The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $700,000 to the University of Missouri-Kansas City to explore and evaluate best practices for identifying and removing lead paint hazards from Kansas City homes.
The grant is in partnership with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and Lead Safe KC Project, which helps remove lead paint hazards in homes of families with young children; and Children’s Mercy Environmental Health Program, which has assessed more than 1,400 homes for environmental risks and supports allergen research.
Homes that were built before 1978 might contain lead paint, which could put residents, especially young children and pregnant women, at risk for lead poisoning. Lead poisoning can cause speech delays, brain damage and other health effects.
Using Kansas City and Children’s Mercy data, the UMKC Center for Economic Information will perform a comparative impact analysis of the specific lead hazard control treatments used in the intervention in terms of blood-lead levels and social costs.
“The goal will be to develop a data-driven quality improvement evaluation model that HUD-sponsored lead-hazard control programs will be able to use in the management and performance evaluation of their own programs,” said Doug Bowles, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Center for Economic Information, co-principal investigator on the grant.
“An additional goal will be to develop a data-driven, housing-based index that lead-hazard control programs can use to select the homes most in need of lead-based hazard remediation,” said Steve Simon, Ph.D., of the School of Medicine and co-principal investigator on the grant.
The study will examine data from the Kansas City Health Department, comparing lead poisoning information with home repair strategies to determine the most effective, sustainable and cost-efficient methods of protecting families.
The School of Medicine Office of Research is seeking applications for the Sarah Morrison Pilot Research Fund (SPiRe), an internal grant for clinical and basic scientists. Application deadline is noon, March 1.
The grant provides support to develop preliminary data or pursue high-risk innovative research that will enable submission of highly competitive applications to national funding sources.
To be considered, research must either be performed at the School of Medicine or be in collaboration with faculty at the school where at least 50 percent of the research is performed. Tenure-track, tenured, research and clinical faculty are eligible to apply for the grant.
Standard awards are $15,000 to be spent during the course of two years. If a compelling case can be made for additional funding, up to $20,000 may be requested.
Questions prior to preparing and submitting applications may be directed to Paula Monaghan-Nichols, associate dean for research, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-235-6663. Questions about applications should be directed to Mark Hecker, director of research administration, at email@example.com or 816-235-6015.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to continue work on an important advancement to help treat the tens of millions of people who have diabetes.
The lifetime burden of constantly checking blood sugar and injecting insulin is significant. UMKC research has developed a way of delivering insulin to diabetics that eliminates pumps and most injections.
“We’re aiming to improve the lives of diabetics all over the world,” said UMKC pharmacy professor Simon Friedman, the principal investigator on the grant.
Normally, diabetics must inject themselves with insulin numerous times per day to enable the body to absorb blood sugar. The amount of insulin needed and timing vary with what an individual eats and their activity level. With blood glucose continuously varying, the insulin requirement parallels the amount of glucose in the blood.
The only clinically-used method to permit continuously variable delivery of therapeutic proteins like insulin is a pump. But they do so at a high cost: a physical connection to the outside of the patient, where the drug reservoir resides, and the inside of the patient, where drug absorption will ultimately take place. This connection in insulin pumps is a cannula — or needle — which can be dislodged, crimped, snagged, infected and most importantly, rapidly gets biofouled from moisture after implantation. This leads to variable and unpredictable delivery.
For several years, Friedman and his lab associates have been developing a method in which a single injection of a material called a PAD (photo-activated depot) can take the place of multiple normal insulin injections and allow for minute-by-minute automatic updating of insulin release. The material is injected into the skin like insulin, but lies dormant until a beam of light stimulates release of insulin, in response to blood sugar information.
The new grant will help make the technology more reliable for someone to use and easier to manage.
“With the improvements, we anticipate creating a new and revolutionary approach to continuously variable protein delivery, one that minimizes invasiveness and maximizes the close matching of therapeutic with patient requirements,” Friedman said.
Karen Kover, associate professor of pediatrics at the UMKC School of Medicine and Children’s Mercy, has been an integral member of the research team for years, and Friedman is grateful for her collaboration.
Reviewers of the grant application praised the work, and Friedman, who has won previous NIH funding, said this was his highest rated grant award.
