This is the first NIH grant for Moravian University

BETHLEHEM, PA, February 9, 2023: Today, Moravian University announced that the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a grant of $409,139 to Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Anastasia Thévenin. This grant was awarded through the competitive and prestigious R15 AREA (Academic Research Enhancement Award) program. This funding mechanism is meant to provide “research opportunities for undergraduates in an area of scientific significance, with major potential for growth and success.” This is the first NIH grant for Moravian University.

“This substantial grant demonstrates the great work our faculty do with our students every day,” said Bryon Grigsby, president of Moravian University. “Dr. Thévenin’s outstanding and vital research is not only improving people’s lives, but also preparing the next generation of scientists.”

This grant will support faculty-student research collaborations on every aspect of the project, year-round, with intensive training each summer. 

Dr. Thévenin and her undergraduate researchers are interested in studying protein-protein interactions in cells that lead to or prevent cancer. Thévenin’s lab has focused on pinpointing molecular events that take place between a tumor-suppressor protein, connexin 43 (Cx43), and a tumor-causing protein, Src. Cx43 is known to interact with Src in cancer cells, leading to decreased Src activity, thus lowering the rate of tumor growth. Dr. Thévenin and her students have identified chemical modifications on Cx43 that regulate Src activity and have proposed to use this knowledge in developing Cx43-based molecules for use as Src inhibitors in prostate cancer cells.

The proposed work will offer invaluable research training and professional development to approximately 12 undergraduate research students in Dr. Thévenin’s laboratory, as well as in her biochemistry II course, where Dr. Thévenin consistently provides authentic research experiences to approximately 25–30 students each year. This research grant will further support Dr. Thévenin’s interdisciplinary research program, exposing students to essential biochemical, chemical, biophysical, cancer and cell biological methodologies. Altogether, it will help make Moravian University students more competitive applicants to graduate and professional programs, preparing them for the rigors of their future scientific careers.

Media contact(s):

Moravian University
Michael Corr
Assistant Vice President of Marketing and Communications

About Moravian University
Moravian University is the nation’s sixth-oldest university, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees that blend liberal arts with professional programs. For more than 275 years, the Moravian University degree has been preparing students for reflective lives, fulfilling careers, and transformative leadership in a world of change. Moravian University is a member of The New American Colleges and Universities (NAC&U), a national consortium of selective, small to mid-size independent colleges and universities dedicated to the purposeful integration of liberal education, professional studies, and civic engagement. Visit to learn more about how the Moravian University focus on education for all prepares its students for life-long success.