January 2018 Awards

Martha Belury

Martha Belury

Principal Investigator: Martha Belury, Department of Human Sciences
Co-Investigators: Maryam Lustberg, Subha Raman & Patreick Schnell
Project Dates: 2/01/2018 – 1/31/2020
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $365,694
Project Sponsor: National Cancer Institute

Dietary fats, mitochondrial function and muscle health in cancer patients

Thanks to early detection and treatment, women can expect excellent survival after an initial diagnosis of breast cancer. However, widely-used treatments such as anthracycline chemotherapy (AC) incur significant morbidity and mortality via effects on skeletal and cardiac muscle. Cardiomyopathy affects 1 in 5 breast cancer survivors within 3 years of diagnosis and over half of breast cancer survivors develop symptoms attributable to skeletal muscle weakness. A key mechanism underlying these toxicities involves adverse effects in mitochondria on cardiolipin, an essential phospholipid that forms the inner mitochondrial membrane and supports ATP synthesis. Anthracyclines (AC) in particular bind cardiolipin, rendering it unavailable to support proteins involved with the electron transport chain. Disturbing mitochondrial cardiolipin reduces ATP production in both skeletal and cardiac muscle. However, there has been no study to date in breast cancer patients showing that decreased cardiolipin levels are associated with the decline of structure and function of skeletal and cardiac muscle also diminishes from chemotherapy treatment. Our team has generated ground-breaking preliminary data in breast cancer survivors showing that cardiolipin levels, via a novel and robust assay in peripheral blood lymphocytes, predict reduced muscle mass in breast cancer survivors. We have also implemented direct measurement of cardiac function and structure using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging and assessment of mitochondrial function in skeletal muscle using the well-established technique of 31-phosphorus magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31P-MRS). We recently completed a prospective study using cardiac strain measurement, a highly sensitive magnetic resonance-based biomarker of subclinical cardiac dysfunction, showing early decline in LV strain after anthracycline chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. We also have the ability to analyze cardiolipin profiles and lipids important to cardiolipin function. We are now poised to conduct an essential study of skeletal and cardiac muscle integrated with careful clinical assessment in breast cancer survivors receiving AC towards a long-term goal of targeting cardiolipin to reduce morbidity and mortality. Aim 1: Measure the relationships among skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and cardiolipin status in breast cancer survivors. Aim 2: Assess longitudinal chemotherapy-induced changes in cardiolipin composition, skeletal muscle and cardiac muscle.

Laura Justice

Laura Justice

Principal Investigator: Laura Justice, The Crane Center Early Childhood Research and Policy (CCEC)
Co-Investigator: Jaclyn Dynia
Project Dates: 12/01/2017 – 09/30/2018
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $97,048
Project Sponsor: Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Public Library early literacy training initiative

The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy will be developing and delivering a training needs assessment, curriculum design, Train the Trainer program, program pilot and implementation, and post-training evaluation for the Cleveland Public Library Early Literacy Training Initiative. The overall goal is to assist in the development of a new staff training program that enhances Every Child Ready to Read training curriculum for the Cleveland Public Library public services staff.

Principal Investigator: Kenneth Steinman, Department of Human Sciences
Co-Investigators: Michael Betz
Project Dates: 1/08/2018 – 06/30/2018
Anticipated Total Award Amount: $40,000
Project Sponsor: Ohio Department of Health

Analysis of Ohio violent death reporting system (OH-VDRS) overdose data

The project team will organize the scope of work around three activities: (1) conduct analyses of OH-VDRS unintentional overdose data; (2) prepare annual surveillance reports using unintentional overdose data for 2016 and 2017; and (3) produce two fact sheets on topics to be determined by ODH staff.