USF Health faculty receive inaugural Veterans Reintegration Research Awards

Two USF Health faculty members were among eight principal investigators of the University’s first seed grants to spur interdisciplinary research aimed at rehabilitating military veterans and helping them adjust and reintegrate into civilian life.

The researchers were recognized at the first Veterans Reintegration Synergy Social Hour held Sept. 14 at the USF Interdisciplinary Research Building.  Approximately $300,000 was awarded to eight research teams this spring for the one-year pilot studies funded by the USF Office of Research and Innovation. 


Subhra Mohapatra, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine, chats with Gino Collura, a PhD student in anthropology, at the recent Veterans Reintegration Synergy Social.

The USF Health recipients of the 2011 Veterans Reintegration Research Awards were:

• Cesario Borlongan, PhD, professor of neurosurgery and associate director of the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, “Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and rehabilitation therapy in TBI (traumatic brain injury) animal models.”

• Subhra Mohapatra, PhD, assistant professor of molecular medicine, “Graphene nanoparticle-mediated delivery of siRNAs to the brain in a rat model of TBI.”

David Diamond, PhD, professor of psychology, with Maureen Groer, PhD,
professor of nursing.

In addition, David Diamond, PhD, professor of psychology who co-directs the USF Neuroscience Collaborative Program and holds an adjunct appointment in the College of Medicine, received an award for the grant “G-CSF, stem cell and dietary treatments in an animal model of TBI.”

More than 70 faculty from colleges across campus attended the synergy social event looking for opportunities to form interdisciplinary teams to advance research related to such areas as traumatic brain injury, robotics and prosthetics, treatment of behavioral health disorders, and the science of physical rehabilitation.

Welcoming remarks were given by USF’s Dr. Paul R. Sanberg, senior associate vice president for research and innovation , and Dr. Karen Holbrook, senior vice president for research and innovation.

For more information on USF’s Veterans Reintegration & Resilience initiative, visit

L to R:  Wilbur Milhous, PhD, associate dean of research at College of Public Health, Lt. Gen. Martin Steele (USMC retired), executive director of USF Military Partnerships, and William Quillen, DPT, PhD, associate dean and director of the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences.

Paul R. Sanberg, PhD, USF senior associate vice president for research & innovation

– Story by Anne DeLotto Baier, and photos by Eric Younghans, USF Health Communications