“We are grateful for the enthusiastic response from the NIH study section, given the very competitive nature of funding at this time during the pandemic,” said UMKC Vice Chancellor for Research Chris Liu.
The project is supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the NIH.
In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. Patients need insulin to process sugar from meals.
People with type 2 diabetes make insulin, but their bodies don’t respond well to it. At first the pancreas produces extra insulin to make up for it. But over time it isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep blood sugar at normal levels.
About 34.2 million children and adults in the U.S. — 10.5% of the population — have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 25 percent use insulin shots. About 86 million people ages 20 and older in the U.S. have prediabetes.
Complications from diabetes include heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system damage and amputation.
People with diabetes risk more serious complications from COVID-19 than others who do not have the disease.
“Through research at UMKC, we strive to improve the health of not just our community but our entire population,” said Chancellor Mauli Agrawal. “We are proud of Dr. Friedman and his team’s innovation, which could significantly benefit people around the world.”
Tara Krishnan and Cynthia Liu received the top student honors for their research abstracts at the School of Medicine’s annual Vijay Babu Rayudu Quality and Patient Safety Day. The top resident/fellow awards went to Dr. Heather Morgans and Dr. Anas Al Bawaliz.
The four were chosen from a record 53 submitted abstracts and invited to make oral presentations of their research in this year’s virtual, online event on May 29. More than 100 people participated in the seventh annual event. It included an executive panel discussion of continuing challenges from the COVID-19 crisis and how it has changed the future of health care.
The School of Medicine presents the annual patient safety day program to provide an opportunity for students, residents and fellows to display their work in quality improvement and patient safety to the entire medical school community.
Both the panel discussion and the oral presentations can be viewed online.
Krishnan, a fourth-year medical student, received a top student award and presented her work on “Beeps, Squeals, and Drones: Reducing the Impact of Noise Pollution in the Operating Room.” Dr. Gary Sutkin served as her research mentor. Liu, a sixth-year medical student, was also mentored by Sutkin and presented “Semantically Ambiguous Language in the Teaching Operating Room.”
Morgans earn one of the top awards for residents and fellows with her abstract, “A Systematic Approach to Improving Metabolic Acidosis in Patients with Stage 3-5 Chronic Kidney Disease in the Nephrology Clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital.” Dr. Darcy Weidemann served as her faculty research mentor. Bawaliz, mentored by Dr. David Wooldridge, presented on “Reducing Unnecessary Inpatient Laboratory Testing at Truman Medical Center.”
Students, residents and fellows submitting the remaining abstracts were invited to create posters along with 5-minute audios, which were posted online in a virtual poster showcase.
The panel discussion, moderated by School of Medicine Dean Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., included six health care leaders from the QIPS Consortium Hospital Affiliates. The group included Mark Steele, M.D., chief operating officer, chief medical officer, Truman Medical Centers; Peter Holt, M.D., vice president of medical affairs, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City; Robert Lane, M.D., MS, executive vice president and physician-in-chief, Children’s Mercy Hospital; Timothy Dellenbaugh, M.D., assistant medical director, Center for Behavioral Medicine; Ahmad Batrash, M.D., chief of staff, Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and Olevia Pitts, M.D., chief medical officer, HCA Research Medical Center.
Three University of Missouri-Kansas City faculty members, Charlie Inboriboon, M.D.; Brian Frehner, Ph.D.; and Clara Irazábal-Zurita, Ph.D.; received prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Awards.
The Fulbright program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational program. Award recipients teach, conduct research and provide expertise abroad in a program designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and other countries.
Inboriboon, director of International Emergency Medicine Programs at the School of Medicine and associate professor of emergency medicine, received an award to Thailand where he spend six months teaching at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. His project was designed to enhance emergency medicine education by incorporating active learning into the didactic curriculum. He will also developed online learning resources to enhance individual learner feedback.
Inboriboon has led several programs in Thailand during the country’s transition to competency-based medical education.
Frehner, associate professor in the UMKC History Department, received an award to Germany where he plans to teach and conduct research for three months. Much of his time will be spent working with colleagues at the University of Hamburg to expand upon an online course that examines themes in transatlantic history and German migration from Hamburg to St. Louis, Missouri.
