WNPRC Pilot Project Awardees


The following Pilot Project awards cover research from 2017 to the present. Many of these pilot projects have led to additional funded research and/or publications.

Kiera Leigh Clayton, Ph.D., assistant professor of pathology, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, Worcester, MA: Development of ImmunoPET VHHs to track NK cells in NHPs. David Evans, WNPRC and University of Wisconsin–Madison, is co-investigator. (Awarded Fall 2023)

Tianling Ou, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Infectious Disease and Microbiome, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA: Eliciting Apex-specific broadly neutralizing antibodies in rhesus macaques using an HCDR3-focused strategy. Collaborators are Michael Farzan, Boston Children’s Hospital and Jessica Phillips, WNPRC. (Awarded Fall 2023)

Chen Sabrina Tan, MD, associate professor of medicine, immunology and microbiology, Department of Medicine, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City: A Novel animal model of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. Jessica Phillips, WNPRC, and Samuel A. Hurley, University of Wisconsin–Madison, are co-investigators. (Awarded Fall 2023)

Hernandez, Reinier, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Medical Physics and Radiology, U.W. Madison, “Annotating the in vivo Trafficking of Monocytes in Non-human Primates by PET/CT.” Collaborating with Igor Slukvin, M.D., Ph.D. (Awarded 2022)

Aleksandar Stanic-Kostic, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Director of Research, Reproductive Personalized Medicine, U.W. Madison, “Gestationally Driven Traffic of Decidual Leukocytes.”  Collaborating with Thaddeus Golos, Ph.D., and Jessica Vazquez, Ph.D. (Awarded 2022)

André M.M. Sousa, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, U.W. Madison, “Functional Analyses of Autism Genes Using Patch-Seq.”  Collaborating with Xinyu Zhao, Ph.D., Qiang Chang, Ph.D., and Daifeng Wang, Ph.D., U.W. Madison. (Awarded 2022)

Diane M. Duffy, Ph.D., physiological sciences, Eastern Virginia Medical School, “Androgens Promote Fertilization of Primate Oocytes.” Working with David Abbott, Ph.D.

Helen N. Jones, Ph.D.,  pediatric general and thoracic surgery, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, “Nanoparticle-mediated placental therapy to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes.”  Working with Jenna Kropp Schmidt, Ph.D. and Ted Golos, Ph.D.

Jennifer Juno, Ph.D., The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, The University of Melbourne. “Characterizing CD1-restricted T cells in SIV infection.” Working with Shelby O’Connor, Ph.D.

Ari Rosenberg, Ph.D., neuroscience, School of Medicine and Public Health, U.W. Madison. “A novel freely moving macaque preparation for studying the neural basic of navigation.” (Publication: Baeg E, Doudlah R, Swader R, Lee H, Han M, Kim SG, Rosenberg A, Kim B. MRI Compatible, Customizable, and 3D-Printable Microdrive for Neuroscience Research. eNeuro. 2021 Mar 12;8(2):ENEURO.0495-20.2021.)

Raunak Sinha, Ph.D., neuroscience, UW-Madison. “Photoreceptor function in primate fovea.”

Thaddeus G. Golos, Ph.D., professor, comparative biosciences, UW-Madison, WNPRC; Lynda Harris, Ph.D., University of Manchester, “Nonhuman primate placental therapy.”

Marina E. Emborg, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, medical physics, University of Wisconsin–Madison and Senior Scientist, WNPRC, “Nanoplatforms for targeted in vivo LRRK2 genomic editing in nonhuman primates.” (Publications: 1) Vermilyea SC, Babinski A, Tran N, To S, Guthrie S, Kluss JH, Schmidt JK, Wiepz GJ, Meyer MG, Murphy ME, Cookson MR, Emborg ME, Golos TG. In Vitro CRISPR/Cas9-Directed Gene Editing to Model LRRK2 G2019S Parkinson’s Disease in Common Marmosets. Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 26;10(1):3447. 2) Saha K et al. SCGE Consortium. The NIH Somatic Cell Genome Editing Program. 2021. Nature 592: 195-204.)

William D. Hopkins, Ph.D., Professor, neuroscience, Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University, “Novel model assessment for neural effects of differential infant care.”

Nathan J. Weyand, Ph.D., assistant professor, biological sciences, Ohio University, “Neisseria colonization of the female reproductive tract.” (Publication: Persistence Dynamics of Antimicrobial Resistant Neisseria in the Pharynx of Rhesus Macaques. Thapa ET, Knauss HM, Colvin B, Fischer BA, Weyand NJ. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020 Jul 22; 64(8): e02232-19.)

Xin Huang, Ph.D., associate professor, neuroscience, University of Wisconsin–Madison, “Optical imaging of functional maps in the dorsal visual pathway of marmosets.” (Publication: Wiesner S, Baumgart IW, Huang X. (2020). Spatial arrangement drastically changes the neural representation of multiple visual stimuli that compete in more than one feature domain. Journal of Neuroscience. 2020 Feb 26; 40(9): 1834–1848.)

