Submitting Author TitleAbstract SummarySubmittingAuthorAffiliation_Inst/OrgAbstractInfo_GrantSupport
The study of microRNAs as novel targets for cancer treatment is a current topic of great interest mainly due to their biological role in tumor viability and progression. Recent studies demonstrates the relationship between microRNAs and associations to key sub-cellular pathways, this suggest promising results to use microRNAs as therapeutic targets. Current studies of miR-21, miR-27a for ovarian cancer and miR-143 for glioblastoma are not enough to understand the development of the disease among Hispanics. The available analytical tools do not provide all the expected results. Our objective is to identify the relationship between microRNA expression values and their role in cancer progression using clinical patient data from large databases.

Studies of microRNA in ovarian cancer and glioblastoma are uncommon. Therefore, we propose a new pipeline, using RTCGAToolbox from Bioconductor. We will create a new survival analysis method, which can analyze prognosis in Hispanic populations. Consequently, we propose novel biological networks from the miRNA expression data. To discover interactions between miRNAs/Genes in association with miR-21, miR-27a & miR-143, for ovarian cancer and glioblastoma respectively.

The creation of this pipeline would provide a faster course to manage miRNAs and genomic cancer research data, helping in the future to create specialized treatments for cancer patients in Hispanic populations.

The results will be complemented with biological network analysis for miR-21, miR-27a and miR-143 in association with other miRNAs/genes using pathway analysis software’s, such as KEGG, Reactome, Pathvisio, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis.
Medical Sciences Campus - University of Puerto RicoThis research was supported by Center for Collaborative Research in Health Disparities (CCRHD), Award Number G12 MD007600 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
AdakuPHARMACOGENOMICS IN OPIOID USE DISORDER MANAGEMENTPURPOSE: Opioid use disorder (OUD) constitutes a significant public health burden in the United States. In 2014, 61% of the 47,055 drug overdose deaths that occurred in the United States were attributable to prescription opioid and heroin use. OUD management consists of behavioral modification therapy and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Buprenorphine is a partial mu-opioid agonist and an MAT option for OUD management. Buprenorphine is metabolized via the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 3A4 enzyme. The CYP3A4*1B allele confers a higher rate of metabolism than the CYP3A4*1 allele, and the CYP3A4*1B allele frequency is higher in African diasporic populations than in people of European descent. Our aim is to determine associations between CYP3A4 genotype, the rate of relapse to unauthorized substances, and the presence of withdrawal symptoms in African American patients being managed on buprenorphine.

METHODS: A retrospective chart review was conducted on five patients from an OUD management clinic in Washington D.C. Demographic data, medication history, and social history were collected for each patient. Pharmacogenomic test reports were reviewed to determine CYP3A4 genotype information.

RESULTS: All five patients were African American males with an average age of 58 years. Four patients had the CYP3A4*1/*1B genotype and one patient had the CYP3A4*1B/*1B genotype. All five patients required daily buprenorphine doses above the 24 mg/day maximum in order to reduce withdrawal symptoms and relapse to unauthorized substances.

