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Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

Grant and Contract Awards

FY2023, 3rd Quarter Summary
(January 1 – March 31, 2023)

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)

Solmaz Amiri (PI); Jonae Keffeler – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
Office of Research, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program
“Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Access to Opioid Treatment Programs, Buprenorphine Providers, and Pharmacies in Washington State”
This internal grant from WSU’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program funds an undergraduate research fellowship for Jonae Keffeler, a student in the WSU Honors College. Under the mentorship of Solmaz Amiri, Keffeler will conduct a study related to racial and ethnic differences in opioid overdose deaths. As part of the study, Keffeler and Amiri will estimate and compare disparities in travel distance to opioid treatment programs, buprenorphine providers, and pharmacies in Washington State. They will use Washington State Department of Health mortality data from 2011 to 2020 to identify people who died from an opioid overdose and calculate the travel distance in miles from these individuals’ place of residence to the nearest opioid treatment program, buprenorphine provider, and pharmacy. They will then compare disparities in access by race, controlling for demographic and other characteristics. Study results will inform policy to improve access to health care for individuals with opioid use disorders.

Michaele Armstrong (PI) – SP3NW
Health Sciences & Services Authority of Spokane County
“HSSA/WSU SP3NW BSL1 Wet Lab Equipment”
This grant provides funds to SP3NW—WSU’s early-stage, membership-based business incubator for scalable technologies—to purchase laboratory equipment to create a shared wet lab incubator space that will serve community startups. This expansion and diversification of physical incubator space will simplify the recruitment of early-stage companies by encouraging proximity to specialized service centers and reducing the upfront financial barriers to success.

Celestina Barbosa-Leiker and Astrid Suchy-Dicey (co-PIs); Brian French – College of Nursing; Elson. S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health; College of Education
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Aging
“Bilingualism as a protective factor of ADRD in American Indian adults: the Strong Heart Study”
American Indian populations are more likely to simultaneously suffer from cerebrovascular disease—such as stroke—and Alzheimer’s disease than non-Hispanic white U.S. populations and may also have a greater burden of cognitive decline and dementia. Bilingualism—which is common in American Indian communities—may reduce cognitive risk, but research on bilingualism in this population has been limited. Bilingualism is a highly individual experience, and the context of use can modify its effects on cognition. Building on the Strong Heart Study—a long-running study of aging in American Indian adults over three geographic regions—this study will be the first to culturally adapt a language use and history instrument to evaluate bilingualism in a large number of American Indians of multiple generations in conjunction with cognitive performance testing. Findings from this project will have potential implications for future prevention and treatment strategies in this understudied population.

Keti Bardhi (PI); Philip Lazarus – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Office of Research, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Program
“Identification of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase isoforms involved in the phase II metabolism of R- and S-temazepam, and the inhibition of temazepam glucuronidation by major cannabinoids and their metabolites”
Benzodiazepines such as diazepam, oxazepam, temazepam, or lorazepam are commonly prescribed mental health conditions medications that are known to reduce anxiety, promote sleep, relax muscles, and prevent or treat seizures. Dual users of benzodiazepines and cannabis or cannabis-derived products have increased significantly in recent years as recreational and medical cannabis products have become more widely available in the USA and worldwide. Preliminary data gathered in the Lazarus lab suggests that cannabis constituents and their metabolites inhibit the major UGT enzymes involved in the metabolism of oxazepam, potentially resulting in potential adverse drug events and drug-drug interactions. UGT enzymes involved in the metabolism of temazepam—a benzodiazepine used to treat insomnia and relieve anxiety—are still unknown. In this study, the researchers will identify the UGT enzymes involved in temazepam metabolism and describe the inhibitory effects of major cannabinoids and their metabolites on temazepam metabolism.