Jenna Ann Kropp, Ph.D., assistant scientist, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center (WNPRC) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, “ZIKV infection on male macaque reproductive health.” (Publications: 1) Kropp Schmidt JA, Mean KD, Puntney RC, Alexander ES, Sullivan R, Simmons HA, Zeng X, Weiler AM, Friedrich TC, Golos TG. Zika virus in rhesus macaque semen and reproductive tract tissues: a pilot study of acute infection. Biol Reprod. 2020 Oct 29;103(5):1030-1042. 2) Schmidt JK, Mean KD, Dusek BM, Hinkle HM, Puntney RC, Alexander ES, Malicki KB, Sneed EL, Moy AW, Golos TG. Comparative computer-assisted sperm analysis in non-human primates. J Med Primatol. 2021 Apr;50(2):108-119.)

Matthew Robert Reynolds, Ph.D., assistant professor, pathobiological sciences, University of Wisconsin–Madison, “Manipulating the initial size of the SIV reservoir in macaques.”

Yuri B. Saalmann, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, “Chemogenetic manipulation of thalamo-cortical dynamics.” (Publications: 1) Redinbaugh MJ, Phillips JM, Kambi NA, Mohanta S, Andryk S, Dooley GL, Afrasiabi M, Raz A, Saalmann YB. Thalamus Modulates Consciousness via Layer-Specific Control of Cortex. Neuron. 2020 Apr 8; 106(1): 66–75.e12. 2) Afrasiabi M, Redinbaugh MJ, Phillips JM, Kambi NA, Mohanta S, Raz A, Haun AM, Saalmann YB.  Consciousness depends on integration between parietal cortex, striatum, and thalamus. 2021. Cell Systems 12: 363-373.)

Liang Shang, Ph.D., research associate, microbiology and immunology, University of Minnesota, “Vaccine to Induce Ab Production in Cervicovaginal Mucosa.”

Amita Kapoor, Ph.D., assistant scientist, WNPRC, “A Radiometabolism Study of Hair Hormones in Rhesus Macaques.(Publication: Kapoor A, Schultz-Darken N & Ziegler TE. Radiolabel validation of cortisol in the hair of rhesus monkeys. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2018 Nov; 97:190-195.)

Javier Gordon Ogembo, Ph.D., assistant professor, Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, “Towards KSHV VLP-based Vaccine Development.”

Leticia Reyes, Ph.D., research assistant professor, infectious disease and pathology, University of Florida, “P. gingivalis-macrophage Interplay in Obstetric Disease.” (Publications: 1) Reyes L, Wolfe B, and Golos T. (2017) Chapter 3. Hofbauer cells – placental macrophages of fetal origin. In Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation, Vol. 62, “Macrophages – Origin, Functions and Biointervention”. Editor. M. Kloc. Invited book chapter, Springer. 2) Reyes L, Phillips P, Wolfe, B, Golos TG, Walkenhorst M, Progulske-Fox A, and MB Brown. Porphyromonas gingivalis and adverse pregnancy outcome. J Oral Microbiol. 2017. 10(1):1374153.  3) Reyes L. and Golos TG. Hofbauer cells: their role in health and complicated pregnancy. Invited review. Front Immunol. 2018 Nov 15;9:2628.)

Marulasiddappa Suresh, Ph.D., professor, pathobiological sciences, UW-Madison, “Priming Protective CD8 T-Cell Memory in the Lung.”

Thaddeus G. Golos, Ph.D., professor, comparative biosciences, WNPRC, UW-Madison, “Advancing CRISPR-mediated Genome Editing Technology at UW-Madison to Model Human Disease.”

Jenna Kropp Schmidt, Ph.D., assistant scientist, WNPRC, UW–Madison, “Secretion of Primate-specific miRNAs in Early Placentation.”

Matthew E. Brown, Ph.D., assistant professor, surgery, UW-Madison, “A Primatized Mouse Model for Transplantation Immunology Studies.”

Thomas Friedrich Thomas Friedrich, PhD, associate professor, pathobiological sciences, UW-Madison, WNPRC; David H. O’Connor, Ph.D., professor, pathology and laboratory medicine, UW-Madison, WNPRC, “A novel, low-cost, high-throughput screen for SARS-CoV-2 in captive NHP.” (Publications: 1) Dudley DM, Newman CM, Weiler AM, Ramuta MD, Shortreed CG, Heffron AS, Accola MA, Rehrauer WM, Friedrich TC, O’Connor DH. Optimizing direct RT-LAMP to detect transmissible SARS-CoV-2 from primary nasopharyngeal swab samples. PloS one. 2020. 15(12), e0244882. 2) Newman, CM, Dudley DM, Rogers WW, McLaughlin MT, Karl JA, Strauss M, Weiler AM, Bliss MI, Ramuta MD, Shortreed CG, Haj AK, Heffron AS, Burmeister CB, Hall KL, Friedrich TC, O’Connor SL, O’Connor DH. 2020. Initial evaluation of a mobile SARS-CoV-2 RT-LAMP testing strategy. 2020. medRxiv. 3) Dudley DM, Newman CM, Weiler AM, Ramuta MD, Shortreed CG, Heffron AS, et al. Optimizing direct RT-LAMP to detect transmissible SARS-CoV-2 from primary nasopharyngeal swab samples. PLoS ONE. 2020. 15(12): e0244882.