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Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

Grant and Contract Awards

FY2022, 3rd Quarter Summary
(January 1 – March 31, 2022)

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


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

Salah-Uddin Ahmed (PI); Darrell Jackson; Philip Lazarus – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Washington Research Foundation
“WSU College of Pharmacy DEI Conference Grant”
The goal of this grant is to help the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences increase diversity within its graduate and PharmD programs through attendance and participation at national meetings of the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). It provides funding to pay for conference registration and travel-related expenses for four attendees each year for a total of two years.

Keti Bardhi (PI); Philip Lazarus – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
WSU Office of Research/Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program
“Inhibitory effects of major cannabinoids on common benzodiazepines metabolism”
As recreational and medical cannabis products become more widely available in the USA and worldwide, one growing area of concern is misuse of benzodiazepines—a commonly prescribed psychoactive drugs used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures—in combination with cannabis-related compounds. Preliminary research in the Lazarus lab indicates that major cannabis constituents are inhibitors of major drug-metabolizing enzymes, including the CYP and UGT enzymes involved in the metabolism of diazepam and its active metabolites (temazepam, nordiazepam, and oxazepam). This grant provides internal funding to investigate the likelihood of clinically significant drug-drug interactions when cannabis is used in combination with selected benzodiazepines.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Clemma Muller; Robert Rosenman – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health/School of Economic Sciences
Oklahoma State University/National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
“Osage Community Supported Agriculture Study (OCSA)”
Poor diet is the number one risk factor for preventable disease in the US. Few studies have looked at the environmental determinants of diet-related diseases in American Indian communities. As part of an effort to promote traditional healthy foods, the Osage Nation based in Oklahoma is implementing the Osage Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), in which Osage citizens will receive a share of farm fresh produce each week for 6 months. This new grant provides funding for a randomized controlled trial to test the effect of the CSA intervention on diet and health outcomes among Osage adults ages 35-75 who are either overweight or obese. Findings from this study will address sustainability and inform decisions by tribal leadership and other key stakeholders about long-term implementation and dissemination of the CSA intervention. In addition, they will inform research and policy efforts to create sustainable food access in reservations with high rates of chronic disease, as well as in urban AI communities where CSAs are widely available and could be tailored.

Shelby Coates (PI); Philip Lazarus – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
WSU Office of Research/Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program
“Drug-drug interactions between cannabis and commonly prescribed opioids”
Misuse of prescription opioids, such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, in combination with other illicit drugs, such as cannabis, has been a growing concern over the past decade. Previous studies in the Lazarus lab and elsewhere have shown that major cannabis constituents inhibit major phase I drug metabolizing enzymes. This grant provides internal funding for in-vitro studies to identify the cannabinoids/cannabinoid metabolites that inhibit drug metabolizing enzymes involved in hydrocodone metabolism and oxycodone metabolism. These studies will help evaluate the clinical relevance of potential drug-drug interactions between cannabis and hydrocodone and oxycodone in humans.

Christopher Davis (PI); William Vanderheyden – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
HEEL (Biologische Heilmittel Heel GmbH)
“Neurexan mitigates trauma-induced sleep disturbances and improves fear-associated memory impairments in a rodent model of PTSD”
Sleep disorders are hallmark trait of post-traumatic stress disorder and impair physical health, interfere with cognitive functioning, and exacerbate other mental or physical health impairments. Trauma-induced sleep disorders may contribute to the development of a vicious cycle where PTSD symptoms and disturbed sleep promote each other. Commonly used pharmaceutical treatments for PTSD, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, do not address trauma-induced sleep disorders and in many cases further interfere with sleep, which may compromise their effectiveness as treatments for PTSD symptoms. Previous studies by the investigators on this study has shown—in a rodent model—that increasing sleep duration after trauma exposure can ease the negative consequences of the trauma and help to break the vicious cycle of PTSD symptoms being aggravated by poor sleep and vice versa. This contract provides funding to test the drug Neurexan in a rodent model to determine its effectiveness as a  treatment to alleviate trauma-induced sleep disruptions and/or prevent the development of PTSD.

