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Jefferson researchers receive $3.9 million in Challenge grants
Date:11/3/2009

(PHILADELPHIA) Four researchers from Thomas Jefferson University have received $3.9 million in Challenge grant funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The NIH has designated at least $200 million in 2009 - 2010 for this new initiative called the Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research. More than 800 Challenge grants across the country have been funded. This program supports research on "Challenge Topics" which address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that will benefit from significant 2-year jumpstart funds. Challenge Areas, defined by the NIH, focus on specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways. The research in these areas should have a high impact in biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health.

Flemming Forsberg, Ph.D., professor of Radiology, will receive $895,000 over two years to study a method of measuring portal venous pressure to aid in the diagnosis and management of portal hypertension, which is defined as elevated internal pressure in the hepatic portal vein.

"Increased pressure in the blood vessels of the liver can lead to significant complications, including internal bleeding and death," Dr. Forsberg said. "An accurate marker for portal hypertension would impact literally millions of Americans with liver disease."

Dr. Forsberg and his study team will study a novel ultrasound technique called subharmonic-aided pressure estimating (SHAPE), which is a noninvasive procedure used in the diagnosis and management of portal hypertension. The SHAPE algorithm will be tested first in canines, and then in 45 human patients that undergo a trans-jugular liver biopsy at Jefferson.

Laura N. Gitlin, Ph.D., director of the Jefferson Center for Applied Research on Aging and H
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Contact: Emily Shafer
emily.shafer@jefferson.edu
215-955-6300
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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