Posts in category award

KUMC receives PCORI award to lead Greater Plains Collaborative

The Greater Plains Collaborative award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) provides $7 million for a project that will establish a new network of nine medical centers in seven states committed to building a data set from electronic medical records that will be used to contribute to new research in the fields of breast cancer, obesity and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

The principal investigator of the project is Russ Waitman, director of medical informatics at KU Medical Center. The HERON technology developed by the medical informatics team plays a prominent role.

Further reading:

"In-Home Monitoring in Support of Caregivers for Patients with Dementia" obtains NSF US-Ignite grant

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded us an exploratory research (EAGER) grant for In-Home Monitoring in Support of Caregivers for Patients with Dementia. The investigator team is:

  • Dr. Russ Waitman, Principal Investigator, is Director of Biomedical Informatics at KU Medical Center.
  • Dr. Kristine Williams, Co-Investigator, is Associate Professor of Nursing and Associate Scientist of Gerontology at the University of Kansas.
  • Dr. James Sterbenz, Co-Investigator, is the lead PI of an NSF GENI project: The Great Plains Environment for Network Innovation (GpENI).

This project develops, integrates, and tests advanced video and networking technologies to support family caregivers in managing behavioral symptoms of individuals with dementia, a growing public health problem that adds to caregiver stress, increases morbidity and mortality, and accelerates nursing home placement. The project builds upon a recent University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) clinical pilot study that tested the application of video monitoring in the home to support family caregivers of persons with Alzheimer’s disease who exhibited disruptive behaviors. The proposed project focuses on expanding the in-home technological tools available to strengthen the linkage between patients and caregivers with their healthcare team via multi-camera full-motion/high definition video monitoring. Google’s deployment this year of a 1 Gpbs fiber network throughout Kansas City provides the ideal environment for measuring the impact that ultra-high speed networking will have on health care.

fig 2 from US Ignite_FINAL_EAGERv_14.docx from Russ 30 Aug 2012

In a January NSF press release, the National Science Foundation (NSF) "announced that it will serve as the lead federal agency for a White House Initiative called US Ignite, which aims to realize the potential of fast, open, next-generation networks."

Our new connection with US Ignite provides access to resources in that community such as Mozilla Ignite and the GENI network lab. If you'd like to get involved, email Dan Connolly and Russ Waitman.

Announcing CTSA funding from NIH to KUMC

We're proud of our role in this week's announcement:

KUMC receives $20 million Clinical and Translational Science Award

June 14, 2011

Kansas City, Kan. — Patients will gain faster access to the benefits of health research throughout the region thanks to a grant announced today.

The University of Kansas Medical Center has received a $19,794,046 Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The five-year grant puts the medical center among an elite, 60-member group of universities collaborating on clinical and translational research, which transforms laboratory discoveries into treatments and cures.

Launched by the NIH in 2006, the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) program goals are to speed laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, to work with communities in clinical research efforts, and to train a new generation of researchers to bring cures and treatments to patients faster. With its new grant, KU Medical Center will create a program called Frontiers, greatly expanding the reach of its existing Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, which has been the center of clinical and translational research for Kansas and the greater Kansas City region.

Scientists at KU have been doing translational research for years. For example, clinical trials are now being held for an ovarian cancer drug that KU researchers have reformulated so that it can be delivered in a patient's abdomen instead of intravenously, which caused negative side effects. Other scientists have discovered that DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid common in fish oil, may help infants develop better attention skills. In part, as a result of this research, DHA is now added to many infant formulas. Other researchers are studying whether exercise can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.


In fact, a big part of what's new about translational research at KUMC this year is our very own biomedical informatics division:

Biomedical Informatics accelerates scientific discovery and improves patient care by converting data into actionable information. Pharmacologists and biologists use informatics to understand how drugs and cells interact at a molecular level; scientists use software to determine what kind of patients may most benefit from a clinical trial; doctors view risk models to help individualize therapies for patients.

The specific aims from our section of the grant are:

  1. Provide a HICTR portal for investigators to access clinical and translation research resources, track usage and outcomes, and provide informatics consultation services.
  2. Create a platform, HERON (Healthcare Enterprise Repository for Ontological Narration), to integrate clinical and biomedical data for translational research.
  3. Advance medical innovation by linking biological tissues to clinical phenotype an pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data generated by research in phase I and II clinical trials (address T1 translational research).
  4. Leverage an active, engaged statewide telemedicine and Health Information Exchange (HIE) to enable community based translational research (Addressing T2 translational research).

Presentation materials from Dr. Waitman's talk from last September, Developing Clinical and Translational Informatics Capabilities for Kansas University go into more detail on those aims.

The focus of our development work for the past year or so has been on the HERON data repository, but starting with milestone:RavenCTSA, the plan is to broaden the portal from just informatics tools for use within KUMC to a variety of tools for investigators in our community.

Want to join the fun? We're hiring.