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Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

Grant and Contract Awards

FY2023, 1st Quarter Summary
(July 1 – September 30, 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); Anil Singh – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Rheumatoid Arthritis Project
“TAK1 as a therapeutic target for rheumatoid arthritis: “Characterizing the Role of Synovial Fibroblasts in Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis”
The goal of this project is to determine the role of synovial fibroblasts—a type of cell that lines joints and is associated with adult arthritis—in the disease process of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), the most common type of arthritis in kids and teens. Using synovial fibroblasts obtained from JIA patients, the researchers will study the gene and protein signatures that are altered in the disease compared to synovial fibroblasts from non-diseased donors. In addition, the researchers will use a mouse model to test whether blocking a protein known as TAK1 alters the inflammatory genes implicated in JIA, which could reduce disease severity, inflammation, and bone destruction.  The data generated from these studies will provide a better understanding of the key molecular mechanisms that drive JIA and provide an opportunity to further test and develop TAK1 inhibitors to improve treatment of the disease.

Salah-Uddin Ahmed (PI); Meena Shanta – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Rheumatology Research Foundation
“Characterizing the roles of synovial fibroblasts in Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis”
Oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (OJIA) is a form of arthritis that occurs in children under the age of 16. It is defined as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) involving fewer than five joints and makes up about 50 percent of cases of JIA. Repeated infections, fetal exposure to smoking, and psychological stress are believed to trigger the production of certain proteins that increase levels of inflammatory proteins in children who are genetically susceptible to the disease. These inflammatory proteins stimulate a type of cells known as synovial fibroblasts—which line joints to ensure fluid movement—and causes them to start behaving aggressively, resulting in chronically inflamed joints. Around 40 percent of affected children cannot successfully be treated with the currently available treatment options, which also increase the risk of infections and cancer with long-term use. The goal of this study is to determine the role of synovial fibroblasts in the disease process of OJIA. The researchers will also treat activated OJIA synovial fibroblasts with TAK1 inhibitors and look for changes in gene expression and signaling pathways. The findings will advance scientists’ understanding of the disease process and progression of OJIA, provide early markers to determine prognosis, and test the potential of TAK1 inhibitors for treating OJIA.

Ofer Amram (PI); Pablo Monsivais; Solmaz Amiri – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Washington State Department of Health
“Environmental Health Disparities Map”
This contract provides funding for Washington State University to continue developing the Washington Environmental Health Disparities map as outlined in the Health Environment for All (HEAL) Act, which was passed in 2021 as a step toward eliminating environmental and health disparities among communities of color and low-income households. The map is a free online tool that ranks the cumulative risk each neighborhood in Washington faces from environmental factors that influence health outcomes. Specifically, this project will involve the creation of a pesticide exposure variable for inclusion in the map, based on data from the United States Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment Project and United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The researchers will also develop a method to track changes in environmental health inequities for inclusion in the interactive display hosted on the Washington Tracking Network.

Judith Bowen; Ann Dyer (co-PIs) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Spokane Academic Library
Grace and Harold Sewell Memorial Fund
“Grace and Harold Sewell Memorial Fund Learning Partnership”
This grant provides funds for a learning partnership that places an experienced librarian within the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine to increase the mutual understanding of how information science and data management can be most effectively applied in each environment. This Sewell Fellow will be engaged across the College of Medicine’s full spectrum of educational, clinical, and research activities, with an emphasis on supporting information literacy, evidence-based medicine, and research-data management concepts and practices across the medical school curriculum. Goals for this partnership are to develop a framework that will provide the rationale for maintaining a permanent librarian presence embedded in the college and intertwined across the curriculum; to expose the fellow to WSU’s array of interprofessional collaborative efforts among the colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing; and to benefit the field of library and information science at WSU by creating an opportunity for truly embedded library support of and collaboration with health care practitioners, students, researchers, and educators.

Frank Carbonero (PI); Patrick Solverson – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
“Investigating the role of microbiome and metabolome in the prebiotic and urinary tract infection preventative effect of cranberry juice”
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common bacterial infections in women. Cranberry consumption has long been suggested to prevent and even treat UTI, but recent reviews of the literature have found that the evidence was suggestive at best. This study will test the hypothesis that the vaginal microbiome is strongly influenced by the gut microbiome and determine whether inter-individual differences in gut microbiome composition may be at the root of the difficulties to confirm cranberry consumption as protecting against UTI. The researchers will examine the relationships between gut microbiome and vaginal microbiome and how cranberry consumption affects gut microbiome, metabolome, and ultimately the vaginal microbiome. The findings of this study may be used to pursue long-term, nutritional studies using other dietary elements—such as prebiotics or probiotics—to optimize the beneficial effects of cranberries and reduce UTI risk.

Gregory Carter (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience
“A new innovative adaptive technology device to improve bowel function and continence in individuals with neuro-degenerative diseases”
Led by Carter and co-PI Glen House, MD, the St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical Center team will collaborate with WSU Spokane research service center staff to develop a medical device that will help individuals with neurodegenerative diseases who are impacted by abnormal bowel function. The proposed adaptive devices will be a liquid suppository inserter/applicator and a bowel digital stimulator that will have improved features and ergonomics for use by individuals with limited dexterity and upper body mobility. These novel technologies will have the potential to improve the quality of life of individuals with neurodegenerative disease and their caregivers.

