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Grant and Contract Awards

FY2018, 4th Quarter Summary
(April 1 – June 30, 2018)

Scroll down to read, or use these links to jump directly to a section/principal investigator (PI):

NEW & TRANSFER AWARDS

(New grants, funding transferred from a PI’s previous institution, and NIH competitive renewal funding)

Salah-Uddin Ahmed (PI); Ruby Siegel – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Rheumatology Research Foundation
“Investigating the Role Sulf-2 in Cytokine Signaling in Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fibroblasts”
This award funds a research project that will be conducted by first-year PhD student Ruby Siegel under the mentorship of Dr. Salah Ahmed. Siegel will investigate the role of heparin sulfate editing enzymes in the receptor-mediating signaling of IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts, a type of cells that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other conditions involving inflammation. IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha are cell-signaling molecules that promote inflammation. The data generated through this study will be used as part of an NIH grant proposal for a more in-depth study of heparin sulfate editing enzymes which will be the basis for Siegel’s dissertation.

Ofer Amram (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology
WSU Office of Research
“Access to Opioid Addiction Treatment and Overdose Risk in Spokane County”
Funded by a faculty seed grant, this study will add to the growing body of evidence on the effectiveness of methadone maintenance treatment at reducing rates of overdose and overdose mortality. Opioid drug-related deaths increased by 78 percent in Spokane County between 2014 and 2016. This study will look at the relationship between access to the only publicly funded methadone maintenance treatment clinic in Spokane County and both adherence to treatment and likelihood of opioid overdose. It will map locations within the county where either high or low concentrations of methadone maintenance treatment clients are found. The results will be displayed on a web-based mapping and visualization dashboard that can serve as an analysis platform for decision makers.

Celestina Barbosa-Leiker (PI) – College of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
“Jonas Nurse Leader/Veterans Healthcare Scholars Program 2018-20”
This new grant provides two years of matching funds PhD in Nursing candidate Amy Thomas to participate in the Jonas Nurse Scholar program in Chronic Health. The program supports doctoral nursing students and aims to increase the number of doctorally prepared faculty available to teach in nursing schools nationwide and the number of advanced practice nurses providing direct patient care.

Chris Blodgett (PI) – WSU Extension, Child & Family Research Unit
Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery
“Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery CLEAR”
This grant provides funding for the Child and Family Research Unit (CAFRU) to create an initial work plan to implement the CLEAR trauma-informed school response model in the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery, a facility that helps parents who are having difficulty providing safe shelter and care for their children. The CLEAR (Collaborative Learning for Educational Achievement and Resilience) model was developed by CAFRU to help schools deal with the effects of childhood trauma on children who are directly affected by it. Implementation of the program includes on‐site monthly consultations and professional development trainings. CAFRU will adapt training content and consultation practices to the services, volunteer support, and organizational structure of the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Clemma Muller; Robert Rosenman – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Community Health; School of Economic Sciences
University of Colorado Denver/National Institutes of Health
“Collaborative Hub to Reduce the Burden of Suicide among Urban AI and AN – Suicide Prevention for Urban Natives: Keeping Our Youth (SPUNKY)”
The purpose of this contract is to support the development and implementation of a caring communications intervention and randomized trial to reduce suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide-related hospitalizations among Native youth living in urban areas. The project will also seek to increase social connectedness, as well as promote retention in Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment programs.

Shobhan Gaddameedhi (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
“Chronotherapy as a Strategy to Attenuate Toxicity Associated with Cisplatin and Radiation Treatment for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer”
The goal of this study is to better understand how the day-night rhythms driven by humans’ circadian (or biological) clock could play a role in increasing the efficacy of cancer treatment. The research team will be looking specifically at triple-negative breast cancer, which makes up about 10 to 20 percent of all breast cancers. Triple-negative breast cancer is most commonly treated with a drug known as cisplatin followed by radiation therapy. However, cisplatin’s toxicity to the kidneys limits its use and effectiveness, and radiation therapy comes with side effects that include inflammation, radio-resistance, and tumor relapse. Using mouse models and human tumor tissue, the research team will test their hypothesis that cisplatin- and radiation-mediated toxicity and tumor shrinkage are regulated by the circadian clock, which may result in tumor cells that are more vulnerable to drug or radiation toxicity at certain time of the day when healthy tissues are more resistant to toxicity. If they can identify the underlying mechanisms, this knowledge could be used to optimize the use of chronotherapy—the administration of treatment at specific times of the day to maximize efficacy or minimize toxicity—in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer.

