New Grants 2015

Dr. Carolyn Anderson’s new R01, “PET Probes Targeting Immune Cells for Imaging Tuberculosis” was recently recommended for funding. This study will develop new PET imaging probes that target activated macrophages and neutrophils found in TB lesions, which could eventually lead to more accurate diagnoses and techniques to assess treatment response.

Dr. Panigrahy has been awarded an R01 to study the brain connectcome and neurodevelopmental outcomes in pediatric patients with congenital heart disease. The goal of this study is to evaluate the association between alterations in brain networks and neurocognitive deficits in Fontan survivors to better understand the role of developing neural architecture in cognitive-behavioral phenotypes.

The Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program has recommended funding for a clinical trial led by Dr. Ty Bae. This multi-site trial will evaluate the generic diabetes drug metformin as a novel therapy for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, a common inherited kidney disease for which there is no cure.

Dr. Shandong Wu has received R01 funding to develop and evaluate MRI-derived breast cancer risk biomarkers in women at high risk for the disease. In this retrospective study, biomarkers will be quantitated using a fully-automated computerized method developed by Dr. Wu and colleagues. The long-term goal is to eventually establish a technique for personalized assessment of risk to help guide medical decision.

Dr. Gur has received an R01 to assess the periodic screening of women with denser breast using whole breast ultrasound and digital breast tomosynthesis.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has recently approved CT-based lung cancer screening. However, this high sensitivity of this type of exam can produce ambiguous results. Jiantao Pu recently received an NIH R21 grant to investigate whether the local macro-vasculature surrounding a pulmonary nodule on CT can help determine if the lesion is malignant or not.

While bronchoscopic lung volume reduction therapy has proven useful for treating emphysema, not all patients benefit, particularly those with increased interlobar collateral ventilation (CV). Dr. Pu has shown that pulmonary fissure integrity may affect interlobar CV. He recently received R01 funding to develop a 3D anatomical lung model integrating pulmonary fissure morphology and emphysema distribution patterns to investigate their impact on lung function decline, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease progression, and interlobar CV response. He will use this information to create and validate an innovative risk stratification model to predict therapy response in emphysema patients.

Dr. Wendie Berg’s work has suggested the potential of whole breast ultrasound for breast cancer screening. She currently has R01 funding to conduct a prospective clinical trial that directly compares the performance of whole breast ultrasound with digital breast tomosythesis in women with denser breasts.

Dr. Hiro Fukuda and colleagues are interested in neurovascular coupling in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). He has R01 funding to determine whether the activation of inhibitory neurons increases the fMRI signal and whether the activation of a specific layer evokes fMRI signal changes only to that layer in the olfactory bulb. The information will contribute to a more accurate interpretation of fMRI maps.