In fall 2020, the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute (WVCTSI) announced, through its Pilot Projects Core, three funding opportunities to support clinical and translational pilot studies: the Open competition, the Launch Pilot Grant competition and the Small Grant competition.
Among the three funding categories, nine pilot research projects aligning with issues relevant to health and health care disparities in West Virginia and Appalachia were selected to receive support.
Through the Small Grants funding mechanism where investigators can request up to $5,000 for a maximum period of six months, five research studies were selected including:
- “West Virginia PharmD Students’ Knowledge, Attitudes, & Self-efficacy on Covid-19,” led by Omar Attarabeen, Ph.D., assistant professor in Marshall University’s School of Pharmacy,
- “Assessing the role of agouti-signaling protein in polycystic ovarian syndrome,” led by Melanie Clemmer, Ph.D., associate professor in WVU’s Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology,
- “Evaluation of Group Obesity Therapy Implementation using Implementation Framework,” led by Treah Haggerty, M.D., associate professor in WVU’s Department of Family Medicine,
- “The relationship between fear and physical activity in individuals with chronic hip pain,” led by Kate Jochimsen, Ph.D., assistant professor in WVU’s Department: Human Performance - Athletic Training,
- and “Focus groups to identify barriers to management of OSA from primary care providers serving high risk,” led by Robert Stansbury, M.D., associate professor in WVU’s Department of Medicine.
The Open competition is another funding opportunity that supports innovative research that addresses healthcare needs in West Virginia. Three investigators were selected to receive funding for their respective projects including:
- Elizabeth Bowdridge, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher in WVU’s Physiology and Pharmacology Department who is leading the research project dubbed “The effects of electronic cigarette vaping during gestation on maternal and fetal health outcomes,”
- Claire St. Peter, Ph.D., professor and director of graduate training in WVU’s Department of Psychology whose project is titled “Using Telehealth to Improve Outcomes for Children with a History of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome,”
- and Nicole Stout, DPT, research assistant professor in WVU’s Department of Cancer Prevention and Control who is the principal investigator for the project “Needs Assessment for Improved Cancer Survivorship Care in West Virginia.”
The Open competition allows research investigators to request up to $50,000 in funding that must be utilized over a 12-month period.
Finally, the research project titled “Systemic IL-12 Therapy within Nanocapsules Leading to Immune Modulation for Osteosarcoma,” led by Brock Lindsey, M.D., associate professor in WVU’s Department of Orthopaedics, was selected to receive a Launch Pilot Grant.
The Launch Pilot Program focuses on accelerating the translation of intellectual property developed by WVCTSI researchers into realized inventions and patents. For this funding, investigators can request up to $50,000, which must be utilized over nine months.
“WVCTSI strives to support clinical and translational pilot investigations that enhance research relevant to targeted West Virginia health disparities,” said Gary Rankin, Ph.D., director of the Clinical and Translational Pilot Grants Program. “This year we received many excellent applications and anticipate important results from the selected recipients of this funding.”
The primary goal for all of WVCTSI’s pilot funding mechanisms is to increase the number of clinical and translational investigators who are positioned to secure extramurally funded investigations through well-developed and rigorous projects.
For information on current funding opportunities, visit the WVCTSI funding page.
WVCTSI is funded by an IDeA Clinical and Translational grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (U54GM104942) to support the mission of building clinical and translational research infrastructure and capacity to impact health disparities in West Virginia.