DISCUSSION: Clinical pharmacogenomic testing may help to improve OUD management outcomes for patients being managed on buprenorphine.
Howard University
AdalísImproving the Diagnostic of Prostate Cancer in Puerto RicoPURPOSE
Prostate cancer has the highest incidence and level of mortality than any other type of cancer in Puerto Rico. It is higher than the overall incidence in populations of US-Non Hispanic whites, US-Hispanics, and lower than in the US-Non Hispanic blacks. The Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test is used in Puerto Rico as a prostate cancer biomarker (cut-off value 4.00 ng/mL). However, such a value is quite controversial due to false negatives, false positives, and unfortunately because it is not entirely prostate cancer specific. Nonetheless, the PSA test is still worldwide used due to its availability, inexpensive cost, ease of administration, non-invasive nature, and also because it is prostate specific. Differing PSA reference ranges have been found for different ethnicities. In this research, we propose to improve the diagnostic and prognosis of prostate cancer in Puerto Rico by developing a new and novel interpretation of the PSA test.
In order to address our objective a PSA statistical analysis of 16305 Puerto Rican men with proven prostate cancer was carried out. PSA data (from 2004-2012) was provided by the Puerto Rico Central Cancer Registry.
For all Puerto Rican prostate cancer patients, PSA statistical central measures and variability were determined to obtain PSA age-specific reference ranges for non-aggressive tumors (0 CONCLUSION
The main objective of this research was successfully achieved. PSA-age specific reference ranges were obtained in order to improve decision-making and medical treatment of prostate cancer in Puerto Rico.
University of Puerto Rico - HumacaoGRANT SUPPORT National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR Award Number 5U58-DP 003863-02) to the Puerto Rico Central Cancer Registry.
ADEBAYOPPARa INTERACTS WITH PHD PROTEINS IN RENAL FIBROSISPURPOSE: Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)a and prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein (PHD) are “sensors” of cellular energy and oxygen with known protective effects in the kidney in a potentially complimentary fashion. This study examined the effects of PPARa and its interaction with PHD.
METHODS: Renal fibrosis was induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) in PPAR WT and KO mice treated with dimethyl oxallyl glycine (DMOG), a PHD inhibitor. Kidneys were collected after 10 days.
RESULTS: UUO increased hydroxyl proline in PPARa WT and KO kidneys (P<0.05) but to a greater extent in KO kidneys. DMOG markedly blunted the effect only in WT kidneys (P<0.05). TGFb expression was also increased (~ 3-fold, P<0.05) in both WT and KO kidneys and DMOG blunted UUO-induced increase in TGFb expression only in WT kidneys (P<0.05). Bilirubin, an index of heme oxygenase activity, was reduced in WT kidneys (P<0.05) following UUO but paradoxically increased in KO kidneys (P<0.05). DMOG blunted the reduction in bilirubin in WT (P<0.05) but was without effect in KO kidneys. Serum arginase activity was reduced in WT mice (P<0.05) but there was no change in KO mice following UUO. DMOG was without effect in WT and KO mice.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that PPAR serves a protective role against UUO by mechanisms related to heme oxygenase and arginase. The effect exerted by PPARa appears to be coupled to PHD proteins by mechanisms involving heme oxygenase but not arginase.
ADEBAYOPROLYL HYDROXY BINDING PROTEIN AND MYD88/P65 IN RENAL INJURYPURPOSE: Oxidative stress and inflammation, features of hypertension and kidney disease, involve Nrf2, a transcription factor, and myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88), an adaptor protein implicated in inflammation and NFkB activation. Prolyl hydroxyl binding protein (PHD), an oxygen sensor in hypoxia is also intricately linked to inflammation/oxidative stress but it’s linkage is not yet fully known.
METHODS: Hypertensive renal injury was induced in rats by L-NG-Nitroarginine; NG-nitro-L-Arginine (LNNA), inhibitor of nitric oxide (NO) synthase and high salt (8% NaCl) diet. The expression of PHD, Nrf2, MyD88 and NFkB was evaluated by western blot.
RESULTS: LNNA reduced PHD2 (P<0.05) but not PHD1 expression and increased blood pressure (BP; P<0.05), protein excretion (3.5-fold, P<0.05) and KIM-1 expression (3.8-fold, P<0.05). DMOG did not affect LNNA-induced reduction in PHD2 expression and the hypertension but blunted the proteinuria and KIM-1 expression. DMOG also blunted decreased Nrf2 expression, increased nuclear expression of p65 (P<0.05) and MyD88 (P<0.05), increased serum TNFa and IL-1b (P<0.05) production and xanthine–induced renal production of H2O2 (P<0.05) LNNA-treated animals.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest increased MyD88/p65 expression and cytokine production in the renal injury and inflammation induced by NO deficiency and high salt diet. The data also suggest that the mechanism involved in the renoprotective role for PHD2 is linked to reduced MyD88 expression/NFKB activation and cytokine production.
ADEBAYOPPARa/SALT DIET REGULATE PROLYL HYDROXYL BINDING PROTEINSPURPOSE: Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF)/prolyl-hydroxylase domain-containing proteins (PHD) and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha (PPARa), a transcription factor involved in fatty acid oxidation independently contribute to adaptive changes to altered oxygen tension. This study tested the hypothesis that PHD1-induced renal adaptive response to salt load is PPARa-dependent.
METHODS: PPARa WT and KO mice were placed on a low salt (LS; 0.03% NaCl) or high salt (HS; 8% NaCl) diet for 10 days. PHD1 expression was evaluated in the cortex and medulla after 10 days.
RESULTS: PHD1 expression was greater in the medulla of PPARa WT mice (P<0.05) on LS diet. HS diet downregulated PHD1 expression selectively in the WT medulla (P<0.05) but in the cortex (P<0.05) and medulla (P<0.05) of KO mice. These changes were accompanied by HS-induced diuresis (P<0.05) and natriuresis (P<0.05) that were greater in WT mice (P<0.05). Urinary excretion of nitrite (UNOxV), index of renal nitric oxide synthase (NOS) availability and bilirubin, index of heme oxygenase (HO) activity was greater in WT (P<0.05) but unchanged in KO mice. Hydralazine, a PHD inhibitor, did not affect diuresis or natriuresis in LS diet-fed WT or KO mice but both were increased (P<0.05) in HS diet-fed WT mice. Hydralazine also increased UNOxV (P<0.05) with no change in diuresis, natriuresis or bilirubin in KO mice.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest that HS-induced PPAR-mediated down regulation of PHD1 is a novel pathway for PHD/HIF-1a transcriptional regulation for adaptive responses to promote renal function via downstream signaling that involves, in part, NOS and HO.
The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) protein subfamily G (ABCG) has been associated with sterol transport, drug resistance, and glutathione (GSH) transport. We undertook a phylogenomic study to establish the identity and elucidate the evolution of the ABCG family of Plasmodium species. In addition, we investigated pbabcg gene expression using rtPCR in mutants displaying significantly low or high GSH levels.
For the phylogenomic study, database searches were carried out in PLASMOdb and GenBank to select the ABCG proteins homologous to human ABCG’s. Searches were performed across multiple genomes, and all available Plasmodium sequences. For the expression profile of abcg gene, mutant parasites that overexpress pbggcs gene (pbggcs-oe) and mutants that do not express the gene (pbggcs-) were used.
The only ABCG transporter in Plasmodium spp. has the motifs of the ABC cassette and the six-helix transmembrane domain. Phylogenomic analyses showed that ABCG proteins in Plasmodium appear to have undergone evolutionary drift and constitute a separate subfamily of ABCG.
Our results for the expression profile of pbabcg gene indicate a higher expression of the gene (3.3±0.6) in pbggcs- parasites as compared to the pbggcs-oe (2.4±0.7) (P value = 0.0456).
This is the first phylogenomic study of the single member of ABCG family in Plasmodium spp and the first study that describes the expression of pbabcg in a mutant having altered GSH levels. These results have important implications for theories of drug resistance, as the subfamily, usually implicated in xenobiotic metabolism and efflux, is not seen in Plasmodium.
UPR School of MedicineThis study was funded by RCMI 8G12MD007600. RGM and the phylogenomic study were supported by NIGMS MARC Grants T36-GM-008789, T36-GM-095335,NCRR Grant P41-RR06009, and the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), NSF grant OCI-1053575.
AdelfaIDENTIFICATION OF NEW COMPOUND WITH ANTIMALARIAL PROPERTIESThe development of resistant malaria parasites to commonly used drugs including artemisinin and derivatives continues to represent a real threat for malaria control. PURPOSE: The long-term goal of our research is to identify, validate, and transfer compounds to the lead antimalarial pipeline. METHODS: Our strategy is focused on structure-based in silico screening of small molecule against a target protein, glutathione S-transferase, which was genetically validated to be crucial for parasite development in the asexual stages. The Plasmodium berghei GST (pbGST) 3D model was used to perform in silico screening of the ChemBridge library. RESULTS: A total of 2,000 virtual library hits were visually inspected for each binding site (G and H sites) and 40 compounds were identified as potential pbGST inhibitors and tested in a bioassay. Interestingly, one small molecule displayed in vitro antimalarial activity at low nanomolar concentration. The antimalarial activity of the compound was confirmed in three biological replicas in triplicate each. Initial steps for preclinical evaluation of the compound included predicted pharmacological properties, erythrocyte lysis and cytotoxicity assays. The identified small molecule follows the Lipinski’s rule of five, providing opportunities for further development. Results from erythrocyte lysis assay show no lytic activity of this compound to red blood cells confirmed in three biological replicas in sextuplicate each. DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: Our model predicts that the compound shows antimalarial activity by the inhibition of the pbGST. In vitro inhibition activity using parasite extracts and recombinant pbGST are ongoing to validate the predicted target. This work will contribute to identify novel compounds that will ultimately translate into therapeutic use.University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences CampusThis research was supported by Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust grant and NIMHD-RCMI 8G12MD007600.
African ancestry is an established non-modifiable risk factor for aggressive prostate cancer (PCa). We previously demonstrated that exon 9 of PVT1, a long non-coding gene, may be involved in racial disparity in PCa. Using the most recent full-genome variability panel from the 1000 Genomes project, we identified a string of 75 SNPs in a 26-kb region spanning PVT1 exons 4A and 4B as consistently showing the highest level of genetic differentiation between African and non-African populations. However, the expression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B and 9 in prostate tissues of males of African ancestry (MoAA) has never been investigated.
We aimed to determine the expression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B and 9 in histologically confirmed normal prostate (n=22), benign tumor prostate (n=35) and malignant prostate (n=28) samples from MoAA. RT-qPCR were performed.
The results show an overexpression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B and 9 in malignant prostate tissue compared with non-malignant tissue in MoAA. There was a significant difference in the expression of PVT1 exon 4A, F(2,61)=9.031, p=0.000; PVT1 exon 4B (F(2,61)=5.294, p=0.004) and PVT1 exon 9 (F(2,61)=3.700, p=0.029) between groups as determined by one-way ANOVA. Also, using RNA ISH, PVT1 exon 9 was detected overexpressed prostate tumor tissue.
In conclusion, the results suggest that (1) the overexpression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B and 9 is characteristic of PCa in MoAA and (2) overexpression of PVT1 exon 4B and PVT1 exon 9 are specific for PCa, and that PVT1 exon 4B may distinguish between indolent and aggressive PCa in MoAA.
Hunter College/CUNY
AdeyinkaFAMILY HISTORY AND COMPLIANCE TO COLONOSCOPY APPOINTMENTSPURPOSE: Family medical history is the major determinant of when colon cancer screening should begin. It is unclear whether lack of adequate knowledge of family medical history contributes to the disproportionately higher burden from colorectal cancer among blacks.
We evaluated the association between the knowledge of family medical history and compliance with out-patient screening colonoscopy appointments among blacks.

METHODS: This is a secondary data analysis of a randomized control trial which evaluated the efficacy of using a self-selected social contact person to act as a facilitator akin to a patient navigator to improve compliance to scheduled out-patient screening colonoscopy as measured by showing up for the procedure and having adequate bowel preparation. Participants filled a baseline questionnaire which included knowledge and discussion of family medical history. We evaluated compliance to colonoscopy by knowledge of family medical history, discussion of medical problems with their family and presence of a family history of colorectal cancer.

RESULTS: Overall, knowledge of family medical history (76 % vs 77.3%; OR = 0.93; 95% CI: 0.53-1.64), willingness to discuss medical problems with their family (76.9% vs 75.2%; OR = 1.09; 95% CI: 0.66-1.83) and having a family history of colorectal cancer (71.7% vs 76.8%; OR = 0.77; 95% CI: 0.38-1.52) were not associated with compliance with colonoscopy appointment. No difference was also seen in adequacy of bowel preparation.

