The Whiting School of Engineering logo in white against a blue background.

Three members of the Whiting School community were selected to receive Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Collaborative Pairs Pilot Project Awards which support pairs of investigators and their teams to explore innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to address critical challenges in the fields of neurodegenerative disease and fundamental neuroscience.

A headshot of Adam Charles in a blazer with a white board with calculus equations on the background.Adam Charles, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, was paired with Kaspar Podgorski from the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics for their project, “Tools to Measure Neural Input-Output Operations,” which will combine newly developed neurotransmitter indicators, imaging hardware, processing algorithms, and inference methods to see how neurons transmit signals in real time. 


A headshot of Jeremias Sulam wearing an olive green shirt.Jeremias Sulam, an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and affiliate of the Mathematical Institute for Data Science and the Center for Imaging Science, was paired with Dwight Bergles, a professor of neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine for their project, “Brain-Wide Maps of Myelin Patterns in Plasticity and Repair,” which will investigate the lipid and protein-rich myelin sheath surrounding neurons in the brain.


A headshot of Jamie Spangler wearing a black blazer in a laboratoryJamie Spangler, the William R. Brody Faculty Scholar and an assistant professor of biomedical engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering and the director of the Spangler Lab at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was paired with Ethan Lippman, an associate professor at Vanderbilt University, for their project, “Targeted Brain Immunotherapy with Engineered Cytokines,” which will develop a type of immunotherapy, using immune-stimulating proteins called cytokines, to target amyloid beta proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease. 

Spangler also earned her second Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award to continue a multi-year project aimed at developing new immunotherapy approaches. These awards “support ‘high-risk, high-reward’ ideas with the potential to significantly impact the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of cancer.”

A headshot of Benjamin Schafer wearing brown blazerBenjamin Schafer, the Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Civil and Systems Engineering at Johns Hopkins, was distinguished with AISC’s T.R. Higgins Lectureship Award for “Review of Local Buckling Width-to-Thickness Limits.” This award “recognizes an outstanding lecturer and author whose technical paper or papers, published during the eligibility period, are considered an outstanding contribution to the engineering literature on fabricated structural steel.”

Schafer also received the 2024 Special Achievement Award from AISC, which “provides special recognition to individuals (industry members, designers, or educators) who have demonstrated notable singular or multiple achievements in structural steel design, construction, research, or education. This award honors living individuals who have made a positive and substantial impact on the structural steel design and construction industry.”