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Arnold School of Public Health
University of South Carolina
800 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: 803-777-5032
Fax: 803-777-4783



                                                                                                           Posted 09/10/2007

Ten Arnold School researchers working
with prestigious RO1 grants

Ten scientists at USC’s Arnold School of Public Health are currently conducting noteworthy studies supported by prestigious RO1 research grants from the National Institutes of Health. 

University officials say these grants testify to the quality of the individual researchers as well as the significance of their investigations. 

Susan Cate, director of the Arnold School’s Office of Research, said that the R01, or Research Project Grant, is the original and historically oldest grant mechanism used by the National Institutes of Health in support of health-related research and development. 

The R01 mechanism allows an investigator to define the scientific focus or objective of the research based on a particular area of interest and competence. 

R01s are generally awarded for one to five years and provide enough funding to pay for the full scope of the proposed project. But in today’s funding climate, RO1s are difficult to obtain because sharp Congressional budget reductions have cut into NIH funding.   

“At the beginning of this decade, nearly one-third of grant applications were funded. In fiscal year 2006, only 9,128 out of 45,688 applications to NIH were funded, or 20 percent,” said Cate.

Even some of the current Arnold School grants were trimmed after initial approval, researchers say. 

The funded researchers come from three of the school’s academic departments and a companion research and outreach program: 

  • Dr. Chris Rorden, Dr. Dimitar Deliyski, Dr. Eric Healy and Dr. Julius Fridriksson of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders are working on studies supported by the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders (Deliyski, Healy, Fridriksson)  and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (Rorden). Healy’s efforts are aimed at better understanding how humans process speech and how hearing problems influence that process. Fridriksson is studying the factors that influence recovery in stroke victims. Delyiski is developing new methodologies to help diagnose voice disorders and to advance the basic science of understanding voice while Rorden is looking into stroke damage to the right side of the brain and how it influences the potential for recovery.
  • Dr. Sara Wilcox and Dr. Russell Pate are from the Department of Exercise Science. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is supporting a project by Wilcox to promote physical activity and healthy eating in AME churches. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development is supporting Pate’s research into physical activity in preschool children.
  • Dr. Angela Liese and Dr. Robert McKeown are from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The National Institute of Mental Health is funding McKeown who is studying the relationship between diabetes and depression in youths aged 10 to 19. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is supporting Liese’s project to describe and map the spatial distribution of incident pediatric diabetes in South Carolina, Ohio, Colorado, and Washington.
  • Dr. Deborah Parra-Medina of the Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior is working on a study supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on how best to effectively promote cardiovascular heart disease risk reduction in poor African-American women ages 35 years and older.
  • Dr. Patricia Sharpe of the USC Prevention Research Center is working with a group of overweight or obese women of lower income to help them become more active, eat healthier and trim 10 percent of their weight over a 16 week  period. The study is funded by funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. 

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