CONCLUSION: Family medical history was not associated with compliance with screening colonoscopy appointment. There is a great need for improved health literacy regarding colon cancer prevention among blacks.
Howard University, Washington DCThe study was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Diseases and Kidney (NIDDK) grant number: R21DK100875
AdrianRelationship between maternal care and hearing onset in ratsPrevious studies in rodents have demonstrated the profound effects that the acoustic environment plays during the postnatal development of the auditory system. However, much less is known about how early sensory experience affects the onset of hearing. Recently, we found that manipulations of mother-litter interactions during a postnatal sensitive period accelerate hearing development by changes in the auditory periphery (Adise et al., 2014). We hypothesized that accelerated hearing development results from changes in maternal care behavior. However, the relationship between maternal care behavior and modulation of hearing onset is unknown. In this study, we investigated the relationship between maternal care and hearing onset in Wistar rats. We used a model in which natural variations in maternal care are identified in a large cohort of dams by measuring the frequency of different behaviors including licking and grooming (LG) followed by selection of dams with LG scores higher or lower than one standard deviation from the mean. In a first selection experiment (n=36 dams), we tracked startle responses and eye opening in 50 pups from four low-LG and 46 pups from five high-LG litters. We found that the age (in days after birth) at which 50% of pups showed a startle response (A50 startle, mean ± sem) was 11.5 ± 0.4 days and 13.1 ± 0.3 days for low- vs high-LG litters, respectively. The A50 for eye opening was 13.8 ± 0.2 days and 15.3 ± 0.5 days for low- vs high-LG litters, respectively. To get a more quantitative measurement of auditory thresholds during hearing onset we performed a second selection experiment (n=36 dams) and measured auditory brainstem responses to clicks from 26 pups from two low-LG litters and 31 pups from two high-LG litters. We are currently analyzing the data from these experiments. Our preliminary results show that pups reared by high-LG dams have a delayed hearing onset compared to pups reared by low-LG dams. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms by which maternal care behavior influences hearing onset can provide new insight into the experience-dependent development of hearing in health and disease.City University of New York, City CollegeNIH grants 3G12MD007603-30S1 from the NIMHHD and 9SC1DC015907 from NIDCD
AidalizENDOTHELIAL DYSFUNCTION AND ATHEROSCLEROSISAtherosclerosis is a major concern in the aged-population diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases. Being part of the leading causes of death in the United States population, this chronic disease is caused by a disruption of the body’s lipid metabolism, which leads to progressive narrowing of arteries due to accumulation of plaques. Regarding the development of atherosclerosis, it has been shown that endothelial dysfunction is a major trigger of vascular inflammation and therefore, atherosclerotic lesions. In age-related diseases, this vascular inflammation can be caused by: irreversible growth arrest of endothelial cells called senescence, activation of inflammasomes, which are innate immune system receptors, and other pro-inflammatory molecules. In this study, we aimed to compare the effects that fatty acids (palmitic acid, PA) have on young and old human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). First, the cells were incubated with 100 µM of PA, 2 mg/mL of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or a combination of both for 72 hours. Then, they were stained with β-Galactosidase staining solution to assess the senescence and cell lysates were collected for protein analysis by western blot. Also, MitoSox Red Mitochondrial Superoxide Indicator was used to compare the morphology and amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the cells. Although both young and old endothelial cells co-incubated with PA exhibited increase senescence compared to control, the old HUVECs had a higher number of senescent cells. Increase ROS production in old cells suggests a higher activation of the inflammasome pathway, and therefore, higher risk of developing atherosclerotic lesions. In conclusion, this study provides evidence that old endothelial cells display an acute inflammatory response leading to higher senescence and therefore, higher vascular inflammation and higher risk of developing atherosclerotic lesions. Pharmacological induced blocking of the inflammasome pathway could have therapeutic potential in age-related diseases such as atherosclerosisUniversity of Puerto Rico- Medical Sciences CampusNational Institute of Health (R01 AG040297, R01 AG048366, R01AG050238, K02 AG045339
Aisha2-5OAS1 SNPS AND HAPLOTYPES ASSOCIATED WITH PROSTATE CANCER2’-5’–oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1), an antiviral enzyme converts ATP to a series of 2’-5’– oligoadenylates (2-5A). 2-5A activates RNASEL, a tumor suppressor and a candidate hereditary prostate cancer gene. We hypothesized that OAS1 expression or enzyme activity required to generate an anti-tumor response is attenuated in prostate cancer (PCa) due to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) that is also associated with race. We genotyped and analyzed over 600 genomic DNA samples from African American and Caucasian normal and PCa subjects. The genotyping was performed to screen following SNPs: rs10774671, rs1131476, rs1051042 and rs2660 in the haplotype block around the splice acceptor site (rs10774671) in the last exon of OAS1 to determine Linkage Disequilibrium (LD) or LD decay in context of PCa. The rs10774671 GG and AA genotypes generates isoform 1 (p46) and isoform 3 (p48), respectively are distributed equally in the healthy population. However, in cases, the AA genotype was significantly associated with PCa risk (OR: 1.80, P-value: < 0.0001). The genotypic frequencies of rs1131476, rs1051042 and rs2660 demonstrated significant LD but showed no association to PCa risk. We also identified protective and risk haplotypes from our combined analysis of rs10774671, rs1131476, rs1051042 and rs2660 with PCa.Clark Atlanta UniversityNIH/NIMHD/ P20 MD-002285 and in part by NIH/ NIMHD/RCMI G12 MD 007590
AkikoGlutamine and chronic stress-induced cocaine response by sexWomen are more vulnerable than men to some mental disorders, yet it is not clear if women are also more vulnerable than men to the co-occurring mental diseases. Using animal models, our lab has focused on major depression (MD) and substance use disorders (SUD) to identify the role of glutamate-glutamine cycle, a transfer of glutamate or glutamine between neurons and astrocytes. Our previous study indicates that chronic stress, showing some depression-like symptoms, can disrupt the glutamate transfer in females, as indicated by reduced astrocytes, glutamate transporter-1, and glutamate clearance in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). By contrast, chronic stress reduced extracellular glutamine in males. In this study, we identified the role of glutamine transfer on chronic stress-induced locomotor responses to repeated cocaine. Male and female Long-Evans rats were exposed to 21 days of chronic social defeat stress (CSDS), followed by a series of cocaine. Accumbal protein expression of presynaptic sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter 1/2 (SNAT1/2) were measured. The co-localization of glutamine and mitochondria was analyzed in a separate cohort of CSDS males using an electron microscope. CSDS induced SNAT1/2, and cocaine normalized its protein expression in females. CSDS reduced SNAT1/2, and cocaine exaggerated its protein expression in males. Further, CSDS males show reduced co-localization of glutamine and mitochondria in non-synaptic terminals in the NAc. A striking sex difference was observed in chronic stress-induced locomotor responses to repeated cocaine. Thus, chronic stress-induced addiction-like responses may be sex-dependent, partially due to the sex difference in glutamine transfer in the NAc.Meharry Medical CollegeNIH: G12 MD007586, U54 MD007593, U54 CA163069 (Meharry Medical College); NIH: RTRN Research Enhancement Award (2016-2017) (AS); VA: I01 BX000552, I01 BX001643 (CKM)
AlexanderADDRESSING HEALTH EQUITY USING INFORMATICSBackground: The mission of Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is “Leading the Creation and Advancement of Health Equity." To address this mission, the Biomedical Informatics Unit (BIU) provides services that will allow MSM Community to leverage and develop novel technologies and mechanisms to better inform decision affecting health.

Method: The use of the MSM Research Web Portal and Research Connect are intuitive user interfaces where the MSM Community can access research resources, share projects and easily communicate in groups. The Informatics services include Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) application for building and managing online surveys and databases, and i2b2 access that allows researchers to run queries and perform simple data analysis on the limited data from Electronic Health Records’ for cohort identification and hypothesis generation.

Results: The use of BIU services in 2016-2017 resulted in 34 Faculty and 40 new students trained on REDCap and Mobile application to assist with capturing data in areas where there was little or no internet connectivity. The portal generated 20,041 pageviews,41.5% new visitors and 58.5% returning visitors. A total of 2,890 users on the Research Web Portal. 2,323 queries were generated using i2b2 to determine research cohorts. BIU had 12 publications in the areas of Cancer, HIV, Community Engagement and Vitamin D. Studies

Conclusion: BIU continues to provide services and training to the MSM Community and through collaborations will generate more publications with other institutions.
Morehouse School of Medicine8 U54 MD007588; 5U54MD008173; UL1TR000454; CDRN-1306-04608; 1 U54 RR026137-01
AlexanderADVANCING HEALTH EQUITY THROUGH RESEARCH EDUCATIONPURPOSE: There is a critical need for trained clinical and translational (CT) researchers with appropriate cultural sensitivity and perspectives in health areas that disproportionately impact minority/underserved populations. The goal of the Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD) program at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is to identify motivated doctorally-prepared candidates for curriculum based training and mentoring in CT research, leading to the accredited Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) degree.

METHODS: Academic activities for the CRECD program began in July 2002. Structured into a Phase I and Phase II, the expected outcomes of the program are submission of at least a) one grant; b) one first authored abstract to a scientific meeting/conference; and c) one first-authored manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal by each CRECD trainee.

RESULTS: Since 2002; a total of 68 Phase I/MSCR degree trainees have matriculated representing 124% of projected enrollment, and graduated 49 scholars including 27 junior clinical faculty from diverse clinical disciplines; 89% of trainees are underrepresented minorities and 72% are women. CRECD scholars have published 262 peer-reviewed manuscripts and submitted 487 abstracts; this represents over 100% increase in productivity compared with their peers in clinical departments. Five Phase II Scholar graduates have competed successfully for extramural funds (NIH and CDC), and are on a career track toward independence. CRECD scholars/trainees have secured grants totaling $12,523,672.00.

