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NIH awards ECU more than $2 million

GREENVILLE, NC   (July 3, 2008)   —   The National Institutes of Health has awarded more than $2 million this spring to researchers from East Carolina University and the Brody School of Medicine.

The grants – nine in all – will enable more than two dozen ECU faculty members from the College of Health and Human Performance, the Brody School of Medicine, and the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences to further their research that ranges from studies in pancreatic cancer and cell transport to aspects of the metabolic process in diabetes.

Several of the NIH grants will continue to fund longtime research projects. The grant funding totals $2,071,520.

“At a time when federal funding, particularly NIH funding, is increasingly difficult to obtain, it is gratifying to see this level and extent of support for ECU’s researchers. It speaks highly of the quality and maturity of the research enterprise at ECU,” said Deirdre Mageean, vice chancellor for ECU’s Division of Research and Graduate Studies, of the researchers and their grants.

The research, said Mageean, is often collaborative in nature and requires the contributions of researchers in many of ECU’s departments, and in some cases with other universities.

“It is typical of the type of translational, applied research which we emphasize here, involving interdisciplinary teams to address the vexing health problems of our state and nation,” she said. “The work of these fine researchers can result in a significant range of health benefits to patients and enrich the training of our medical and science students.”

Projects funded include the following:

• $139,650 awarded to Shaw M. Akula, professor of microbiology, to study “Analysis of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Infection Using Roman Tweezers” with colleague Yong-qing Li (physics).

• $258,379 awarded to G. Lynis Dohm, professor of physiology, to study “Muscle Glucose Metabolism in Diabetes and Obesity” with colleagues Joseph A. Houmard (exercise science); Walter J Pories (surgery); and Kenneth G. MacDonald (surgery).

• $295,502 awarded to Robert C. Hickner, professor of exercise science and physiology, to study “Reduction in CVD Risk In Children By Physical Activity” with Matthew T. Mahar (exercise science), Michael R. McCammon (Human Performance Laboratory); John M. Olsson (pediatrics), Joseph P. Garry, (family medicine), Chuck Tanner (Human Performance Laboratory); Katrina Dubose (exercise science) and Kimberly Heidal (nutrition and dietetics).

• $267,210 awarded to Joseph A. Houmard, professor of exercise science, to study “Age Related Insulin Resistance, Muscle, and Exercise.”

• $115,000 awarded to Houmard to study “Peripheral Effects of Exercise on Cardiovascular Health” with colleagues at Duke University.

• $196,653 awarded to Houmard to study “Physical Activity Following Surgery-Induced Weight Loss” with colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh.

• $211,304 awarded to Larry H. Toburen, professor of physics, to study “Electron Transport in ‘Tissue-Like’ Material,” with colleagues Jefferson L. Shinpaugh, Michael Dingfelder, Edson L. Justiano (physics), and Gerhard Kalmus (biology).

• $342,219 awarded to Christopher J. Wingard, professor of physiology, to study “Cardio-vascular Impact of Inhaled Multi-wall Carbon Nanotubes” with colleagues Robert Wardle, Michael R. Van Scott, and Robert M. Lust (physiology).

• $245,603 awarded to Emmanuel Zervos, professor of surgery, to study “KLH Pulsed Dendritic Cells plus TNFerade in Pancreatic Cancer.”


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481