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Each week, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy will highlight the bold work of researchers who have received funding from the Eshelman Institute for Innovation (EII). The Eshelman Institute for Innovation is made possible by a $100 million gift from Fred Eshelman to accelerate the creation and development of ideas leading to discoveries and transformative changes in education, research and health care. To learn more about the EII’s impact, visit

Meet: Katelyn Arnold

Project: Heparin-Like Carbohydrates for the Treatment of Acute Liver Failure

Funded Amount: $20,600

About Project: Heparin products are standard therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of coagulation disorders, yet they have various other unexploited biological roles. While the mechanism of acute liver failure (ALF) is unclear, patients may benefit from treatment with heparin or heparin-like carbohydrates. Using an APAP-overdose mouse model, heparin compounds will be used to probe the mechanism of ALF.

“The EII provided the necessary seed funding to perform initial animal studies focused on using our synthetic heparin-like oligosaccharides in acute liver failure. The support from the EII allowed me to obtain critical, foundational data upon which the project expanded. As a result, we successfully earned several grants, submitted a patent application, published and presented this work several times at national and international conferences,” said Arnold. “In addition to the research funding, the EII pitch process was an opportunity to craft my professional skills. Preparing and participating in the pitch weekend greatly enhanced my communication skills, both as a presenter and answering reviewer’s questions. I am very grateful to the EII for the funding and the pitch experience as both have proven essential for the successes and opportunities that followed.”


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