CONCLUSION: The CRECD program has made significant contributions towards MSM’s commitment to health disparities by increasing the numbers of minority researchers pursuing CT health disparities research.
Morehouse School of MedicineNIMHD R25 RR17589, NIMHD R25MD007589, and NHLBI Minority T32 1T32HL103104-01
AlexisTRENDS AND DISPARITIES IN HPV-RELATED CANCER IN TENNESSEEOur goal was to describe trends in HPV-related cancers among Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) patients by anatomic site from 1980-2015, and to compare differences in the proportion of HPV-related cancers by race and gender from 2010-2014 at VUMC and in the state of Tennessee (TN).
The VUMC Research Derivative (RD) was utilized to extract data on the number of HPV-related cancer cases diagnosed at VUMC. The Tennessee Cancer Registry (TCR) provided incidence rates for TN and Davidson County by anatomic site, race, and gender. We conducted descriptive analyses to assess changes over time in the number of cancer cases at VUMC. To assess differences across population subgroups, we used Pearson chi-square for the VUMC data and calculated incidence rate ratios (IRR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the TCR data.
At VUMC, oral pharyngeal cancer (OPC) and anal cancer increased over time while cervical cancer decreased over time. The other cancers remained stable. In TN, the incidence of OPC was significantly higher among whites compared to blacks (IRR=1.4, 95%CI 1.2-1.6), while cervical cancer was significantly higher among blacks compared to whites (IRR=1.5, 95%CI 1.3-1.7).
Similar to national trends, OPC and anal cancer are increasing while cervical cancer incidence is decreasing at VUMC. We found gender and racial differences in cancer incidence, which could help guide future screening and prevention strategies. This study will serve as benchmark data to assess the impact of local efforts to increase HPV vaccination and screening on disparities in HPV-associated cancers.
Meharry Medical College/Vanderbilt University Medical CenterResearch supported by R25CA102209 (NIH/NCI, Marshall, PI) and Vanderbilt Trans- Institutional Programs (TIPS Project, Ronald Alvarez, PI)
AlexusIMPACT OF BUILT ENVIRONMENT ON ACCESS TO ROTAVIRUS VACCINEPURPOSE: Rotavirus (RV) is the leading global cause of severe diarrhea in children. In the US, RV vaccines have significantly reduced this burden; however, clear disparities exist in successful completion of the RV vaccination. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between a child’s built and social environment and access to RV vaccination. We hypothesize that socioenvironmental factors affect the ability of a child to complete the RV vaccine.
METHODS: Secondary data analysis of children who were diagnosed with acute gastroenteritis in 2010,2011,and 2013 from 3 pediatric Emergency Departments in Atlanta, Georgia. Individual level data (demographics, place of residence, type of health insurance, and primary care providers (PCPs)) was collected; fecal samples were tested for RV; and RV and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP) vaccine dates and doses were obtained. All patients’ identified home and respective PCP locations were geo-coded. Area level factors associated with healthcare access were collected from the US Census data, published transportation data and PCP registries within Atlanta’s Metropolitan Statistical Area. A multi-level geostatistical model was developed to examine relationship between built environment among children who were and were not able to complete RV vaccinations.
Preliminary Results: We geocoded 702 enrolled children and their PCP practice locations during the 3 year study period, determined if they had ‘complete’ or ‘incomplete’ RV vaccine status, determined RV vaccine access variables, and identified geographic clusters based on RV status.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Findings from this study will begin to identify barriers in a child’s built environment which contribute to vaccine access.
Morehouse School of MedicineThis research uses existing data collected for an original study designed by Dr. M Cortese, Dr. L Immergluck, Dr. M Held, Dr. S Jain, Dr. S Khizer, Dr. U Parashar, and Dr. M Vazquez and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emerging Infections Program Grants U01CI0000307-05 and U0I000312; the National Center for Advancing Translations Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Clinical Research and Education Career Development Program, Grant 8R25MD007589-10; and K-08 Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality- -Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Research Development Award- HS024338-01
AliceA BORDERLAND WHOLE EXOME ANALYSIS OF HEMATOLOGICAL CANCERSPURPOSE: An unequal burden of leukemia incidence and associated deaths amongst Hispanic children exists along the U.S-Mexico border. These disparities are associated with multiple factors including a possible predisposition to developing somatic mutations within genes that drive cancer. Thus, it is imperative to identify and characterize the role of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that emerge in a population dependent manner. METHODS: To address this, whole exome sequencing (WES) was used to identify SNPs from leukemia patient samples collected within El Paso, TX, human hematopoietic cancer cell lines and healthy control samples. UTEP’s OncoMiner pipeline was used to identify SNPs, link them to associated literature, establish genomic locations, compare the occurrence frequencies among different groups and predict potential deleterious impact via PROVEAN scoring. Using Gene Ontology (GO) terms the identified SNPs will be sorted based on their molecular function or associated biological process for both the control and disease groups. EXPECTED RESULTS: Using WES and OncoMiner pipeline we identified thousands of previously unreported SNPs. Further analysis of the dataset using GO term sorting will aide in determining if any particular functional group harbors significantly more mutations then others. DISCUSSION: In this study we sought to identify candidate variants that show significant differences between the cancer and control groups. Future work will focus on in vitro experiments to elucidate the impact on protein function and driving cancer. A broader collection of WES data is needed to determine if the variants identified here are more prevalent in Hispanic vs. non-Hispanic cancer patients.University of Texas at El PasoGRANT SUPPORT: Research supported in part by grants from the Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation and Edward N. and Margaret G. Marsh Foundation, and made possible by grant 5G12MD007592 to the BBRC from the NIMHD, a component of the NIH. AHG was supported by the RISE Scholars Program at UTEP through NIGMS Grant No. R25GM069621-12.
AlnidaSUPPORTING TRIALS, STUDIES AND SURVEYS AT THE RTRN DCCPURPOSE: Although the RTRN Data Coordinating Center (DCC) provides sites with well-developed tools necessary to conduct a successful translational clinical trial, clinical study and survey, there is also a human side that may be involved in errors. The Clinical Data Services (CDS) division works closely with the sites in this aspect to coordinate activities to produce an error free database (clean data).

METHOD: The DCC CDS division provided hands-on training and support for the clinical trials, clinical studies and surveys to the sites. This support consisted of training on various database, assistance in the designing of case report forms and generating Data Clarification Forms. The CDS supported weekly team meetings using webinars and teleconferences, taking minutes at weekly meetings, tracking multi-site IRB compliance and site submission, creation of the electronic Trial Master File, reviewing and writing sections of the Manual of Procedures as well as reviewing annotations for critical variables.

RESULTS: The CDS division has successfully supported FDA and non-regulated clinical trials, studies and surveys from start-up to database lock. The clean data resulting from prospective efforts for errorless database decreased time to make them correct afterward. This type of service offered investigators with valid and reliable data for statistical analysis and manuscript development. The division’s site training and documentation has significantly contributed to the success of implementing multi-site translational clinical trials, clinical studies and surveys.

CONCLUSION: The CDS division provides the personalized oversight and management needed to connect multiple research sites and to sustain a trial from start-up to completion in order to produce viable data.
Jackson State UniversityThis study is supported by grant number U54MD008149 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.
Studies have shown that African Americans develop end-stage renal disease four times more often than European Americans. A hallmark of kidney disease includes the damage or loss of podocytes, which are the key components of the glomerulus within the kidney. It has been discovered that Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene variants, G1 and G2, are exclusively found in individuals of African ancestry and provide immunity against African sleeping sickness, but unexpectedly can lead to the development and progression of end stage non-diabetic kidney disease. Podocytes are terminally differentiated cells that depend on autophagy, a process for homeostasis and survival. Autophagy is a catabolic process used to break down non-functional proteins and organelles to maintain cell survival. Dysregulation of autophagy may cause accumulation of autophagosomes that are unable to fuse with lysosomes for degradation, leading to disease. The objective of this study is to reverse cytotoxicity in human podocytes expressing APOL1 variants in order to treat kidney disease.
By using cells transfected with APOL1, we performed Western blotting to analyze protein expression, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay to measure cytotoxicity, fluorescent microscopy to observe autophagosome accumulation, and immunoprecipitation assay to determine interaction between APOL1 and Bcl-2 family protein, Mcl-1.
We expect that APOL1 plays an inhibitory role in autophagy, thus contributing to kidney disease. We expect that a Bcl-2 family member can reverse APOL1 cytotoxicity.
We report that APOL1 toxicity is reversed by Mcl-1 and alternative splicing. These mechanisms provide therapy to treat kidney disease in individuals expressing APOL1.
MEHARRY MEDICAL COLLEGEResearch was supported by NHLBI T32 grant Research Training in Cardiovascular Biology at Meharry Medical College.
Comorbidity of diabetes and depression is associated with poor glucose control, decreased quality of life, and increased costs of health care, disability and mortality rate. Studies assessing racial/ethnic disparities are limited. This study explored racial/ethnic differences in health care use among people with type 2 diabetes and depression. It aimed to determine differences among Whites, Black, Hispanics, and other races in terms of insurance coverage, access to general and specialized care, antidepressant use, and hospitalizations.