Christopher Davis (PI); Christopher Hayworth; Jonathan Wisor – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep and Performance Research Center
National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
“The Role of Medium Spiny Neurons in Sleep-Deprivation-Induced Cognitive Rigidity”
Previous WSU research in both humans and rodents has shown that cognitive flexibility—the ability to adjust decision-making strategy based on changing feedback during real-time tasks—is impaired after sleep deprivation. This results in cognitive rigidity, or the inability to change behavior or beliefs when they are ineffective at reaching a desired outcome. Despite these findings, the negative impacts of sleep loss on adaptive decision-making have only recently been recognized as a cause for concern, and there is a critical unmet need for studies that show the underlying mechanism of these impairments in the brain. This study will use rodent models to advance the understanding of these mechanisms by identifying brain circuits and cellular processes involved in these impairments that could be used to mitigate sleep loss-induced cognitive dysfunction and target potential intervention strategies.

Janessa Graves and Shawna Beese (co-PIs) – College of Nursing
American Association of Colleges of Nursing/National Institutes of Health
“Geographic, Racial, and Ethnic Disparities in Mental Healthcare Access among Participants in the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program”
This grant provides funds for a 9-month research project on access to mental health services. Access to mental health services is a growing concern in the United States, specifically in rural and underserved communities. Little research has been done to understand the barriers faced by historically underrepresented populations in accessing services in rural communities. As part of this project, the researchers will determine the relationships between mental health access and barriers, rurality, race, and ethnicity within data from the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program. The All of Us Research Program is an effort to gather health data from one million or more people living in the U.S., with a specific focus on enrolling people who haven’t taken part in or have been left out of health research previously. Goals for the WSU research project include estimating the prevalence of mental health conditions and comparing the use of mental health services in rural and non-rural populations; testing whether underlying factors—such as race—change the association between mental health conditions and rurality and use of mental health care services and rurality; and comparing the likelihood of encountering barriers to accessing healthcare services between historically underrepresented participants in rural areas and other rural participants.

Liat Kriegel (PI); Michael McDonell – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/PRISM
Volunteers of America Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho/Department of Health and Human Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
“Whole-Person Health Home Evaluation”
This grant provides funds for the WSU team to evaluate the Whole-Person Health Home Certified Community Clinic being developed by Volunteers of America Eastern Washington & Northern Idaho, which provides shelter, transitional, and permanent supportive housing and intensive case management to 2,200 youth and adults annually. The clinic will serve teens, youth, adults, and veterans experiencing homelessness in Spokane County. This includes individuals at high-risk of becoming homeless and those who are chronically homeless, populations that have been historically underserved by the traditional model that requires participants to remember appointment details and make childcare and transportation arrangements to be able to attend. Previous office-based mental health care offered to its residents had a no-show rate of more than 50 percent, demonstrating the need for a more innovative treatment model to better engage this population. Based on a pilot project, the new clinic will provide outreach, engagement, harm reduction, and mental health services directly within its residential properties to increase rates of treatment acceptance, engagement with care, and positive outcomes for participants.

Courtney Kurinec (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Sleep & Performance Research Center
Sleep Research Society
“The Role of Sleep Loss in Individual Susceptibility to Misinformation”
As more adults forego sleep to use electronic social media, the risk of sleepy individuals encountering misinformation increases. Although the threat of misinformation to public health and safety is well-known, whether and how sleep loss makes an individual more susceptible to misinformation has not been well studied. This research will determine whether individuals who experience more social jetlag—the discrepancy between biological time as determined by the body’s biological clock and social times dictated by social obligations and habits—are more vulnerable to the influence of misinformation. Healthy adult sleepers between the ages of 18 and 40 will record their sleep and wake times for one week before coming into a controlled laboratory setting to complete a misinformation task. Findings from the study will provide vital information on the role of sleep in the spread of misinformation. They will also be used as the basis for a future NIH grant application to better understand the underlying memory and learning processes affected by sleep that may increase an individual’s susceptibility to misinformation.