Shelby Coates (PI); Philip Lazarus – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse
“Drug-drug interactions between cannabis and hydrocodone”
Misuse of prescription opioids—including hydrocodone—in combination with other illicit drugs such as cannabis has been a growing concern. Previous studies conducted in the Lazarus lab have shown that cannabinoids—a group of substances found in the cannabis plant—and their major metabolites found in the blood of cannabis users interfere with two families of enzymes that help metabolize a variety of drugs. This could lead to unintended side effects such as toxicity or accidental overdose. As part of this study, the researchers will identify the cannabinoids and cannabinoid metabolites that inhibit drug metabolizing enzymes that are involved in hydrocodone metabolism. In addition, they will collaborate with associate professor Marian Wilson (College of Nursing) and others at WSU on a clinical trial to evaluate the clinical relevance of potential drug-drug interactions between cannabis and hydrocodone in humans.

Travis Denton (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University of Illinois Chicago/National Multiple Sclerosis Society
“Accelerating remyelination with lanthionine ketimine”
Remyelination is the phenomenon by which new myelin sheaths are generated around axons in the adult central nervous system following the loss of myelin in diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). This subaward provides funding for Travis Denton to collaborate on a study led by the University of Illinois Chicago to determine whether a compound known as lanthionine ketimine ethyl ester (LKE) can help accelerate remyelination. Among other tasks, Denton will synthesize the lead compound LKE along with structural derivatives that are expected to have better properties; test LKE and LKE derivatives for stability, membrane permeability, and toxicity using different cell lines; and use a set of analytical methods to quantify levels of LKE and derivatives in tissue samples from mice.

Travis Denton (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience
“Assessment of endocannabinoids in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with ALS for development of an early biomarker”
The goal of this collaborative project with Providence St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Medical Center is to identify biomarkers of ALS in cerebral spinal fluid to speed up diagnosis of the disease, extend the treatment period, and potentially lengthen the survival of individuals with ALS.

Marcos Frank (PI); Chris Hayworth – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute
“Exploratory studies of spontaneous cortical activity in visual cortical development”
This grant funds exploratory studies of the role of different brain states and spontaneous activity in the development of the visual cortex. The goal is to investigate developmental processes in the visual cortex that do not require visual experience but are influenced by endogenous neuronal activity. This initial stage of development is critically important for the formation of rudimentary circuits that are then sculpted by visual experience. Newborn mammals spend most of their time in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, which suggests that REM sleep provides a key source of endogenous activity to the developing brain. This idea has not been explored in depth using current neurobiological methods. As part of this study, the researchers will use an animal model to measure visual cortex activity in early development to determine if spontaneous activity in REM sleep is structured in a way that may instruct or maintain developing circuits. They will then directly test the role of REM sleep visual cortex activity in the development of visual response properties. The findings of this research will provide important new insights into how sleep and experience together shape developing brain circuitry and how abnormal sleep during infancy may adversely impact brain development.

David Garcia (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Department of Migrant Education
“WSU Spokane Dare to Dream Health Sciences Academy”
This award provided funding for the Dare to Dream Health Sciences Academy that was held on the WSU Spokane campus this past summer. The academy provided an opportunity for 40 high-achieving migrant students from school districts in central and eastern Washington to build their skills and abilities in the areas of health sciences, providing them with experiences, resources, and information to help prepare them for college.

Anjali Kumar (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
“Podcasting Visual Abstracts: asynchronous delivery and consumption of a surgical journal club by medical students and their community-based faculty”
The purpose of journal clubs in medical education is to present articles, discuss the implications, and provide context to results and recommendations. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine piloted an asynchronous surgical journal club among fourth-year medical students in surgery and anesthesiology clerkships, meaning that students could participate on their own schedule. This grant will support expanding on the success of the project by adding visual abstracts and audio-recorded peer reviews of selected therapy papers. In addition, faculty discussants will be invited to provide commentary. The project will be led by medical student Maeve Alterio under the mentorship of Dr. Anjali Kumar.

Georgina Lynch (PI); Sterling McPherson – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Washington Research Foundation
“Validity and Feasibility of Pupillometry Technology to Improve Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorder”
This Phase 2 Technology Commercialization Grant will expand on prior work to examine pupillary light reflex (PLR) measurements in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as way to augment current ASD screening practices by healthcare providers. This study will test the validity of a PLR prototype tool against gold-standard pupillometry technology; asses the usability of the prototype technology used by healthcare providers conducting developmental exams on young children; and compare the accuracy of health care providers’ assessment of PLR measurements obtained subjectively against the accuracy obtained with PLR technology. The researchers will also collect additional PLR data in 55 children between the ages of two and five years old with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders to assess use of technology and build out a dataset that is being developed to assess ASD risk based on this new technology.

Michael McDonell (PI); Sara Parent – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/PRISM
Sierra Health Foundation/California Department of Health Care Services
“Contingency Management Training for Native Communities in California”
This grant provides funding for the WSU Promoting Research Initiatives in Mental Health and Substance Use (PRISM) Collaborative to engage in a contingency management training initiative in partnership with six Native sites located in the state of California. Contingency management is a behavioral intervention that uses small prizes and other incentives to promote abstinence from alcohol or other substances. The goal of this project is to train treatment providers at each site on the background, proper implementation, and regulatory requirements and considerations of contingency management. The PRISM Collaborative will use a mix of traditional training sessions, coaching calls, fidelity monitoring sessions, and the provision of contingency management materials adapted to the unique needs of the California Native community to meet the goals of this project.