Shobhan Gaddameedhi (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
US Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
“Harnessing the Circadian Clock to Alleviate Ionizing Radiation-Induced Toxicity during Melanoma Therapy”
This study sets out to determine the role of the circadian (or biological) clock in the treatment of melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer. As part of this study, the researchers will test their hypothesis that the circadian clock—which maintains daily rhythms in humans and animals—influences both melanoma tumor shrinkage and healthy tissue toxicity resulting from radiation therapy in combination with immunotherapy. Recent studies have suggested that radiation therapy could boost a patient’s immune system and enhance tumor cell killing in immunotherapy. The study findings could lay the foundation for a future study to identify how the circadian clock could be used to improve efficacy and minimize toxicity of radiotherapy followed by immunotherapy.

Mel Haberman (PI) – College of Nursing
US Department of Health & Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration, Bureau of Health Workforce
“Washington State University Nurse Faculty Loan Program”
These federal loan funds help the WSU College of Nursing prepare graduate nurses for careers as nurse educators. The funds support the WSU College of Nursing’s Nurse Faculty Loan Program, which helps meet the financial needs of graduate nurse educator students for tuition, fees, and books.

Zachary Hamilton (PI) – College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology
Whitworth University/Snohomish County
Therapeutic Treatment Courts Evaluation”
This subaward funds a collaboration with a Whitworth University faculty member to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the Snohomish County Superior Court Adult, Family, and Juvenile Drug Treatment courts and the Snohomish county District Court Mental Health Court. The researchers will compare outcomes between a sample of subjects who participated in these courts between 2013 and 2015 and a similar sample of subjects who participated in traditional court proceedings within the county during the same timeframe. They will also conduct a process evaluation of the different therapeutic treatment courts, which will include onsite observations and focus groups.

Zachary Hamilton (PI) – College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology
Washington State Department of Social & Health Services/US Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention
Juvenile Justice Reporting”
This award provides funding for WSU to provide assistance to the Washington State Partnership Council on Juvenile Justice. This includes production of the annual Juvenile Justice Report for the governor and legislature, as well as handling applications for fiscal year 2018 funding to the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Title II Formula Grants Program. This program provides funding to the states to develop programs to address delinquency and improve the juvenile justice system.

Joshua Jacobs (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Department of Medical Education & Clinical Sciences
Paul Lauzier Charitable Foundation
“Skill-based Task Trainer simulators”
This grant funds the purchase of dynamic anatomical models—known as task trainers—to help first- and second-year medical students and other health professions students develop clinical skills. Examples of task trainers include CPR prompt manikins, abdomen and pelvis simulators, cervical exam and Pap smear test trainers, and suture and stapling practice legs. The task trainers funded by this award will be used in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s Virtual Clinical Center on the Spokane Campus.

Lois James (PI); Patricia Butterfield; Steve James; Kevin Stevens; Marian Wilson – College of Nursing/Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep & Performance Research Center
US Department of Health & Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality
“The Impact of Shift-accumulated Fatigue on Patient Care and Risk of Post-shift Driving Collisions among 12-hour Day and Night Shift Nurses”
This is a study to determine the impact of fatigue in nurses resulting from 12-hour shifts, both on patient care and on the post-shift drive home. The study will include 50 nurses who work 12-hour day shifts and 50 nurses who work 12-hour night shifts. Nurse participants will be outfitted with wrist activity monitors and other tracking technology to measure levels of fatigue and their impact. They will complete a battery of performance tests on two separate occasions: immediately following their third consecutive 12-hour shift and again on their third consecutive day off work. The test battery includes a computer-based reaction time task that objectively measures fatigue; critical skills testing in the nursing simulation lab; and a 20-minute drive using a driving simulator. Study outcomes may be used to provide recommendations on safe shift-scheduling for day- and night shift nurses.

