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2013 Small Research Grant Recipients

We are pleased to report that in 2013, we have funded six research projects led by a nurse or attending physician principal investigator. The grants are reviewed for scientific and programmatic significance and relevance by two independent reviewers. The results of these reviews are submitted to the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Research Steering Committee for final reviews and decisions. The Research Steering Committee consists of institution and physician executives and leaders.

The scope of the funded projects is to advance and directly benefit patients care, focus on patient centered outcomes, interventions, and clinical translation, and provide preliminary data for leveraging extramural funding for future projects.  We congratulate the recipients of the 2013 Small Research Grant awards and wish them the best in carrying out their projects.

The six projects, including a brief summary of each, are listed below.

Recipients of the 2013 Small Research Grants

  • Evaluating Bereaved Parents’ Experiences with a Hospital Memorial Service
    Investigators: Kathie Kobler, MS, APN, PCNS-BC, CHPPN; Marilyn Barnes, MA; Stacey Jutila, MDiv, BCC; Kevin Massey, MDiv, BCC; Denise Angst, PhD, RN
    Departments: Nursing; Mission/Spiritual Care; Pediatric Research
  • Assessing the Cytogenetic Aberration t(9;15)(p24;q24) in Patients Diagnosed with Metanephric Adenoma Utilizing Molecular Mechanisms
    Investigators: Jillene Kogan, MD, PhD; Michael R. Pins, MD; Aida Catic, MS, CG(ASCP)
    Departments: Genetics; Cytogenetics; Pathology
    View information:
    Classification of tumors based upon rigorous application of histopathological criteria is usually straight-forward, yet a significant subset of rare tumors can be misclassified. Many of the common and rare tumor types have characteristic molecular genetic abnormalities, which, in turn, correlate with biological behavior and likely correlate with response to adjuvant therapy. Renal metanephric adenoma is a rare renal tumor frequently misclassified when microscopic features alone are applied. The focus of this study will be to investigate this genetic aberration and determine if it defines a subset of metanephric adenoma.
  • Resident Physician Leadership Institute: Mentoring for Women Residents
    Investigators: Lisa Laurent, MD; Penny Pilarzcyk, MA; Jessica (DJ) Himstedt, MBA, MS
    Departments: Interventional Radiology; Human Resources
    View information:
    Many reasons have been put forth as to why female physicians still face significant challenges in advancing to the highest levels of leadership. In most current contexts, top-down, command-and-control leaders no longer provide the most effective or admired type of leadership. Although changing perceptions of followers will continue to take time and a true culture shift, providing young female leaders with a strong foundation in transformational leadership behaviors will help to provide confidence to avoid the trap of stereotype threat. The investigators aim to provide development of leadership attributes in women residents through professionalism, coaching, and mentoring and prepare the next generation of successful physician leaders. This is a pilot program focusing on female residents, but that should it prove effective, will be expanded to include both men and women in the future.  The need for empowered physicians in health care as they lead through personal behavior, or on a larger scale, is not gender specific and we champion the ideal of equality among men and women.
  • Diagnosing pulmonary embolism in pregnancy: Are biomarkers and clinical prediction models useful?
    Investigators: Barbara Parilla, MD; Amy Archer, MD; Lisa Laurent, MD; Leslie Brookfield, MD4; Erik Kulstad, MD5; Kathleen Hesse, RN6; Timothy Rittenberry, MD7; Patricia Lee, MD
    Departments: Maternal-Fetal Medicine (LGH); Emergency Medicine (LGH); CT Scanning (ALGH); Cardiology (LGH); Emergency Medicine (CMC); Emergency Medicine (IMMC)
    View information:
    Pulmonary embolism continues to be a major cause of maternal death in the US. The diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (PE) is challenging in pregnancy as “shortness of breath” and “difficulty breathing” are not uncommon complaints in an otherwise normal pregnancy. Correspondingly, the number of mothers who are imaged to exclude PE as a result of those symptoms is high as clinicians fear fatal misdiagnosis. The investigators hypothesize that biomarkers and a risk scoring can be used in pregnancy to triage women into a low-risk category for pulmonary embolism and thereby avoid radiation exposure to pregnant women and their fetuses. 
  • Robotic Assisted Endoscopic Minimally Invasive Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction with the da Vinci Surgical System
    Investigators: Loren Schechter, MD and Lucio Pavone, MD
    Departments: Surgery
  • Therapeutic Treatment to Inhibit Reperfusion Injury to the Neonatal Heart.
    Investigators: Ramesh Vazzalwar, MD; Darryl Peterson, PhD; Gospodin Stefanov, MD, PhD
    Departments: Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology; Physiology and Biophysics (CMS)
    View information:
    Oxidative injury associated with premature births or prenatal asphyxia is a highly significant complication of the newborn.  Newborns are highly vulnerable to oxidative stress due to their immature antioxidant defense mechanisms, and this is exacerbated in preterm infants.  Myocardial protective strategies must be developed in order to increase survival rates and improve outcomes of perinatal asphyxia that cause about one million newborn deaths worldwide annually.  The investigators aim to identify effective antioxidants that may be useful in ameliorating oxidative injury to the neonatal heart, thus providing a basis for potential clinical applications.

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