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Pieces of Eight


Research Development Awards Announced

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

With the aim of supporting homegrown research, East Carolina University provided grants this summer to support the projects of 24 faculty members.

The grants, which total $427,000 for 19 projects that range from gastric bypass and diabetes research to biofeedback and reflexology, were funded by ECU’s Division of Re search and Graduate Studies.

The grants typically help researchers generate data and findings that are in turn used to net external grants. In the first two years of the program, $1.1 million in awards has led to about $4 million in additional external research grants.

This year, the grant program encouraged interdisciplinary grant requests, enabling more than one principal investigator from different departments. Four such grants were awarded this year.

Recipients of the grant awards are:

• Leslie K. Allison (Physical Therapy): “Sources of Abnormal Sensory Reweighting in Fall-prone Older Adults.”

• Kori Brewer (Emergency Medicine and Physiology): “Chronic Pesticide Exposure Alters the Endocannabinoid System and Leads to Insulin Resistance.”

• Sloane C. Burke (Health Education and Promotion): “Stress and Depression Coping Behaviors Among Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Eastern North Carolina.”

• Moahad Dar (Internal Medicine): “Gastric Bypass Surgery Cures Diabetes through Improved Insulin Secretion: A Search for Possible Mechanisms.”

• Kathryn L. Davis (Exercise and Sport Science); Patricia Hodson (Physical Therapy; and Guili Zhang (Curriculum and Instruction): “Motivate, Adapt, and Play (MAP): An Engagement Model of Physical Activity for Students with Intellectual Disabilities.”

• Paul DeVita (Exercise and Sport Science): “Positive and Negative Muscle Work in Young and Old Adults.”

• Brett Keiper (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology): “Translational Control of Growth and Apoptosis in the C. elegans Ovary.”

• Barbara Kellam (Nursing): “Reduced High Frequency Sound among Hospitalized Preterm Infants: Effect on Improved Growth.”

• Yong-qing Li (Physics): “Study of the Mechanism of Germination of Bacillus Spores via Analysis of the Dipicolinic Acid (DPA) Release from Single Spores Using Laser Tweezers Raman Spectroscopy.”

• Kwang Hun Lim (Chemistry): “The NMR Characterization of Residual Structure in Amyloidogenic Unfolded States of Proteins.”

• Loren Limberis (Engineering): “Development of a Biohybrid DNA Separation Device Featuring Fast and Linear Separation with Single Base Pair Resolution.”

• Amy G. McMillan (Physical Therapy): “Effects of Residential Camp Plus Year-long Centered Follow-up on Movement Characteristics, Activity, and Participation in Overweight Adolescents.”

• Rebecca Powers (Sociology); and Jeffrey Popke (Geography): Employers and Hispanic/Latino Workers in Eastern North Carolina.”

• Evelio Rodriguez (Internal Medicine):“Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Cardiac Muscle of Patients with Mitral Regurgitation and/or Atrial Fibrillation, and Impact of Surgical Intervention on Exercise Capacity and Mitochondrial Function in Skeletal Muscle.”

• Carmen Russoniello (Recreation and Leisure Studies); and Nicholas Murray (Exercise and Sport Medicine): “A Randomized, Controlled Study of Biofeedback Training and Video Games in Reducing Stress and Improving Mood in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease.”

• Nancy Stephenson (Nursing): “Partner-delivered Reflexology: Duration and Effects on Cancer Pain and Anxiety.”

• John E. Wiley (Pediatrics-Genetics); and Gregory A. Gagnon (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine): “Optimization and Elucidation of Immune Responses against Leukemo/Lymphogenic Fusion Proteins Derived from Chromosomal Rearrangements via Labeling with the αGal Tumor Rejection Antigen.”

• Lester A. Zeager (Economics): “Tracking the Impact of Hurricanes on the Incomes and Labor Earnings of Poor and Near-poor Households: Evidence from Longitudinal CPS Data.”

• Xiaoming Zeng (Health Services and Information Management): “The Determination of Reasons and Solutions for Low Quality ICD-9-CM Coding in Cardiovascular Cases: A Quantitative Approach.”

This page originally appeared in the Aug. 1, 2008 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at