The Rhode Island Foundation has seeded some of the state’s institutions of higher education with nearly half a million dollars in medical research funding. The money goes toward 20 research projects that range from studying heart failure in obese people to using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques to help prevent pre-term births.
Grant makers hope the money will help early-career researchers attract even more national funding.
The list of funded projects gives a glimpse of the range of interests of local researchers.
- At Brown University, neuroscientists will investigate motor circuit development in the brain. Brown's Dept. of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences will focus on how autism affects learning. Engineers there will also use the grant money to peer into the brain to look at the dynamics of stroke.
- Miriam Hospital researchers will investigate sexual networks and the burden of sexually transmitted diseases in Providence, and fecal transplants to cure Clostridium difficile infections. Another Miriam researcher will try to determine whether mindfulness-based stress reduction can help prevent pre-term birth.
- Rhode Island Hospital researchers will peer into the workings of osteoarthritis and heart arrhythmias. They'll also track how monitoring blood pressure at home after discharge from the hospital helps patients maintain their recovery.
- University of Rhode Island investigators are examining the use of gold nanoparticles to enhance the effect of radiation on cancer.
- And Women & Infants Hospital will look at starting post-partum patients at risk of developing diabetes on a drug to prevent it.