Lindsey Miller (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology
Bergstrom Nutrition
“The effect of methylsulfonylmethane on cardiometabolic health in obese adults”
Obesity is linked to high levels of inflammation, oxidative stress, and metabolic dysfunction, leading to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases. Interventions to reduce inflammation and improve metabolic function could potentially be used to prevent obesity-related diseases. This study will investigate whether use of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) as a dietary supplement improves metabolic health and markers of inflammation and oxidative status in obese men and women. MSM is a naturally occurring compound that has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It is currently available as a common dietary supplement ‘generally recognized as safe’ by the Food and Drug Administration, but until now the effect of MSM supplementation on obesity-related diseases in humans has not been investigated.

Christine Muheim (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, Department of Biomedical Sciences
Swiss National Sciences Foundation
“mRNA localization in the sleeping and remodeling mouse brain
This award funds a Career Division Mobility Fellowship for Christine Muheim, a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of neuroscience researcher Marcos Frank. It provides funding for Muheim to investigate whether sleep might facilitate brain plasticity by regulating the transport of plasticity-related products such as messenger RNA (mRNAs), molecules that carry a portion of DNA code to other parts of the cell for processing. Her study will test the hypothesis that mRNAs important for synaptic plasticity are transported to remodeling synapses in the brain during sleep. It will also test the related hypothesis that this process is proportional to sleep pressure, the unconscious biological response that makes us want to go to sleep. As part of the study, Muheim will establish a method to follow these processes in the brain using 2photon-microscopy, which opens up new ways to study complex behavior and molecular processes such as sleep and neuronal plasticity.

Lonnie Nelson (PI); Dedra Buchwald; Clemma Muller; Astrid Suchy-Dicey; Amanda Boyd – College of Nursing/Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health; Murrow College of Communication
University of Colorado Denver/National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
American Indian and Alaska Native Health Disparities”
This is a subaward of a grant that funds the establishment of the Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Health Disparities, a partnership between the University of Colorado Denver, WSU, and the Southcentral Foundation. It provides funding for WSU investigators to help manage the center’s overall efforts, engage in community engagement with American Indian and Alaskan Native partners in the region, and disseminate research findings. In addition, it funds WSU’s role in two research projects: one using data from the Strong Heart Study and Cerebrovascular Disease and its Consequences in American Indians study to evaluate associations between cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease risk factors and biomarkers in American Indians; and the other, to be conducted in partnership with the University of Arizona, to create culturally tailored materials on Alzheimer’s disease and precision medicine for American Indians and Alaska Natives enrolled in the All of Us Research Program. The All of Us Research Program is an NIH-funded program to improve treatment and prevention strategies based on people’s individual differences in lifestyle, environment, and genetics.

Michele Shaw (PI); Marian Wilson; Crystal Lederhos Smith – College of Nursing
Spokane Regional Health District
“SRHD Youth Perceptions of Marijuana Use Project”
This award provides funding to expand the scope of an internally funded pilot project to identify and describe factors involved in youth perceptions of marijuana use and develop an explanatory grounded theory based on these factors. The purpose of the project is to conduct a literature review focusing  on the predominant categories that are emerging from the interview data being collected as part of the pilot project, which was funded by the WSU Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program (ADARP).

