How Rowan University is spending $3M in research funding in Camden

By Michelle Caffrey, January 28, 2019

Traffic congestion & its affects on hospitals' air quality. A cloud-connected heart health monitor that provides data in real time. Smart cities' sensors to estimate flooding in Camden.

Those are just a handful of the 24 projects spread across Rowan University’s medical school and four of its colleges that are receiving a chunk of $3.06 million in research funding, the school announced Friday.

The grants are part of a Rowan's Camden Health Research Initiative, the university's $50 million pledge to boost medical and life sciences research in the South Jersey city, where its Cooper Medical School of Rowan University is based. The funds are expected to be distributed over the next decade.

"This major investment in research will further advance the emerging health sciences hub in Camden," Rowan University President Ali Houshmand said in a statement. "As we attract top researchers and build more programs we also expect to see the development of more start-ups — and more jobs — in our region, further growing the South Jersey economy,”

The two dozen projects span 16 different departments with the university and are focused on one of four categories: biomedical engineering and science, cancer, engineering health communities and neuromedicine.

The Camden Health Research Initiative comes as Rowan has increased its sponsored research funding more than fourfold from $9.1 million in 2012 to $39.6 million in 2018. During hat same period, the university has seen significant transformation and its student body has grown by 56 percent. Rowan created the medical school with Cooper in 2012, was named a comprehensive public research university in 2013 and made significant investments in its presence in Camden along the way.

Its investments include partnering with Rutgers University — Camden and Camden County College to create the Joint Health Sciences Center, a $72 million, 95,000 square-foot building of lab and classroom space where students and faculty from all three institutions can work and learn together. The center is set to open in late spring.

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In total, developments in Camden tied to Rowan that were recently completed or are in the works amount to more than $240 million. That figure includes Rowan's $50 million commitment.

According to a recent report commissioned by the Rowan University/Rutgers-Camden Board of Governors to study Camden’s economic revival, academic and health care institutions supply nearly 40 percent of the city’s jobs – and employment in the industries grew 67 percent from 2004 to 2017, a time period during which Camden’s overall job base declined by 10 percent. The "eds and meds" sector is estimated to have an annual economic impact on the city to the tune of $2 billion.

Here’s a list of the first round of grant recipients by category, per a Rowan news release:

Biomedical Engineering & Science

Improving Safety Profile of Flexible Bronchoscopy: Novel Device to Allow Intermittent Oxygen Insufflation.

Investigators: Wissam Abouzgheib, Department of Medicine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Thomas Merrill, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

Somatic Cell Mutation in Human Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Investigators: Russell Buono, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Thomas Ferraro, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Melissa Carran, Department of Neurology, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; James Barrese, Department of Neurosurgery, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Combined Treatment with Ivabradine and Spironolactone as a Novel Strategy to Ameliorate Diastolic Heart Failure

Investigator: Eduard Dedkov, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Impact of PEG Treatment upon RNA Expression in Denervated Muscle and Nerve Tissue Undergoing Wallerian Degeneration

Investigators: David Fuller, Department of Orthopaedics, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Russell Buono, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; David Kahan, Fellow, Department of Orthopaedics, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Studying the Intravasation Step of Metastasis Using an In Vitro Microfluidic Platform

Investigators: Peter Galie, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; Mary Alpaugh, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, College of Science & Mathematics

Targeting Podoplanin to Prevent and Treat Inflammatory Arthritis

Investigators: Gary Goldberg, Department of Molecular Biology, School of Osteopathic Medicine; Andrea Bottaro, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Bradford Fischer, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Real-Time Cloud-Connected Wearable Heart Health Monitor

Investigators: Francis Haas, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; Robert Hirsh, Department of Anesthesiology, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Wei Xue, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

A Novel Immunization Strategy to Combat Cocaine Addiction

Investigators: Thomas Keck, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, College of Science & Mathematics; Bradford Fischer, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Ileana Soto Reyes, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, College of Science & Mathematics; Christopher Lowry, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder

