Five research teams from Loma Linda University Health win grants


Loma Linda University’s Office of Research Affairs and Faculty of Medicine recently announced that five pairs of research teams have respectively won scholarships for research and school partnerships (GRASP) and scholarships to promote collaborative and translational research (GCAT).

A panel of 36 senior researchers selected the four GRASP winning teams from a field of 17 applications involving 34 co-principal investigators from six schools at Loma Linda University. Thirty-six reviewers also selected the winning GCAT team from a pool of three applications.

Loma Linda University Health has seen an increase in external funding over the past two years, according to Michael Samardzija, PhD, vice president of research affairs at Loma Linda University Health.

“We want to continue investing in the most promising projects in the hope that the data collection that these funds provide will provide a solid basis for future externally funded grants that would provide solutions to unmet medical needs,” did he declare.

The following teams received the $ 75,000 over 24 months:

  • Michael J. Davidson, MSE, MPH, CPO, assistant professor at LLU School of Allied Health Professions, and Lisa Zidek, MPT, supervising physiotherapist at Loma Linda University Medical Center – Medical Center GRASP
  • Mark R. Bussell, DPT, Assistant Research Professor, LLU School of Allied Health Professions, and Christopher G. Wilson, PhD, Professor, LLU School of Medicine – LLU GRASP
  • Olumide Abiodun, MBChB, MPH, FWACP, faculty member, Department of Community Medicine at Babcock University in Nigeria, and Oleksandr Dubov, PhD, associate professor at LLU School of Behavioral Health – International GRASP
  • Colleen A. Brenner, PhD, Associate Professor, LLU School of Behavioral Health, and Salvador Soriano Castell, PhD, Associate Professor, LLU School of Medicine – LLU GRASP
  • Julia J. Unternaehrer, PhD, Assistant Professor, LLU School of Medicine, and Yevgeniya J. Ioffe, MD, Associate Professor, LLU School of Medicine – GCAT

Davidson and Zidek’s study – titled “The performance of an articulated ankle prosthesis in walking and balance tasks in people with transtibial amputation” – will test a new and new prosthetic leg to see how much it improves the experience of a person walking, sitting, standing and balancing tasks.

Bussell and Wilson’s study – titled “Investigation in Potential Physiologic Mechanisms of Intraneural Facilitation Treatment of Neural Ischemia” – will study the physiological changes that occur with intraneural facilitation, a method of physical therapy that increases the coupling between capillary beds and peripheral nerves in patients with peripheral limb lesions that are commonly seen in diabetic patients.

The study of Abiodun and Dubov – titled “Optimizing access to HIV self-testing based on the preferences of key populations in Nigeria: a discreet choice experiment” – will investigate the acceptability of HIV self-testing among key Nigerian populations and assess how these groups at risk value various attributes of hypothetical HIV self-test service delivery models.

Study by Brenner and Soriano Castell – titled “Auditory Gamma Stimulation to Amelioate Mild Cognitive Impairment” – will investigate whether non-invasive and repetitive auditory stimulation can reduce mild cognitive deficits and their associated biological changes in the elderly.

The study of Unternaehrer and Ioffe – titled ‘Reversing drug resistance in ovarian cancer’ – is testing a new combination therapy for its ability to sensitize tumors to drugs currently used by inhibiting cancer stem cells in recurrent ovarian cancer, with the intention to advance this strategy for those patients with severely limited treatment options.

“When a team wins a GCAT award, they know they’ve developed a well-thought-out, meaningful and achievable approach to answering a question that could make a difference in the lives of patients,” says Penelope Duerksen-Hughes, PhD, Associate Dean of Basic Sciences and Translational Research at LLU.

GCAT catalyzes collaborations between clinicians and grassroots scientists around questions of clinical relevance, while GRASP provides support to researchers from different Seventh-day Adventist schools, entities or sister institutions to form collaborative partnerships in pioneering research projects.

Both grants are designed to enable researchers to leverage initial investments and to seek larger external funding needed to complete their research projects.

Find additional information on GRASP by visiting and learn more about GCAT at https: //


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