News and Highlights

October 2014

New Grants

Dr. Yuhua Bao Receives R01 Grant from National Institute of Mental Health
Yuhua Bao, PhD Yuhua Bao, PhD, Associate Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Economics, was recently awarded an R01 from the National Institute of Mental Health titled “Value-based purchasing in implementation of depression care in community clinics." This three-year study runs from August 2014 to July 2017 and builds on collaboration with the Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions (AIMS) Center at the University of Washington. Drs. Martha Bruce and Andrew Ryan at Weill Cornell are co-investigators. The study will assess the effects of Value-based Purchasing, a policy strategy, on adoption of collaborative depression care by community health clinics and on patient depression outcomes and health care utilization and costs.

Dr. Zachary Grinspan Awarded Grant from Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation
Zachary Grinspan, MD Zachary Grinspan, MD, a child neurologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research and the Department of Pediatrics, was awarded a 2 year grant for $200,000 from the Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation, in collaboration with Dr. Anup Patel, a child neurologist from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Grinspan’s research will use predictive modeling and other health services research methods to evaluate a care management program tailored for children with epilepsy. All the children will be drawn from Partners for Kids, a large pediatric accountable care organization in central Ohio. Dr. Lawrence Casalino will provide mentorship and ongoing consultation to support the research. Drs. Erika Abramson, Lisa Kern, and Barry Kosofsky will serve on an advisory board to provide ongoing feedback. The Pediatric Epilepsy Research Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation to support research in pediatric epilepsy and other pediatric neurologic conditions.

Dr. Michael Pesko Receives Two Grants to Study E-Cigarette Use
Michael Pesko, PhD Michael Pesko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research and the Walsh McDermott Scholar, is the subcontract Principal Investigator of a collaborative project through a U01 parent grant awarded to Dr. Frank Chaloupka at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The project is titled "Adolescent and Adult Preferences for Electronic Cigarettes in an Online Experimental Market." It is funded by the National Cancer Institute and runs from August 2014 through July 2015. The goal of the study is to explore preferences for e-cigarette product attributes among a population of United States adult smokers and adolescents. The objective is to identify willingness to pay among cigarette smokers for e-cigarette product attributes of nicotine and risk. 

Dr. Pesko is also a Co-Principal Investigator on an Ithaca-to-Weill Seed Grant from Cornell University for a study titled, “Econometric Analysis of Consumer Choices of Electronic Cigarettes in Observed and Experimental Markets.” The Principal Investigator is Donald Kenkel, PhD, a Professor in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. The objective of this seed grant, which runs from May 15, 2014 to May 14, 2015, is to use market-level data and observational data to develop an intuition for how cigarette and e-cigarette use is affected by actual policy changes and hypothetical price and risk changes.

Dr. Tara Bishop is Co-Investigator on Study to Research Medical Errors
Tara F. Bishop, MD, MPH Tara F. Bishop, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research, Assistant Professor of Medicine, and the Nanette Laitman Clinical Scholar in Clinical Evaluation, is a Co-Investigator on a feasibility study led by Allison Lipitz Snyderman, PhD, at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center titled “Diagnosis-related Errors in Cancer.” The study is funded by the National Cancer Institute and runs from July 2014 to December 2015. The purpose of this feasibility study is to initiate a program of research on medical errors. The investigators will review previous literature in this area and highlight the difficulties involved in efficiently identifying patients who experienced such errors. They postulate that asking oncologists to identify patients of theirs who may have experienced errors earlier in their diagnosis and treatment history will identify 70 cases with suspected medical errors and 70 "controls." These individuals will then be further investigated via patient interviews and medical record review to determine a gold standard error classification. The study will investigate the feasibility of this approach in terms of response rates and will evaluate the correctness of the physicians' identification of errors.

Dr. Zhengming Chen Is Primary Biostatistician on Two New Grants from NCI
Zhengming Chen, PhD, MPH, MS, a Research Biostatistician in the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research, is the primary biostatistician for two recently awarded grants from the National Cancer Institute to Dr. Ari Melnick in the Department of Medicine. Both study therapies for B-cell lymphoma and run from August 2014 through July 2019.

The first, titled “MALT1 Targeted Therapy for B-Cell Lymphoma,” will study the targeted therapies of a new inhibitor of MALT1, a protease and scaffolding protein involved in the B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling pathway. This inhibitor has been shown to effectively kill a most chemoresistant subtype of Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma (DLBCL): ABC-DLBCL.

The second, “Center Derived B-Cell Lymphoma,” will investigate the effective therapies of B-cell lymphomas by targeting a H3K27 histone methyltransferase called EZH2. Read more about these grants and others on the Biostatistics and Epidemiology Division grants page.

Dr. Stephen Lyman Awarded Two Recent Grants
Stephen L. Lyman, PhD Stephen L. Lyman, PhD, Director of the Epidemiology & Biostatistics Core at the Hospital for Special Surgery and Associate Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research in the Division of Health Policy and Economics, is the Principal Investigator of two recently awarded grants. The first, an R01 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), is titled “Effective Treatment of Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) of the Hip” and runs from September 2014 to August 2019. The goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of arthroscopic surgical intervention for symptomatic FAI compared to non-operative management of these patients. Effectiveness will be assessed using patient reported outcomes measures and MRI evaluation using T2 mapping and T1rho to assess cartilage degeneration around the hip joint at 5 years post-intervention.

The second study, “Evaluating Recovery from Joint Replacement Using Mobile Technology,” is funded by the Clinical and Translational Science Center and runs from September 2014 to May 2015. The goal of this project is to foster the development of collaborative, multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research proposals to test “Proof-of-Concept” novel ideas with potential to lead to rapid development of new tools,   concepts and methodologies for patient care.


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