Molecular Mechanisms of Systemic Inflammatory and Arthritic Joint Pain

Investigators: Michael O’Leary, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Bradford Fischer, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Andrea Bottaro, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Contingency Management Plus Suboxone to Treat Opioid Dependence: Behavioral and Neurological Predictors of Treatment Retention and Sustained Opioid Abstinence

Investigators: Bethany Raiff, Department of Psychology, College of Science & Mathematics; Igor Elman, Department of Psychiatry, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Kim Kirby, Department of Psychology, College of Science & Mathematics

Injectable Hydrogels for Delivering Biologics to Reduce the Incidence of Osteoporosis-Related Hip Fractures

Investigators: Sebastian Vega, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; Tae Won Kim, Department of Orthopaedics, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Cancer

Development of an Inflammatory Breast Cancer Tumor Registry

Investigators: Mary Alpaugh, Department of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, College of Science & Mathematics; Vivian Bea, Department of Oncology, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Robert Somer, Department of Medicine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Wendy Woodward, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Improving Quality of Life for Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Through Introducing Early Screening and Intervention for Pelvic Floor Dysfunction

Investigators: Lioudmila Lipetskaia, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; James Aikins, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Sensitizing Cancer Cells to Chemotherapeutic Drugs

Investigator: Randy Strich, Department of Molecular Biology, School of Osteopathic Medicine

Engineering Healthy Communities

A Novel Approach to Smoking Cessation in Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders

Investigators: Thomas Dinzeo, Department of Psychology, College of Science & Mathematics; Bethany Raiff, Department of Psychology, College of Science & Mathematics; Dina Silverman, Department of Psychiatry, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Consuelo Cagande, Department of Psychiatry, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Health Communication Campaign and Practice for Camden: Exploring the Variables Associated with Healthy Dietary Behaviors to Overcome Obesity Among Camden Residents Using Hierarchical Linear Model

Investigators: Seoyeon Celine Hong, Department of Public Relations & Advertising, College of Communication & Creative Arts; Bo Kim, Department of Public Relations & Advertising, College of Communication & Creative Arts; Sungwook Kim, Department of Statistics, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Understanding the Ecology of Immigrant Families and their Integration into Camden City: Multiple Systems for Health and Well-Being of Young Children from Birth to Age 5

Investigators: Zeynep Isik-Ercan, Department of Interdisciplinary & Inclusive Education, College of Education; Nicole Edwards, Department of Interdisciplinary & Inclusive Education, College of Education; Huan-Tang Lu, Department of Educational Services & Leadership, College of Education; Richard Selznick, Department of Pediatrics, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Art, Engineering and Medicine for Enhancing Orthopedic Resident Entrustability: Bringing Virtual and Augmented Reality Technology to Camden

Investigators: Tae Won Kim, Department of Orthopaedics, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Amanda Almon, Department of Radio, TV & Film, College of Communication & Creative Arts; Shreek Mandayam, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

Understanding the Interconnectivity Between Intersection Traffic Congestion, Hospital Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality, and Patients’ Health for Smart Cities Methodology and Case Study in Camden, New Jersey

Investigators: Yusuf Mehta, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; Manoj Pandey, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Seyed-Farzan Kazemi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Research and Education in Advanced Transportation Engineering Systems, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering  

A Precision Medicine Approach for the Treatment of Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Investigators: Sangita Phadtare; Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Lark Perez, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Science & Mathematics; Joshua DeSipio, Department of Medicine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Informed Patients Lead to Healthy Communities: Patient Understandings of Prenatal Testing

Investigators: Amy Reed, Department of Writing Arts, College of Communication & Creative Arts; Robin Perry, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

Making Camden Safer: The Smart City Sensor Array Flood Estimator

Investigators: Sangho Shin, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; Robert Krchnavek, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering; John Schmalzel, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering

Neuromedicine

Effect of Cannabis and Cannabinoids on the Immature Brain: Molecular Mechanisms

Investigators: Gonzalo Carrasco, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Russell Buono, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; Bradford Fischer, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

A Genetic Mouse Model of Adult-Onset Epilepsy

Investigators: Thomas Ferraro, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University; David Devilbiss, Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience, School of Osteopathic Medicine; Linda Siracusa, Department of Medical Sciences, Seton Hall University