Thomas Gooding (PI); Hans Haverkamp – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
American College of Sports Medicine
“Identification of early exercise training maladaptation markers through a 3-week lab-controlled training protocol”
Optimal physical performance is achieved through a tailored balance between training and recovery. When training load is not balanced with adequate recovery, overtraining occurs. This study will try to address two gaps in overtraining research: the lack of knowledge on the pathophysiological mechanisms of overtraining; and the lack of sensitive diagnostic criteria to help identify overtraining or predict its occurrence. To address limitations from earlier studies that may have contributed to these gaps, participants recruited for this study will be recreationally active men and women, as opposed to typical cohorts consisting of high-level male athletes or participants previously diagnosed as overtrained. They will participate in a 3-week lab-controlled overtraining protocol designed to uncover the biophysiological progression of training maladaptation. The ultimate goal for this research is to help shape future proactive approaches for detecting and preventing overtraining and associated negative outcomes.

Janessa Graves (PI) – College of Nursing
University of Washington/Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
“Risk of Harms Planning and Analysis”
This new subaward provides funding to help the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries conduct a planning analysis related to risk of harms from lower back surgery. Graves will help analyze Washington State workers’ compensation claims data to establish normative rates of reoperation and complications following this type of surgery; identify worker characteristics and operative features associated with surgical harms; and develop a predictive model to estimate the risk-adjusted variation in surgeons’ reoperation and complications rates. This work will assist the Department of Labor and Industries in implementing the risk of harms as part of ESSB 5801, which comprises state legislation related to workers’ compensation for public safety workers, such as firefighters and law enforcement officers. The ultimate goal of this work is to support a network of high-value surgery providers, improve the selection of workers as candidates for surgery, identify high-risk subgroups, identify strategies for quality improvement, and help inform surgical decision-making.

Devon Hansen (PI); Kimberly Honn; Brieann Satterfield; Hans Van Dongen; Stephen James – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Sleep and Performance Research Center
US Department of Defense; Office of Naval Research
“Clinical Sleep Research to Characterize, Predict, and Ameliorate Operationally Relevant Sleep and Performance Deficits in Sleep Disordered Populations”
This Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) grant will support the purchase of specialized equipment for the newly established clinical sleep research laboratory, adding to previous support for the facility’s design and construction provided by the Sunderland Foundation, Cowles Foundation, Washington Research Foundation, omnibus funds, and other internal funding sources. The clinical sleep research laboratory will enable WSU sleep scientists to extend their work on the consequences of sleep loss and shift work from healthy humans to sleep-disordered populations. Equipment purchases supported by this grant includes LED-based adaptable lighting for circadian rhythm shifting and alertness-enhancing interventions such as blue-enriched light exposure; polysomnographic recording equipment; and IT infrastructure.

Devon Hansen (PI); Matthew Layton; Hans Van Dongen; Stephen James; Carrie Cuttler – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Sleep and Performance Research Center/College of Arts & Sciences
Pulsar Informatics/National Safety Council
“Collecting empirical data to provide a quantitative, objective framework to aid in the interpretation of alertness impairments related to fatigue, alcohol, marijuana, and opiates”
This contract provides funding for investigators in the Sleep and Performance Research Center to conduct an in-laboratory study to measure the neurobehavioral impairment from the interaction between sleep deprivation and several pharmacological substances. Substances studied will include alcohol, an opioid, and—if feasible given regulatory and policy constraints—a cannabis preparation. The researchers will study participants’ performance on a driving simulator and various cognitive tasks during a period of nighttime wakefulness, followed by recovery sleep.

Lexie Jackson (PI); Ka’imi Sinclair – College of Nursing/Community Health
Alzheimer’s Association
“Adaptation of an intervention for caregivers of Native Hawaiians with ADRD”
This project will focus on caregivers of Native Hawaiian adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in the Pacific Northwest. The researchers will investigate cultural values related to caregiving and make recommendations to culturally adapt Tele-Savvy, an evidence-based online psychoeducational intervention, for Native Hawaiian caregivers and evaluate the adapted intervention. The intervention will be pilot tested on 50 Native Hawaiian caregivers to evaluate the effectiveness of the adapted intervention on caregiver burden, depression, anxiety, self-rated health, and quality of life, as well to determine caregiver engagement with the intervention.

