Biomedical Research Infrastructure Center

BRIC Research Activities

Research Activities of the Center

The overall intent of this core is to provide the required research infrastructure to support our research objectives that are threefold:

  • Conduct original and innovative biomedical/behavioral research aimed at eliminating health disparities as they relate to diabetes, HIV/AIDS, hypertension/cardiovascular disease, and sleep deprivation as it relates to alcoholism and drug addiction.
  • Translate health services research outcomes into improvements for Winston-Salem's sizeable minority population and throughout the 12-county Piedmont Triad by leveraging WSSU's long-standing community partnerships.
  • Create training opportunities for undergraduate/graduate students and junior faculty to pursue research interests in minority health or health disparities.

Currently, there are four developmental and collaborative projects supported by BRIC funding and are displayed in Table 2. The specific criteria used in the selection of research projects supported by BRIC are: (1) the area of research is of current biomedical importance; (2) support from an extramural investigator with prior experience that prepares the WSSU scientist in the area of research to be developed; (3) intramural collaboration of WSSU investigators with common research interest to increase the number of minority faculty involved in a given research area; (4) the investigator from the collaborating institution is well published in the area of the research, has extramural funding and is enthusiastic about the research partnership; (5) the research design is that of true collaboration; (6) the research has high potential of yielding publishable results that can be used to solicit non-BRIC support as has been accomplished in the past five years; (7) a commitment of the investigators to ensure a broad exposure of research areas to WSSU students, hence increasing minority representation in biomedical sciences; and (8) the availability of qualified scientists, adequate laboratories and major equipment needed for the proposed research that will provide for an early start on the conduct of the developmental research projects. In addition to these criteria, WSSU investigators must have a record of student training and be highly recommended by their peers.

BRIC Research Projects

WSSU Investigators


Project Title

Azeez Aileru, Ph.D.

Debra Diz, Ph.D. Hypertension and Vascular Disease center, WHUSM

Modulation and Neuroplastic behavior in Inheritance form of Hypertension

Manju Bhat, M.V.Sc., Ph.D.


Neurophysiology of calcium signaling in sensory neurons. Role of calcium channels in acute and chronic pain.

C. Edward Ebert, Ph.D.


Mark E. Van Dyke, Ph.D. Department of Orthopaedics, WFUSM

Investigating the biochemical mechanisms by which keratin promotes nerve cell regeneration.

Jill Harp, Ph.D.

Sara Jones, Ph.D. Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, WFUSM

Piperidines as Potential Medications for Cocaine Addiction

Tennille Presley, Ph.D.

Daniel Kim-Shapiro, Ph.D. Department of Physics, WFU

Vascular dysfunction and blood disorders they relate to overall functional health in diabetic individuals.

Pamela Jones, Ph.D.


Adaptive role of DEAD-box protein at low temperature

Exazevia Logan, Ph.D.


Neural control of blood pressure with a concentration in molecular mechanism responsible for the development and maintenance of hypertension

Jeffery Overholt, Ph.D.

Errol Thompson, Ph.D.

Debra Diz, Ph.D. Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center, WFUSM

Cellular mechanisms of hypertension at the superior cervical ganglia

Victor Pulgar, Ph.D. 

Debra Diz, Ph.D. Hypertension and Vascular Disease Center, WFUSM

Relationships between changes in reactivity to agonists in peripheral arteries and the development of hypertension 

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