Author: Jane Tran Sills

AWM Service Award To Dr. Sherli Koshy-Chenthittayil

Dr. Sherli Koshy-Chenthittayil was awarded a 2022 Service Award from the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) for her work on the Notable Women in Math Playing Cards Project Management Committee (EvenQuads PMC). The EvenQuads is a mathematical game which features diverse women mathematicians who have made notable contributions to the various fields of mathematics and across time.​ Full Citation and response from the EvenQuads PMC are posted on the website.  Please click here

NIH Awards $6M to UConn Health Biological Computer Modeling Teams

Two biological computer modeling groups at UConn Health have won a five-year award worth more than $6 million to continue and enhance their longstanding software resource, committed to supporting cellular biology research throughout the international scientific community.

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the National Institutes of Health awarded the funding to Virtual Cell (VCell) and COPASI based on their 20-year record of serving the research community as vital computational resources. The award assures the continued maintenance of both software tools and allows the teams to work together to support their tens of thousands of users. Read more.



Building Future Faculty Program

Dr Sherli Koshy-Chenthittayil was chosen out 300+ applicants to participate in the Building Future Faculty program in NC state (

The program gives participants a chance to practice their interview skills with a department of choice and also are given valuable insights into academic life.  Workshop topics include information regarding what to expect as a faculty member, a discussion of the wealth of resources available to faculty for teaching, and expectations of productivity for faculty engaged in research. Over the course of three days, participants will spend time with current faculty and department chairs in their discipline discussing effective strategies to prepare for an academic career, and the realities of life as a faculty member, as well as receiving personal tips and feedback. This program aims to increase faculty diversity and inclusion efforts and to create a faculty that mirrors the increasingly diversified student population.

New $3M NIH Grant Targets Respiratory Infection with Math. Modeling

No one is ever pleasantly surprised to find mold growing on food that has been left in the fridge too long. But everyday there is plenty of mold around us that we don’t see, including hundreds of spores of some types of invisible mold that we unknowingly inhale.

While this probably sounds pretty alarming and disgusting, Aspergillus fumigatus is not harmful to most people. However, for someone with a weakened immune system, this fungus poses serious health dangers.

Reinhard Laubenbacher, joint faculty member at UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, has received more than $3 million from the National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to use mathematical and computational tools to explore new potential therapeutic targets to treat those affected by invasive aspergillosis.  Read more.

Ovarian Cancer Cells Hoard Iron to Fuel Growth

Cancer cells tend to hoard iron, and ovarian cancer cells in particular. They take in more iron than normal cells, and they release less of it. UConn Health postdoctoral fellow in computational biology Anna Konstorum, director of the Center for Quantitative Medicine Reinhard Laubenbacher, and their colleagues wondered why. Perhaps cancer cells’ iron habit was a weakness doctors could use against the disease. Read more.

Statewide Pain Consortium with JAX

At a time when the danger of opioids is clear, UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) are collaborating to form the Connecticut Pain Consortium.

Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher, who will lead the consortium and is a joint faculty member at UConn Health and The Jackson Laboratory, said the consortium will focus on researching the causes of pain, as well as pain management and how to translate that research into new therapies. Read more.

UConn Health Researchers Awarded More than $2.2m from NIH Grant

Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher from the UConn School of Medicine Department of Cell Biology, Director of the Center for Quantitative Medicine and Professor at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Dr. Pedro Mendes also in the Department of Cell Biology and the Center for Quantitative Medicine, and Dr. Anna Dongari-Bagtzoglou, chair of the Division of Periodontology UConn School of Dental Medicine, have been awarded more than $2.2 million from the National Institutes of Health, to study ways by which we may be able to control biofilms formed by a fungus that is an important cause of topical and systemic infections. Read more.

First of Its Kind Pain Consortium

UConn Health, UConn Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and The Jackson Laboratory have announced the creation of the Connecticut Pain Consortium, a translational pain research and education collaboration which is the first of its kind in the Connecticut medical community. The consortium will be led by Professor Dr. Reinhard Laubenbacher, a joint faculty member at UConn Health and JAX. “There is a clear need for more basic and translational research on human pain and pain management,” said Dr. Laubenbacher. “And, there is a critical unmet need for education and training of providers and patients. This is a great opportunity to deploy our capabilities in addiction and pain research together with our Connecticut partners in an exciting and much needed state-wide initiative.” Read more