He will also travel to Munich to review documents in the Deutsches Museum relating to the acquisition of oil exploration technology related to geophysicial oil exploration. The research is for a book he is working on that details the science and technology of exploration geophysics that seres as the basis for oil discovery throughout the world.
Irazabal-Zurita, director of the Latinx and Latin American Studies program and professor of planning in the Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design, received an award to lecture and conduct research at the Universidad de Costa Rica. She will focus on selective (dis)affiliations and (sub)urban implications of middle-class Venezuelan migration to Costa Rica.
The project is an extension of her study of migration and urban planning in U.S. Latinx/immigrant communities and in Latin America, including Costa Rica and Venezuela. Irazabal-Zurita plans to conduct her work in Costa Rica during the summers of 2021 and 2022.
Fulbright award recipients are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. Funded through the U.S. Department of State, the program is also supported by and operates in more than 160 countries throughout the world.
The National Institutes of Health awarded a $3.3 million grant to Jannette Berkley-Patton, professor, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, to help improve diabetes prevention outcomes with African Americans.
“This is an extension of what we’ve been doing in the School of Medicine with Project FIT, which stands for Faith Influencing Transformation” says Berkley-Patton, Ph.D., director of the UMKC Health Equity Institute and the Community Health Research Group. With Project FIT, nearly 900 people have participated in the program and more than 200 medical, physician assistant, nursing and health studies and psychology students have been trained as FIT health coaches to help deliver the program.
At UMKC, Berkley-Patton has won other significant grants that focus on improving the health of African Americans, and each centers on health inequities and community-engaged research with African American community-based organizations, including places of worship because of their cultural importance. This new five-year grant, which starts on April 1, will include similar strategies. To date, Berkley-Patton’s work has been supported by more than $10 million in federal grants over the past 14 years.
The grant will tailor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Prevention Program, an evidence-based lifestyle change intervention, with 360 African American pre-diabetic participants recruited from Truman Medical Centers. The program includes 22 group sessions that take place over one year and primarily focuses on eating healthier and exercising regularly.
Preventing diabetes can help stave off other associated chronic health issues including blindness, kidney failure and heart disease.
People who participate in the CDC program aim to lose 5 to 7 percent of their body weight and exercise 150 minutes per week, which have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 60 percent. The program has also been found to outperform pre-diabetes drugs such as Metformin.
However, African Americans typically don’t fare as well, especially women and those with low incomes. Some of the issues include barriers such as cost of the program, transportation, childcare, access to healthy food and places to exercise. These barriers are often referred to as social determinants of health.
“With the grant, we’re trying to address every barrier related to social determinants,” Berkley-Patton said. “The most successful outcomes are correlated with attending the sessions – the more sessions attended, the better the outcomes.”
The grant will support linking Truman Medical Centers patients to FIT Diabetes Prevention Program classes in their home communities via church, community center or neighborhood association settings. The program will be culturally-tailored for African American adults. The program is at no cost to the participant – typically it costs $450 per year. In addition to Truman Medical Centers, program partners include several urban Kansas City churches, Calvary Outreach Network, YMCA, Chestnut Resource Center, KC Care Health Center, Children’s Mercy and the University of Kansas.
Although the grant begins this week during a pandemic that has Americans sheltering in place and working from home, the first year of the grant is a planning year.
“With this grant, we are looking forward to further refining our current Project FIT program to have trained UMKC students and community members working side-by-side as FIT coaches,” says Carole Bowe Thompson, project director, UMKC Community Health Research Group.
The program will be launched by this time next year.
“We are looking forward to getting started,” Berkley-Patton said. “We want to show participants that here’s a premiere program designed just for you.”
School of Medicine faculty member Beth Rosemergey, D.O., associate professor and director of the Community and Family Medicine Residency program, was honored recently as one of the outstanding women of Eastern Jackson County, Missouri.
For the past five years, the Independence Examiner newspaper has sponsored the annual Women of Distinction Awards. Women from the fields business, government, education and non-profit are honored based on their accomplishments and community involvement in Eastern Jackson County.
