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MCG researcher among first to receive NIH stimulus funding
Date:5/19/2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. A Medical College of Georgia nurse researcher is among the first in the nation to receive National Institutes of Health stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The two-year, $147,000 grant will support at least three jobs and the research of African-Americans in the Augusta community who may suffer from cocaine-related renal disease. The recovery act seeks to create or save more than 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.

"It's the realization of a long-time dream to launch my research career and help medically underserved communities," says Dr. Beth NeSmith, assistant professor of physiological and technological nursing in the MCG School of Nursing and the grant's principal investigator.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funding also will support Stacey Crawford, a research assistant and study coordinator whose previous funding was withdrawn following the relocation of a research faculty member, and Dr. Rosalind Jones, an assistant professor of health environments and systems, who will serve as a grant sub-investigator.

The multidisciplinary research team also includes three MCG School of Medicine faculty members: Dr. Peter Buckley, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Dr. Harold Szerlip, professor in the Sections of Nephrology, Hypertension and Transplantation Medicine and Pulmonary Disease, and Dr. John Catravas, director of the MCG Vascular Biology Center and senior associate dean for basic science research.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, cocaine is the most frequently reported illicit drug associated with drug-related deaths, and African-Americans are disproportionately affected.

Dr. NeSmith hypothesizes that cocaine use, which can cause increased inflammation and lead to heart and lung disease, might contribute to renal disease in African-Americans, a group that is already at a disproportionat
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Contact: Paula Hinely
phinely@mcg.edu
706-721-3646
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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