Bryce Marquis, Ph.D.

Project title: Amino acid supplementation for improved physical function in geriatric heart failure patients

MarquisBryce Marquis, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Geriatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine. The KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award will support his project testing nutritional therapies to improve respiratory efficiency for heart failure patients.

Heart failure is prevalent in the elderly, comprising 6-10 percent of the population over the age of 65 and carrying a 35 percent risk of death within the first year of diagnosis. Exercise is an effective treatment strategy but heart failure patients suffer from reduced respiratory efficiency that limits their mobility and ability to exercise. This respiratory inefficiency is in a large part due to the impaired mitochondrial oxidative capacity found in heart failure patients. Marquis’ work aims to improve this oxidative capacity using nutritional therapies that have been previously found to be effective treatment strategies for other diseases where mitochondrial energetics are diminished. These therapies are designed to increase mitochondrial protein turnover and biogenesis while improving oxidative substrate availability.

He anticipates the results of this work will direct the development of a new nutritional approach that can be used alone or synergistically with exercise to improve health outcomes in heart failure patients.

Marquis joined the College of Medicine faculty this year from the University of Central Arkansas, where he was an assistant professor of chemistry. He received his doctorate in analytical chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He was also a National Research Council postdoctoral associate at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Md.

Mentors
Robert Wolfe, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Geriatrics

Gohar Azhar, M.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Geriatrics

Jeanne Wei, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Geriatrics
Director, Reynolds Institute on Aging

Elisabet Borsheim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Gunnar Boysen, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health


 Shona Ray-Griffith, M.D.

Project title: Neuropathic Pain in Pregnancy

RayShona Ray-Griffith, M.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the UAMS College of Medicine. She also has a secondary appointment as assistant professor in the college’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Ray-Griffith’s KL2 Mentored Research Career Development Award project is the first study using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to treat neuropathic pain in pregnant women. rTMS uses a magnetic force to change the way nerves work in the brain. Because it is non-invasive and localized, rTMS is attractive for use in special populations, such as pregnancy.

Neuropathic pain is caused by problems in the nervous system and commonly occurs in pregnancy. Managing neuropathic pain in pregnancy is difficult because treatments can have a direct effect on infant outcomes. Ray-Griffith believes rTMS may be an acceptable alternative to medications. The overall goal of her study is to define the course, management, and pregnancy outcomes of neuropathic pain in pregnancy and the acute postpartum period. The study will enroll 60 pregnant women. Over a 15-month period, all participants will receive treatment as usual, while those diagnosed with neuropathic pain will be offered rTMS as a treatment option.

Ray-Griffith joined the UAMS College of Medicine faculty in 2013 with clinical appointments in the Women’s Mental Health program and as a psychiatry consult and liaison. She received her academic appointments in 2014. She was a research fellow in the Women’s Mental Health Program and also served her residency and internship with the Department of Psychiatry. Ray-Griffith received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and she is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Mentors

Zachary Stowe, M.D.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry

Pedro Delgado, M.D.
Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Director, UAMS Psychiatric Research Institute

Everett Magann, M.D.
Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology