Multiple researchers at School of Medicine and Health Sciences receive research awards

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News Article

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School of Medicine & Health Sciences


GRAND FORKS, N.D.—Several faculty at the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences have been awarded research grants recently totaling nearly half a million dollars to be devoted to a variety of research projects at the School.

Drs. Sharon and Richard Wilsnack, faculty in the SMHS Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, were awarded a $118,000 award from the Public Health Institute for their proposal entitled “Alcohol’s Harm to Others.”

UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor Sharon Wilsnack, PhD, and Richard Wilsnack, PhD, are the leaders of the Gender and Alcohol's Harm to Others (GENAHTO) program, an international project featuring multiple Principal Investigators using surveys to analyze characteristics of persons whose drinking causes harm to other people.

Likewise, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor Colin Combs, PhD, professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, recently received the second-year installment on a two-year grant from Ohio State University entitled “Mechanisms of exposure-induced tissue functional and pathological changes in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.” The installment represents the second half of a $141,000 award combs was given last year to continue his career-long focus on the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.

Combs’s colleague Catherine Brissette, PhD, associate professor in UND’s Department of Biomedical Sciences, has been given a $63,700 award from the University of Kentucky for a project entitled “Pathogenesis of Borrelia Mayonii Infection.” The grant will allow Brissette to continue and expand her laboratory’s research into the diagnosis and treatment of the tick-borne illness Lyme’s disease.

In the world of medical school education, SMHS Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning, Rick Van Eck, PhD, teamed up with Simulation Center Director and Associate Professor of Medicine Jon Allen, MD, and Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine Eric Johnson, MD, to win an American Medical Association Innovation grant worth $30,000. The grant will be used to develop a faculty toolkit for adding telemedicine to existing medical simulations at the School.

Finally, Lynette Dickson, associate director of UND’s Center for Rural Health, has won a $112,000 award from the North Dakota Department of Health in her effort to support the North Dakota Office of Primary Care.

On average, the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences conducts over $20 million in research activity annually, most research grants are funded by the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among other organizations. Research specialties at the SMHS include epigenetics, neuroscience, infectious disease, and population health disparities.

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Brian James Schill

Assistant Director, Office of Alumni & Community Relations

University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences

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