Julianne Jett (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
WSU Office of Research/Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program
“Using psychological and biological measures of stress to predict current and future drinking in individuals with co-occurring alcohol use disorder and serious mental illness”
People with an alcohol use disorder (AUD) most frequently cite stressful events and negative mood as primary reasons for continued alcohol use and relapse. Previous research suggests that self-reported and biomarker measures of stress can predict alcohol use during the early stages of abstinence. However, it remains unclear whether these measures can also predict alcohol use and enhanced negative affect in active drinking individuals. This study will investigate if self-reported and biomarker measures of stress predict current and future alcohol use and negative affect in actively drinking individuals with AUD enrolled in a larger clinical trial of a behavioral intervention for AUD. Funding from this grant will allow the researchers to add collection of biomarker stress data—including standardized cortisol sampling and a guided imagery stress stimulus—to the existing procedures in place for the larger study. If self-reported stress and/or stress biomarkers can in fact predict current and future alcohol use, that could inform the use of stress-targeted interventions to improve the efficacy of AUD treatment.

Philip Lazarus (PI); Andrea Lazarus; Bhagwat Prasad – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Washington Research Foundation
“WSU College of Pharmacy Research Seminar Series”
This grant provides funding for the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to develop and host a yearlong series of ten research seminars with speakers coming from industry and government agencies. The goal for the series will be to increase industry ties and foster an environment of innovation within the college.

Oladunni Oluwoye (PI); Ekaterina Burduli; Liat Kriegel – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health
“A Family Peer Navigator Model to Increase Access and Initial Engagement in Coordinated Specialty Care Programs Among Black Families”
Family members have a key role in facilitating the initiation of mental health services. Yet, Black/African American families often encounter barriers and experience delays accessing coordinated specialty care programs. These delays can be attributed to individual (e.g., knowledge), interpersonal (e.g., connectedness), community (e.g., access), and societal (e.g., discrimination) factors. In other health-related areas, peer navigator models improve access to much-needed services and promote more positive experiences among individuals and their families. However, there are have been no family peer navigator models developed to address the complexities that impact Black/African American families to improve access to coordinated specialty care programs. Preliminary research suggests approximately 70 percent of Black/African American family members report no contact with clinicians prior to initial diagnosis and the receipt of services for early psychosis. Building upon formative research, this R34 study will use mixed methods across three phases to develop, refine, and pilot-test a multi-component Family Peer Navigator model designed to increase access and engagement in coordinated specialty care programs Black/African American families.

Lucia Peixoto (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
Simons Foundation
“Understanding insomnia in the Autism Spectrum using mouse models”
This award represents a two-year pilot award from the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), which supports exploratory ideas that have the potential to yield transformative results in autism spectrum disorder research. It funds a study to unravel the underlying mechanisms of insomnia and other sleep problems that affect up to 86 percent of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through the use of mouse models for three genetic disorders—Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Rett syndrome, and Angelman syndrome—that are associated with both high rates of ASD diagnosis and insomnia. The goal is to determine the contribution to insomnia of two interacting processes that regulate sleep—the biological clock, which promotes wakefulness in response to light stimuli, and the homeostatic process, which drives the pressure to sleep based on time spent awake—and define how sleep problems develop in the three ASD mouse models. Knowing the mechanisms that underlie disrupted sleep early in life may be essential to improving long-term outcomes in ASD.

