August 22, 2011
Marquette researchers receive grants from Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute
MILWAUKEE — Seven Marquette University researchers recently received pilot grants totaling more than $230,000 from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, a consortium of eight collaborating academic and health care partners in southeastern Wisconsin.
Receiving grants are:
• Dr. Allison Hyngstrom, associate professor of physical therapy, working with Dr. Brian Schmit, associate professor of biomedical engineering, Dr. Sandra Hunter, associate professor of exercise science, P. Andrew Nelson of Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, and Kevin Keenan of UW Milwaukee, will study “Mechanisms of Neuromuscular Fatigue and Leg Function Post Stroke.” The proposal aims to improve understanding of the mechanisms of neuromuscular fatigue post-stroke in order to minimize fatigue and improve function. Findings will be used to develop new physical therapy and pharmacological interventions.
• Dr. Scott Beardsley, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, working with Dr. Robert Scheidt, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Dr. Douglas Woo and Dr. Julie Bobholz from the Medical College of Wisconsin, will study “Impairments in Sensorimotor Control and their Contribution to Tremor and Dysmetria in Persons with MS.” This study will use system identification techniques to determine how multiple sclerosis impairs the integration of sensory and motor processing in the brain, and how those impairments contribute to tremor of the arm and wrist. The objective is to differentiate the causes of similar sensorimotor impairments in patients with the long-term aim of developing targeted, individualized rehabilitation strategies.
• Dr. Anne Clough, professor of mathematics, working with Dr. Elizabeth Jacobs from Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, will study Noninvasive Detection and Assessment of Two Common Lung Injuries. The objective of this project is to develop the use of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging agents as noninvasive biomarkers of early lung disease or injury. With 1500 lung transplants performed each year in the United States, there are a large number of patients who stand to benefit from methodologies which identify lung cell death or increasing inflammation.
• Dr. Said Audi, associate professor of biomedical engineering, as the primary investigator, will be working with Dr. Girija Konduri of Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, Kirkwood Pritchard, Ph.D., Medical College of Wisconsin, Elizabeth Jacobs, MD, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin; and Dr. Mahsa Ranji of UW-Milwaukee, to study Mitochondrial Oxidative Stress in Acute Lung Injury from Sepsis. Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is one of the most common reasons both adults and children are admitted to intensive care units. Infection is the leading cause of ARDS. The proposed study will develop novel methods to assess the contributions of infection and high oxygen levels used to support patients with ARDS.
• Dr. Alexander Ng, associate professor of exercise science, will be the co-primary investigator with Dr. Douglas Woo, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin, on the Effect of Acetyl-L-Carnitine on Fatigue, Muscle Function, and Brain N- Acetylaspartate in Multiple Sclerosis. Fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) is common and debilitating. It has been suggested that L-carnitine may improve this fatigue. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether L-carnitine does improve fatigue and if so, whether it is because it improves the ability of the muscles to use oxygen, or if it improves the health of brain neurons. Results from the study may support a role for L-carnitine in treating MS.
• Dr. Brian Schmit, associate professor of biomedical engineering, will work with student Matthew Chua on the Relative Effects of Hip and Ankle Impairments on Motor Function in Multiple Sclerosis. People with multiple sclerosis (MS) often have difficulty walking because of impairment at the hip and ankle. In this study, researchers will quantify the hip and ankle impairment, and then characterize the effect of those impairments on balance. Researchers propose to show there is increased impairment at the ankles compared to the hips, and quantify the effect of this impairment on walking.
“Marquette faculty and graduate students are playing a critical role in the CTSI partnerships with our colleagues at other regional institutions,” said Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school. “The collaborative research made possible by these pilot awards will serve to support future larger scale grants with an ultimate goal of accelerating the translation of research discoveries into new and improved medical treatments.”
The CTSI is a partnership of all of the major academic institutions in the region — Marquette, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Zablocki VA Medical Center and Blood Center of Wisconsin. Formed in 2008, the institute is developing an infrastructure to enable researchers from various institutions to collaborate and to compete for federal grants.