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Clinical Projects

“Assessing the Effectiveness of Vitamin K2 and/or Vitamin D3 Supplementation on
Neuromuscular Function, Muscular Strength, and Bone Density in Older Patients
with Hip Fractures”
Jean McCrory, Ph.D., School of Medicine, West Virginia University and Frank Shuler, M.D., Ph.D., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University ($49,996)

This study will examine the effectiveness of addition vitamin K12 combined with vitamin D3 supplementation on neuromuscular function and bone density during a six month period following hip fracture repair.


“Better Outcomes for Children through Safe Transitions”
Kamakshya Patra, M.D., School of Medicine, West Virginia University and Audra Pritt, M.D., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University ($36,120)

This study will test the feasibility, acceptability and effectiveness of a comprehensive intervention designed to improve the transition of care of pediatric patients who are discharged from hospital to home care.


“Effects of Two Simple 12-week Mind-body Programs on Indices of Inflammation, Cellular Aging, and Genomic Profiles in Older Adults with Early Memory Loss”
Kim Innes, Ph.D, School of Public Health, West Virginia University and Donald Primerano, Ph.D., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University ($50,000)

This project will extend preliminary work to assess the effects of 12 week Kitan Kriya meditation and music listening programs on inflammation and genetics in adults with subjective cognitive decline, which is a condition strongly linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.


“Childhood Antecedents of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease; Implementing Findings from WV School Screenings”
Jeff Harris, M.D., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University and Lee Pyles, M.D., M.S., School of Medicine, West Virginia University ($50,000)

To improve cardiovascular health in West Virginia, this project will use screening results from the Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Appalachian Communities (CARDIAC) program to develop strategies to identify families that will benefit from a careful look at their cardiovascular risk. The project will examine actual and virtual reverse cascade screening (finding parents at risk from the identified high risk children) to determine if using CARDIAC results is effective in reaching the parents before the onset of adult cardiovascular disease.

Translational Projects

“Long-term effects of e-cigarette vapor exposure on the respiratory system structure and function”
Piyali Dasgupta, Ph.D., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, and Mark Olfert, Ph.D., School of Medicine, West Virginia University ($50,000)

This study will investigate the cellular, molecular and physiological effects of electronic cigarette vapor in mice exposed to 7 months of daily e-cigarette vapor. This study will measure heart and lung function in rodents to provide robust and comprehensive analysis of the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.


“Personalizing chemotherapy for treatment of AML for patients in West Virginia”
James Denvir, Ph.D., Joan C, Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University and Lori Hazlehurst, Ph.D. School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University ($48,304)

This project will utilize, and add to, data in the West Virginia Cancer Genomics Network in order to identify genetic mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) specific to the West Virginia population. Those mutations will be compared to The Cancer Genome Atlas to identify any that are specifically overrepresented in this population and to find mutations that correlate to durability of response. Additional testing will be done to identify mutations in those specimens that are candidates for predicting outcome of in four treatment classes. The long-term objective of this research, for which this project will provide preliminary data, is to allow clinicians to choose a more precise AML treatment regimen that will be personalized for the individual patient, via combining ex-vivo drug testing and mutational analysis of tumor cells.


“Polypharmacy and its health consequences
among West Virginia Medicaid beneficiaries”
Brittany Riley, Pharm.D., M.S.,School of Pharmacy, Marshall University and Xi Tan, Ph.D., Pharm.D., School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University ($41,814)

This project will provide a better estimation of the polypharmacy (simultaneous use of multiple drugs) rates by integrating the various definitions of polypharmacy in terms of number of drugs, simultaneous use, duration of use, and types of chronic conditions. The team will analyze the risk factors and the impact of polypharmacy on healthcare utilization and costs in the West Virginia Medicaid population.


“Using a whole exome sequencing approach to enhance the treatment of pregnant women with opioid use disorder and their neonates”
Richard Egleton, Ph.D., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University and Laura Lander, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W., School of Medicine, West Virginia University ($50,000)

This project will examine neonatal abstinence syndrome by looking at genetic factors in mothers and infants that may contribute to the development of the condition. Current treatments used and outcomes will also be evaluated at Cabell Huntington Hospital and Ruby Memorial Hospital.


“Adaptive metabolic rewiring in precision therapy lung cancer drug resistance”
Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University and Patrick Ma, M.D., M.S.C, West Virginia University Cancer Institute ($50,000)

This is a collaborative project designed to synergize the preclinical and translational research expertise of Drs. Ma and Hardman in the area of cancer metabolism and cellular adaptive reprogramming and could ultimately lead to innovative therapeutic strategies to combat drug resistance and to improve survival outcomes in this lethal disease. They will utilize state-of the-art next-generation RNA sequencing and metabolomics profiling to decipher the molecular drug escape mechanisms. Better understanding of the mechanism(s) of genomic-metabolic rewiring in the emergence of drug resistance will allow the design of strategies to circumvent the development of resistance to cancer therapy.