Hans Van Dongen (PI); John Hinson; Chris Davis; Marcos Frank; Jonathan Wisor; Paul Whitney – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Arts & Sciences/Sleep & Performance Research Center
US Department of Defense, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs
“Investigating striatal attentional circuits to understand and mitigate deficits in cognitive flexibility due to sleep loss”
This three-year study deals with a brain function known as cognitive flexibility, the ability to change our thinking based on new information. As part of the project, the researchers will conduct human and animal experiments to uncover the brain mechanisms involved in impaired cognitive flexibility due to sleep loss, focusing on a brain area known as the striatum. Previous studies have identified a gene that predicts how well sleep-deprived people perform on tasks that require cognitive flexibility. This gene is involved in the regulation of dopamine—a chemical messenger in the brain linked to the brain’s control of attention—and is found in the striatum, where its effects are intertwined with another gene that regulates adenosine, a brain chemical that makes us feel sleepy. Insights from the study will provide researchers with a target for future drug development to specifically address cognitive flexibility impairment from sleep loss. This may ultimately benefit anyone working long hours and odd shifts in high-paced, safety-critical environments, such as military operations, emergency response, medical care, and energy production.

AWARDS FOR ONGOING WORK

(Renewal, continued, and supplemental funding for projects awarded previously)

Greg Belenky (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
United Airlines
“Fatigue Risk Management System Route Studies”
This is renewal funding for a field study of sleep and performance in pilots on ultra long‐range flight routes in commercial aviation. Flight routes studied include those between the U.S. and Mumbai, India; Singapore; and Sydney and Melbourne Australia, as well as the Island Hopper Route from Honolulu to Guam. US departure cities for international ultra long-range flights in this study include Newark, NJ; San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles, CA; and Houston, Texas. This work supports the airline’s use of fatigue risk management, a nonprescriptive approach to managing flight and duty times.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Clemma Muller; Ka’imi Sinclair; Amanda Boyd; Ana Zamora; Robert Rosenman – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Community Health; Murrow College of Communication; School of Economic Sciences
National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
“Native‐Controlling Hypertension and Risk through Technology (Native‐CHART)”
This is additional funding for a five‐year grant to establish—in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver—a new collaborative research center aimed at reducing health risks related to high blood pressure in U.S. Native populations. The center will draw in expertise and solicit input from community organizations, tribes, and researchers across the country to pursue intervention studies that will use technology, including electronic medical records, text messaging, wearable physical activity monitors, and home blood pressure monitors.

Dedra Buchwald (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of Washington/National Institutes of Health
“A Primary Prevention Trial to Strengthen Child Attachment in a Native Community”
These are renewal subaward funds for a project to test the Promoting First Relationships (PFR) program in American Indian children at a reservation in northeastern Montana. The research team will test the effectiveness of the program in improving the caregiver’s sensitivity to the child. They will also examine child attachment security to the caregiver and the child’s social and emotional functioning. The goal is to create a culturally adapted intervention to promote sensitive caregiving and child attachment security in American Indian populations, minimizing the impact of stressors on children living on the reservation, as well as fostering resilience and improving their risk outlook.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Astrid Suchy-Dicey – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of Washington/National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
“Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center”
This subaward provides supplemental funding for WSU’s role in an NIH center grant to establish a satellite core of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in Seattle. The WSU team will conduct a research project, which will recruit participants of the Strong Heart Stroke Study to examine stroke, vascular brain injury, cognitive function, and Alzheimer’s disease and their consequences in about 600 elder American Indians. The Strong Heart Stroke Study is a follow-up study to the Strong Heart Study, a large longitudinal cohort study examining cardiovascular disease and its risk factors in American Indians.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Lonnie Nelson; Ka’imi Sinclair; Clemma Muller – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Community Health
University of Colorado at Denver/National Institutes of Health
“Native Elder Research Center”
Native elders are at greater risk for numerous acute and chronic illnesses, have less access to needed care, and are slower to seek care, leading to complications. This grant provides supplemental funding for WSU’s efforts to collaborate with the University of Colorado at Denver (UCD) to close these gaps and increase the participation of Native people in related research through UCD’s Native Elder Research Center.

Marcos Frank (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; Dept. of Biomedical Sciences
National Institutes of Health; National Human Genome Research Institute
“Exploratory models of cortical consolidation”
This is continued funding for a grant to develop a new mouse-based model of studying sleep-dependent changes in ocular dominance plasticity. Ocular dominance plasticity is a form of brain plasticity triggered by monocular deprivation, which involves depriving an animal of sight in one eye during a period of high plasticity. Earlier studies have shown that ocular dominance plasticity is enhanced by sleep. The new model will allow the principal investigator to more completely identify the underlying mechanisms and the brain states in which they occur. This work will provide the foundation for future studies of how experience and sleep shape the developing brain.