This study was a secondary data analysis using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2014). A total of 1022 participants with diabetes and depression symptoms were included. Racial/ethnic differences with respect to the variables of interest were assessed using the Chi-square test.

Overall, almost 50% of the study population had moderate to severe depression symptoms, 85% had not seen a mental health professional, 30% had been hospitalized in the past year, and 50% had public health insurance regardless of race. Significant race/ethnic differences were found in insurance coverage, antidepressant use, and having a routine place for health- and diabetes care (all P-values< 0.05). Higher percentages of Hispanics did not have insurance coverage or did not see a doctor for diabetes.

This study underscores the need for integrating mental care to diabetes care. Changes in public insurance that limit service, could be detrimental to this population. Minorities, especially Hispanics, could benefit of policies and practices that strengthen primary care and enhance access to care.
Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy
AmneUSE OF MODAFINIL FOLLOWING TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.PURPOSE: To assess the literature evidence on the efficacy of modafinil in treating patients with fatigue or excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) secondary to traumatic brain injury (TBI).
METHODS: A literature search of Medline and PubMed was performed using the EBSCOhost database. Search terms used in combination and alone included modafinil, traumatic brain injury, stroke, fatigue, automobile accident, war injury, and excessive sleepiness. Primary literature, observational studies, meta-analyses, case reports and systematic reviews were assessed for content regarding modafinil and psychostimulant use in patients with TBI.
RESULTS: Modafinil is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant with well-established effectiveness in the treatment of narcolepsy and shift-work sleep disorder (SWSD). There is conflicting evidence about the benefits of modafinil in the treatment of fatigue and EDS secondary to TBI. One randomized controlled study states that modafinil does not significantly improve patient wakefulness, while another concludes that modafinil corrects EDS but not fatigue. An observational study provided evidence that modafinil increases alertness in fatigued patients with past medical history of brainstem diencephalic stroke (BDS) or multiple sclerosis (MS); however, this stimulatory effect was not seen in fatigued patients who had cortical stroke.
DISCUSSION: Modafinil appears to have the potential to improve wakefulness in patients with TBI. A prospective, double-blinded, randomized crossover trial of modafinil for the management of fatigue in ischemic stroke patients is currently being conducted, and further studies demonstrating consistent results are needed before making a conclusive decision.
Xavier University of Louisiananone
AmneFFICACY OF DUAL VERSUS MONOTHERAPY ANTIPLATELET IN STROKE.PURPOSE: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the benefit of dual versus monotherapy antiplatelet therapy in reducing stroke recurrence and mortality in patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). This study will have special emphasis on the African-American patients because they have a higher risk of dying from stroke.
METHODS: This is a single-center, retrospective, chart review, cohort study that will be conducted at the University Medical Center New Orleans (UMCNO), Louisiana. The study includes all patients that are admitted to UMCNO with a diagnosis of non-cardioembolic or TIA. The study will be divided into two groups, patients who received dual vs monotherapy antiplatelets. In addition, the study will also evaluate the number of African American patients who received dual antiplatelets in comparison to other patients and analyze their outcomes.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Out of 163 reviewed charts, only 44 patients met the criteria to be included in the study. 6 patients in the monotherapy had recurrent stroke and one in the dual antiplatelet therapy.
DISCUSSION: Based on the current American Heart Association/ American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) guideline, the combination of aspirin and clopidogrel might be considered for initiation within 24 hours of a minor ischemic stroke or TIA and for continuation for 90 days based on the CHANCE trial that was conducted in the Chinese population. Further studies are needed to evaluate the benefits of dual therapy in the American patients specifically the African American patients.
Xavier University of LouisianaXavier University of Louisiana RCMI Cancer Research Program.
AmolSMALL MOLECULES TARGETING ABERRANT INNATE IMMUNE ACTIVATIONAberrant activation of the innate immune system is associated with a wide array of disease states, including, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and life-threatening microbial pathogenesis. A component of the innate immune system, the nucleotide binding oligomerization domain-like (NOD-like) receptors plays a crucial role in the establishment of inflammatory cascades. A subfamily NOD-like receptors, referred to as the NLRP3 inflammasome has emerged as a druggable target, its inhibitors have shown promising results in in vitro and in vivo model systems of multiple sclerosis. NLRP3 inflammasome is a multiprotein assembly and its structure has not been reported. The lack of structural details of the NLRP3 inflammasome and its component proteins continues to be a major impediment in the discovery of small molecule inhibitors. Using molecular overlays and bioinformatics, we have developed a series of small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors. We also developed efficient routes for the chemical syntheses of these compounds. Preliminary in vitro assays revealed the NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitory activity of our novel compounds. Moreover, they were found to be relatively less toxic. Iterative refinement of the pharmacophore using computational chemistry has led to the advancement of second- and third-generation analogues with improved NLRP3 inhibitory activity. Our efforts are currently focused on the identification of individual protein(s) within the NLRP3 inflammasome that provide binding site(s) for the small molecules. The application of our novel compounds in thwarting inflammatory pathways involving a Gram-negative bacterium, Francisella tularensis, will be discussed.Howard University
AnaMETFORMIN AND HEALTH CARE UTILIZATION: IMPACT IN MINORITIESPurpose: The US Food and Drug Administration has recently removed previous contraindications on the first-line diabetes drug metformin for patients with concomitant congestive heart failure, renal or liver impairment. This study evaluated the association of metformin use and health care utilization among Hispanic, white, and black adults with these concomitant conditions.

Methods: A secondary data analysis was conducted using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2014. It included 288 adults with type 2 diabetes taking prescribed hypoglycemics and a heart failure, renal, or liver impairment diagnosis. Chi-squared tests evaluated the association of categorical health care utilization outcomes and metformin use within racial/ethnic groups.

Results: Compared to those on non-metformin antidiabetic therapies, metformin use was not associated with under/over utilization of health care services within racial/ethnic subgroup (p>0.05), except Hispanics on metformin who were less likely to be hospitalized overnight (21.2% v. 50.0%, p=0.009). However, healthcare use (38.9%-83.3%), overnight hospitalizations (28.6%-40.8%), number of overnight stays (3+: 13.7%-25%), and physician visits (5+: 29.7%-37.1%) were high; while diabetes-related physician visits (78.1%-85.7%) and seeing a diabetes specialist rates (33.3%-59.4%) were suboptimal, overall.

