Research Support for Minority Investigators
Under the auspices of the Tropical Disease Institute of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Ed Rowland, Ph.D., and Mario Grijalva, Ph.D., spent three weeks this summer in Ecuador. The purpose of their trip was to conduct a tropical diseases workshop in Ecuador and to create opportunities for COM students in research, health care and preventive medicine/public health activities in this developing country. Accompanying Drs. Rowland and Grijalva were two Phase II medical students (Katy Kropf and Laura Shoemaker), two international development students, one microbiology student, and Dr. Patricia Humphrey, semi-retired faculty in Biological Sciences.
The Institute's research focus in Ecuador is on vector borne diseases, especially Chagas' disease. Humans are infected with this disease from a triatomid insect, commonly known as "kissing" or "assassin" bug. It can then be transmitted to other humans by blood transfusion and from mother to fetus during pregnancy. Once infected, and if not detected soon after infection, there is no cure for Chagas' disease. Triatomids are only found in the tropical and subtropical regions of Ecuador, but the disease is emerging in the Andean regions due to the migration of the populace around this small country. The goal of this project is to help eliminate the transmission of the disease by conducting research aimed at determining the prevalence of the disease, where it is and why, and to propose intervention measures to control its spread.
The Tropical Disease Institute operates as a catalyst with researchers and public health officials in Ecuador encouraging them to become more proactive in their country's welfare. Institute representatives have trained Ecuadorian students in research techniques and provided opportunities for them to participate in collaborative research projects. These projects have been funded in part by the Office of Research. The team observed healthcare delivery at hospitals, clinics and rural healthcare centers, public health conditions and socioeconomic factors that contribute to infectious disease transmission.
Through a ten-year association with the Catholic University in the capital, Quito, and the efforts of Dr. Laura Arcos, Chair of Biological Sciences Department and Dr. Alberto Padilla, Dean of the College of Sciences, laboratory space has been allocated to OU-COM for research and educational activities in Ecuador. Drs. Rowland and Grijalva are now working with Dr. Bruce Dubin, D.O., J.D., Associate Dean Information and Planning, Dr. William Romoser, Ph.D., and Dr. Ann Fingar, M.D., M.P.H., to set up and coordinate international opportunities for COM students in Ecuador.
The Center for Appalachian and Rural Health Research is conducting a large-scale health survey and screening research program during the summer of 1999. Entitled the Southeast Ohio Health Investigation II, it is the first major collaborative effort of the Center, including investigators from COM, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Psychology, and Human and Consumer Sciences.
Two major objectives will be addressed in this study. The first involves an extension of a survey conducted during the summer of 1998. In the earlier project, respondents reported higher than expected rates of disease and lower than expected health status. The 1999 survey uses a similar instrument which includes sections related to participant demographics, functional health status, health care utilization, health problems, and food security. The survey will be completed by more than 3,000 individuals during the study period. In addition, a sub-sample of participants is being invited to participate in a medical screening component of the study. Results of the screening will be used to evaluate the validity of the participant self-reports. Approximately 1,000 participants will undergo standardized blood pressure measurement, height and weight assessment, and finger-stick blood sampling for total cholesterol, random glucose, HbA1c, and hemoglobin. Participants receive results of all screening tests within ten minutes.
The second objective of the study is to evaluate the association of survey/screening site to participant data. Data is being collected at a number of different sites within the seven counties surrounding Athens. These sites are categorized as general (malls, grocery stores, farmer's markets), community events (fairs and festivals), community organizations (senior centers, fraternal organizations, churches), and services for the disadvantaged (food distributions, family services, community action). It is hypothesized that the health profiles of people seen at the different site classifications will vary in a manner that may allow more effective targeting of "at-risk" populations and health care delivery programs in the future. As with the 1998 project, the Tri-County Community Action Agency has been an important partner in conducting this project. Through a grant from the Federal Job Training Program Act, Tri-County is providing support for 17 high school and five college and medical school students who are responsible for conducting the field and data entry components of the project. Three additional college/medical students are also participating in the conduct of the study.
Data from the project will provide a better picture of the health status of the region, information for identifying clusters of medically underserved populations, and directions for future research. It also provides preliminary information on the data collection tools and feasibility of participant recruitment. This data will be important to the development of grant applications to support larger research and service programs.
