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Pieces of Eight


Grants Exceeding $275K Funded at School of Medicine

By Jeannine Manning Hutson

Four research projects led by faculty at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University have received grants from the Brody Brothers Foundation Endowment Fund at ECU totaling $275,500.

The grants were made possible through the income from an endowment established at the Medical Foundation of ECU by the Brody Brothers Foundation.

“The awarding of these grants is a true benefit to these researchers,” said Dr. John Lehman, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the medical school and associate vice chancellor for research for the ECU Division of Health Sciences.

“When research projects are awarded funds from the university or another entity, it always reflects well on the project when the researchers apply for much larger funding from the National Institutes of Health or similar organizations,” he said.

“These preliminary studies funded today will lead to data and research papers published in journals and thus, in turn, lead to national grants,” Lehman said.

The following research projects were awarded grants:

• Metformin in Secondary Prevention of Obesity in Adolescents, $15,500. Investigators are David Collier, (Pediatrics - principal investigator); Lynis Dohm (Physiology); Joe Houmard (Exercise and Sports Science); and Doyle “Skip” Cummings (Family Medicine). The grant will allow Collier and his colleagues to complete preliminary data on the medication, metformin, which is used to regulate blood glucose levels.

• Metabolomics Core Facility, $80,000. Investigators are Robert Tanenberg, Hisham Barakat and Christopher Newton (Internal Medicine); Lynis Dohm (Physiology); David Collier (Pediatrics); Walter Pories and Eric Toschlog, (Surgery); Joe Houmard and Robert Hickner (Exercise and Sports Science); Doyle “Skip” Cummings (Family Medicine); Terry Jones (Physical Therapy).

“Obesity and diabetes continue to be a great problem in eastern North Carolina. This grant will allow the researchers to purchase equipment to perform research in these areas,” Lehman said.

• Development of a Prostate Cancer Research Program, $90,000. Investigators are Fred Bertrand, James McCubrey and David Terrian, (Cell Biology and Anatomy). “This will be a molecular biology approach to studying prostate cancer.” These researchers “will be a cohesive force focused on this significant problem in older males,” Lehman said.

• Improving Laparoscopic Surgical Skills Using an Advanced Surgical Simulator, $90,000. Investigators are Todd Beste and Keith Nelson (Obstetrics and Gynecology). This grant will purchase a state-of-the-art medical simulator to train physicians and students in performing laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgery in obstetrical and gynecological cases.

Hyman Brody along with his cousin David Brody represented the Brody Brothers Foundation on the committee.

“It’s our hope that this research will bring notable results that will allow future research to occur on the national level or at the university level,” Hyman Brody said. “This is ‘seed money’ to get the research going....We’re excited that we can play a role in this.”

This page originally appeared in the Feb. 3, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/archives.cfm.