Innovative Research

October 2010 Grants - $116,400 Awarded

Quality of Life, Depression and Satisfaction After Decompressive Hemicraniectomy for Malignant MCA Territory Infarction

Amount: $5,400
Primary Investigator: Ralph Rahme, MD
Category: Neurocritical Care

To analyze the quality of life in patients who undergo life-saving decompressive hermicranectomy, in which part of the skull is rmoved to allow brain swelling. This controversial surgery can result in disability and dependence on caregivers, and this study seeks to help settle the ethical debate as to whether and when this procedure should be suggested.

Neurosurgery Core Labs

Amount: $50,000
Primary Investigator: Gail Pyne-Geithman, PhD
Category: Research Investment

To purchase the necessary equipment to provide for a functional Neurosurgical Research Core within the UC Department of Neurosurgery to support the development of a basic and translational research program. The objective is to facilitate the education and training of residents, fellows, and graduate students, and encourage collaboration between basic science and clinical researchers. 

Low Cost Osseous Sculpturing System for Accurate and Optimal Surgical Performance

Amount: $15,000
Primary Investigator: Ravi Samy, MD
Category: Technological Innovation

To invent a low-cost robotic system for use in intricate skull-based neurosurgical operations that would result in safer procedures, augment a surgeon's skills and pave the way for robotic surgeries that are more accurate and precise than the limits of human dexterity.

Development of a Novel Biomarker Utilizing Simultaneous Paired End Sequencing Technique on Tumor Samples and RT PCR for Circulating DNA in a GBM

Amount: $46,000
Primary Investigator: Olivier Rixe, MD
Category: Brain Tumor

A collaborative effort between clinicians and basic scientists to develop new diagnostic strategies for glioblastoma multiforme, the form of brain cancer most resistant to treatment. Research has shown that DNA from other cancerous tumors can be detected in the bloodstream. The goal of this project is to develop a technique to detect the same DNA in the bloodstream of patients with glioblastoma to serve as a "marker" for tumor detection and/or monitoring in response to therapy, or for detecting remaining disease after surgery. Findings from this work could represent a major step in the detection, treatment, and follow up of glioblastoma multiforme.

April 2010 - 4 Grants/$147,743 Awarded

Onconegenic Activation of MTOR Complex 1 Signaling in Glioma: A Potential Target for Targeted Therapy for Gliomas

Amount: $49,019
Primary Investigator: Jorge Moscat, PhD
Category: Brain Tumor

To understand the progression of glioblastoma multiforme, the form of brain cancer most resistant to treatment. Cancer genes utilize major metabolic pathways, or series of chemical reactions that occur naturally in a cell, to spread throughout the brain, and researchers are investigating a specific pathway to determine if it is utilized in the spread of brain tumors. Success could lead to the development of new ways to diagnose, predict, and treat this type of cancer.

A Direct Screen for Genes and Pathways Involved in Glioblastoma Multiforme Cells Resistance to Radiation and Chemotheraphy

Amount: $50,000
Primary Investigator: El Mustapha Bahassi, PhD
Category: Brain Tumor

To determine why malignant brain tumors are largely resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The genetic code of glioblastoma cells will be screened for abnormal genes and pathways, and those findings studied to see which are involved in resistance to treatment. Researchers hope to find a new way to circumvent that resistance at the cellular level to enable better success when treating this disease.

Cross-talk Between Nitric Oxide and D2-Dopamine Receptors: An Intrinsic Mechanism with Potential Therapeutic Application for Cerebral Vasospasm after Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Amount: $39,874
Primary Investigator: Todd Abruzzo, MD
Category: Cerebrovascular

To develop an innovative new way to use drug therapy to induce aneurysm patients' brain chemistry and pathways to self-prevent a secondary cerebral vasospasm after the initial hemorrhage, improving outcomes and saving lives. 

Factors Influencing Time to Death After Withdrawal of Life Support in Neurocritical Patients: A Validation Study

Amount: $8,850
Primary Investigator: Lori Shutter, MD

Category: Neurocritical Care

To test a system recently developed by the Mayo Clinic that predicts the time to death after withdrawal of life support in neurologically impaired patients.  Improving the ability to do so may have a significant impact on the viability of organs for donation, and could ultimately improve the success of organ donations.