Michael McDonell (PI); Katherine Hirchak; Liat Kriegel; Elizabeth Weybright; Sara Parent; Nicole Rodin; Anamaria Martinez; Brittany Cooper – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/WSU Extension/College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
“Northwest Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery (NW CROP-TR)”
This award provides funding for WSU to establish the Northwest Center for Rural Opioid Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery (NW CROP-TR) in collaboration with Oregon State University (OSU). The new center will leverage the experience and expertise of two existing rural opioid technical assistance centers at WSU and OSU to meet the needs of rural communities throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska that are battling the rising use of opioids and stimulants and its consequences. NW-CROP-TR will focus on providing training and technical assistance on substance use disorder prevention, treatment, and recovery, including efforts to support behavioral health equity by providing culturally congruent training and technical assistance to the American Indian and Alaska Native communities and more than one million Latinx people residing in the region served by the center. The overall goal of NW CROP-TR is to prevent drug use and drug poisonings, support effective substance use disorder treatment and sustained recovery, and promote mental health.

Kimberly McKeirnan (PI); Megan Giruzzi; Nicholas Giruzzi; Damianne Brand; Kavya Vaitla – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
“Influenza vaccine academic detailing and community outreach in a rural, medically underserved, and underrepresented population”
This contract provides funds for faculty in the WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences to address two community needs in Yakima County, a federally designated medically underserved area with a shortage of primary health services: increasing seasonal flu vaccination rates and increasing vaccine confidence. The WSU team will address these issues by collecting vaccination data over a two-year period and creating a sustainable, provider and system-based change. They will provide tailored education and resources to healthcare providers on the benefits and importance of flu vaccine and methods of improving vaccine confidence to increase vaccination rates , as well as conduct outreach to engage directly with patients. The ultimate goal is to not only improve the current flu vaccination rates in this rural, medically underserved, and underrepresented area, but also to create a more stream-lined approach for adult vaccination in general.

Senthil Natesan (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
“The role of membrane lipids in access and binding of TRPA1 antagonists”
Transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) plays a critical role in pain and inflammation. There has been a growing interest in targeting TRPA1 with selective antagonists—substances that stop the action or effect of another substance—as potential treatment for neuropathic pain and asthma. This contract provides funding for WSU to study the role of membrane lipids in access and binding of TRPA1 antagonists. This work will advance the researchers’ understanding of the membrane lipid-ligand interactions of TRPA1 ligands, which can be used to guide optimization in drug discovery to improve the efficacy and safety of drug candidates.

Oladunni Oluwoye (PI); Solmaz Amiri; Michael McDonell – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/PRISM
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health
“Geographic Disparities in the Availability and Accessibility of Coordinated Specialty Care Programs for Early Psychosis”
Coordinated specialty care is the standard of care for early psychosis in the U.S., and approximately 350 such programs have been implemented in 49 states. Research has highlighted the importance of mental health services being available in proximity to an individual’s community. However, little is known about the spatial distribution and accessibility of these programs in the U.S. and whether their placement and distribution contribute to inequities in care. In this study, Oluwoye and her colleagues will use advanced spatial analytics to better understand geographic inequities and accessibility of coordinated specialty care programs, which can be used to inform policy and guide the future implementation of coordinated specialty care programs in high-need areas with limited access.

Lucia Peixoto (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“Understanding the interaction between sleep and SHANK3/B-catenin signaling in Autism”
Sleep problems occur at a higher rate in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than in typical development. Understanding the effects of sleep deprivation is important because it negatively affects cognition, attention, and emotional regulation. The goal of this project is to identify the mechanisms that underlie the abnormal response to sleep deprivation in autism spectrum disorder using a mouse model. The study will use mice with a specific mutation in the SHANK3 gene. Mutations of this gene in humans are a hallmark of a genetic condition known as Phelan McDermid Syndrome, a common genetic form of autism spectrum disorder. Previous studies conducted at WSU have shown that SHANK3 mutant mice struggle to fall asleep after sleep deprivation despite being sleepy, making them an excellent model organism for the study of disturbed sleep in autism spectrum disorder. Identifying the underlying mechanisms for these sleep problems may lead to new interventions that will improve quality of life of patients and their families.

Lucia Peixoto (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences
“The role of sleep on chromatin and transcriptional regulation across vertebrate evolution”
This five-year Maximizing Investigators Research Award (MIRA) provides funding for a study to test the hypothesis that one of the evolutionarily conserved functions of sleep is to influence gene expression and chromatin regulation. Chromatin is the material that packages long strands of DNA into a compact shape that fits inside cells and controls the activity of certain genes by opening and closing to allow access during transcription. It plays a vital role in learning and memory, which are critical to the survival of any species because they allow organisms to adapt their behavior based on experience. Sleep is thought to facilitate these processes. This study will use novel technology to define, for the first time, how sleep influences transcription and chromatin regulation across different cell types in two distantly related vertebrate species: the mouse and the zebrafish. The ultimate goal for this work is to serve as the basis for functional studies to define mechanisms conserved across species by which sleep can modulate gene expression and chromatin remodeling.

Bhagwat Prasad (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
“UGT2B7 quantification in human liver tissue (n=50) by LC-MS/MS”
This contract provides funding for the investigator to perform a targeted proteomics analysis of the human UGT2B7 enzyme in liver specimens from newborns and infants. UGT2B7 is an enzyme that is involved in the metabolism of morphine, a frequently used medication in hospitalized newborns. This study will provide data on variability in UGT2B7 levels in children that will ultimately be used to assess safer dosing of morphine in newborns and infants.

