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$10 million grant funds OCD study

With a new $10 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Medical Center scientists aim to improve the understanding of brain networks that play a central role in obsessive-compulsive disorder. The five-year grant establishes a new Silvio O. Conte Center for Basic and Translational Mental Health Research at the University. Conte Centers are designed to bring scientists with diverse but complementary backgrounds together to improve the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders.

Projects to study use of technology, social media to improve health

Medical Center researchers have started two projects to improve maternal and mental health in low- and middle-income countries by harnessing information technology and social media.

The first, led by Eric Caine, chair of the Department of Psychiatry, will train researchers from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Mongolia to use mobile technology and social media to discern when populations are under mental stress.

The second—led by Timothy Dye, professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of biomedical informatics at the Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and Deborah Ossip, professor of public health sciences and of oncology—will train teams from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Honduras to use information and communication technologies to address maternal health problems.

The projects are each supported by three-year $300,000 grants from the Global Health Research and Research Training eCapacity Initiative from the National Institutes of Health’s Fogarty International Center.

EIOH to study cause of early childhood cavities

The Eastman Institute for Oral Health has been awarded a $3.5 million grant that, for the first time, will scientifically explores how family functioning, stress, and parenting behaviors may lead to early childhood cavities, a significant public health problem that disproportionately affects children living in poverty. The grant is funded by the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of National Institutes of Health. Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease—more common than asthma, obesity, and diabetes.

Grant to fund Batten disease research

Ruchira Singh, assistant professor of ophthalmology and biomedical genetics, received a $60,000 grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to investigate how neurodegenerative diseases, such as juvenile Batten disease, cause blindness. The Medical Center is a center of excellence for Batten disease, with a large team of clinical and scientific experts offering comprehensive clinical care and conducting novel research.

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