Ka’imi Sinclair (PI)– College of Nursing/Community Health
University of Washington/American Diabetes Association
“Pilot study of a culturally tailored diabetes education curriculum with real-time continuous glucose monitoring in a Latinx population with type 2 diabetes”
Type 2 diabetes is especially prevalent in the Latinx community. The implementation of diabetes education—a cornerstone of treatment for type 2 diabetes—has been hindered by barriers including lack of culturally tailored content and limited patient access, and expanded efforts to design and implement culturally specific behavioral interventions for diabetes management are urgently needed. Clinical data support the efficacy of a culturally tailored diabetes self–management education program known as Compañeros en Salud (Partners in Health) that was created for Latinx populations and piloted in Washington state. At the same time, these data highlight the need to both optimize delivery strategies to maximize patient access and engagement and identify added interventions to increase the impact of the curriculum. Based on prior research that shows that patients with type 2 diabetes benefit from real-time continuous glucose monitoring, this subaward funds a study of the feasibility and efficacy of delivering the Companeros en Salud curriculum via a novel team-based telemedicine approach coupled with a randomized trial of continuous glucose monitoring and real-time continuous glucose monitoring in Latinx individuals living with T2D. This work will generate critical data regarding the feasibility and efficacy of an integrated approach to T2D care for Latinx individuals that incorporates dual strategies for diabetes management centered on patient empowerment and enduring behavioral change.

Hans Van Dongen (PI); Mark McCauley – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
Federal Express Corp.
“Service Order #5: FedEx FRM Scientific Advice and Mathematical Model Development”
This contract provides funding for Sleep and Performance Research Center scientists to provide FedEx with scientific advice and biomathematical model development to benefit its AlertSafe fatigue management and prediction tools, which were developed to help the company understand and combat the effects of fatigue on its flight operations. Model development will include a comprehensive account of sleep in domestic and international operations, both night and day, in all time zones across the globe.

Natsuko Wood (PI); Tamara Odom-Maryon; Celestina Barbosa-Leiker – College of Nursing
Sigma Theta Tau International
“The breastfeeding relationship between employed mother and infant dyads: A mixed methods prospective study”
Despite recommendations of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, breastfeeding sustainability is low. U.S. mothers returning to work in the early postpartum phase is also associated with early breastfeeding discontinuation. This study seeks to increase researchers’ understanding of the impact of returning to work on the mother-infant breastfeeding relationship and to explore differences in the impact on the breastfeeding relationship between mothers who work outside the home compared to mothers who work from home/telework and mothers who stay home full-time with their infants.

Ana Zamora (PI) – College of Medicine/College of Arts & Sciences/Community Health
Alzheimer’s Association
“Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Cognitive Performance in American Indians”
This new award provides three years of funding for a study on the link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and cognitive performance in American Indians. One in three men and one in six women over the age of 50 suffer from OSA, a disorder that causes the upper airway to collapse during sleep, disrupting normal breathing. Recent research suggests OSA increases the risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease are five times more likely to experience OSA than those without, and about half of patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease have experienced OSA after being diagnosed. The strongest risk factor for OSA is obesity. American Indians have the highest rates of obesity in the nation, and yet they are underrepresented in OSA research studies. This study will address this gap through an analysis of data from three previously conducted, federally funded studies on health-related risk behaviors, sleep-disordered breathing, and cerebrovascular disease.


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

Naomi Bender (PI); Wendy Williams Gilbert; Kim Mickey; David H. Garcia – WSU Health Sciences Spokane; College of Nursing; College of Pharmacy; Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Empire Health Foundation
“InHealth Program”
This grant renews funding for the development and operation of an InHealth Program and new Center for Native American Health at Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane. The program includes services and resources aimed at increasing the number of Native Americans in healthcare careers, development of cultural curriculum to better prepare all healthcare workforce to work in PNW tribal communities, and advancing tribal partnerships and initiatives in the area of health. The InHealth Program is a collaboration between the WSU Native American Health Sciences and the Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Robert Rosenman – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health/School of Economic Sciences
University of Colorado – Denver/National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health
“Collaborative Hub to Reduce the Burden of Suicide among Urban AI and AN – Suicide Prevention for Urban Natives”
This award renews a contract that supports 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.

