School of Pharmacy faculty receives award, funding for research

Melinda Varney

Melinda Varney, Ph.D., assistant professor for the Marshall University School of Pharmacy, has been selected to receive a 2021 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy New Investigator Award (AACP NIA).  The award includes funding to support her research on the deficiency of immune regulators IRGM, TIFAB and miR-146 in hematologic cancers.

“I hope that our work leads to progress in treating and preventing progression of blood and bone marrow malignancies,” Varney said.

Varney, a West Virginia native, earned her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences at Marshall University, during which time she received a graduate researcher of the year award in a statewide competition. Varney has received many other awards from organizations such as the NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and West Virginia IDea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, which helps increase the state’s competitiveness for federal biomedical research funding.

“We are proud that Dr. Varney, one of our newest colleagues, is among the elite group of pharmacy school faculty who receive this honor from the AACP,” said Boyd Rorabaugh, Ph.D., professor and chair of pharmaceutical science and research department at the School of Pharmacy.

The AACP NIA program provides start-up funding for the independent research programs of early-career pharmacy faculty. The grant is intended to be the first extramural research funding received by a faculty member as a principal investigator, with the goal that research funded by the NIA will provide a foundation for future scholarly endeavors and continued extramural funding success. Each year 16 new faculty members from across the pharmacy academy are selected to receive these grants following a competitive review process.