Luis Manriquez (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Association of American Medical Colleges/US Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“COVER (Community-Oriented Vaccine Engagement and Relationship)”
The Community-Oriented Vaccine Engagement and Relationship (COVER) Spokane program will partner with CHAS Health and the Spokane Regional Health District to work with equity-focused community organizations whose leaders are members of the HERO (Health Equity Racial Organizing) Initiative. The leadership team of the HERO Initiative and the organizations represented are focused on developing and organizing community-oriented health care services for minority communities, including Black and indigenous people and people of color. The goal of the COVER Spokane program is to work with patients and families to identify barriers to vaccines and determine what supports are needed for women and young families to get vaccinated. The WSU team will work with CHAS Health and the Spokane Regional Health District to develop community-oriented delivery of vaccines through tailored community events and use of individualized services such as mobile medicine.

Michael McDonell (PI); – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/PRISM
Montana Primary Care Association/Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
“Montana Primary Care Association – Contingency Management”
The PRISM (Promoting Research Initiatives in Substance Use and Mental Health) Collaborative works in partnership with communities to develop, test, and disseminate community-driven interventions to improve the lives of individuals living with substance use and mental health disorders. As part of this project, the PRISM Collaborative will help the Montana Primary Care Association develop and implement a contingency management model that is adapted to the unique needs of the target populations in Montana. Contingency management is a behavioral treatment that uses small prizes and other tangible incentives to promote abstinence from addictive substances. The WSU team will train treatment providers at each site on the background, proper implementation regulatory requirements, and considerations of contingency management, as well as provide technical support.

Michael McDonell (PI); – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/PRISM
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee/Wisconsin Dept of Health Services
“University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Contingency Management”
This grant provides funding for the WSU Promoting Research Initiatives in Mental Health and Substance Use (PRISM) Collaborative to help the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee implement a contingency management intervention in the state of Wisconsin. Contingency management is a behavioral intervention that uses small prizes and other incentives to promote abstinence from addictive substances. The goal of this project is to train treatment providers at each site on contingency management, its background, proper implementation, regulatory requirements, and other considerations.

Kimberly McKeirnan (PI); Megan Willson; Jennifer Robinson; Kathryn MacCamy – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Department of Health and Human Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
“Responding to Patients in Need: Mental Health Training for Pharmacists, Student Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians”
This grant provides funds for the WSU team and community partners to provide Mental Health First Aid training to pharmacists, student pharmacists, and technicians in the Pacific Northwest and faculty from other schools or colleges of pharmacy across the U.S. Mental Health First Aid is an internationally available training program that helps participants identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The goal of this project is to expand access to mental health resources and services at the community level by leveraging pharmacy personnel. The project will aim to improve participants’ comfort, confidence, willingness, and skill in providing care to patients contemplating suicide or experiencing other mental health challenges; increase knowledge of and access to community behavioral health and suicide prevention resources and referral options; and provide participants with the opportunity to self-reflect on the state of their own mental health. Over the course of five years, the project will train over 800 pharmacy personnel in Mental Health First Aid.

Kimberly McKeirnan (PI); Taylor Bertsch – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Merck & Company
“A nation-wide survey to systematically explore the impact of immunizing pharmacy technicians on community pharmacy immunization program resilience”
The goal of this project is to gather information about the impact of pharmacy technicians providing immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will survey and explore pharmacy technicians’ perceptions of the impact of administering immunizations on pharmacy immunization service delivery, vaccine hesitancy, pharmacy teamwork and workflow, and the technicians’ careers and job satisfaction. The project team intend to use their findings to develop a rationale to support the ongoing opportunity for pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations nationwide. Doing so would increase the resilience of community pharmacy-based immunization programs by increasing the number of immunizers and reducing the workload on pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians could also be employed to immunize medically underserved and remote populations by offering home visit immunization services and reducing vaccine hesitancy for patients of all ages.