Claire Richards (PI); Phyllis Shulman; Kevin Harris; Gary Ferguson – College of Nursing/WSU Extension/Community Health
National Science Foundation
“Collaborative Research: NNA Research: Foundations for Improving Resilience in the Energy Sector against Wildfires on Alaskan Lands (FIREWALL)”
This four-year grant was awarded as part of the National Science Foundation’s Navigating the New Artic Program, which supports research projects to study the Arctic’s changing natural, built, and social environments. It provides funding for WSU researchers to contribute to a multi-institutional, collaborative project to develop an interactive risk-informed decision-making platform related to wildfires in Alaska, which is led by the University of Alaska Anchorage and also involves researchers at George Washington University and the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Working with electric utilities, emergency managers, forestry experts, and technology developers in Alaska and elsewhere, the research team will build a platform that will integrate the state’s vegetation regimes and short-term fire behavior; electricity network preparedness and response before, during, and following wildfires; and health vulnerability of local communities and individual residents. The platform will be tested in a number of wildfire-prone regions within Alaska. The goal of the project is to enhance public safety and resilience of the electric delivery infrastructure in Alaska when facing future wildfire disasters.

Jingru Sun (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences
“Neuronal and molecular mechanisms underlying neural regulation of innate immunity”
This five-year, competitive renewal NIH grant funds the investigator’s efforts to study the neural regulation of innate immunity—the immune system we are born with—using a tiny soil-dwelling worm known as Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a model organism. This work will contribute to the theory that there could be a predetermined setpoint for internal immunity and that the nervous system regulates immune responses to internal or external environmental changes to bring immunity back to the setpoint and restore immune balance. Sun and her team previously identified several neuronal proteins that play a role in how the nervous system and immune system interact to fight infection and achieve specificity of the innate immune system. (Specificity, the ability to respond differently to specific pathogens, was previously ascribed only to the adaptive immune system, which develops over time through disease exposure). With this new round of funding, the researchers will delve further into the underlying mechanisms that drive these processes. Findings from these studies could benefit the development of new treatments for infectious diseases and innate immune disorders.

Éva Szentirmai (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Texas Tech University/National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
“Goodnight mouse: sleep and sepsis”
This subaward provides funding for the WSU investigator to train a team of researchers at Texas Tech University on techniques to measure mouse sleep and experimental methods to study sleep effects in mice. The Texas Tech team will apply this knowledge to a project investigating the intersection between sleep and sepsis, a condition that develops when an infection induces an exaggerated immune response, which can cause organ failure and ultimately death. The goal of the study is to confirm that sleep interruption exacerbates sepsis in mice and determine the mechanism of this effect. The work will lay the foundation for future studies investigating the intersection of sepsis and sleep in humans, which could lead to interventions to improve the sleep quantity and quality of patients with sepsis or drugs to reverse the effects of poor sleep.

Marian Wilson (PI) – College of Nursing
National Science Foundation
“PMU: CIVIC-PG Track B: Equalizing Access to Non-opioid Strategies with Community-embedded Online Pain Management Tools”
Funded by the National Science Foundation in partnership with the US Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) provides funding to teams of academic and civic partners to support the rapid implementation of community-driven, research-based pilot projects that address mobility and resilience priorities. This Stage 1 planning award provides funds to Washington State University and its partners Urbanova and Goalistics, LLC, to address inequities in access to non-opioid pain management treatment, a critical problem in light of the growing opioid overdose epidemic. The three partner organizations will lead a collaboration of patients, providers, and stakeholders to seek community input on how to best use existing resources and develop new tools and strategies to enhance patient engagement. This work will be the basis for applying for Stage 2 CIVIC funding, which would provide up to $1 million to implement the team’s pilot project over a one-year timeframe. The ultimate goal for this project is to develop a suite of evidence-based online resources that are widely available and easily accessible and that demonstrate the reduction of opioid risks while improving pain management.

Jonathan Wisor (PI); Travis Denton; Chris Hayworth – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Steve Gleason Institute for Neuroscience
“Neuroprotective role of sleep and nicotinamide substrates”
This study will test the hypothesis that sleep reverses oxidative stress in the brain through a process that relies on nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3. A joint effort between researchers in the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the study will help determine the feasibility of nicotinamide supplementation as a way to reduce brain oxidative stress and protect against neurodegenerative disease.


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

Salah-Uddin Ahmed (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
“MicroRNA-based therapy for rheumatoid arthritis”
There is evidence that MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis. At the same time, recent studies suggest that in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and cancer there is a reduction in miRNA expression. In this continuing study, the research team will attempt to identify the mechanisms that underlie altered miRNA production in rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, they will use rodent models to determine the potential value of miRNA replacement therapy in treating rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers will specifically look at a family of miRNAs known as miR-17, as recent studies have provided evidence that miR-17 expression was significantly low in serum and joint cells and tissues of rheumatoid arthritis patients, as well as rats with a similar condition.

Fionnuala Brown (PI); Anne Mason; Marian Wilson; Tracy Klein; Olivia Brooks – College of Nursing
US Department of Health & Human Services; Health Resources & Services Administration; Advanced Nursing Education Workforce
“Washington State University-Advanced Nursing practice for rural, underserved in Eastern Washington (WSU-ANEW)”
These funds continue a project aimed at building expanded capacity for training family nurse practitioners and psychiatric mental heal nurse practitioners to serve in rural and underserved areas in Eastern Washington. It builds on a partnership with the Community Health Association of Spokane that includes a joint appointment of a Nurse Practitioner Faculty in Residence. The program will provide traineeships to 39 full-time nurse practitioner students, who will complete longitudinal clinical training in clinics that provide care to underserved and rural populations in Eastern Washington. It will also provide an expanded preceptor education program, as well as a marketing program that connects graduates to primary care employment in rural and underserved areas. Finally, the project will take on the challenges of substance use disorders with educational strategies to improve student, graduate, and community providers’ knowledge and confidence in caring for persons with substance use disorders.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Lonnie Nelson; Michael McDonell; Sterling McPherson; Clemma Muller; Robert Rosenman – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Community Health/School of Economic Sciences
National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
“Native Center for Alcohol Research and Education”
This award continues a five-year grant that funds the establishment of the Native Center for Alcohol Research and Education at WSU, in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Washington. The center offers research programs to identify and promote effective preventive interventions tailored to Native infants, youth, and adults in urban, rural, and frontier communities. The goal is to reduce the profound alcohol-related health disparities experienced by this underserved population and improve the quality of life of Native people with alcohol use disorders, their families, and their communities.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Ka’imi Sinclair; Lonnie Nelson; Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe; Clemma Muller; Astrid Suchy-Dicey; Celestina Barbosa-Leiker; Ekaterina Burduli – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Community Health/College of Arts & Sciences
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
“Native Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center for Minority Aging Research (NAD-RCMAR) Research Education Component”
This award provides continued funding for the operation of a Native Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Resource Center in Minority Aging Research based at WSU, in collaboration with the University of Colorado Denver and Stanford University. The center was established with the goal of better understanding and mitigating Alzheimer’s disease-related health disparities in American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. This is done by building infrastructure, bringing together resources, and recruiting and mentoring promising junior- and mid-level scientists from underrepresented minority groups to conduct Alzheimer’s disease research in Native populations.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Patrick Johansson; Ka’imi Sinclair; Clemma Muller – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of Washington/National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
“The Native Research and Resource Core and the Outreach, Recruitment, and Education Core to the Biological heterogeneity in ADRD”
This award provides continued funds for the WSU Partnerships for Native Health research program to establish a Native Research and Resource Core within the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). The goal of the core is to determine if, and under what circumstances, American Indian/Alaska Native tribal nations would be willing to allow data on their citizens to be shared with the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center. The WSU researchers will achieve this through focus groups and key informant interviews with American Indian and Alaska Native stakeholders, as well as workshops and interviews with key tribal authorities. As part of the core, they will also design culturally informed health programming, continue to engage tribal clinics in understanding and addressing dementia, and improve individual knowledge of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) at community events.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Clemma Muller; Ka’imi Sinclair; Patrik Johansson – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/College of Nursing/Community Health
National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Aging
“Natives Engaged in Alzheimer’s Research”
This continuing grant provides funding for the Natives Engaged in Alzheimer’s Research (NEAR) Center, an innovative program to better understand and mitigate health disparities related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) experienced by US Native populations. American Indians and Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are known to have a high prevalence of ADRD risk factors, including hypertension and type 2 diabetes. At the same time, improved life expectancies have resulted in a tripling of their populations’ share of people aged 65 or older over the last 50 years. Together, these two factors are expected to have a major impact on Native communities and the healthcare systems that serve them. Led by WSU, the NEAR project will bring together six major universities, 11 tribes, and 12 Native partner organizations to engage in research to reduce the clinical, social, and economic burdens associated with ADRD in US Native populations. The project will also engage a nationwide network of eight satellite centers directed by researchers who are members of the Native communities being studied.

Dedra Buchwald (PI); Clemma Muller; Patrik Johansson; Solmaz Amiri – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of Washington/Kuni Foundation
“Increasing Native Radiation Oncology Access: Disparities and Solutions (INROADS)”
This award continues funding for the WSU research team to assist with a project aimed at increasing radiation oncology access among American Indian and Alaska Native people. Led by Dedra Buchwald, the WSU team will conduct quantitative and qualitative assessments of access to cancer care, organize outreach activities to American Indian/Alaskan Native cancer patients and tribal clinical facilities, and help disseminate the findings, among other responsibilities.

Ekaterina Burduli (PI – College of Nursing
National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse
“Effective Caregiving for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: Development of an Instructional Mobile Technology Platform for High-Risk Pregnant Women”
This represents the continuation of a NIH Mentored Research Scientist Development Award for a study to address the lack of interventions to prepare pregnant opioid-addicted women for the challenges of caring for a newborn at risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). It will involve adaptation of an existing mobile NAS tool for clinician training and decision support to high-risk pregnant women, based on the recommendations on the management of NAS by neonatology experts, NAS care providers, and mothers with NAS-affected babies gathered through a series of interviews. The researchers will then test the usability, acceptability, and feasibility of the adapted mobile tool via surveys with 10 pregnant women receiving opioid agonist therapy (OAT) at Spokane Regional Health District’s Opioid Treatment Program and Evergreen Recovery Center. Finally, they will conduct a randomized controlled trial in which 30 high-risk pregnant women seen at these facilities will receive either the adapted mobile NAS caregiving tool or usual care. Outcomes compared between the two groups include maternal drug relapse and OAT continuation, maternal-newborn bonding, length of newborn hospital stays, and readmissions rates, breastfeeding initiation and duration, and postpartum depression and anxiety at 4, 8, and 12 weeks postpartum. Findings will serve as pilot data for a larger trial to test the efficacy of the adapted NAS caregiving tool at reducing poor outcomes in NAS-affected newborns and their mothers.

