Navigation Links
Jefferson researchers receive $3.9 million in Challenge grants

(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 Health, will receive $1 million over two years to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of an intervention called Beat the Blues, a 10-session home-based intervention to treat depression in older community-dwelling African Americans.

"As the prevalence of late-life depression among older African Americans is high, an economic evaluation of Beat the Blues has great potential for improving the lives of this vulnerable population," Dr. Gitlin said.

Dr. Gitlin and her team will calculate the cost and cost-effectiveness of Beat the Blues, which is being studied in a randomized two-group experimental design. Beat the Blues involves trained social workers who meet with the participants to provide depression education, develop tailored action plans to accomplish behavioral goals and teach stress reduction techniques, among other activities.

Maurizio Pacifici, Ph.D., director of Orthopedic Research, will receive $1 million over two years to study Hereditary Multiple Exostosis Syndrome (HME), a rare autosomal dominant disorder that affects about one in 50,000 children and adolescents. It is associated with bone malignant tumors, and causes growth retardation, continuous pain and limited mobility and fatigue.

"This project will thus provide a renewed sense of hope to patients and families alike that this neglected disease will actively be studied and a cure may one day be found," Dr. Pacifici said.

Dr. Pacifici and his team propose to identify and test mechanisms of HME pathogenesis in animal models. They will then test whether exostosis formation can be prevented by pharmacologic interference with a key growth plate signaling factor called Indian hedgehog. In preliminary studies, this signaling factor was abnormally distributed and its redistribution was followed by exostosis formation.

Scott Waldman, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, will receive $1 million over two years to study the role of a colorectal cancer marker called GUCY2C in detecting occult metastases in African-American patients with the disease. Currently, there are disparities in the outcomes of African-American vs. Caucasian patients diagnosed with early-stage colon cancer.

"We believe that African-American patients might have a higher rate of occult metastases in the lymph nodes," Dr. Waldman said. "We also believe this can be overcome using molecular analyses compared to routine pathological analyses."

Dr. Waldman and his team will conduct a retrospective analysis comparing the results of African-American patients and Caucasian patients diagnosed with early-stage colorectal cancer. They will look at the utility of using GUCY2C as a variable to identify occult metastases in the lymph nodes, and see how the tumor burden of GUCY2C compares between African-American and Caucasian patients.


Contact: Emily Shafer
Thomas Jefferson University

Related medicine news :

1. Jefferson specialists studying innovative surgery for effectively treating sleep apnea
2. Jefferson immunology researchers halt lethal rabies infection in brain
3. Jefferson radiation oncologists use real-time system to plant seeds against cancer
4. Jefferson researchers find personalized interventions key to improving colon cancer screening rates
5. Jefferson researchers uncover new evidence of prolactins possible role in breast cancer
6. MicroRNAs may be key to HIVs ability to hide, evade drugs, Jefferson scientists find
7. Jefferson scientists find protein may be key in developing deadly form of pancreatic cancer
8. Jefferson oncologists show focused radiation is effective as surgery against nerve tumor
9. Jefferson researchers find stem cells in degenerating spinal discs, potential for repair
10. Jefferson researchers show chemotherapy and radiation together extend lung cancer patients lives
11. Jefferson neuroscientists show anti-inflammation molecule helps fight MS-like disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in ... that delves into an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to ... dialogue, this show is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men ... prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown ... helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients ... central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that ... viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... workshops to discuss bioavailability and the need to integrate dose form selection in ... collaboration with OBN, the membership organization supporting and bringing together the UK’s emerging ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... retro-fused, self-animating trailer titles with ProTrailer: Vintage. This newly styled ProTrailer pack comes ... titles work with any font, giving users limitless opportunities to stylize and create ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- --> --> ... potential to save costs, improve treatment quality and accelerate ... exploited as yet. Here, particular emphasis is placed on ... tablet or directly at the patients, bedside. ... -->      (Photo: ) ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... -- Research and Markets ( ) has announced ... 2015-2019" report to their offering. ... the author the present scenario and growth prospects of ... the market size, the report considers revenue generated from ... and copper IUDs. The report forecasts the global intrauterine ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 Un nuevo enfoque ... para el cáncer avanzado.   --> ... fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el cáncer avanzado.   ... inmunoterapia con la terapia fotodinámica de Bremachlorin para el ... . --> Clinical Cancer Research . ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: