UAMS Translational Research Institute Awards $493,000 for 10 Pilot Research Studies

By David Robinson

The one-year pilot awards of about $50,000 each are made to studies that have the strongest prospects for being “translated” to public use. Results of the pilot studies will be used to pursue larger research grants.

“The Translational Research Institute is providing our talented scientists the resources they need to make meaningful discoveries that will benefit the people of Arkansas and the United States,” said Curtis Lowery, M.D., director of the Translational Research Institute. “We’re excited about this group of recipients and the work they’re doing.”

The researchers, who are faculty in the College of Medicine, and their project titles are: 

  • Alexei Basnakian, M.D., Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology: Clinical Testing of the Novel Carbamylated HDL Assay
  • Michael Borrelli, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Radiology: Multimodality Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme
  • Alexander “Sandy” Burnett, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Targeting Endometrial Cancer with Metformin in Obese Patients
  • Jennifer Fausett, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry: Functional MRI Predictive of Cognitive Risk in DBS (deep brain stimulation)
  • Richard Frye, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics; Prenatal Neuromagnetic Biomarkers for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Robert Griffin, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology: Understanding GRID Radiation Therapy Effects on Human Tumor Oxygenation and Interstitial Pressure to Increase Translation for Solid Tumor Therapy
  • Richard Kurten, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics: Mechanisms of Clinical Relevance for Controlling Smooth Muscle Function in Human Airways
  • Mayumi Nakagawa, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Pathology: HPV 16 Cross-Reactivity and Cross-Protection
  • Prasad Padala, M.D., M.S., associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry: Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Apathy in Mild Cognitive Impairment
  • Michael Stroud, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics: Tele-Transport: Combining Mobile Patient Assessment with Critical Care Outside Tertiary Care Centers

The UAMS Translational Research Institute’s mission is to help accelerate research that will improve the health and health care of people in Arkansans and across the country. It was established with major funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2009 and is one of 60 NIH Clinical and Translational Science Awardees. The institute’s funding from NIH flows through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS).

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. Named best Little Rock metropolitan area hospital by U.S. News & World Report, it is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has more than 2,800 students and 790 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including about 1,000 physicians and other professionals who provide care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com.