Conclusions: Study results indicate that even though metformin-related adverse events may be a concern in clinical practice and particularly in those with heart failure, renal or liver impairment, it was not associated with over utilization of health care services among Hispanics, whites and blacks with these conditions. However, lower prevalence in overnight stays was observed in Hispanics taking metformin suggesting a positive association in this subgroup.
Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy
AnahitaLymph nodes’ evaluation and colorectal cancer stagingBackground
Lymph nodes’ examination in colorectal cancer (CRC) resection specimens is an important determinant that aids in the accuracy of CRC staging and treatment outcomes. Current guidelines call for the examination of at least 12 lymph nodes (LN) in resected specimens in order to establish accurate staging.
To investigate lymph nodes’ examination protocol as it relates to accurate CRC staging.
We reviewed 216 African American CRC patients from 1996–2013 who underwent CRC resection and met inclusion criteria for this study. The number of retrieved LNs, length of resected specimens, tumor grade, stage, location, size and histology were examined.
The cohort study was made of 49 % males, median age was 63 years and 45 % of patients were at stage III and IV. The median (IQR) number of examined LNs was 15 (10–22) and the rate of patients with more than 12 examined LNs was 64 %. There was a gradual increase in the percentage of patients with adequate number (>12) of examined LNs during the study period (from 60 % in 1996–2000 to 84 % in 2010–2013 period, P = 0.014). Adequate LNs resection was neither associated with shift of stage from II to III (P = 0.3) nor with the changes from stage IIIa to IIIc (P = 0.9). Metastatic LNs were observed in 8 % of samples with LNs (>12) vs. 13 % of samples with <12 examined LNs (P = 0.1). Patients that had pre-surgical treatment (chemotherapy and radiotherapy) before surgery had <12 LNs examined. There was also a trend of having more examined lymph nodes in large tumors.
Our study shows that there has been an increase in the number of lymph nodes examined in CRC resections since the advent of the current quality initiative. However this increase does not seem to affect the stage or percentage of metastatic lymph nodes’ detection in CRC patients.
Howard university Hospital
AndreaCBPR PRINCIPLES IN THE OPERATING ROOMPURPOSE: To discuss the innovative use of community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles to implement a culturally relevant, non-technical skills training program in the operating room (OR) as a way to address racial/ethnic disparities in surgical outcomes.
Data from national inpatient databases suggest a disproportionate number of postoperative adverse events in racial/ethnic minority groups when compared to Whites. Among other non-technical skills, teamwork failures in cardiothoracic surgery occur at a rate of 17.4 per hour and were responsible for 54% of the intraoperative and postoperative complications in the US from 2004 to 2013.
METHOD: CBPR priniciples prioritize the relationships between stakeholders as a means to achieving health equity. However, it has not been used to guide patient safey and quality initiatives in the OR.
The intervention identified by key stakeholders (e.g., physicians, nurses, perfusionists, administrators, researcher) for use with one surgical team at one local hospital in Hawaii is non-technical skills training. Non-technical skills taxonomies for OR providers are used to reduce adverse events and errors in the OR in several countries. However, the first non-technical skills for surgeons worshop was held in the US as recently as 2011, and it has never been implemented in a hospital system in Hawaiʻi.
RESULTS: Qualitative results related to soliciting support from and developing relationships with the cardiac team will be shared.
CONCLUSION: We believe the use of CBPR principles to guide the cultural adaptation of this intervention will increase its acceptability, sustainability, and ultimately, its ability to reduce racial/ethnic disparities in surgical outcomes.
John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at ManoaGRANT SUPPORT: Funding for this project was made possible, in part, by The Queen's Health Systems Native Hawaiian Health Initiative.  The views expressed in written materials or publications do not necessarily reflect the official policies of The Queen's Health Systems, nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by The Queen's Health Systems.
AndreaMORPHOMETRY OF BLOOD COAGUALTION FACTOR XIII/XIIIA WITH AFMThe blood clotting cascade is an important mechanism that’s essential to prevent loss of blood through injuries. The coagulation process involves proteins arranged into a multistep enzymatic cascade. Any defect in the clotting process could lead to a serious bleeding or thrombotic disorder. To improve understanding of bleeding disorders, it’s vital to understand the complete mechanism of blood clotting and proteins involved.
At the cascade’s final stage, the soluble plasma protein fibrinogen is converted to a polymeric fibrin, the mechanical and structural scaffold of clots. Factor XIII (FXIII) is the precursor of the active transglutaminase (FXIIIa) that catalyzes covalent cross-linking within polymeric fibrin to stabilize the clot against mechanical or proteolytic insults. The structure of FXIIIa, consisting of two A-subunits, has been characterized with X-ray crystallography studies, but much less is known about the structure of FXIII, additionally containing two B-subunits.
Using high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM), the structures of FXIII/ FXIIIa were imaged and analyzed. FXIII consisted of a globule with a height of 3.4±0.7nm and two extensions 21±5nm in length. Upon thrombin-mediated activation of FXIII, the extensions dissociated from the globule and their contour length increased. Meanwhile, the height of globules decreased upon activation. The interactions between FXIII/FXIIIa with fibrin(ogen) were studied by visualizing their molecular complexes by AFM. The binding stoichiometry was analyzed and binding sites tentatively identified. This research will advance our understanding of the structure of FXIII in its active and inactive forms and will provide insights into molecular mechanisms of FXIIIa-mediated cross-linking of fibrin.
University of Texas at El PasoSupported by grant #5T34GM008048-33
AndreaPRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP TO ADVANCE INDIGENOUS HEALTHPurpose: The Ho‘oulu Kukui (growing leaders) Project is a private-public partnership between the Department of Native Hawaiian Health (DNHH), John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM) and the Queen’s Health Systems (QHS). DNHH is the only clinical department within a U.S. medical school dedicated to improving the health of an Indigenous population. QHS was established in 1859 to address the communicable diseases decimating the Native Hawaiian (NH) population. Ho‘oulu Kukui represents a novel approach to addressing NH health while developing the next generation of NH in medicine and health-related sciences. Methods: Since 2002, QHS has provided funding to DNHH to support 1) medical education, 2) research, and 3) community outreach. The ‘Imi Ho‘ōla (seeking to heal) post-baccalaureate program ensures access to medical school for NH and Pacific Islanders (PI). A post-doctoral fellowship program trains NH/PI investigators in health disparities research. Our Ulu Network of 35+ community-based organizations (CBOs) implements culturally relevant, health promotion interventions developed by researchers and community partners. Results: ʻImi Hoʻōla is the primary pipeline for 40% of all NHs/PIs who graduated from JABSOM; many of whom work in primary care settings. Our fellows (n = 5) have developed novel public health, epigenetic, and patient outcomes research programs. Fellows have received funding for their research from the National Institutes of Health. Over 14 CBOs were supported through community-engagement activities. Discussion: Private-public partnerships are important for community-based medical schools, given limited state resources. The creation and maturation of an indigenous-health-focused, academic clinical department is worth emulating in other institutions.University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of MedicineFunding for this project was made possible (in part) by The Queen's Health Systems Native Hawaiian Health Initiative.  The views expressed in written materials or publications do not necessarily reflect the official policies of The Queen's Health Systems, nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by The Queen's Health Systems.
AndreaER STRESS IS ANTI-ANGIOGENIC & ANTI-TUMORIGENICPURPOSE: Hypoxia, hypoglycemia, hyperthermia, acidosis, calcium levels, the redox milieu, and energy levels influence endoplasmic reticulum (ER) functions. ER stress impacts protein folding and activates unfolded protein response (upr) signaling. Our laboratory has shown that inhibiting asparagine-linked (N-linked) protein glycosylation with tunicamycin induces ER stress and prevents angiogenesis. We have therefore hypothesized that ER stress would also prevent the breast cancer cells proliferation and eliminate the tumor growth and metastasis.

METHODS: Human breast cancer cell lines and tunicamycin were used as tools. The tumor cells were grown in a media containing 10% fetal bovine serum and treated with tunicamycin (0.0 - 10.0 µg/ml) for 0 -7 days. Haemocytomer cells counting was used and the immunofluorescence microscopy targeted N-glycan and GRP78 localization. Western Blotting and qPCR quantified the protein and mRNA expression.

RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS: Tunicamycin quantitatively inhibited MDA-MB-231(ER-/PR-/Her2-; triple negative) and MCF-7 (ER+) human breast cancer cell proliferation. Unfixed cells stained with FITC-Con A and Texas Red-WGA imaged N-glycans on the tumor cell surface. But, no ER chaperon GRP78/Bip detected irrespective of its cellular expression. Higher GRP78 expression in tunicamycin treated cells supported the presence of ER stress in breast cancer cells. High IRE-1, ATF4/ATF6 and PERK expression further supports upr signaling.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Tunicamycin, a competitive inhibitor of N-acetylglucosaminyl 1-phosphate transferase activity in the ER. In treated cells there is no Glc3Man9GlcNAc2-PP-dolichol and no N-linked protein glycosylation. The result is development of ER stress, cell cycle arrest and induction of upr-mediated apoptosis. Thus, tunicamycin is a dual-action glycotherapy for breast cancer.
University of Puerto Rico at MayaguezNIDDK-NIH STEP-UP Summer Internship Program, University of Puerto School of Mewdivcine, NSF grant EPS-1002410 (DKB) HIH/NIMHD 2G12MD007583 grant (KB).
AndreaHIV BLOOD COMPARTMENTALIZATION BY NEXT-GENERATION SEQUENCINGPURPOSE: Differences in drug penetration in various compartments within HIV infected patients under antiretroviral therapy (ART) may account for viral compartmentalization, low level viral replication and mutation. CD4+ T-cells are the primary targets of HIV and due to the differences in drug distribution throughout the body, drugs resistance mutations may emerge, suggesting that HIV mutation patterns in plasma may not necessarily reflect those detected in the cell-associated compartment.
METHODS: In this study we compared the patterns of HIV distribution in cell-free (blood plasma) and cell-associated viruses (peripheral blood mononuclear cells, PBMCs) derived from ART-treated patients. CD45-RO CD4+ memory T-cells were isolated from PBMCs using a BD FACSAria instrument. HIV pol was RT-PCR or PCR amplified from the plasma and the T-cell subset, respectively. Sequences were obtained using Sanger sequencing and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Alignment and edition of Sanger sequences were performed by using RECall software (beta v3.03). Drugs resistance mutations were evaluated by using Stanford HIV data base. Illumina MySEQ platform and Hydra Web were used to generate and analyze NGS data, respectively.
RESULTS: Our results show a high correlation between Sanger sequencing and NGS results. However, some major and minor drugs resistance mutations were only observed by NGS, albeit at different frequencies.
DISCUSSION: Analysis of low frequency drugs resistance mutations and virus distribution in the blood compartments may provide information allowing a more sustainable response to therapy and better disease management.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityThe study was supported by the AIDS Research Infrastructure Program (RCMI Program; NIMHD-G12-MD007579).
AndreasStimulation of Sonic Hedgehog signaling blocks LIDIn Parkinson’s Disease (PD), dopamine (DA) levels fall due to DA neuron degeneration. DA substitution therapy ameliorates many symptoms but causes debilitating “L-Dopa induced dyskinesia” (LID). Since DA neurons communicate with their targets by multiple cell signaling molecules, not just dopamine, these observations suggest that reduced levels of other DA neuron secreted factors besides dopamine might play critical roles in the pathophysiology of PD. We found that all DA neurons produce Shh (ShhDA), a cell-trophic-factor, throughout life and use it to regulate the activity of cholinergic (ACh) interneurons (Gonzalez-Reyes et al., Neuron 75, 306-219). Aberrant neuronal activity of ACh neurons correlated with increased MAP kinase activation is implicated in LIDs. We hypothesize that L-Dopa therapy results in an imbalance of Shh and DA signaling which causes drug- induced pathologies in PD through aberrant ACh activity.
We investigated the effect of the pharmacological activation or inhibition of the Shh co-receptor Smoothened (Smo) as an adjuvant treatment to L-DOPA therapy. We find that the pharmacological stimulation of Smo inhibits MAP kinase activation selectively in ACh neurons of the dorso-lateral striatum and reduces LID in response to L-Dopa dosing. Conversely, we find that the genetic ablation of ShhDA or the pharmacological inhibition of Smo increases MAP-kinase pathway activation in ACh neurons and LID. In addition we find that ShhDA regulates glutamatergic synapse morphology on ACh neurons. Our results implicate reduced ShhDA signaling in LID and support the use of Shh/Smo agonists as an adjuvant during L-Dopa treatment as a therapeutic strategy.
CUNY School of Medicine at City College of New YorkAmerican Parkinson Disease Association (APDA); NINDS R21 NS96253
AndrewTHE USE OF MEDIDATA RAVE AS A TOOL TO MANAGE CLINICAL TRIALSPurpose: Collaborative research through clinical trials is a primary aim of Research Centers in Minority Institutions Translational Research Network (RTRN). The Data Coordinating Center (DCC) of the RTRN is implementing Medidata Rave as a RTRN solution for conducting clinical trials. This study discusses our process for choosing the tool and its expected outcomes.

Methods: A comparison of cost, features and capabilities for Medidata Rave and Oracle Clinical was conducted. The impact on the reduction in size of the DCC infrastructure footprint was evaluated. This assessment also included comparing the accessibility and usability of the two systems.

Results: Medidata Rave allows the seamless use of electronic data capture (EDC), clinical data management systems (CDMS), lab administration, randomization, trial supply, medical coding, safety reporting, exporting to CDISC, and interfaces with statistical software. Medidata Rave facilitates easy configuration of CRFs, workflows, data blinding, source document verification (SDV) requirements, and dictionary coding. The cloud-native architecture scales from one study to hundreds, and from Phase-I up to global Phase-IV. The time required to start a clinical trial is significantly reduced using Medidata Rave. The efficiency in data collection, tracking and monitoring during clinical trials can also be greatly improved. The cloud based infrastructure of the system reduces the size of the DCC infrastructure.

Conclusion: Medidata Rave will improve the DCC’s capability to support RTRN collaborative clinical trials. Medidata Rave’s capabilities will allow participating clinical trials sites to more easily and efficiently collect and use data. Implementing Medidata Rave will reduce hardware maintenance and support costs.
Jackson State UniversityGrant number U54MD008149 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.
AngelKAPOSI SARCOMA MORTALITY RISK AMONG HISPANICS WITH HIVPURPOSE: Availability of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has led to a dramatic improvement in the immunological function of persons living with HIV (PLWH). Although the Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) has decreased significantly with cART, racial disparities in it’s incidence and survival remains significant. This study evaluates KS mortality risks in a cohort of Hispanic PLWH.

METHODS: The database of a Puerto Rican PLWH (>20 years) cohort was matched with the Puerto Rico Central Cancer and the Mortality Registries databases. Two and 5-year KS mortality were evaluated. Cox proportional hazard analysis evaluates mortality risks after KS diagnosis.

RESULTS: Of the 4,198 cases followed between 1992 and 2009, 2.1% (88) had a KS diagnosis with a mean age of 37.9 ±9.4 years and a CD4+T cell count median of 47.5. Around 30% received cART at cancer diagnosis. Their 2 and 5 year mortality were 76.1% and 80.7%, respectively. Higher 2 and 5 year mortality risk were associated with CD4+T cell counts below 200 cells/uL, and lower use of cART. Injecting drug, alcohol-tobacco use, or year of KS diagnosis were not associated to mortality changes.

CONCLUSION: This study found a high KS mortality risk in a high immune compromised Hispanic cohort of PLWH. This high-deteriorated immune system at the time of the neoplasm diagnosis could be associated to a late initiation or low adherence to HIV and/or KS therapies. Adequate and opportune HIV and KS diagnosis with early initiation of the diseases treatments are essential to reduce related mortality disparity, and are highly recommended.
Universidad Central del CaribeResearch reported in this work, was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Heath Disparities and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Awards Number G12MD007583 and U54MD007587. In addition, by the NIH Grant Number U01AI069918 and the NPCR-CDC. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
angelaBest practices in A.A culturally specific treatmentPresentation of the research findings of a 2015 report linking culturally specific programing and practices to research and theory, created by University of Minnesota’s Program in Health Disparities Research researchers and made possible through funding by the office for Business and Community Economic Development, Community Health Initiative (CHI).
TPI goes beyond providing culturally competent to culturally specific.
Today’s social environment, and the challenges African Americans face, warrant use and revitalization of cultural strengths. Problems such as drug and alcohol addiction, HIV/AIDS, health disparities, high rates of incarceration, unemployment, and poverty are severe and complex. In order to provide effective services, providers must understand the importance and delivery of culturally specific services and care.

This report is a product of the research partnership between Turning Point, Inc., the University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research, and the Office for Business and Community Economic Development. Funding was provided by Medica and the Community Health Initiative. The report serves to link existing culturally specific practices to published literature, widely studied theories and models, and specific cultural values.
Turning Point incuniversity of minnesota office of community and economic development and health disparities research team
Asian American (AA) ethnic subgroups are diverse in socioeconomic status, years in US, English proficiency, and cultures with different health seeking behaviors and health care access. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among AAs. Fifty two percent of AAs, 50+ years had colorectal cancer screening CRC screening in 2013, compared with 61% of Non-Hispanic Whites. We hypothesized that CRC screening prevalence among AA ethnicities are heterogeneous, and reasons related to screening among AA subgroups are associated with demographic characteristics, acculturation, health care access, and health attitudes.

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data for 2009-2014 compared CRC screening status among Whites (N=28,834), Asian Indian (N=466), Chinese (n=652), and Filipinos (N=788). Multivariate logistic regression examined ethnic differences and correlates of CRC screening accounting for complex sampling design.

Whites had the highest prevalence of screening (62.3%) followed by Filipino (55.0%), Chinese (50.9%), and Asian Indian (48.6%). Older age, having health insurance and a usual care provider predicted CRC screening across all ethnicities. Different demographic, health care access, and health attitude predictors within each ethnic group were related to CRC screening.

