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Frontiers Research Day 2020 Highlights Global Health

March 17, 2020

By Marion During

Frontiers Research Day 2020Frontiers: University of Kansas Clinical and Translational Science Institute promoted global health research at its region-wide Frontiers Research Day, which was held on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus in Overland Park, Kansas.

The conference theme this year, "Beyond the Heartland: Regional Research, Global Impact.," was highlighted by plenary speaker Akinlolu O. Ojo, MD, PhD, MBA, and keynote speaker Sarah Finocchario Kessler, PhD, MPH, both of whom conduct research in Africa.

Dr. Ojo is the executive dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where he oversees the Kansas City, Salina and Wichita campuses for the School of Medicine. His primary research interests are in the clinical epidemiology and clinical and translational research in chronic kidney disease and kidney transplantation; minority health and health disparities; and global health.

Dr. Kessler is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Her research combines interests in reproductive health and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to improve safer childbearing for people living with HIV. Her active studies focus on developing, evaluating and adapting mHealth interventions like the HIV Infant Tracking System (HITSystem) to improve early infant diagnosis of HIV, and prevent perinatal HIV transmission among pregnant women in Kenya.

New to this year's Frontiers Research Day was the opportunity for attendees to participate in two of six breakout sessions, which focused on topics including global health research, NIH regulations, community engagement and entrepreneurship. One breakout session focused on the Frontiers services available to researchers and allowed people to meet with members of the Frontiers Navigator Team.

Although the theme of the day was concentrated on global health research, the program also addressed the broad goals of the Frontiers consortium and its work in advancing all areas of clinical and translational research. Four oral presentations highlighted the outstanding work of researchers from Frontiers partner institutions: Kathryn Rhine, PhD, University of Kansas - Lawrence; Shariska Petersen, MD, University of Kansas Medical Center; Dana Mitzel, PhD, US Department of Agriculture and Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine; and Emily Hurley, PhD, MPH, Children's Mercy Kansas City.

Over 35 other researchers who have received support from Frontiers presented during the afternoon poster session. Poster presenters ranged from predoctoral TL1 trainee scholars to administrative staff to senior investigators from the University of Kansas Medical Center, University of Kansas - Lawrence, University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita, the University of Missouri - Kansas City and Children's Mercy Kansas City.

The event also featured the presentation of the 2020 Team Science Award to nine individuals for their collaborative work on the project "Integrated Studies into Prevention Strategies for Alzheimer's Disease/Enhanced Mediterranean Diet for Alzheimer's Disease Prevention." This highly integrated team of researchers has continuously grown for more than 10 years to carry out a program of investigations into behaviors to help prevent Alzheimer's disease - including exercise, diet and pharmaceuticals. These studies include not only "normally aging" participants, but also those with Down's Syndrome as a precursor to Alzheimer's. By combining their different disciplines across departments in both the University of Kansas Medical Center's School of Medicine and School of Health Professions into a cohesive and productive team, they have developed the necessary recruitment infrastructure, including community engagement efforts, to ensure a diverse sample. Members of the team include:

Jeffrey Burns, MD, MS
Edward H. Hashinger Professor of Neurology
Neurocognitive Division Chief, Department of Neurology
School of Medicine
Co-director, Alzheimer's Disease Center
Scientific Director, Clinical and Translational Science Unit Fairway
Director, Alzheimer and Memory Clinic
University of Kansas Medical Center

Russell Swerdlow, MD
Professor
Department of Neurology
School of Medicine
Director, Alzheimer's Disease Center
Director, Neurodegenerative Disorders Program
University of Kansas Medical Center

Debra Sullivan, PhD, RD
Chair and Midwest Dairy Council Professor in Clinical Nutrition
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition
School of Health Professions
University of Kansas Medical Center

Sandra A. Billinger, PT, PhD, FAHA
Associate Professor
Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science
School of Health Professions
University of Kansas Medical Center

In-Young Choi, PhD
Professor
Department of Neurology
School of Medicine
Director, Metabolic Imaging Unit
Hoglund Biomedical Imaging Center
University of Kansas Medical Center

Phil Lee, PhD
Professor
Department of Radiology
School of Medicine
Director, Magnetic Resonance Imaging Unit
MR Research and Development Unit
Hoglund Biomedical Imaging Center
University of Kansas Medical Center

Lauren Ptomey, PhD, RD, LD
Assistant Research Professor
Department of Cardiovascular Medicine
School of Medicine
University of Kansas Medical Center

Matthew Taylor, PhD, RD
Assistant Professor
Department of Dietetics and Nutrition
School of Health Professions
University of Kansas Medical Center

Eric Vidoni, PT, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Neurology
School of Medicine
University of Kansas Medical Center

Last modified: Mar 18, 2020
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