Naomi Chaytor (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
University of North Carolina/National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Nursing Research
“Prediction of Functional Outcomes from Chronic Critical Illness”
This is continued funding for WSU’s assistance in a multicenter study to measure risk factors for long-term physical and cognitive dysfunction in chronic critical illness. A substantial number of critically ill patients experience persistent organ failure leading to chronic critical illness. The majority of these patients die within a year. Many survivors must cope with severe, long‐term physical and cognitive limitations, which present a significant clinical, emotional, and economic burden. The subcontract provides funding for Chaytor to oversee cognitive and functional outcomes from the study. The project will provide new tools for patients and clinicians to understand chronic critical illness, informing bedside decision making and future medical and resource interventions for this extremely high‐risk patient group.

Zhaokang Cheng (PI); Boyang Wu – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
“Cell cycle proteins as key regulators of cardiac chemosensitivity”
Anthracycline-based chemotherapy, an effective treatment for many types of cancer, has long been associated with substantial toxicity to the heart. The anthracycline drug doxorubicin induces DNA damage and subsequent heart cell death, which eventually results in cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Previous research led by the principal investigator of this award has identified cyclin-dependent kinase 2 (CDK2) as a key player in heart toxicity resulting from treatment with anthracycline drugs and suggested that cardiac CDK2 activity determines how sensitive the heart is to chemotherapy. This award provides continued funding for a study to determine the role of two cell cycle proteins known to control CDK2 activity—CDK7 and RBL2—in heart cell death and cardiac chemosensitivity. This research could help lay the foundation for developing new strategies to protect the heart during cancer treatment.

Janessa Graves (PI) – College of Nursing
University of Washington/National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“Implementation Fidelity and Benefits of the Critical Care Pediatric Guideline Adherence and Outcomes Program in Traumatic Brain Injury”
This is continued funding of a subaward for a collaborative study between researchers in the U.S. and Argentina. The researchers will conduct a randomized controlled trial to determine whether an intervention known as the Pediatric Guideline Adherence and Outcomes (PEGASUS) program can increase adherence to guidelines for traumatic brain injury (TBI) care in children with severe TBI across six study sites in Argentina. As part of this study, Janessa Graves will design, prepare, and carry out a cost analysis of the PEGASUS intervention.

Amanda Lamp (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 multiple field studies of sleep and performance for United Airlines as well as scientific consulting to United on all matters needed. Studied routes include short-haul, long-haul, and ultra-long-haul operations. This work also supports the airline’s use of fatigue risk management systems, a non-prescriptive approach to managing flight and duty times.

Luis Manriquez (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Better Health Together
“Community Health Transformation Collaborative”
This award provides funding for the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s role as a partnering provider in transformation planning efforts as part of a Community Health Transformation Collaborative within an Accountable Community of Health (ACH). ACHs promote health equity and address and coordinate around social determinants of health. Specifically, this grant will fund the development of a community coalition to address prescription labeling in a patient’s preferred language as well as English, which will help fill a gap in access and quality of care in eastern Washington and across the state. Currently, translation of prescription labeling in a patient’s preferred language is not required in Washington State, even though Oregon, California and New York all have such legislation. As state-level legislation, this policy would impact the more than 500,000 Washingtonians that speak English less than “very well”. People with limited English proficiency have twice the rate of medication errors, and one in five emergency department visits is due to a medication error. This project will involve building a coalition of community organizations, health education programs, and pharmacy partners aimed at educating the public about the importance of this concrete step to improve health inequities and teaching them how to engage in policy.

Thomas May (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
University of Alabama at Birmingham/National Institutes of Health; National Human Genome Research Institute
“Integrating Genomic Risk Assessment for Disease Management in a Diverse Population”
This subaward provides continuing funds for the investigator, Thomas May, to contribute to a research project that aims to predict the occurrence and progression of 15 common chronic diseases through polygenic risk scores. As part of this study, May will conduct a pilot ethical legal social implications study to explore patient perspectives on the use of family health history and genetic testing. He will also lead engagement efforts to identify factors that promote the trust necessary for optimizing enrollment of minority participants in the study. Findings from the ethical legal social implications study will inform the development of consent and educational materials for the study, as well as a communication strategy to enhance recruitment and retention of participants. This research project is the vital first step to leverage the power of genomics to prevent disease by implementing genomic risk assessments into clinical care to identify, and if appropriate, pretreat at-risk patients.

