouraging and adequately funding projects that can contribute to bridging the gap between training and progression to independent investigator status. The other award(s) will be used as a seed grant to help investigators with promising science obtain preliminary data to support follow-on funding applications.

A maximum of $30,000 will be awarded to each recipient. The number of grant recipients and grant amount will be determined by the DREAM Innovation Grant Committee.DIG_Lightbulb

DREAM Innovation Grants are funded through a combination of:

  • Private donors
  • Private companies
  • Alumni
  • Faculty
  • Executive Board members

Funding provided by DIG will support a researcher for one year, during which pilot studies can be conducted. Investigators must submit quarterly reports to track their progress. Not only do these reports give each researcher an edge over their competition when submitting National Institutes of Health (NIH) applications, but they are also shared with DREAM Campaign supporters to provide them with tangible evidence that their donations are making a difference.

At the conclusion of the one-year period, a new group of DIG winners are announced, and the cycle of innovation and discovery begins again. Help us extend this opportunity to a greater number of worthy applicants! With a gift of $30,000, you can independently sponsor one DIG applicant. And, the chances are strong that your initial gift will be matched or multiplied in the future by extramural funding sources. Please consider making a donation of any amount to support this worthy cause.

Applications and questions should be submitted to William Maixner, DDS, PhD.

  1. A Statement of Intent
    1. Overview of Research Plan and Relevance to Follow-on Funding (one page total max)
    2. Preliminary Budget (Budgets should not include salary support for a faculty, resident, or fellow)
    3. List of Collaborators
    4. Pre-proposal Deadline: August 15, 2017
  2. NIH R03-like Application Format
    1. Up to one page for Specific Aims and up to six pages for the research plan (background, preliminary data and/or rationale, experimental plan, description of roles of scientific team members, timeline for milestones and completion, and a detailed definition of plans to advance work beyond this funding interval).
    2. A major criterion for funding will be the plan for and likelihood of follow-on extramural funding resulting from this project.
    3. All pages are to be single-spaced in 11 point Arial font.
    4. Appendices will not be considered.
    5. Submission Deadline: October 1, 2017
  3. Final applications must be submitted in a PDF format as a single document and include the final abstract, budget, biosketches of key personnel, specific aims, and research plan.
  4. All complete submissions will undergo review and selection by the Research Council. Written critiques will be provided to the applicants.
  5. Winners will be announced during the department’s annual ASA Alumni Event.

Want to find out how to turn $602,900 into nearly $8 MILLION dollars? Just ask nine of our DREAM Innovation Grant (DIG) recipients, who have each used their $30,000 seed money from the DIG program to obtain extramural support for their innovative research studies. The generous support of our donors is what has given the following researchers the opportunity to expand their studies and advance the field of anesthesia!

Joseph Mathew, MD

Joseph P. Mathew, MD, MHSc, MBA, whose 2016 research entitled, “Cognitive Effects of Body Temperature During Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest,” received a five-year, $3.5 million National Institutes of Health and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01) grant award. Click to learn more.

Boyi Liu, PhD

Boyi Liu, PhD, whose 2016 research entitled, “Mechanisms of Itch in Poison Ivy-Induced Allergic Contact Dermatitis,” received a two-year, $384,780 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIH) grant award. Click to learn more.

Thomas Van de Ven, MD

Thomas Van de Ven, MD, PhD, whose 2014 research entitled, “Chronic Pain after Amputation: Inflammatory Mechanisms, Novel Analgesic Pathways, and Improved Patient Safety,” received a three-year, $1.5 million Department of Defense (DoD) Neurosensory Research grant renewal for his VIPER (Veterans Integrated Pain Evaluation Research) study. Click to learn more.

Miles Berger, MD, PhD

Miles Berger, MD, PhD, who in May of 2014, was awarded a two-year, $150,000 International Anesthesia Research Society Mentored Research Award, entitled, “The trajectory and significance of perioperative changes in AD biomarkers.” Click to learn more.

Huaxin Sheng, MD

Huaxin Sheng, MD, who in the Summer of 2014, was awarded $256,929 by the Department of Defense to the University of Alabama/Birmingham with a sub-award to Duke University/Dr. David Warner for his follow up DIG research entitled, “Treatment of Neuropathic Pain after SCI with a Catalytic Oxidoreductant.” Click here to learn more.

Michael Manning, MD

Michael Manning, MD, PhD, whose 2013 DIG research entitled, “Cardiopulmonary Bypass Induced Inflammatory Changes in the Atrial Wall: The Novel Role for Cardiac Chymase produced Angiotensin II in the Development of Atrial Fibrillation,” was awarded a two-year, $50,000 Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA) Starter Grant. Click here to learn more.

Karthik Raghunathan, MBBS, MPH

Karthik Raghunathan, MD, MPH, whose 2013 DIG research entitled, “Comparative effectiveness in Perioperative and Critical Care Medicine: Crystalloid Fluid Therapy,” received a $206,944 grant from the Baxter Healthcare Corporation Fluids franchise, and a $100,000 APSF/ASA Endowed Research Award from the APSF Scientific Evaluation Committee. Click here to learn more.

Mihai V. Podgoreanu, MD

Mihai V. Podgoreanu, MD, FASE, whose 2012 DIG research entitled, “Elucidating Adaptive Mecha­nisms of Perioperative Cardio­protection Following Ischemia-reperfusion in Hibernating Arctic Ground Squirrels,” received a $75,000 Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research Grant, and a $10,000 Duke SOM voucher award. Click here to learn more.

Joseph P. Mathew, MD, MHSc, MBA

Joseph P. Mathew, MD, MHSc, MBA, whose 2011 DIG research entitled, “Functional Neuroimaging to Assess Cognitive Function after Cardiac Surgery,” received a two-year, $431,750 Exploratory/Developmental research grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Click here to learn more.

Wei Yang, PhD

Wei Yang, PhD, whose 2011 DIG research entitled, “Role of SUMO2/3 Conjugation Pathway in Cerebral Ischemia/Stroke,” was awarded a four-year, $308,000 NCRP Winter 2012 Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association. Click here to learn more.

Contact Us

Stacey Hilton
Director of Communications
Department of Anesthesiology
Office: 919.684.8524
stacey.hilton@duke.edu

Kelsey Steller
Senior Public Relations Specialist
Department of Anesthesiology
Office: 919.613.0469
kelsey.steller@duke.edu

DIG Funding 2016