head shots of awardees

Four VCU faculty teams awarded Wright Center pilot grants

The Wright Center has awarded funding to four faculty research teams whose projects will use the center’s innovative imaging facilities.

The pilot imaging fund supports clinical research that uses the Wright Center’s innovative Collaborative Advanced Research Imaging facility. The facility features 6,000 square feet of research space, including a research-dedicated MRI scanner, a mock scanner, interview rooms, drug screening rooms and a dispensary.

Matthew Barrett, M.D., M.Sc., an associate professor of neurology, received funding for a project titled “Multimodal MRI biomarker of cholinergic basal forebrain degeneration in Parkinson disease dementia.”

Nancy Jallo, Ph.D., RNC, and Lisa Brown, Ph.D., R.N., associate professors of nursing, received funding for a project titled “Effect of cannabis on brain connectivity associated with maternal attachment: A pilot study in postpartum women.”

Wally Smith, M.D., a professor of internal medicine, received funding for a project titled “Neuroimaging of hemodynamic functions in sickle cell disease.”

Uyen Truong, M.D., an associate professor of cardiology, received funding for a project titled “The impact of bariatric surgery on adolescent cardiovascular function.” 

The pilot grants allow these clinicians to accrue crucial early data – that they can then evaluate for full-scale feasibility. The grants are for amounts up to $25,000.

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Clinical and Translational Science Award funds the grants, which the Wright Center administers (UL1TR002649). The NIH funds more than 50 medical research institutions across the United States in their work to speed the translation of research discovery into improved patient care. And at the Wright Center, that means wraparound support services – from protocol building to funding to mentorship – for VCU researchers.

head shots of awardees
(l-r) Matthew Barrett, Nancy Jallo, Wally Smith, Uyen Truong, Lisa Brown

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