K. Michael Gibson (PI); Jean-Baptiste Roullet – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health; National Eye Institute
“Rapalog Therapy in Heritable and Vigabatrin-Induced GBA Metabolic Disorders – Supplement”
This award provides continued funding for a four-year study that follows up on a discovery by the principal investigator that there is a relationship between increased GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid—the primary central inhibitory neurotransmitter) and abnormal mTOR signaling. The mTOR protein is key for controlling autophagy, a normal physiological process that deals with destruction of cells in the body. As part of this work, it was found that rapalogs—a class of anticancer drugs that inhibit mTOR—could be used to override the negative effects associated with increases in GABA, which include toxicity to the eye. The discovery could have implications for patients who have heritable disorders of the GABA metabolism—such as GABA-transaminase (GABA-T) or succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADHD)—or elevated levels of GABA resulting from the use of the antiepileptic drug Vigabatrin, which inhibits the breakdown of GABA. This study will test, in a mouse model, the hypothesis that autophagic pathways involving GABA and mTOR can be mitigated with rapalog medications and assess the effectiveness of those drugs at mitigating ocular toxicity. The supplement pays for the use of additional advanced techniques to examine ocular toxicity, in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s McPherson Eye Research Institute.

Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom (PI); Christine Ciancetta; Julie Evenson; Julie Guyton; Jennifer Hey; Meike Johnson; Linda Matthews; Tara Witten – WSU Extension Youth & Families
Washington State Department of Health; Department of Social & Health Services
“SNAP-Ed FFY18-20”
This is supplemental funding for a project that provides nutrition education and obesity prevention services to individuals and families eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance in the following Washington State counties: Mason, Kitsap, Grays Harbor, King, Asotin, Walla Walla, Pierce, Thurston, and Lewis.

Ashley Ingiosi (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; Dept. of Biomedical Sciences
National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“Contributions of Astroglial Calcium Activity to Sleep Homeostasis”
This is supplemental funding for a project to determine the cellular mechanisms that underlie sleep homeostasis, the process that regulates the pressure to sleep based on prior wakefulness. Since impaired sleep homeostasis can cause poor sleep, it’s important to understand the cellular processes involved in sleep homeostasis. This study will look at glial astrocytes, which are found throughout the brain and may play a central role in sleep homeostasis. Astrocytes drive how the brain tries to compensate for sleep loss. Because the chemical signaling between glial astrocytes is associated with changes in intracellular calcium, this study will use a mouse model to test the hypothesis that intracellular calcium dynamics contribute to the accumulation and discharge of the pressure to sleep. Study results will provide new insights into how glial astrocytes affect sleep homeostasis and will bring scientists one step closer to understanding the underlying causes of abnormal sleep.

Stephen James (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep & Performance Research Center
Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training
“Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training ‐ Training Development Assistance”
This is supplemental funding for a project to assist the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training in enhancing its basic police training program. Based on prior research, James will identify decision points and behaviors in dynamic social encounters that are most likely to lead officers to making legal and legitimate decisions and to result in good outcomes. He will use a set of behavior‐based metrics previously developed at WSU as standards for testing and evaluating officer performance.

James Krueger (PI); Ping Taishi – College of Veterinary Medicine
National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“Interleukin-1: A Promoter of Slow Wave Sleep”
This is a funding increase for a five-year project to characterize the role of interleukin-1β (IL1) in sleep regulation and brain plasticity and repair processes. As part of the study, the researchers will describe IL1 sleep signaling mechanisms, including the role of the neuron-specific IL1 receptor accessory protein (AcPb) in physiological sleep.

