Medicine faculty earn grants to advance training, discovery

10/20/2010 - By: Anne McMillin

Bodily fluid warming devices for the battlefield and reduction of cardiovascular disease risk through lifestyle changes are just two of the research and education projects by faculty members from the University of Nevada School of Medicine that have been recently funded by grants.

John Fildes, professor of surgery, earned a $3 million grant from the Office of Naval Research to finish the final revisions to a portable fluid infusion warmer and conduct safety and efficacy testing on the device for obtaining Food and Drug Administration approval.

The School of Medicine Trauma Institute and Rocky Research, an engineering company in Boulder City, Nev., have developed this portable high speed blood and infusion warmer prototype that can administer blood or fluids to critically injured soldiers.

Patti Swagger, director of the School of Medicine’s Nevada Geriatric Education Center, was awarded a $2.1 million grant to develop interdisciplinary geriatrics training in falls, type 2 diabetes and co-morbidities, health literacy and general geriatrics care.

Dean Burkin, associate professor pharmacology, earned a two-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in the amount of $275,000 to investigate the therapeutic benefits some new small molecules that his research team discovered in the mouse models for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In addition, Burkin’s muscle cell-based test to screen novel drugs for the treatment of muscular dystrophy and understand gene regulation has been selected to screen the large molecule libraries (around 350,000 compounds) at the NIH Chemical Genomics Center in Washington, D.C., and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Center in San Diego.

Doina Kulick, assistant professor of internal medicine, was awarded a $234,000 grant by the National Center for Research Resources of the NIH as part of the Nevada IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence project housed at the School of Medicine under the direction of James Kenyon, professor of physiology and cell biology. The award will fund a two-year translational research project for the cardiovascular risk reductions and lifestyle interventions in primary care.

Melissa Piasecki, professor of psychology and behavioral science, Melissa O’Brien, the director of the School of Medicine’s Office of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, and Richelle O’Driscoll, director of internal and external relations for the Division of Health Sciences, were awarded an inter-professional training grant for $49,600 from Pfizer. This grant will be applied toward developing a curriculum for faculty to create, deliver and evaluate simulation trainings with students from schools within the division.


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