Rosemergey is the third honoree nominated by Truman Medical Center-Lakewood. Last year, Laura Doan, M.D., a 1984 UMKC School of Medicine graduate and University Health women’s care provider, was a Women of Distinction honoree. Lynette Wheeler, TMC Lakewood chief operating officer, was honored as Outstanding Woman of the Year in 2018.
An awards ceremony was to have been taken place on March 13. The event and announcement of this year’s Outstanding Woman of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award have been postponed until the end of April.
The mother of an autistic child, Rosemergey is passionate in her advocation for special needs children and their families. She has worked with local schools to develop programs that address the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and was instrumental in developing state guidelines for the care of autism patients.
Rosemergey also serves as vice chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine and medical director of the Bess Truman Family Medicine Center.
A graduate of the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, she completed her family practice residency at UMKC and Truman Medical Center Lakewood and joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1992.
Keerthi Gondi, a fifth-year medical student, and Kathryn Kyler, a bioinformatics student, were selected as the School of Medicine’s winners of the 2019 Health Sciences Student Research Summit. This year’s research event on April 17 at the UMKC Student Union drew a record 66 student posters from the medical school.
A panel of faculty judges selected the top three poster presentations among BA/MD students and chose the top two presentations from School of Medicine graduate students.
Gondi presented the winning poster, Symptomatic Versus Asymptomatic Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension in Children. The second-place award for BA/MD students went to Nikhil Havaldar, fourth-year student, with a poster presentation on Epidemiology of Human Rhinovirus in School-Aged Children and Adolescents with Medically Attended Acute Respiratory Infection. Yicheng Bao, fourth-year student, was the third-place winner with a poster on Visual Field Loss in Patients with Diabetes in the Absence of Clinically-Detectable Vascular Retinopathy.
In the graduate student category, Kyler presented the winning poster, The Association of Weight with Drug Dosing Variation in Children Hospitalized with Asthma. Second place went to Poghni Peri-Okonny, a graduate student in cardiovascular outcomes research, with the poster presentation, Blood Pressure Variability and Cardiovascular Outcomes in Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction.
This year’s faculty judges included Sarah Nyp, MD; Jessica Markham, MD; Maria Cole, PhD; Jennifer Qayum, MD; Amanda Montalbano, MD; Sean Riordan, PhD; Janelle Noel-Macdonnell; PhD; Jennifer Dilts, MD; Nilofer Qureshi, PhD; Alain Cuna, MD; Peter Koulen, PhD; Bridgette Jones, MD; Jared Bruce, PhD; Dan Heruth, PhD; Rosa Huang, PhD; Kamani Lankachandra, MD; Xiangping Chu, PhD; Wail Hassan, PhD; Jannette Berkley-Patton, PhD; and Mike Wacker, PhD.
The research summit also included students from the health sciences schools of dentistry, pharmacy, nursing and health sciences, as well UMKC’s School of Biological Sciences. This year’s summit drew a record 100 research posters.
Five medical students have been selected as recipients of the 2019 UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund awards.
The students, Noor Alshami, Donya Jahandar, Elizabeth Onishchenko, Krishna Patel and Subhjit Sekhon, were selected from a pool of applicants from throughout the university. They will be formally recognized during a reception by the Women’s Council at the Grand Street Cafe on March 7.
The awards are given to UMKC women students in post-baccalaureate approved programs. They are used to assist students in completing requirements for graduation and first professional degrees, facilitate studies beyond the classroom, and to enrich and encourage educational experiences.
Alshami received an award with a designation of outstanding merit. Her award will support her research efforts with Children’s Mercy Heart Center Research. She was recommended for the award by Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.C., associate professor of pediatrics, and Mike Wacker, Ph.D., associate teaching professor, associate dean of academic affairs..
Jahandar’s award will provide aid for travel as she conducts surgical research. Jared Keeler, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and docent, and Kristen Wright, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor of biomedical sciences, are faculty who recommended her for the award.
Onishchenko received the award to help prepare for upcoming USMLE Step 2 CK and CS exams. Faculty members Darla McCarthy, Ph.D., associate teaching professor, assistant dean curriculum, and Julie Banderas, Pharm.D., F.C.C.P., B.C.P.S., chair of Graduate Health Professions in Medicine, assistant dean of graduate studies, recommended her.