A Clinical Research Retreat, sponsored by Provost Sharon Brehm and coordinated by Jack Blazyk, Associate Dean for Research in COM, was held at the Carpenter Inn on June 24-25, 1999. The retreat was organized to address issues concerning health-related clinical research at Ohio University. The attendees included a broad spectrum of researchers from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Services, and Osteopathic Medicine. A list of the attendees follows:
Peter Bell's interest and enthusiasm for research strongly influenced the organization of a research committee at Doctors Hospital several years ago. The Central CORE Research Committee at Doctors Hospital is comprised of individuals interested in the promotion of research within the Central CORE. These individuals include clinicians, basic scientists, nurses, allied health personnel, multimedia resources, and experts within the field of research.
The purpose of the committee is to stimulate and support research activities for the entire central CORE, and provide support to the Doctors Hospital IRB by reviewing research proposals for practicality and methodology. In addition, the committee will assist in obtaining grants and other resources in an attempt to strengthen the ability to conduct research in a community hospital. The committee will also seek to identify faculty resources and expertise. Integration of research education into the student, intern and resident curriculums will be promoted by this committee.
Because Doctors Hospital has 50 medical students and 160 interns and residents, the committee's support focus will be toward the in-house staff; however they are available to help any clinicians interested in pursuing research projects. The committee is currently seeking funds to support a full-time research coordinator position at the hospital.
John Houk Memorial Research Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to partially defray costs incurred by individual graduate students conducting original research, scholarship, or creative work at Ohio University, and subsequent travel to present the results of those endeavors. The Committee has approximately $18,000 in funds to award annually. Individual awards range from $200 to $1,500, averaging $500.
The Houk Grant proposal is an exercise in grant writing. It was designed to promote the development of writing skills that will allow applicants to clearly communicate scholarly ideas to a broad spectrum of people. Therefore the primary focus of Houk Grant applicants should be to lucidly and concisely convey the content and rationale of the proposed work to the John Houk Memorial Research Grant (JHMRG) Committee. The scholarly, technical, or artistic merit of a proposed project is the penultimate criterion upon which a JHMRG proposal is evaluated.
All Houk Grant proposals are reviewed by a committee of Ohio University graduate students. Strict adherence to all application guidelines is the minimum requirement for a proposal to be considered by the JHMRG Committee. Grant proposals that do not comply with these guidelines will not be reviewed.
Proposals are due to the Office of Graduate Studies, 050B Chubb Hall, on the following dates:
PI: Audrone Biknevicius, Ph.D., Steve, Reilly, Ph.D.
Title: Functional evolution of locomotor posture in vertebrates
PI: Robert Hikida, Ph.D., Fredrick Hagerman, Ph.D.
Agency: Department of Defense
Title: Skeletal muscle, bone and fitness of pre- and post-menopausal women: Effects of strength training and ovarian hormones
PI: Richard Klabunde, Ph.D.
Agency: American Heart Association
Title: Role of oxygen free radicals in septic shock pathophysiology
by Al Pheley
The National Institutes of Health offers many programs to support the development of individuals from underrepresented minority backgrounds who have interests in research careers. Although the types of programs vary from institute to institute, they can be classified as follows:
Contact Judi Rioch at 740-593-2336 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Support research activities broadly related to cardiovascular function and diseases, stroke, or to related basic science, clinical and public health problems
Deadline: November 15, 1999
Award:July 1, 2000
Amount: $35,000 - $45,000
Grants to support research in the biological and physical sciences
Deadlines: November 1, 1999, February 1, 2000, May 1, 2000
Amount: $15,000 - $25,000
Research Project Grants (R01)
Research project grants are awarded to institutions on behalf of a principal investigator to facilitate pursuit of a scientific focus or objective in the area of the investigator's interest and competence. Institutional sponsorship assures the NIH that the institution will provide facilities necessary to accomplish the research and will be accountable for the grant funds. Applications are accepted for health-related research and development in all areas within the scope of NIH's mission.
Deadline: February 1, 2000
Award: December 1, 2000
Amount: Up to $500,000/year for up to 5 years
Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15)
The Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) is designed to enhance the research environment of educational institutions that have not been traditional recipients of NIH research funds. This award provides limited funds for faculty members of these institutions to develop new research projects or expand ongoing research activities in areas related to the health sciences and to encourage students to participate in the research activity.
Deadline: January 25, 2000
Award: December 1, 2000
October 24-27, 1999
Moscone Convention Center
San Francisco, CA