Major Grants and Awards

Congratulations to the researchers and scholars across campus who recently have received significant grants and awards across a range of disciplines. Your creativity, innovative thinking, and accomplishments are worthy of celebration.

Alicia
Allen
College of Medicine

Hormonal Response to Infant Caregiving: A Novel Strategy to Break the Opioid Relapse Cycle During the Postpartum Period

While pregnancy presents a strong motivation to seek and comply with OUD treatment, up to 80% of women relapse to illicit opioid use within six months of childbirth. Hormones (e.g., progesterone, oxytocin) have been linked to both substance use disorders and infant caregiving activities. The goal of this award is to to use new technologies and methodologies to directly address the current limitations and enhance the cross-discipline dissemination of knowledge to utilize hormonal level(s)/pattern(s) to protect against opioid relapse during the high-risk postpartum period.

Grantor:
National Institutes of Health
Amount:
$2.3 million
Year:
2020
Leila
Barraza
Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Coronavirus State Hospital Improvement Program

Rural hospitals have struggled with a unique set of challenges long before the coronavirus pandemic, which has placed even more burdens on these much-stressed health-care providers. To assist Arizona’s rural hospitals, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded the University of Arizona Health Sciences $1.35 million to support the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program (SHIP) at the UArizona Center for Rural Health in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
 

Grantor:
HRSA
Amount:
$1,329,072
Year:
2020
Collaborator(s):
Dan Derksen
UArizona
Timothy
Bolger
Molecular & Cellular Biology

Regulation of the Translational Response to Cellular Stress

Cells frequently face adverse conditions such as toxic substances or a lack of nutrients, and they respond by altering protein synthesis and the expression of their genes in order to ensure their survival. The research in this proposal will reveal how this occurs by studying the regulation of the protein synthesis machinery in response to cellular stresses. Misregulation of these cellular processes is common in both cancer and aging.

Grantor:
National Institutes of Health
Amount:
$1,558,100
Year:
2020
Scott
Carvajal
Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health

Understanding Ecologic Stress, Risk and Health Resiliencies in Mexican-Origin Adults Living in a High-Poverty Rural Community

The research project will identify cultural, social and behavioral factors that offer protection in a community with a complex picture of very high rates of diabetes and social conditions that cause stress, such as seasonal unemployment, physical chaScott Carllenges from farm work, and lack of health coverage. Yet this population, despite systemic mistreatment also contributing to stress the team will also investigate, statistically holds other known health advantages relative to the U.S. population as a whole. The study’s premise is that cultural factors and social networks are key health protective processes, which the team plans to investigate using quantitative and qualitative components that build upon one another.

 

Grantor:
National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities, NIH
Amount:
$2,419,124
Year:
2020
Collaborator(s):
Maia Ingram, Rebecca Crocker, Karl Krupp, Cecilia Rosales, Jill de Zapien, Tad Pace, John Ruiz
UArizona
Eli
Chapman
College of Pharmacy

Redoc and Protein Homeostasis in Arsenic Tumorigenicity

Arsenic is an environmental carcinogen the effects 200 million people worldwide. Yet, the underlying cause of arsenic mediated carcinogenesis remains without a molecular explanation. These studies will explore the relationship between redox and protein homeostasis and how this can lead to arsenic-derived tumors.

Grantor:
National Institutes of Health
Amount:
$1.5 million
Year:
2020
Ying-hui
Chou
BIO5 Institute

Enhancement of Hippocampal Plasticity Using Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive brain modulation technique that has been used as a treatment for depression, migraine, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. In this R01 project, we will apply TMS to individuals who are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and develop a personalized, MRI-guided TMS protocol to enhance their memory function.

Grantor:
NIH/NIA
Amount:
$3,468,515
Year:
2020
Collaborator(s):
Lee Ryan, Carol Barnes, Gene Alexander, Steven Rapcsak, Nan-kuei Chen, Jane Mohler, Edward Bedrick, Julia Fisher
UArizona
Elizabeth
Connick
College of Medicine

Using Sleep Health to Optimize Smoking Cessation Treatment Response in HIV-Positive Adults

In adults living with HIV (ALHIV), cigarette smoking is the single largest reversible risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in this population. Poor sleep is also independently associated with CVD risk and linked to decreased success with smoking cessation. The purpose of our award is to evaluate whether a sleep training approach combined with standard smoking cessation therapy (varenicline) will improve smoking cessation in ALHIV smokers who would like to quit smoking. Our study will compare the supplementary sleep training intervention to a general health training intervention in effectiveness in smoking cessation in 200 ALHIV smokers. Implementing a sleep training approach to existing smoking cessation treatments could potentially improve success rates for smoking cessation, thus creating a new avenue to reduce CVD risk in ALHIV. We are being recognized for this award for our unique approach to improving the health of ALHIV through collaboration with multiple disciplines of health.

Grantor:
National Institutes of Health
Year:
2020
Collaborator(s):
Michael Grandner
University of Arizona
Darren
Cusanovich
College of Medicine

Beyond Pseudotime: Enhanced Single-cell Genomics Tools for Understanding the Temporal Dynamics of Development and Disease

The Cusanovich lab creates new genomic technologies and applies them to difficult problems of development and disease. We are particularly interested in studying how the lung develops and changes in diseases like asthma and COPD. This grant will fund our work to develop better tools for understanding how gene expression and gene regulatory patterns change over time at single cell resolution.

Grantor:
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIH)
Amount:
$1,822,950
Year:
2020
Arne
Ekstrom
College of Science

Precision and Binding as Two Dimensions of Medial Temporal Lobe Amnesia

There is widespread consensus that lesions to the human medial temporal lobes result in a profound loss of long-term verbal memory, termed "amnesia." A growing body of research, however, challenges this modular view of brain function, suggesting that damage to the human medial temporal lobes also results in deficits in perception, working memory, attention, language, and navigation. Yet how such deficits might arise cannot be accounted for by most contemporary models of medial temporal lobe function. Here, we propose a new model of medial temporal lobe function that relies on two independent dimensions: representational precision and binding. We will test this model with patients who have lesions to their medial temporal lobes as a result of stroke and hypoxia and with patients who are scheduled to undergo surgeries to treat epilepsy. The expected outcomes of this grant will provide a more complete account of the effects of damage to the human medial temporal lobes on cognitive function. Our work with patients scheduled to undergo surgery to treat epilepsy can also help predict and potentially address any accompanying cognitive deficits following medial temporal lobe excisions.

Grantor:
National Science Foundation
Amount:
$3.1 million
Year:
2020
Collaborator(s):
David Labiner, Matt Grilli, Jessica Andrews-Hanna
UArizona
Francine C.
Gachupin
College of Medicine

Achieving American Indian Youth Energy and Mental Health Balance

The study seeks to develop and test a culturally relevant, community-led intervention that incorporates principles of mind-body medicine (MBM) skills training and parental/caregiver engagement to support American Indian youth in achieving healthy lifestyle choices and reducing risk for obesity and related metabolic diseases.

 

Grantor:
National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, NIH
Amount:
$2.8 million
Year:
2020
Collaborator(s):
Melanie Hingle, Cynthia Thomson, Denise Roe, Noshene Ranjbar
UArizona