Naomi Chaytor (PI); Hans Van Dongen; Michael Cleveland – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences
McLean Hospital/National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
“Glycemic variability and fluctuations in cognitive status in adults with T1D”
Adults with type 1 diabetes have poorer cognitive performance than those without diabetes. Studies have shown that cognitive status is sensitive to short-term glycemic changes—changes in blood glucose levels—and that these effects differ across individuals. These short-term effects of glycemic variations on cognition are poorly understood, which may be adversely impacting everyday functioning, diabetes self-management and/or brain function. The goal of this continuing study is to determine if glycemic variability is associated with fluctuations in cognitive status within individuals; determine if stress, mood, and fatigue mediates the relationship between blood glucose levels and cognitive status; and determine if diabetes-related factors influence the association between blood glucose levels and cognitive status. The ultimate goal is to help adults with type 1 diabetes better track their cognitive status and maximize their day-to-day cognition, functional status, and quality of life.

Amber Fyfe-Johnson (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
National Institutes of Health; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
“Health outcomes in preschool; INnovations for obesity prevention. (HOP-IN)”
This continuation award funds a study of children’s health outcomes in an outdoor preschool model. The ultimate goal is to determine the model’s capacity for preventing childhood obesity, which disproportionally impacts underserved and minority populations and is a critical public health threat and a major risk factor for heart disease later in life. The study is being conducted in partnership with Tiny Trees, an outdoor preschool in Seattle, Washington, that reserves half of its enrollment capacity for children who are eligible for free or reduced tuition based on family income. The WSU team will recruit 100 children ages 3-5 who attend Tiny Trees and 100 children from the Tiny Trees waitlist who are attending a traditional indoor preschool. They will collect data on physical activity, sleep, body mass index, gut microbiome, and academic performance over the course of the three-year study period and compare findings across the two groups. In addition, they will perform a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the short- and long-term cost-benefit of the Tiny Trees outdoor preschool model.

Amber Fyfe-Johnson (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
Storer Fund at The Miami Foundation
“Health Outcomes in Preschool: INnovations for Obesity Prevention (HOP-IN)”
This award provides renewal funding to pay for a research assistant assigned to an NIH-funded project to evaluate the impact of an outdoor preschool model on health outcomes and academic achievement in early childhood (see preceding listing for details).

Janessa Graves (PI) – College of Nursing
University of Washington/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“Injury Health-related Equity across the Lifespan (iHeal)”
This award provides continued funding for WSU faculty to offer expertise and support to an Injury Control Research Center at the University of Washington-affiliated Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center. The center is focused on injury prevention related to prescription opioids, suicide, falls among older adults, and pediatric concussions. The WSU team will support the new center’s research core, and the PI will also serve as co-investigator on a project evaluating state policies and suicide training.

Luciana Hebert (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of Colorado Denver/ National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health
“Exploring Food Insecurity as a Social Determinant of Health Among American Indian and Alaska Native Adolescents at Risk for Gestational Diabetes”
Living in a food insecure household during pregnancy and prior to conception may increase the risk of greater weight gain and perinatal complications. This includes a risk of gestational diabetes (GDM) and subsequent diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, which is twice as likely to occur in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women as in non-Hispanic white women. This subaward provides funding to describe food insecurity and examine the relationship between food insecurity and healthy eating self-efficacy and behaviors among American Indian and Alaska Native adolescent girls. The researchers will achieve this through a secondary analysis of data from Stopping GDM, an online program to reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and provide preconception counseling to AI/AN adolescent girls. In combination with data from qualitative interviews, findings from this study will inform the adaptation of Stopping GDM to address food insecurity to help decrease health disparities related to gestational diabetes and break the intergenerational cycle of diabetes in AI/AN communities.

Katherine Hirchak (PI); Michael McDonell – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
“Culturally Re-Centering Contingency Management and Behavioral Economics to Increase Engagement with American Indian Young Adults”
This award provides continued funding for an NIH Mentored Research Scientist Development award for a research project focused on the development and implementation of alcohol misuse interventions for American Indian young adults. In partnership with a rural reservation community, Hirchak will use community-based participatory research to culturally re-center a contingency management alcohol intervention that pairs smartphone engagement strategies with monetary rewards to increase participation and alcohol abstinence among American Indian emerging adults aged 18 to 29. The re-centered contingency management plus intervention will be designed based on input from focus groups and interviews with young adults, providers, and cultural leaders and will be tested in a 12-week controlled trial. The trial will compare outcomes from a group of American Indian young adults engaging in risky drinking receiving the enhanced intervention to those receiving standard contingency management. The award will also fund professional development activities to enable Hirchak to become an independent investigator.

Kimberly Honn (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep & Performance Research Center
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
“Predicting heat strain in metal and nonmetal miners”
This contract provides renewal funding for expert consulting services on a study on heat strain in metal and nonmetal miners. The goal of the study is to evaluate the impact of heat exposure on cognitive functioning and whether physiologic parameters and personal risk factors can be used to predict declines in cognitive functioning. As part of the study, the researchers will perform cognitive tests on subjects when their core body temperatures reach certain thresholds. Honn will provide expert advice on cognitive test administration and analysis and interpretation of results, especially of an alertness test known as the psychomotor vigilance test. In addition, she will provide input on a research proposal being developed that would evaluate the feasibility of predicting cognitive effects of heat strain.

