CAMP Director Dr. Xiaomei Cong awarded $2.4 million grant

Congratulations to Dr. Xiaomei Cong, PhD, RN, who has been awarded a four year, $2.4 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research based on her R01 proposal titled Multi-Omics Analysis of Pain/Stress Impact on Neurodevelopment in Preterm Infants. Dr. Cong is an Associate Professor of Nursing and Director of the Center for Advancement in Managing Pain (CAMP). The study will be implemented with UConn Co-Investigators Erin E. Young, Jacqueline McGrath, Angela Starkweather, Joerg Graf, Jill Wegryzn and Ming-Hui Chen. The project includes sub-awards with the University of Connecticut Health Center, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. The goals of the project are to examine: 1) linkages between cumulative pain/stress experiences in the NICU and infant gut microbiome and neurodevelopment; 2) interactions among gut microbiome, host genetic variation and early life pain/stressors that contribute to neurodevelopmental outcomes, controlling for other infant factors; and 3) the impact of different levels of pain/stress experiences on the gut microbiome and neurodevelopment and other growth parameters using twin-pairs.

Dr. Kyle Baumbauer receives prestigious Rita Allen Foundation Award in Pain Research

Congratulations to Kyle M. Baumbauer, PhD, who has received the 2017 Award in Pain from the Rita Allen Foundation and the American Pain Society for his grant application, Targeting ASIC3 for disruption of nociceptor sensitization following spinal cord injury.  Dr. Baumbauer is an Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in the UConn School of Nursing and Department of Neuroscience.  The Rita Allen Award in Pain is a prestigious national award given to early career scientists in the field of pain research.  Dr. Baumbauer’s project was chosen for three years of funding and a total of $150,000.  The award letter noted that the competition this year was particularly intense.  Dr. Baumbauer will be recognized at the upcoming American Pain Society Annual Meeting President’s Reception in Pittsburgh, PA on Thursday, May 18, at 7:00 p.m.

His project is focused on examining a novel role for Acid Sensing Ion Channel Subunit 3 (ASIC3) in the initiation and maintenance of nociceptor sensitization following spinal cord injury (SCI).  The project capitalizes on the unique skills of his team, as one of the few in the country that can perform analysis of gene expression and electrophysiologically characterized nociceptors.  Dr. Baumbauer’s laboratory is also one of few that examines the role of peripheral nociceptive neurons in the generation of pain following SCI.  The proposed work is critical for our understanding of the nature of pain following spinal cord injury, in particular, and central nervous system insult, in general.  With respect to SCI, the identification of a specific gene that can be targeted at the time of SCI would be a groundbreaking discovery that could revolutionize care for the spinally injured, as well as patient quality of life.

Dr. Ramesh and her WVU colleague Dr. Steve Kinsey talk about current evidence of marijuana’s medical benefits

mj_bottleCurrently 25 states and the District of Columbia have medical cannabis programs. On Nov. 8, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota will vote on medical cannabis ballot initiatives, while Montana will vote on repealing limitations in its existing law.Despite claims that cannabis or its extracts relieve all sorts of maladies, the research has been sparse and the results mixed. At the moment, we just don’t know enough about cannabis or its elements to judge how effective it is as a medicine.What does the available research suggest about medical cannabis, and why do we know so little about it?

Read the full article on the Conversation and UCONN Today

Dr. Lucas receives award in Washington

Dr. Ruth Lucas and Undergraduate Honors Student and University Scholar, Victoria Sylvestre, at the Council for Advancement in Nursing Science in Washington D.C. Dr. Lucas won an award for her outstanding research – way to go Dr. Lucas and Victoria!