Two Texas A&M University Health Science Center researcher teams have been selected by STAT News for STAT Madness, a bracket-style contest to celebrate the best innovation in biomedical science and medicine published last year. It’s like March Madness, but for pioneering research projects. People can vote for their favorite of each match-up among top research institutes and universities around the country. Voting on the first round ends at midnight March 1, and winners will move on to the next round, starting March 2. STAT’s team of journalists selected 64 discoveries from almost 150 submissions for the tournament, and more than 50,000 people have already voted.

Ayman K. Hamouda, PhD, at the College of Pharmacy, was selected for his work to develop new drugs that enhance the function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. This work could ease pain, slow cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s and make it easier for people to stop smoking. His research is competing with the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Brett Mitchell, PhD, at the College of Medicine, was chosen for his research on preeclampsia, a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. A possible new treatment, a peptide, can calm down the inflammation enough to stop the cascade of effects. His research is competing against Northwestern University.

— Christina Sumners

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