UT School of Nursing researchers receive federal stimulus grants
Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing have received two federal stimulus grants that will help mentor and encourage fledgling and future nurse scientists.
Erica Yu, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing in the Department of Acute and Continuing Care, received a two-year, $210,000 grant from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). The funding will allow her to do supplement research for “Interactions Among Depressive Symptoms and Genetic Influences on Cardiac Outcomes” led by Lorraine Frazier, Ph.D., Nancy B. Willerson Distinguished Professor.
Yu will be mentored by Frazier as she adds a new element to Frazier’s ongoing research studying the link between depression after an acute coronary event and the presence of increased inflammatory proteins. In her arm of the study, Yu will repeat a depression screening at two weeks after the coronary event to try to get a better assessment of depression and its relationship with inflammatory markers. More than 20 percent of patients experiencing an acute coronary event have episodes of major depression and are at a higher risk for a repeat coronary event.
“I’m really happy to get the opportunity to work with Dr. Frazier because she is so established as a researcher,” Yu said. “I’m very excited. I’m finally really getting started with my own research.”
Nancy Bergstrom, Ph.D., the Theodore J. and Mary E. Trumble Professor of Aging Research and director of the Center on Aging at the UT Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, received a two-year, $67,000 grant from the ARRA to train students in biomedical research. The funding is a supplement to a large multi-site study on pressure ulcer prevention, which is led by Bergstrom and funded by the National Institute for Nursing Research .
The grant to Bergstrom will allow her to fill four part-time positions through September of this year with four more available for summer 2010.
“The additional funding will allow us to offer college and high school students the opportunity to participate in an active study, which we hope will encourage them to pursue research as a career,” Bergstrom said.
The trial, “Pressure Ulcer Prevention: Turning for Ulcer Reduction,” is investigating the best frequency of repositioning nursing facility residents when high-density foam mattresses are used. Bergstrom, known for her groundbreaking work on the gold standard of care for pressure ulcers called the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Sore Risk, said researchers are using the scale to personalize care for residents who rest on high-density mattresses. Knowing the level of pressure ulcer risk with newer high-density mattresses that distribute pressure more effectively might allow for planning care with fewer turning episodes.
“Right now, patients at high risk of developing pressure ulcers are turned every two hours,” said Bergstrom, the study’s principal investigator. “This can be very disruptive for their sleep and for quality of life.
Deborah Mann Lake
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