Erin Morgan (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of Colorado – Denver/ National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
“Perceptions of Masculinity and Health Behaviors Among Native Men”
American Indian men have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of type 2 diabetes among U.S. men. Participation in clinical trials and diabetes intervention programs is quite low among American Indian men, which could be in part due to influence of perceived gender roles and social norms around health behavior. This project leverages the Strong Men, Strong Community study to understand the role of masculinity in diabetes prevention. The Strong Men, Strong Community study was a clinical trial of a culturally appropriate adaptation of the Diabetes Prevention Program that aims to improve diet and increase exercise among American Indian men at high risk for diabetes. Using data from that study, the researchers will evaluate relationships between perceptions of masculinity and current diabetes prevention strategies (diet, exercise, healthcare engagement) at baseline and conduct longitudinal analyses with data collected at follow-up visits over 12 months to assess how these relationships and views of masculinity change over time with continued participation in the intervention. Findings from these analyses will uncover whether influencing views on manhood may be one effective strategy to improve diabetes-related outcomes for American Indian men and will inform future diabetes interventions on the importance of incorporating cultural perspectives of masculinity into the curriculum.

Oladunni Oluwoye and Liat Kriegel (co-PIs) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/PRISM
Department of Health and Human Services Administration, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
“Community Based Mental Health Education and Awareness Initiative in Eastern Washington”
This grant provides four years of funding to start a community-based mental health education and awareness initiative in Eastern Washington. The goal for the initiative is to increase mental health literacy, resources, screening and referrals for psychosis and other mental health problems experienced by Spokane County youth aged 15 to 25. Through the initiative, the WSU team will provide annual training to 200 service providers and community members on how to recognize signs and symptoms of serious emotional disturbances and serious mental illness in youth. The training will be based on the Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid curriculum, which has been adapted to include training on screening tools for early onset psychosis. Additional goals for the project include educating service providers on valid screening tools for identifying psychotic disorders and making referrals to coordinated specialty care programs for early psychosis; increasing referrals to mental health services and coordinated specialty care programs; and providing public mental health education and events that address stigma, mental health equity, and community concerns.

Jessica Ullrich (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
The Spencer Foundation
“Re-centering Indigenous Concepts of Educational Success to Promote Systemic Change”
This project is aimed at helping Alaska Native tribes to take advantage of an opportunity to work with the state of Alaska to develop and administer their own tribal education programs that reflect indigenous values. The colonial education system has been detrimental for Alaska Native/American Indian and indigenous children in the United States and elsewhere around the world. Assimilation, racism, and disconnect have been embedded in the education system. Indigenous students are harmed by the current educational measures of success because many do not ascribe to the colonial ideals and values of individualism and competition, as well as capitalistic ideas of profit and productivity. As part of this project, the WSU team will partner with tribal communities in Northwest Alaska to conduct research that will help them identify priorities, needs, strategies, and hopes and dreams for a transformed education system and measures of success from an indigenous, decolonizing lens.

Boyang Wu (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
US Department of Defense; Defense Health Agency
“Novel Role and Therapeutic Targeting of LMO4 in Lethal Prostate Cancer”
This grant funds a three-year study on the role of a protein known as LMO4 in lethal prostate cancer. Aggressive forms of prostate cancer often do not respond to treatment and spread to distant parts of the body. They are also frequently accompanied by features of neuroendocrine cancer, which begins in specialized cells that have traits of both hormone-producing endocrine cells and nerve cells. Widespread use of enzalutamide—a hormonal treatment for prostate cancer that blocks testosterone’s effect in the body—triggers changes in cells that have been recognized as a mechanism for rapidly developing treatment resistance and progression of prostate cancer toward terminal stages. This includes metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC). However, the molecular mechanisms that cause prostate cancer to transition to an aggressive state is still mostly unclear. In preliminary studies, the WSU researchers identified LMO4 as a strong potential driver of the growth, survival, invasion and therapy response of enzalutamide-resistant mCRPC cells. In this study, they will build on those preliminary findings to investigate the functional role, mechanistic basis, and therapeutic targeting potential of LMO4 in lethal forms of prostate cancer, including mCRPC and NEPC. Ultimately, this work could lead to new treatments to prolong survival in patients with late-stage prostate cancer.