Michael McDonell (PI); Oladunni Oluwoye – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Washington State Health Care Authority/Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
“First Episode Psychosis Evaluation”
This is supplemental funding for an existing contract that funds activities related to the evaluation of the Washington State Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery’s New Journeys first episode psychosis program. The New Journeys program is designed to enhance the recognition of early signs and symptoms of psychosis so that effective treatment can be started promptly. WSU leads the evaluation of the program and is working with the University of Washington to train providers to deliver components of New Journeys. This supplement funds the development of a dissemination strategy to increase the program’s reach to racially and ethnically diverse communities and to raise community awareness about first episode psychosis and New Journeys. It also helps the researchers continue and expand efforts to address substance use and the implementation of a substance use intervention within the New Journeys first episode psychosis program.

Lonnie Nelson (PI); Hans Van Dongen; Astrid Suchy-Dicey; Kimberly Honn; Celestina Barbosa-Leiker – College of Nursing/Community Health; Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Minority Health Disparities
“American Indian CHronic disEase RIsk and Sleep Health (AI-CHERISH)”
Studies have suggested that sleep disorders are at least as prevalent among American Indians and Alaska Natives as they are in the U.S. population overall. However, there have not been any studies that have extensively examined the epidemiology of sleep problems in a representative sample of American Indians. This award continues funding for an innovative mixed-methods study that will allow the research team to estimate the prevalence of sleep problems in Native populations and their associations with specific cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. In addition, they will characterize cultural factors related to sleep health. The study will recruit 750 American Indian participants who were previously enrolled in the Strong Heart Family Study and will be the largest epidemiological examination of sleep health and cardiovascular and metabolic risk to date.

Lonnie Nelson (PI); Luciana Hebert – College of Nursing/Community Health
National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
“Caring Contacts: A Strength-based, Suicide Prevention Trial in 4 Native Communities”
This award provides continued 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 over a 12-month period.

Oladunni Oluwoye (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health
“Improving Engagement among Families Experiencing First-Episode Psychosis”
This supplement provides funding for career development and training activities to enhance the investigator’s expertise in the development, implementation, and evaluation of engagement interventions to improve family engagement in coordinated specialty care programs that address first-episode psychosis. The first episode of psychosis is a critical point to initiate mental health care among individuals over the course of their illness, and family members play a key role in facilitating care. However, coordinated specialty care programs that address first-episode psychosis generally report low levels of family engagement, and this indicates an urgent need for effective interventions to improve family engagement.

Bhagwat Prasad (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Generation Bio
“Targeted quantification of ASGR1 and ASGR2 in human and mouse liver tissue, primary cells, cell lines and in vitro 2D and 3D hepatocyte models”
This contract provides supplemental funding for a project to develop a selective micro liquid-chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (µLC-MS/MS) method to quantify two proteins—ASGR1 and ASGR2—in human and animal tissues and cell samples. The supplemental funds pays for additional work to develop and validate a targeted proteomics assay for low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) protein in humans.

Ken Roberts (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Discuren Charitable Foundation
“7th-9th grade mentoring program in rural Stevens County”
This award renews funding for a project that involves the development and implementation of a career awareness and mentorship program focused on health sciences careers for 7th- through 9th-grade students in Stevens County. Stevens County is medically underserved and has less than half the number of physicians needed to meet the needs of the population. This new program is designed to improve access to care in Stevens County by increasing the number of students who are ready to move forward in health sciences careers. The program provides an opportunity for students interested in health care careers to gain an understanding of healthcare fields through hands-on experiences and career-connected learning. The program also emphasizes the development of key personal attributes in students including leadership skills, interpersonal skills, resilience, teamwork, and collaboration.

Ka’imi Sinclair (PI) – College of Nursing/Community Health
University of Colorado Denver/National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
“Center for American Indian and Alaska Native Diabetes Translation Research (CDTR) – Research”
This is renewal funding for a project to establish 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.