Ashley Ingiosi (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“Dissecting the role of neuronal-astroglial interactions in sleep homeostasis”
This award provides year-two funding for a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award funded through the National Institute of Health’s Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The award provides two years of funding for Ashley Ingiosi to receive mentored training at WSU, followed by another three years of funding to help her transition into the role of independent investigator. The grant allows Ingiosi to continue to study how astrocytes—a type of non-neuronal brain cell—interact with neurons to regulate sleep, expanding on previous findings she published in September 2020. Her work will provide additional insight into the molecular processes involved in sleep homeostasis—a process that balances sleep need, sleep intensity, and sleep amount based on prior time spent awake—helping scientists to better understand how sleep works inside the brain in both normal and disordered sleep.

Philip Lazarus (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Office of Research, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program
“Dual use of cannabis and cigarettes: Implications for tobacco harm reduction”
The number of people who smoke cigarettes while also using cannabis products is rising rapidly. The goal of this continuing study is to characterize the effects of cannabis components—THC, cannabidiol, and cannabinol—and their metabolites on nicotine metabolism. Preliminary studies by the investigator suggest that cannabinoids are inhibiting enzymes in the nicotine metabolic pathways, lowering the rate of nicotine metabolism in dual users of tobacco and cannabis. Outcomes from this study will yield new insights that can reduce tobacco-related harm and lower public health burdens related to smoking, which remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States with 480,000 lives lost each year.

Tara Marko (PI); Julie Postma – College of Nursing
National Institutes of Health; National Institute of Nursing Research
“Effects to Neonatal Outcomes After In Utero Wildfire Smoke Exposure”
This continuing study will analyze birth records from Washington State against air quality measurements during the same time period to determine the relationship between in-utero wildfire-smoke exposure on health outcomes in newborns. The researchers will look at the nine-year timeframe between 2010 and 2018. The study will use the mothers’ home addresses to estimate exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) on wildfire smoke days.

Sterling McPherson (PI); John Roll; Michael McDonell; Ekaterina Burduli; Naomi Chaytor; Matthew Layton – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health; National Cancer Institute
“An Addictions Neuroclinical Assessment Based Treatment for Smokers with an Alcohol Use Disorder”
This continuing project involves a randomized controlled trial that will evaluate whether an incentive-based behavioral treatment that reinforces alcohol abstinence combined with the smoking cessation medication varenicline could successfully reduce both alcohol use and cigarette smoking among heavy-drinking smokers. Tobacco and alcohol combined kill more than half a million people each year in the U.S., making the addiction to these two substances combined the leading cause of preventable death.

Sterling McPherson (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
“Zonisamide for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder in the Addiction Neuroclinical Assessment Framework”
This award continues a study to test an anticonvulsant medication named Zonisamide—which has shown promise in earlier studies—as a potential treatment for alcohol use disorder. A public health issue that costs the U.S. an estimated $249 billion each year, alcohol use disorder increases the risk of a variety of negative health outcomes, such as high blood pressure, liver disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and cognitive dysfunction. This new study will be a randomized controlled trial that will use Zonisamide in combination with contingency management—a rewards-based behavioral intervention—to try to reduce alcohol use in patients with alcohol use disorder in a primary care setting. The researchers will monitor participants’ medication adherence and test and compare their alcohol use during the treatment period. The goal of the study is to determine the effectiveness of Zonisamide versus placebo at decreasing alcohol use among treatment-seeking adults with alcohol use disorder.

Sterling McPherson (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; VA Portland Health Care System
“Collaborative pain care for rural Veterans with substance use disorders”
Veterans with alcohol and other drug use disorders experience high rates of chronic pain. Pain treatment for these patients can be complicated by active substance use disorders, and these complications are worse for rural Veterans who lack access to specialty pain care within the Veterans Affairs system and the community. This renewal award provides funding for WSU researchers to evaluate the perceived impact of a newly developed pain program delivered exclusively via telehealth for patients engaged in treatment for substance use disorders at two VA sites: the VA Portland Health Care System in Portland, Ore., and the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash. Led by a nurse care manager, the program includes an initial comprehensive pain assessment and treatment recommendations, up to six additional follow-up appointments, and a weekly pain education class. The nurse care manager will also help connect patients to available pain treatment resources both within VA and the community. This project will yield a pain treatment program and implementation tool kit that can be used to deliver the program to rural veterans receiving VHA care across the U.S.

Becki Meehan (PI); Lucila Loera – WSU Spokane/WSU Division of Student Affairs
U.S. Dept. of Education; Office of Postsecondary Education
“Washington State University Talent Search”
This continuing grant provides funding for Washington State University to establish a Talent Search Program in Spokane, Washington, that will identify 500 promising students from disadvantaged backgrounds and encourage and help them complete secondary school and enroll in higher education. Focusing on Shadle Park High School, Lewis & Clark High School, Shaw Middle School, and Glover Middle School, the program will connect students with high-quality academic tutoring and advising; motivate them to attend and plan for financing college; and provide enrichment activities, mentoring, and college day activities. Services will ensure that students satisfy secondary education requirements, complete college admission and financial aid applications, and enroll in higher education within the specified timeframe.

Senthil Natesan (PI); Santanu Bose – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences
“Molecular biophysics of integrin activation by oxysterols and rational discovery of small molecular modulators”
Oxysterols—which are derivatives of cholesterol–are involved in many processes in the human body, such as lipid metabolism, inflammation, innate and adaptive immunity, cancer, and degenerative brain diseases. Scientists have identified an oxysterol known as 25-hydroxycholesterol (25HC) as an important regulator of the immune system that is produced by immune cells in response to viral infection. This award provides continued funds for a study to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which 25HC and other oxysterols activate proteins known as integrins that help them bind to tissues and organs where they worsen inflammation. The researchers will also try to identify one or more molecules that can modify interactions between integrins and 25HC, which could potentially serve as a basis for future potential anti-inflammatory therapies for immune and infectious diseases.

