HMC Pilot Research Project Awarded

HMC Pilot Research Project Awarded

By: Alexandra de Leon Date: August 25th, 2020

Dr. Barclay Stewart, UW Medicine Regional Burn Center, collaborators from the UW Center for Microbiome Science and Therapeutics and the Salipante Lab received the inaugural HMC Pilot Research Award to study the gut and wound microbiomes of patients who sustained major burn injuries. Their project aims to: describe shifts in the relative composition and function of gut and burn wound communities over the course of injury; and characterize strain-level communication between the gut and burn wound microbiomes. The findings will allow them to establish a novel inter-disciplinary collaboration to study a new frontier in burn research: the role of the human microbiome in recovery from major injury. Additionally, Dr. Stewart and colleagues from Stanford University, Nepal Cleft and Burn Center and the Walter Reed laboratory in Nepal will be conducting a sister study that will allow comparison of the findings between two different environments and burn-injured populations. This line of investigation will inform interventions that positively influence the gut and wound microbiomes to improve survival and function after major burn injury. Such interventions may translate to improvements in resuscitation strategies that maintain gut mucosal health and immune function (e.g., enteral resuscitation), infection prevention and avoidance of multisystem organ dysfunction, and novel approaches to wound healing and prevention of pathologic hypertrophic scarring. UW Medicine Regional Burn Center continues to support and conduct impactful research that transforms our understanding of patients’ responses to injury and ways we might improve their outcomes.

Pilot Project Program Objectives

The primary objective of the pilot project grant program is to develop connections with community partners and encourage the development of new injury and violence prevention and care research projects.


This opportunity is open to all University of Washington faculty and staff members eligible to act as principal investigators. Postdoctoral fellows and graduate students are eligible but must have a faculty sponsor who will oversee the research budget. A letter of support/commitment from the faculty sponsor must accompany the proposal.

Funding Available

Up to three project grants will be awarded. Funding is available for the usual categories of cost in an Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant, such as salary and fringe, laboratory supplies, equipment, data analysis cost, travel associated with research, and office expenses. No funds shall be spent for indirect costs. Two proposals will be awarded for up to $10,000 each, and one for up to $20,000. Proposals for the $20,000 limit must align with the UW Population Health Initiative goals of furthering interdisciplinary collaboration (i.e., at least two investigators, each from a different discipline). Applicants are encouraged to apply for matching funds (e.g., from their departments, schools, and/or colleges) if such funds are available. Funding is for one year.

Community Engagement

Community engagement can mean a variety of things, ranging from stakeholder input to consultation to collaboration and shared leadership. For example, “stakeholders can serve on ad hoc working groups to prioritize unanswered research questions or develop dissemination strategies for study results” (Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute: Stakeholders “can also have more sustained involvement in a study, providing their input and guidance by serving on an advisory committee or as a co-investigator” ( Please see the PCORI website ( for more information on the engagement continuum.