Crystal Smith (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
US Department of Veterans Affairs/VA Portland Health Care System
“Collaborative pain care for rural Veterans with substance use disorders”
High rates of chronic pain are observed among veterans with alcohol and other drug use disorders. Active substance use disorders can complicate pain treatment for these patients, and these complications are worse for rural veterans who lack access to specialty pain care within Veteran Affairs and the community. This grant provides renewal funding for WSU to help evaluate a previously developed telehealth pain program to reach rural veterans with both chronic pain and substance use disorders. The WSU team will work with the VA Portland Health Care System to implement the program at the Mann-Grandstaff Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Spokane, Washington, which serves rural Veterans in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. As part of this project, the research team will develop an implementation tool kit to aid future Veterans Health Administration sites that wish to adopt this collaborative pain program within their health care systems and medical centers.

Astrid Suchy-Dicey (PI); Dedra Buchwald; Lonnie Nelson – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Community Health
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
“Incident Vascular Brain Injury, Probable Alzheimer’s Disease and Cognitive Change in Elderly American Indians”
This award continues funding for the analysis of data related to vascular brain injury and cognitive impairment in American Indians. The data is being collected as part of a follow-up study to the Cerebrovascular Disease and its Consequences in American Indians study, which examined 1,000 American Indians aged 64 to 95 years from 2010 to 2013. Participants from that study received clinical examinations, neuropsychological testing, and brain MRIs. A follow-up study was started in 2016 to re-examine surviving participants according to the same protocols, with the addition of assessments for probable Alzheimer’s disease. As part of this newly funded project, the research team will quantify and evaluate associations for incident vascular brain injury, neurodegeneration, and changes in cognitive status in this elderly minority population identified in the data.

Hans Van Dongen (PI); John Hinson; Paul Whitney – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Arts & Sciences/Sleep & Performance Research Center
University of California Davis/National Institutes of Health
“Longitudinal Measurement of the Changing Sleep Need in Adolescence”
This award continues subcontract funding for an NIH grant awarded to UC Davis for a longitudinal study on the changing sleep need in adolescents. Van Dongen and his colleagues will assist in analyzing and interpreting daytime performance data.

Zhenjia Wang (PI); Santanu Bose – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences/College of Veterinary Medicine
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
“Active Drug Loading to Nanovesicles for Targeted Drug Delivery”
As part of this continuing study, the researchers will test a new drug delivery platform based on neutrophils—a type of white blood cells that play a key role in the body’s natural immune response. Neutrophil-based nanovesicles—hollow cell membranes loaded up with drug molecules—have the same characteristics as neutrophils, which are driven by our immune system to travel to inflammatory sites to help fight infection. This award provides continued funding to validate and refine the new technology in an animal model of acute lung injury, a type of respiratory failure that involves inflammation in the lungs.

Boyang Wu (PI); Lucia Peixoto; Philip Lazarus – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences/Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute
“MAOA and AR Reciprocal Crosstalk in Prostate Cancer”
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men. The primary driver of prostate cancer growth is androgen receptor, which regulates male hormones such as testosterone. The main treatment for prostate cancer currently consists of androgen deprivation therapy, which reduces testosterone to very low levels. In more than 90 percent of cases, prostate cancer initially responds to this therapy but will eventually relapse and progress into fatal castrate-resistant prostate cancer, which grows despite low testosterone levels. This award provides continued funding for a study that will look at a new molecular target for treating advanced prostate cancer: monoamine oxidase A (MAOA). The researchers have identified a reciprocal relationship between MAOA and androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells. Based on their findings, they will determine the molecular mechanism by which MAOA and androgen receptor interact in prostate cancer cells; characterize the role of MAOA in the development and progression of castrate-resistant prostate cancer; and determine the efficacy of MAOA inhibitor drugs for treating castrate-resistant prostate cancer and reversing cancer cell resistance to the latest generation of antiandrogen drugs. The study may provide a basis for developing new combination therapeutic strategies for advanced prostate cancer.