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Research projects receive Sanford Health seed grant funding

Three research projects have received $250,000 in seed funding from the Sanford Health NDSU Collaborative Seed Grant program. NDSU researchers will have opportunities to collaborate with investigators from Sanford Research. The research will address key objectives of the Profile by Sanford® program in relation to human nutrition, weight management and other dietary-related areas.

“Sanford continually strives to improve the human condition. Through our work and research with organizations such as NDSU, we have the opportunity to investigate and potentially treat real medical issues,” said Sanford Research Executive Vice President David Pearce.

In every round of seed grants, the collaboration between Sanford and NDSU becomes a little stronger. Researchers who met during the last round of seed grants are partnering on new projects this year. “Developing solutions to maintain and improve human health is a global challenge; one that will require strategic research partnerships across a broad spectrum of individuals and entities,” said NDSU Vice President for Research and Creative Activity Kelly Rusch. “The Sanford-NDSU Collaborative Seed Grant Program provides such a vehicle to not only establish collaborative efforts between higher education and the health care sector, but also to bring together the best teams of researchers and students focused on creating and developing real world solutions to health issues.”

The three NDSU projects selected for funding include:

• Protein Intake and Muscular Health with Aging: Effects of Increased Physical Activity

Health Nutrition and Exercise Sciences professors Kyle Hackney, Sherri Stastny, Wonwoo Byun and Shannon David will explore the interactions of nutrition, physical activity and exercise and the progressive loss of muscle mass with aging. Findings will help provide recommendations for food intake or dietary supplementation.

• Downregulation of D5D to exploit anti-cancer effect of ω-6 diet supplementation for colon cancer treatment

Steven Qian, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences, will examine supplements used to enhance results of chemotherapy in colon cancer treatment. The outcome will help optimize the effectiveness of colon cancer therapies and assure safer outcomes for cancer patients.

• The Effect of Nutrient Intake and Probiotic Administration on Weight and Glucoregulation Before and After Bariatric Surgery: A Combined Human and Murine Approach

Kristine Steffen, associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences; Amanda Brooks, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences; and Glenn Dorsam, associate professor of veterinary and microbiology sciences, will compare gut bacteria of patients who will undergo weight loss surgery to patients who have already had the surgery. Samples will be further examined to study mechanisms of post-surgical weight loss and diabetes resolution.

Seven proposals were submitted requesting a total of nearly $600,000. Sanford is providing $250,000 annually for the next four years for the seed-grant program. Research projects selected for funding are expected to be completed within a year.

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