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Advancing the Strategic Plan 2020 - Spring 2018


HEALTH AND THE HUMAN CONDITION “UTA will focus on health and the human condition from distinct, yet broadly encompassing, vantage points. We will explore health management within physical, mental, emotional, and social contexts. Health innovations will be distinguished by diagnostic, prognostic, and technological advancements that help people live longer, healthier, and happier lives.” ENABLING HEALTHY AGING UTA is taking the lead in enhancing healthy aging by focusing on research that ranges from understanding and treating diseases like cancer to developing exercise regimens that can improve endurance for patients with heart failure. Faculty and researchers are engaged with all aspects of research, from basic to translational. BASIC RESEARCH: FROM IDEA TO INVESTIGATION • Biomarkers for cancer to speed up detection and improve prognosis • Enzyme research to develop new inhibitors to address arthritis • Understanding the molecular mechanisms of muscle aging • Signaling processes that could provoke the death of cancer cells • The impact of physical inactivity on cardiovascular health • Mechanisms of blood flow in the legs of patients with heart failure SINCE 2016, UTA HAS RECEIVED 21 PATENTS RELATING TO HEALTH IMPACT: FROM THE LAB TO THE COMMUNITY • Exercise programs through UTA’s Center for Healthy Living and Longevity • Endurance exercise for patients with heart failure • FitSteps for Life nutrition and exercise program for cancer patients APPLIED RESEARCH: TESTING TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES • “Smart Care” apartment infused with intelligent care technology • More efficient integrated circuits to improve the quality of hearing aids • ReHab soft robotic glove for stroke victims • Noninvasive technique to measure oxygen consumption in the legs of heart failure patients • Emotional Robotics Living Lab to integrate robots into homes as companions and caregivers • Device to stimulate bone growth for patients with osteoporosis 50+ FACULTY INVOLVED IN HEALTH PROJECTS HEALTH RESEARCH EXPENDITURES BY AGENCY SPONSOR FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 GRANTS BY AGENCY SPONSOR FY 2015 FY 2016 FY 2017 NIH $1,488,894 $2,425,962 $3,329,869 NIH 25 36 38 AHA $107,053 $179,565 $228,017 AHA 3 6 5 CDMRP* $0 $238,533 $303,075 CDMRP* 0 1 1 CPRIT $369,994 $311,161 $543,497 CPRIT 3 3 6 TOTAL $1,965,941 $3,155,221 $4,404,458 TOTAL 31 46 50 *Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs

HEALTH AND THE HUMAN CONDITION RECENT PROGRESS AGING, HYPOXIA, AND CANCER Two UTA professors have established a link between hypoxia, a medical condition that reduces the flow of oxygen to tissues, and HOTAIR, a noncoding RNA implicated in several types of cancer. Marco Brotto, the George W. and Hazel M. Jay Endowed Professor of Nursing, and Subhrangsu Mandal, associate professor of chemistry, found that hypoxia helps aid the growth of cancer cells in people with the HOTAIR gene. It is also a critical driver of tumor growth. The study could provide insight for the development of a drug to inhibit the development of cancer by targeting HOTAIR. BLOOD VESSEL FUNCTION Michael Nelson, assistant professor of kinesiology, received an NIH grant to build new imaging technology that can be used to study blood vessel function in patients with heart failure, potentially leading to quicker diagnosis and life-saving treatment. He and his team will develop a device to study how oxygen is delivered to skeletal muscles and how those muscles utilize the oxygen. The technology will use laser light to track the movement of red blood cells in muscles, as well as the oxygen content of the muscle itself. LESSENING CHEMOTHERAPY’S SIDE EFFECTS UTA’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation partnered with the Cancer Foundation for Life to help cancer patients return to full health. Known as FitSteps for Life, the free, community-based nutrition and exercise program is structured to help cancer patients increase mobility and boost endurance while undergoing treatment. It is tailored to the individual and includes aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching. The goal is to mitigate the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and radiation, as studies show that cancer patients who exercise during and after treatment improve their cardiorespiratory fitness and quality of life. CARDIOVASCULAR ISSUES IN OLDER ADULTS Mark Haykowsky, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Moritz Chair of Gerontological Nursing Research, received an NIH grant to study exercise intolerance in older heart failure patients with preserved ejection fraction, or HFpEF. He and Associate Dean for Research Paul Fadel, Assistant Professor Michael Nelson, and Associate Professors Kathryn Daniel and Daisha Cipher are studying the mechanisms and management of exercise intolerance and its improvement with endurance exercise training in an effort to improve patients’ muscle sympathetic nerve activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, aerobic endurance and functional performance, and quality of life. BOLD SOLUTIONS GLOBAL IMPACT 3