Patel also received an award with outstanding merit to support travel to national cardiology meetings to present research. John Spertus, M.D., professor biomedical and health informatics, and Timothy Bateman, M.D., professor of medicine, are faculty members who recommended her for the award.
Sekhon received an award for her research proposal to study maternal-fetal reactions to acute emotional stress in prenatal depressed mothers and correlations with fetal ultrasound measures. Prakash Chandra, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry, and Brenda Rogers, MD, FAAP, FACP, associate dean of student affairs, recommended her for the award.
The School of Medicine Student Research Program has awarded 12 Sarah Morrison Student Research Awards for the Fall 2018 cycle. Recipients included nine medical students and three graduate students.
Sarah Morrison awards of up to $2,500 are presented to School of Medicine students each year in April and October. The awards help students become involved in and learn about a wide variety of research activities based on their interests. The research may be in the basic sciences or in clinical medicine.
Students may develop their own hypothesis and work plan or work on an established research project with their mentor. Winners of the awards are expected to present the results of the research at a School of Medicine student research event such as the UMKC Health Sciences Student Research Summit) or a similar venue as recommended by Research Administration.
More than 100 students have received Sarah Morrison awards since 2013 with an estimated $155,000 of financial support provided from the program to conduct research projects at the School of Medicine.
The next application deadline for students interested in receiving a Sarah Morrison research award is March 1 for the April award. Applicants are reviewed by a committee of faculty judges and processed through the Office of Research Administration.
Fall 2018 Sarah Morrison Research Awards
(Recipient / Faculty Mentor / Project title)
Yicheng Bao, MS 4 / Betty Drees, M.D., Professor, Dean Emerita / Prevalence and Risk Factors of Depression Among Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy
Shannon Demehri, MS 6 / John Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Westport Anesthesia/Missouri Endowed Chair for Research / Regulation of Src Family Kinases in the Rat Brain by Adenosine
Abygail Dulle, MS 5/ Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., Professor, Associate Dean for Research Administration / Prenatal Glucocorticoid Exposure for Preterm Birth: Investigating The Role Of Glucocorticoid Receptor Phosphorylation In The Development Of Neuropathology
Ankit Kadakia, MS 4 / Paula Monaghan-Nichols, Ph.D., Professor, Associate Dean for Research Administration / Role of Synthetic Glucocorticoid Exposure in Ocular Development and Pathology
Cynthia Liu, MS 4/ Gary Sutkin, M.D., Professor and Associate Dean of Women’s Health, Victor and Caroline Schutte Chair in Women’s Health / The Prevalence and Effects of Ambiguous Language on Communication Errors in the Operating Room
Andrew Peterson, MS 5 / Xiangping Chu, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences / Modulation of Heteromeric Acid-Sensing Ion 1 a/3 Channels by Zinc
Amber (Lelia) Sarvestani, MS 6 / Geetha Raghuveer, M.D., M.P.H., Professor of Pediatrics / Long Term Outcomes and Survival Following Repair of Truncus Arteriosus With and Without Interrupted Aortic Arch Utilizing Linkage of the Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium with the National Death Index and Organ Procurement Transplantation Network Datasets
Som Singh, MS 2 / Li Zhang, M.D., Professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics / The Effect of GM26870 Gene Expression on Acetaminophen Hepatotoxicity
Kevin Varghese, MS 2 / Alain Cuna, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics / Effectiveness and safety of repeat use of postnatal steroids for bronchopulmonary dysplasia
Firas Al-Badarin, grad student / Tim Bateman, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine and Radiology / Cardiovascular Outcomes of Patients with Normal Positron Emission Tomography and Single Photon Computed Tomography Myocardial Perfusion Imaging
Kathryn Kyler, grad student / Kim Smolderen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Health Informatics / Variation in medication dosing and guideline adherence by weight status for commonly prescribed medications during pediatric asthma hospitalizations
Ali O. Malik, grad student / Paul Chan, M.D., Professor of Internal Medicine / Association between hospital reimbursement models and rates of normal elective coronary angiograms