Lonnie Nelson (PI); Clemma Muller – College of Nursing/Community Health
National Institutes of Health; National Institute on Drug Abuse
“Counseling for Harm Reduction and Retention in Medication-assisted treatment – Cherokee Nation (CHaRRM-CN)”
This is a continuation award that funds a project aimed at culturally adapting an existing harm-reduction substance use counseling approach focused on improving retention of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in American Indians with opioid use disorder. MAT is the use of FDA-approved medications—such as buprenorphine and naloxone—in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders, such as opioid use disorder. The culturally adapted approach will be implemented within the Cherokee Nation Health System, with the goal of testing its efficacy at improving 6-month MAT retention, reducing substance-related harm and illicit opioid use, and increasing Native enculturation compared to a control group who will receive treatment that uses the standard substance use counseling approach.

Cassandra Nguyen (PI); Ka’imi Sinclair – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
Institute of Translational Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health
“Characterizing the ‘real-world’ implementation of food security screening in healthcare settings”
Food insecurity—or insufficient access to nutritious food—comes with a range of negative consequences that can include chronic disease development, poor disease self-management, diminished mental health, greater healthcare costs, and increased death rates. Screening for food insecurity during well check visits allows healthcare providers to refer food insecure patients to assistance programs and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Diabetes Association. However, in a 2017 survey only 30 to 40 percent of healthcare facilities reported screening for food insecurity. This award provides renewal funding for a study to systematically characterize the variability of implementation of food insecurity screening in healthcare settings, using data on sites, providers, patients, and visits from electronic health records in a national network of 600+ community health centers. The investigator will also conduct semi-structured interviews with healthcare stakeholders to identify barriers and facilitators to screening implementation. In addition to improving researchers’ understanding of food insecurity screening in healthcare settings, this study will provide career development and mentorship resources to the investigator to facilitate her transition to independent research. Findings from the study will be used as the basis for a future NIH grant application related to improving food insecurity screening implementation in primary care settings.

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 award continues funds 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); Mary Paine; John White; Matthew Layton; Senthil Natesan; Clark Kogan – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences/Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
“Ontogeny of drug transport”
Children absorb, metabolize, and excrete drugs differently than adults do, which means dosing of drugs for children cannot be based on the adult dose. Since establishing the safety and efficacy of drugs in children in clinical trials is not always possible, researchers are working to develop a pediatric, physiologically based pharmacokinetic model that can be used to predict how children will respond to drugs. This award continues a five-year grant to help lay the groundwork toward creating such a model. In a previous phase of this project, the research team completed a quantitative analysis of how drug transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes are expressed in pediatric livers, compared to adult livers. This phase of the study will look at the kidney, the organ that plays a predominant role in clearing about 30% of prescription drugs. The data and models generated in this study will benefit children’s health by assessing the risk associated with the use of drugs in children.

John Roll (PI); Sterling McPherson; Celestina Barbosa-Leiker – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; College of Nursing
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse
“Clinical Trials Network: Pacific Northwest Node”

This award continues funding for WSU’s role in supporting the Pacific Northwest Node of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network (CTN). The Pacific Northwest Node is a multi-institution, multiple principal investigator effort to continue CTN’s mission to improve the quality of drug abuse treatment throughout the country through science.

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) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center/National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
“Strong Heart Study (SHS)- Field Center(s) 20001424 Task A”
This subaward provides renewal funding for the principal investigator to contribute research expertise and assistance to the Strong Heart Study, a long-running study of two cohorts that together form the largest, multicenter, prospective epidemiological study of cardiovascular disease in Native Americans. The study involves a partnership with 12 Tribal Nations who live in Arizona, Oklahoma, and the Dakotas.

Sergei Tolmachev (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
US Department of Energy, Office of Environment, Health, Safety & Security
“Manage and Operate the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries”
This award provides incremental funding for a five-year renewal award to manage and operate the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR). Designed as a program to improve radiation protection of nuclear workers, the USTUR studies the biokinetics and internal dosimetry of actinides (uranium, plutonium, and americium) in occupationally exposed individuals who volunteer their bodies, or portions of them, for scientific use after their death. These donations provide an opportunity to study the biological effects of radiation at the molecular level and serve as bases for epidemiological studies and standards for radiological protection. Published results of the Registries’ research contribute to the development of recommendations and standards issued by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements (NCRP).

Mark VanDam (PI); Nancy Potter – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Dept. of Speech & Hearing Sciences
Arizona State University/ National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development
“Preventing speech and language disorders in infants with classic galactosemia”
Children with classic galactosemia—a rare genetic metabolic condition—are at high risk for severe speech and language disorders and typically start receiving lengthy courses of therapy at ages 2 to 3 years, only after communication difficulties have become evident. Given that classic galactosemia is diagnosed via newborn screening, the risk for communication disorders is known at birth. This award continues funding for a pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of providing infants with classic galactosemia with a bundle of preventative speech and language services during the first two years of life, as compared to traditional therapy later on. The study will look for improvements in speech, language, and quality of life outcomes.

Marian Wilson (PI) – College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati/National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse
These are renewal 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 the 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.