James Krueger (PI) – College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Pennsylvania/National Institutes of Health
“Metabolic Regulation of Wakefulness”
This is a continuation of an NIH subaward with the University of Pennsylvania. The aim of the project is to identify the metabolic processes in the brain that cause impaired wakefulness in people affected by sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea. The study could help identify specific molecules involved in impaired wakefulness, which could open the door to the development of new therapies to improve wakefulness among those with sleep disorders.

Philip Lazarus (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
“The UGT2A and 3A metabolizing enzymes and tobacco‐related cancer risk”
This is continued funding for a research study to determine whether two enzymes known as UDP‐glycosyltransferase (UGT) 2A and 3A could be used to predict tobacco users’ level of risk for lung, head, and neck cancers. UGT enzymes help detoxify many carcinogens abundant in tobacco and/or tobacco smoke. This study will help scientists better understand its role in the development of tobacco‐related cancers and help them identify subjects for targeted prevention strategies.

Lonnie Nelson (PI); Emma Elliott-Groves; Dedra Buchwald; Clemma Muller – College of Nursing/Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of New Mexico/National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
Rhythm and Timing Exercises for Cerebral Vascular Disease in American Indians – Diversity Supplement”
This is continued funding for a diversity supplement to include a Native scholar—Dr. Emma Elliott-Groves—in the WSU team assisting the University of New Mexico with a study on cerebrovascular disease in American Indians. The goal of the study is to determine whether culturally adapted interactive metronome therapy can improve cognitive function among older American Indians with cerebrovascular disease. Interactive metronome is a form of behavioral therapy that attempts to improve cognitive functioning through mass-practice of simple, repetitive millisecond timing motor tasks—such as clapping hands or tapping feet—in time with a set beat. Through visual and auditory feedback, interactive metronome addresses processing speed, attention, and immediate and delayed memory, all of which can be affected by cerebrovascular disease.

Lonnie Nelson (PI); Dedra Buchwald – College of Nursing/Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
“Caring Texts: A Strength‐Based, Suicide Prevention Trial in 4 Native Communities”
This award continues funding for a study of the effectiveness of the Caring Contacts approach as a way of reducing suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, and suicide‐related hospitalizations among Native American young adults. A recent study has found that suicide rates for Native American young adults in the Northern Plains and Alaska are much higher than those for white Americans in the same regions. The Caring Contacts approach uses text messages expressing care, concern, and interest to supplement standard suicide prevention. In a randomized, controlled trial, this study will compare the use of the Caring Contacts approach as a supplement to usual suicide prevention care versus usual care only in at‐risk Native American young adults.

Lonnie Nelson (PI) – College of Nursing/Community Health
University of Washington/National Institutes of Health
“Oral Health Equity in Alaska (OHEAL): Implementation and Evaluation of Delivery System Changes to Reduce Oral Health Disparities for Native American Children”
This is renewal funding for a study aimed at designing, implementing, and evaluating a series of dental care delivery system changes to eliminate racial disparities in pediatric oral health in Alaska. American Indian and Alaska Native children are particularly affected by disparities in oral health, with rates of caries that are double that in white children and untreated caries rates that are two to three times higher. Geographical isolation, dentist shortages, and community mistrust of health care systems exacerbate the inequity. This study will use community‐based participatory research to arrive at a culturally competent, population‐, risk‐ and evidence‐based dental care delivery system.

Jonathan Potter (PI) – Spokane Academic Library
University of Washington/National Institutes of Health
“Health Professions Outreach in Eastern Washington”

This award provides continuing funds for the WSU Spokane Academic Library to partner with the Regional Medical Library to further the goals of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to advance the progress of medicine and improve public health. It helps to establish the library as an outreach library in Washington for the Pacific Northwest Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, helping to strengthen health care and advancing the health, safety, and well‐being of the American people by improving access to health and biomedical information in Washington.

