News & Announcements
State policies that curb the abuse of opioid prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin may be having some unintended side effects—and hurting those who need the medications the most. Researchers in the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs are using a $150,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to evaluate whether prescription drug monitoring programs in place in most states are keeping patients who need opioids from receiving them. The grant program, through the foundation’s Public Health Law Research program, is designed to provide funding for studies that analyze or evaluate laws and their effect on public health.
Hepatitis, alcohol consumption, even obesity can produce chronic inflammation in the liver and set the stage for cancer. Scientists, trying to determine what enables the deadly transformation and block it, have their sights on the protein, TREM-1, which accelerates inflammation.
Two clinical trials aimed at treating children with medication-resistant epilepsy with cannabidiol have been approved at Augusta University. The first – a two-person compassionate use protocol that received authorization from both the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration – begins today at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. The second will allow for an expanded 50-person trial, initiated at AU with planned expansion to Savannah and Atlanta.
The power plants that fuel liver cells rapidly splinter when exposed to bile salts that aid digestion, prompting cell death, but blocking this excessive fission appears to protect the liver, scientists report. Hepatitis, steroids, birth control pills, alcohol, cancer, even gallstones can interfere with bile secretion, causing the fluid, which is made by the liver to help digest food, to stay in the liver, where it’s toxic to cells, said Dr. Yisang Yoon, cell physiologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.
A genome database team led by University of Pennsylvania and University of Georgia scientists has been awarded a new contract from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease worth $4.3 million in 2014-2015. Assuming annual renewal, this five-year award is expected to total $23.4 million.
The University of Georgia and Emory University are strengthening their collaborations to elevate the position of the Atlanta-Athens corridor as a national hub for infectious disease research. The two institutions are currently working together on grant and contract-funded projects totaling more than $45 million, including a Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance and a malaria research consortium, both funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition, they are developing a new diagnostic test for tuberculosis and working to create a new HIV vaccine, among other projects.
Nancy Moran Hockley, MD, FACS, has been named Chair of Clinical Sciences at the AU/UGA Medical Partnership and Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at AU’s Medical College of Georgia.
Augusta University and the University of Georgia will expand their research collaborations through a new program designed to help inter-institutional teams of faculty successfully compete for externally funded research grants.
On September 29, the AU/UGA Medical Partnership hosted its fourth annual Student Research Symposium, which showcased the research activities of students during the summer between their first and second year of medical studies.
Sponsored by Augusta University and the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy, the fifth annual Southern Translational Education and Research Conference took place on September 25 and 26 at the Augusta Marriott Hotel.