College of Medicine researchers awarded $1.9 million for new projects

Penn State College of Medicine researchers received 75 grants in June. Six notable awards include:

“Randomized Controlled Trial of a Six-Month Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Type 2 Diabetes”

Investigator: Nazia Raja-Khan, MD, MS – associate professor of medicine

Grant Amount: $442,279 (total anticipated: $3,256,120 through March 2024)

Awarded by: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Goal: This study will investigate whether mindfulness-based stress reduction can help improve blood-sugar control in patients with Type 2 diabetes. The disease affects nearly 30 million people in the U.S., and 45 percent of people with diabetes report stress related to their illness. Stress has been recognized to play a key factor in worsening blood-sugar control and progression of Type 2 diabetes.

“Discovery of Multimodal Biomarkers for Parkinsonian Syndromes, Their Progression, and Pathological Relevance”

Investigator: Xuemei Huang, MD, PhD – Associate Dean for Physician-Scientist Development and distinguished professor of neurology, neurosurgery and pharmacology

Grant Amount: $564,243 (total anticipated: $3,761,316 through May 2024)

Awarded by: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Goal: Parkinson’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and multiple system atrophy are all classified as Parkinsonian syndromes that have similar effects on motor movements of the body. The goal of the study is to determine if specialized brain imaging and analysis of body fluids can be used to differentially diagnose these diseases.

“Endometriosis: A Novel Approach to Symptom Management with Low Dose Naltrexone”

Investigator: Timothy Deimling, MD, MS – assistant professor and vice chair for research, obstetrics and gynecology

Grant Amount: $166,600 (total anticipated: $899,640 through May 2024)

Awarded by: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Goal: The goal of the study is to determine if low doses of a drug, Naltrexone, in combination with standard of care hormone suppression can improve endometriosis-related pain and quality of life. Endometriosis is a disorder that occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of the uterus grows on the outside of the uterus, which can cause pain and discomfort.

“A Novel Agent for Lung Cancer Prevention”

Investigator: Arun Sharma, PhD – associate professor of pharmacology

Grant Amount: $382,782 (total anticipated: $582,205 through June 2021)

Awarded by: U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command

Goal: This study will test whether a novel molecule, p-XS-Asp, can inhibit lung cancer growth at various stages in a mouse model.

“Nuclear AXIN2 and Colorectal Cancer”

Investigator: Gregory Yochum, PhD – associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and surgery

Grant Amount: $50,000 (total anticipated: $148,516 through June 2021)

Awarded by: National Cancer Institute

Goal: This project will investigate how mutated components of a certain cellular signaling pathway present in 90 percent of colorectal cancers may affect gene expression and tumor growth. Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S.

“The Human Cardiovascular Control: The Role of Limb Veins”

Investigator: Jian Cui, MD, PhD – associate professor of medicine

Grant Amount: $355, 942 (total anticipated: $2,674,975 through May 2024)

Awarded by: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Goal: Orthostatic stress occurs when a person moves from a lying down to an upright position and blood volume is redistributed throughout the body. The redistribution causes a dilation of limb veins, which evokes the venous distension reflex that contributes to blood pressure control. This study seeks to further understand the venous distension reflex and how it relates to blood pressure regulation during orthostatic stress.

Read more

If you're having trouble accessing this content, or would like it in another format, please email the Penn State College of Medicine web department.