Two University of Richmond faculty each have been awarded one-year, $100,000 interdisciplinary research grants from the Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust.
Dr. Julie Pollock, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, won the award for her project “Experimental and Computational Investigations of MEMO1 and its Role in Breast Cancer.” Her collaborator for this project will be Dr. Carol Parish, Professor of Chemistry, together with three Richmond undergraduates through next summer. Throughout the next year, a recent Richmond graduate also will engage in the research.
In her application, Dr. Pollock said, “In 2016, breast cancer was the most widely diagnosed cancer in women in the United States…We believe that MEMO1 [a protein] plays an important role in breast cancer progression and metathesis, and through this project, we will identify how it interacts with partners within the cancer cells…These studies will allow us to understand the function of MEMO1 and determine if it could be a target for new breast cancer drugs.”
Dr. Pollock has taught at the University of Richmond since 2014, having obtained her B.S. degree from Hope College, Ph.D. from Duke University and post-doctoral experience at the University of Illinois. Her collaborator, Dr. Parish has taught at Richmond since 2005, and has the B.S and M.S. degrees from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and her Ph.D. from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Dr. R. Jory Brinkerhoff, Associate Professor of Biology, has received the Jeffress Trust award for his project, “Quantitative Genomic Analysis of Black-legged Tick Populations in Virginia to Identify Processes Associated with Increased Lyme Disease Incidence.”  His collaborator for this project is Dr. Holly Graff, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University. Two undergraduate students in each lab will participate in the research through next summer.
In his application, Dr. Brinkerhoff stated, “Lyme disease, transmitted by black-legged ticks, is expanding in Virginia and elsewhere…[and] is now a major public health threat for Virginia residents…We will use advanced DNA analysis methods to identify genetic profiles of tick populations in different parts of Virginia and thus gain insights into the drivers of increasing Lyme disease risk…This research will ultimately lead to better understanding of Lyme disease risk and can be leveraged to inform public health campaigns where Lyme disease risk is increasing as well as in places that may experience increased risk in the future.”
Dr. Brinkerhoff has taught at Richmond since 2011, having obtained his B.S. from the University of Illinois, M.S. from NC State, Ph.D. from University of Colorado, and postdoctoral  experience at Yale. His collaborator, Dr. Gaff has taught at ODU since 2007, and has the B.S. from Taylor University, Indiana and Ph.D. from University of Tennessee, with postdoctoral experiences at UC-San Francisco, UC-Berkeley and University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
The Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust, Bank of America, Trustee was founded in 1981 by Robert M. Jeffress in memory of his parents to benefit the people of Virginia and their research in chemical, medical or other scientific fields. It is managed by The Medical Foundation, a division of Health Resources in Action, a non-profit leader in developing programs that advance public health and medical research.
Professor of Chemistry
Program Coordinator, Integrated Inclusive Science and SMART Programs
Computational and Theoretical Physical Chemistry