Janet Purath (PI); Joann Dotson; Tamara Odom-Maryon; Linda Ward; Janet Katz; Sandy Carollo; Dawn Depriest – College of Nursing
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Nursing and Public Health
“Washington State University – Advanced Nursing practice for rural underserved in Eastern Washington (WSU-ANEW)”

These are continuing funds for a project aimed at building expanded capacity for training family nurse practitioners to serve in rural and underserved areas in Eastern Washington. It funds the creation of a formal partnership with the Community Health Association of Spokane that includes a joint appointment of a Nurse Practitioner Faculty in Residence, who will help enhance evidence-based care for underserved patients in Washington and improve the College of Nursing faculty’s approach to clinical instruction. The project will also implement a preceptor education program that will train preceptors as program partners to enhance clinical and didactic nursing education; provide traineeships for 15 to 30 family nurse practitioner students completing training in rural clinics; and create a marketing program to connect graduates to primary care employment in rural and underserved areas.

Ka’imi Sinclair (PI); Amber Fyfe-Johnson – College of Nursing/Community Health
University of Colorado Denver/National Institutes of Health
“Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Diabetes Translation Research (CDTR) – Research”

This is continued funding for a WSU’s role in establishing a Pacific Northwest satellite center of the Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Diabetes Translation Research, which is based at the University of Colorado Denver. The goal of the main center is to improve the diabetes-related health of American Indian and Alaska Native people by extending prevention and management research of proven efficacy to both clinical and community settings in American Indian/Alaska Native communities. The Pacific Northwest satellite center will engage local tribes in activities aimed at increasing awareness related to diabetes translational research among American Indians and Alaska Natives; organize and sponsor annual regional conferences about diabetes translational research among American Indian and Alaska Native populations; and develop a regional plan for disseminating the work and research findings of the center.

Eva Szentirmai (PI); Weihang Chai; Levente Kapas; Kenneth Roberts – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Brown Adipose Tissue and Sleep Regulation”
This award represents a funding increase for a study on how brown fat interacts with our brains to regulate sleep. Brown fat is a beneficial fat that helps burn the calories stored in white fat and regulates our body temperature. In previous studies, decreased brown fat activity was associated with less sleep and less deep sleep. This work could open the door to new drugs to combat obesity, metabolic syndrome, and chronic sleep loss.

Hans Van Dongen (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
LA BioMed/National Institutes of Health
“Understanding Hormonal Mechanisms of Sleep Restriction”
This is continued funding of a subcontract for a study of the hormonal mechanisms that underlie insulin resistance from sleep restriction, which contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Van Dongen will provide expertise on sleepiness and cognitive performance testing and study design, as well as data processing and analysis.

Zhenjia Wang (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health
“Neutrophil-mediated Drug Delivery”
This award provides a funding increase for a five-year project to study how neutrophils—the most abundant type of white blood cells in the bloodstream—could be used as a vehicle for delivering therapeutic nanoparticles to specific parts of the body. This work may help design new drugs to treat inflammatory disorders underlying acute and chronic diseases, including cancer. Specifically, the study will look at the efficacy of using neutrophil-mediated nanoparticle transport to treat acute lung injury, a devastating disease that cannot currently be treated with drugs.

Marian Wilson (PI) – College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati/National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Drug Abuse
“EMPOWER”
These are continued funds for WSU’s participation in the EMPOWER study led by the University of Cincinnati. EMPOWER is a five-year study of 400 non-cancer patients who are being treated with long-term opioid therapy at the University of Cincinnati Health and Duke Health. The study will look at whether use of an online pain management program, the Goalistics Chronic Pain Management Program, could help these patients reduce the amount of prescription opioids they take. The study will compare opioid use and pain outcomes between program participants and a control group who receive treatment as usual.

Jiyue Zhu (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health, National Institute for General Medical Sciences
“Repression of the hTERT gene during cell differentiation”

This award continues a research study aimed at unraveling the mechanisms by which telomerase is regulated during development. Telomerase is an enzyme that lengthens telomeres in DNA strands, which allows cells to become immortal. It plays a key role in cell aging and tumor progression. This study will look at the gene that encodes a component of telomerase known as hTERT and how the gene is repressed during cell differentiation (the process by which a less specialized cell becomes a more specialized cell type). The goal of the study is to determine how telomere homeostasis contributes to human aging and the formation of tumors.