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

Naomi Bender and Leila Harrison (co-PIs); David Garcia; Alyonna Bangayan-Tielmann – WSU Health Sciences Spokane; Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Oregon Health Sciences University/Indian Health Service
“INMED RISE: Reimagine IndianS into MedicinE”
This grant provides continued funding for the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine’s INMED RISE: Reimagine IndianS into MedicinE program, which offers access, mentoring, and exposure to American Indian and Alaska Native ullrich(AI/AN) students interested in health professions. It funds two major program activities: (1) the RISE Summer Academy at WSU Health Sciences Spokane and the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, which is targeted to college-level AI/AN students interested in attending medical school; (2) the WSU expansion of the Wy’East post-baccalaureate program based at Oregon Health & Science University. The College of Medicine will select up to four students for four of the five funding years to participate in the Wy’East program, offering them conditional acceptance upon successful completion.

Amanda Boyd (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health
University of California – Los Angeles/American Heart Association
“Community Engaged, mHealth and Data Science to Enhance Clinical Trial Diversity and Cardiometabolic Health”
This subaward provides supplemental funds for postdoctoral fellow Juliana Garcia to conduct a study aimed at identify key factors that facilitate or hinder American Indian participation in clinical trials, with the goal of increasing clinical trial participation in this underrepresented population. The study will leverage an existing randomized controlled trial titled “Cognition After OSA Treatment Among Native American People” (CATNAP). Within that trial, the researchers will conduct a study to estimate clinical trial awareness and identify factors associated with participation in clinical trials in a national sample of American Indians. Next, they will develop and test the effect of a novel randomized controlled trial, “Research is Ceremony,” on study enrollment and retention among 225 American Indian CATNAP participants. Findings from the study will help advance the science of diversity in clinical trials and may be broadly applicable to other populations.

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.

Dawn DeWitt (PI); Marian Wilson; Tracy Klein; Connie Remsberg; Skye McKennon – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; College of Nursing; College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
US Department of Health Resources & Services Administration, Bureau of Health Workforce
“Cornerstone: Rethinking Education on Substance use through inter-Professional Education and Rural Community Training (RESPECT)”
This award provides a funding increase for a five-year project to train faculty, students, and rural primary care providers in Washington State on interprofessional education approaches to caring for patients at risk for opioid use disorder. The program will build on an interprofessional curriculum that was previously created and piloted by the core WSU project team. The curriculum is a team-based facilitated interprofessional education simulation that uses standardized patients to enhance student learning about providing care to patients taking opioids. It will be used to train faculty and students in a variety of health professions disciplines—including medicine, nursing, physician assistant, pharmacy, social work, and chemical dependency—as well primary practice teams at rural clinic sites across Washington State. The curriculum will be tailored, implemented, and continuously evaluated across five years’ time with an active examination of changing policies and best practices on opioid use for pain and opioid use disorder.

Denise Dillard (PI); Erin Morgan; Eric Lofgren – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/Community Health; Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health
National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
“COVID-19: Marshallese: Alternate Surveillance for COVID-19 in a Unique Population”
Marshallese Pacific Islanders bear a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death, with rates up to 25 times higher than those of other US racial and ethnic groups in the continental United States. Marshallese represent just 1% of the population in Spokane County, Washington, but were nearly 30% of COVID-19 cases between March and May 2020. Social determinants of health have powerful influences on community and individual risks for COVID-19. Culturally, the Marshallese community is extremely tight-knit, self-contained, and highly clustered; they often live in multi-generational households; and they traditionally value close contact and large social events, all of which increase vulnerability to COVID-19. This award provides renewal funding for a WSU project to develop and test culturally tailored, participatory approaches to disease surveillance and prevention to reduce COVID‑19 disparities in this high‑risk population that has been profoundly underserved by public health policies. The intention is to extend the improved methods that are generated to other high‑risk groups and have these mechanisms at the ready to combat future viral threats.

