June 24, 2015

TRI Awards $350,000 for Seven Pilot Research Studies

The UAMS Translational Research Institute (TRI) has approved research pilot study awards for seven researchers totaling about $350,000.

The annual awards of about $50,000 each are made to studies with the strongest likelihood of leading to improved health and health care. For the first time this year, pilot awards were also offered for studies that address common barriers to research, such as the development of tools or approaches that could be used in the future by other researchers.

“The Translational Research Institute is excited about the potential findings that will be generated from this year’s group of pilot awardees,” said Laura James, M.D., institute director. “The awards span diverse areas ranging from better approaches to identify cancer using state-of-the-art detection systems to understanding how a particular drug class could improve the treatment of depression. In addition, for the first time, a portion of our pilot awards will focus on developing methods and tools that can help facilitate research for others in the future.”

Also a first this year, TRI invited community and professional stakeholders to participate in the evaluation of the pilot studies alongside scientific reviewers. The practice is in keeping with the translational research goal of ensuring that studies have stakeholder engagement, meaning the input of lay people, clinicians and professionals in the health industry.

The 2015 pilot awardees and their project titles are:

Laura Hutchins, M.D., College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Hematology: Development and implementation of video assisted process for the UAMS tissue biorepository and procurement service
Magomed Khaidakov, M.D., Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology: Sessile serrated adenomas/polyps – search for biomarkers of malignant potential
Il-Young Kim, Ph.D., College of Medicine, Department of Geriatrics: Role of dietary protein intake on whole body protein in the elderly
Tamara Perry, M.D., College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics: Exploring the effects of sleep patterns and physical activity on asthma in adolescents with wrist-worn smart devices
Ronald Salomon, M.D., College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry: Ketamine effects on dorsal raphé function in depression
Scott Warmack, Pharm.D., College of Pharmacy, UAMS Northwest Campus: Participant preferred dissemination methods
Vladimir Zharov, Ph.D., D.Sc., College of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology: Photoacoustic diagnosis of circulating clots in cancer patients