Buffalo Translational Consortium News

RIA director stresses understanding when dealing with drug addiction

Posted on 06/21/17 at 07:41 am
Kenneth Leonard, Director of the Research Institute on Addictions and CTSI board member

An article in Health about a report from the Los Angeles coroner’s office that found that actress Carrie Fisher had multiple drugs in her system when she died after suffering a heart attack in December. The story features an extensive interview with Kenneth Leonard, who is the director of UB’s Research Institute on Addictions and a CTSI board member.

He said drugs and alcohol have the capacity to change the structure of the brain so that they become more appealing and more important to the user. “And these changes are long-lasting,” he said. “We don’t’ know if they’re ever reversed, or if they are, what kind of timeframe it’s in. The years of taking any of those drugs have implications for the way the brain develops long-term.”

Read more here.

UB remembers nursing researcher Ellen Volpe

Posted on 06/12/17 at 12:53 pm
Ellen Volpe, 1971-2017

 

Ellen Volpe, PhD, assistant professor and researcher in the School of Nursing, died June 8 in in a car accident on the Thruway. She was 45.
A native of Rochester, Volpe is remembered for her dedication to her family and community, teaching, patient care, research and regard for her colleagues.
“Ellen was a caring, loving human being. Those special qualities were evident in how she valued and loved her family, friends, patients and colleagues,” said Darryl Somayaji, PhD, assistant professor of nursing.
“All of us at the UB School of Nursing so appreciated her enthusiasm and determination for excellence in nursing, teaching, doing research and participating in school and community service. She was truly a positive presence among us. She was a colleague and a friend. We will deeply miss her.”

Ellen Volpe, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, assistant professor and researcher in the School of Nursing, died June 8 in a car accident on the Thruway. She was 45.

A native of Rochester, Volpe is remembered for her dedication to her family and community, teaching, patient care, research and regard for her colleagues.

“Ellen was a caring, loving human being. Those special qualities were evident in how she valued and loved her family, friends, patients and colleagues,” said Darryl Somayaji, PhD, assistant professor of nursing.

“All of us at the UB School of Nursing so appreciated her enthusiasm and determination for excellence in nursing, teaching, doing research and participating in school and community service. She was truly a positive presence among us. She was a colleague and a friend. We will deeply miss her.”

An assistant professor in the UB School of Nursing, she was one of the KL2 Scholars in the first cohort of the Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA)-linked KL2 Mentored Career Development Award Program established in 2015.

Under the CTSA, she worked with an interdisciplinary team of scientists and mentors from the School of Nursing, the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

An accomplished scientist, Volpe’s research reflected a passion for enhancing the well-being of teenagers affected by traumatic experiences.

“Dr. Volpe’s enthusiasm, tenacity, hard work and devotion to advancing science and helping others has been an inspiration for us all, and invaluable to begin understanding violence-related trauma in adolescents,” said Margarita L. Dubocovich, SUNY Distinguished Professor and KL2 program lead. "She will be sorely missed by our team."

Kim Griswold, MD, MPH, associate professor and KL2 program co-lead, added: “Ellen knew the true value of community engagement, and was a leader in making strong connections with vulnerable communities.”

More here

 

Program for underrepresented minority students in biomedical PhD programs wins coveted renewal

Posted on 06/07/17 at 02:30 pm
rom left: Rajendram Rajnarayanan, students Anthony Jones and Kerri Pryce, and Margarita L. Dubocovich in a lab in Farber Hall.

UB’s ongoing efforts to recruit underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to its PhD programs have received a major boost from the National Institutes of Health, which renewed a five-year, $2.3 million grant to help fully fund scholarships.

The grant will pay for the first two years of graduate school in the biomedical and behavioral sciences for four students a year. Over the past five years, the program is credited with bringing 20 underrepresented students to UB. And more importantly, it is part of a pipeline of “catalysts” that is helping the university attract underrepresented students to prepare the next generation of scientists and professors.

“These students are highly recruited by other universities,” says Margarita Dubocovich, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion.

The grant is part of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD), a student development program for research-intensive institutions funded by NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The prestigious grant was awarded to only 21 PhD training programs.

Read more here.

Eiden named chair of study section in NIH’s Center for Scientific Review

Posted on 06/06/17 at 03:44 pm

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Rina Das Eiden, PhD, senior research scientist in the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions, and a Buffalo Translational Consortium partner, has been named chair of the Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section in the National Institute of Health’s Center for Scientific Review.

Study sections review grant applications submitted to the NIH, make recommendations to NIH advisory councils or boards and survey the status of research in their fields of science. As chair, Eiden will assure the quality of the NIH peer review process as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of the review group. She will serve as chair for a two-year term beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 2019.

Eiden was presented with a CTSI-sponsored Clinical Research Achievement Award earlier this year. 

“The NIH’s selection of Dr. Eiden as chair of Risk and Prevention Study Section is a testament to the quality of her research achievements and leadership in her field,” says Kenneth Leonard, PhD, RIA director.

Eiden’s research focuses on understanding the association between parental risk factors, such as substance abuse, and children’s developmental outcomes; the developmental processes in children that promote resilience in the face of risk; the etiological processes in the development of underage drinking, substance use and violence/aggression; and the implications of these issues for early intervention or prevention programs for at-risk children.

Since 2005, Eiden has been awarded more than $13 million in grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She has published more than 90 scholarly articles for academic journals, is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association’s Division 50 (Society of Addiction Psychology) and an adjunct research faculty member in the University at Buffalo’s departments of Pediatrics and Psychology.

Eiden received a doctorate from the University of Maryland and master’s degrees from Purdue University and the University of Delhi, India. She is a resident of Clarence.

RIA is a research center of the University at Buffalo and a national leader in the study of alcohol and substance abuse issues. RIA’s research programs, most of which have multiple-year funding, are supported by federal, state and private foundation grants. Located on UB’s Downtown Campus, RIA is a member of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and a key contributor to UB’s reputation for research excellence. To learn more, visit buffalo.edu/ria.   

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