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 supplemental funding to pay for study supplies for an NIH-funded project to evaluate the impact of an outdoor preschool model on health outcomes and academic achievement in early childhood. The Health Outcomes in Preschool: INnovations for Obesity Prevention (HOP-IN) will partner with Tiny Trees, a preschool in Seattle, Washington, with an entirely outdoor, play-based curriculum. The study will collect data on the physical activity, sleep, body mass index, gut microbiome, and academic performance of 200 children ages 3 to 5 for a period of five years. This includes 100 children attending Tiny Trees and a control group of 100 waitlisted children who are currently attending a traditional indoor preschool. The researchers will compare various outcomes between the two groups and will also perform a cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the longer-term sustainability of the Tiny Trees outdoor preschool model.

Michael McDonell (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine/PRISM
Catholic Charities of Spokane/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Administration for Children and Families
“Rising Strong Regional Partnership: Family Centered Treatment with Housing”
This subaward continues funding for a five-year project to evaluate the effectiveness of Catholic Charities of Spokane’s Rising Strong program. Rising Strong is a treatment program that serves families with children at risk of entry to foster care due to abuse or neglect by parents with substance abuse disorder. The program provides parents and children with housing and an array of other services to help them recover, heal, and thrive. The evaluation team will collect data to determine whether Rising Strong is associated with increased child well-being, parent recovery, and family stability, as well as enhanced child safety, as compared to a matched group of families not participating in the program.

Kimberly McKeirnan (PI); Megan Undeberg – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Empire Health Foundation
“Building the Prototype of a Regional System that Will Increase Access to Quality Patient Care through Medication Optimization”
This is renewal funding for a project in which WSU is partnering with Better Health Together and the Alliance for Integrated Medication Management to develop, implement, and evaluate a prototype medication delivery system to serve patients with chronic disease in seven counties in eastern Washington. The partner organizations have worked with primary care providers, pharmacies, and community partners in the counties to develop the system, which offers integrated medication management and medication optimization and has the potential to improve patient outcomes, increase access to care, and decrease costs. This round of funding supports the WSU team’s goals of demonstrating the value of the project work, supporting the project team as they provide ongoing patient care, developing a certificate training program for the advanced medication care coordinators, and supporting attainment of sustainable financing.

James Record (PI) – Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
University of Washington
“Washington State University Family Medicine Residency Network – Pullman, WA”
This grant provides renewal funding for WSU’s family medicine residency program at Pullman Regional Hospital, a critical access hospital that covers rural southeastern Washington as well as parts of Idaho and Oregon. This residency program helps enhance access to care, improve quality of patient care, and address the regional physician shortage while at the same time providing excellent clinical education and a superb clinical learning environment for residents, medical students, and other clinical learners.

Victoria Sattler (PI); Kristin Courtney; Kelly Kleiderer – College of Nursing; Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine
Washington State Department of Health
“Youth Sexual Health Mentorship in Rural Communities”
This award provides renewal funding for a project to implement a sexual health curriculum for 7th and 8th graders as part of the existing Stevens County mentorship program. The goal of the project is to address recent increases in the rates of sexually transmitted infections, unwanted sexual contact, and dating violence among youth in Washington State. The Stevens County mentorship program was developed in 2019 as a way to bring the idea of health care careers and healthy living to the minds of young people. It is offered in four rural school districts in communities that have teen pregnancy rates higher than the state average and disproportionally higher rates of sexually transmitted infections in minority populations. By implementing this youth sexual health curriculum into the existing mentorship program, youth will learn about their own sexual health and how they can positively impact the health of others within the role of a healthcare professional.

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).

Sergei Tolmachev (PI) – College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
US Department of Energy, Office of Environment, Health, Safety & Security
“Amendment to Proposal to Manage and Operate the United States Transuranium and Uranium Registries”
This award provides supplemental funding for WSU 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. The supplemental funds allow for USTUR to increase laboratory tissue analysis and strengthen internal research.

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 continues 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.