CRC screening prevalence among AA ethnic subgroups varied. Thus data should be collected on distinct AA subgroups so that public health policies and programs may equitably serve the health needs of this diverse population. CRC screening promotion should be tailored according to attitudes and structural barriers affecting screening behavior to truly serve the health needs of the diverse AA ethnic groups.
University of Hawaii
ANITATOXICITY EVALUATION OF GOLD NANOPARTICLES IN RATS.PURPOSE: Nanoparticles (NPs) offer a great possibility for biomedical application, not only to deliver pharmaceutics, but also to be used as novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Currently, there are no data available regarding to what extent the degree of the toxicity and the accumulation of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) are present in in vivo administration. The aim of this study was to assess the effects, after oral administration, of poly-ethylene-glycol (PEG) coated and uncoated GNPs on induction of reactive oxygen species, on various hepatotoxicity markers such as alanine (ALT), aspartate aminotransferases, alkaline phosphatase, and histopathological analysis in the mouse model. METHODS: Sprague -Dawley rats were exposed to four different concentrations of PEG-coated and uncoated GNPs (12.5, 25, 50 and 100 µg/kg BW) and a control. Samples were collected 24 hours after the last treatment following standard protocols. RESULTS: Exposure to PEG-coated and uncoated GNPs enhanced the activities of serum amino-transferases (ALT/AST), alkaline phosphatases (ALP) and concentration of lipid hydro peroxide compared to control. Histopathology of exposed liver showed a statistically significant effect in the morphological alterations of the tissue compared to controls. However, PEG-uncoated GNPs demonstrated enhanced hepatotoxic effect than coated GNPs. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The cellular findings reported here do suggest that both GNPs has the potential to induce hepatotoxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats through activation of the mechanisms of oxidative stress, which is of sufficient significance to warrant in vivo animal exposure studies. However, more studies to clarify the role of encapsulation in the in vivo toxicity of GNPs, are required and parallel comparison is preferredJACKSON STATE UNIVERSITYG12MD007581
AnthonyPERTURBATION OF OVARIAN FUNCTION BY INHALED BENZO(A)PYRENEPURPOSE: The objective of this study was to assess how benzo(a)pyrene (BaP), an environmental pollutant/reproductive endocrine disruptor perturbs ovarian function. METHODS: Cycling F-344 female rats were assigned randomly to a treatment or control group. Treatment consisted of sub-acute exposure of rats via inhalation to 100µg BaP/m3, 4hours daily for 14 days, while control animals remained unexposed (UNC). Thereafter, the length of estrous cycle was determined by vaginal histologies. Blood samples were collected from anesthetized UNC and BaP-exposed rats at proestrus stage (stage of heightened estradiol-17B [E2] secretion and follicle growth) of the cycle for the measurement of serum E2 and luteinizing hormone (LH). Subsequently, rats were euthanized by carbon dioxide asphyxiation following which ovaries we excised, fixed (left ovary) for the evaluation of follicle stages and size or snap frozen for Western analysis for steroidogenic proteins. RESULTS: Rats exposed to sub-acute BaP sustained a 24 hour extension of the estrous cycle length to 5 days (P<0.05) compared to UNC that had normal 4-day cycle. E2 secretion was repressed at proestrus and as a consequence, suppressed the expected rise in LH concentrations at this stage of the cycle. BaP-exposure did not affect ovarian steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) expression however, it down regulated ovarian aromatase enzyme (CYP-19) expression and reduced follicle growth and increased apoptosis signal in granulosa cells compared with ovaries from UNC rats. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that inhaled BaP disrupts endocrine-regulated follicular growth by repressing E2 secretion via the down regulation of ovarian CYP-19.Meharry Medical CollegeGRANT SUPPORT: This research was supported was supported by NIH grant numbers: G12 RR03032 (NCRR), U54HD044315 and R01 HD020419-19S1 (NICHD) and by the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC; 5U54MD007593-09).
AnthonyHEALTH RISK KNOWLEDGE OF AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDENTSPURPOSE: This is a knowledge and health risk assessment study of African American (AA) students attending the Elizabeth City State University regarding some chronic health conditions from which African Americans (AAs) are disparately impacted. The goal of the study is to use assessment data as foundations for pertinent talking points during campus-wide or other health promotion and awareness encounters involving students.
METHODS: Knowledge assessment questionnaires initially approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Elizabeth City State University were distributed to undergraduate AA students from sophomore, junior and senior classes during the months of February and March 2017. The questionnaires had questions on knowledge and risk awareness of hypertension, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes.
RESULTS: 212 of 500 distributed questionnaires were returned and analyzed. Findings suggest serious health knowledge deficits on key risk factors of prominent chronic health conditions from which AAs suffer disproportionately among students surveyed.
CONCLUSION: Findings from this study are consistent with other studies reporting significant gaps in knowledge and awareness of risk factors for hypertension, HIV/AIDS, and diabetes among AA undergraduate students. Efforts and strategies that seek to narrow these gaps are therefore presumed promising in addressing current health disparities of AAs.
AnupTargeted Delivery of Dox to Cancer Cells by Silencing P-gpPURPOSE: The MDR (multi-drug resistance) of metastatic breast cancer cells is accompanied with the overexpression of P-gp transporter. This study has been focused to determine whether silencing the expression of P-gp by aptamer-labeled siRNA nanoparticles could enhance the delivery of doxorubicin into breast cancer cells in culture. DESIGN METHODS: Nanoparticles containing siRNA have been developed in the RCMI Nanotechnology Core at Xavier University. For targeted delivery of the particles, Aptamer A6 has been used which can bind to Her-2 receptors on breast cancer cells. The cytotoxicity of the particles has been assessed on different breast cancer cells. The expression and targeted knockdown of P-gp have been assessed by western blotting and immunofluorescence analysis. The doxorubicin accumulation into the cells has also been observed before and after the knockdown of P-gp by immunofluorescence and FACS analysis. RESULTS: This study has shown that the uptake of Dox by Dox-resistant 4T1-R is significantly less than Dox-sensitive 4T1-S which is partly attributed to the higher expression of drug-efflux pump P-gp on the surface of the resistant cells. The targeted knockdown of P-gp has been enhanced when the particles carrying P-gp siRNA was labeled with aptamer. Concurrently, the uptake of Dox into the Dox-resistant 4T1-R breast cancer cells has increased significantly when the P-gp was silenced by P-gp siRNA-encapsulated aptamer-labeled nanoparticles. CONCLUSIONS: This preliminary study concludes that downregulating P-gp expression by targeted delivery of P-gp siRNA using aptamer-labeled lipid based hybrid nanoparticles could effectively increase the intracellular trafficking of doxorubicin in Dox-resistant mouse breast cancer cells.Xavier University of LouisianaThis work is funded in part by the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium, NIMHD grant number TL4GM118968 and T34GM007716, NIGMS grant number UL1GM118967 and R25GM060926, CUR from Xavier University of Louisiana, LBRN Pilot and NSF.
AramandlaPOLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBON LEVELS IN SERUM SAMPLESPurpose: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are one family of ubiquitous environmental contaminants that have evoked much interest owing to their ability to cause neuro-, reproductive-, developmental-, cardiovascular toxicities and lung, breast, and colon cancers. In order to determine the background levels of PAHs, we have analyzed blood sera samples from individuals in Tennessee, who died of drug-, alcohol overdose, suicide and unknown causes. Method: A total of 650 postmortem sera samples were analyzed by gas chromatograph coupled with a mass spectrometer. Results: PAHs were detected in 305 samples. Sixty percent of these samples also showed the presence of nicotine/metabolites. Among the PAHs detected, benzo(a)pyrene was the most predominant one followed by benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, acenaphthene, anthracene, phenanthrene, and fluoranthene. The concentrations of PAHs were greater in twenties to fifties age groups compared to others. For the most part, the PAH residue concentrations in decedents were similar to those reported for healthy adults elsewhere. However, in some cases, the concentrations detected were greater than those reported elsewhere. Among different racial groups, the PAH residue levels were high in African Americans compared to Caucasians, Hispanics, and Asians. Discussion: In addition to smoking, dietary intake and environmental exposure (particulate matter) are possible contributors to the PAH body burden. Future studies will focus on monitoring of serum or urine samples for PAHs controlling for variables such as smoking, diet, and obesity. Also, we plan to conduct metabolomics studies in the context of exposome approach to validate biomarkers for environmental exposure and lifestyle-induced molecular events.Meharry Medical CollegeThis research was supported by funding from the NIH grants G12MD007586-29, 5U54MD007593-09, 3P20MD000516-07S1 and 5RO1CA142845-04
ArmandoTCR AND CYTOKINE SIGNALING LINKED VIA THE ADAPTOR CRKLPURPOSE: CrkL (CT10 Avian Sarcoma Virus regulator of kinase Like) protein, is involved in a variety of physiological processes including cell migration, cell cycle progression and apoptosis. As an adaptor protein, CrkL, links membrane receptors to signaling cascades via Src-homology (SH) domains. Evidence exists for the association of CrkL with the T-cell receptor (TCR) via its SH2 domain. Preliminary studies by our group identified CrkL as an IL-2 inducible phosphoprotein. We seek to further understand CrkL’s role in T-cell activation. METHODS: Jurkat and Kit225 cells were activated by anti-CD3/rhB7.1 or gamma-cytokine (γc) stimulation and CrkL immunoprecipitations were separated by SDS-PAGE prior to Western blot or Phosphoamino acid analysis (PAA). Novel IL-2 inducible CrkL phosphosites were identified by mass spectrometry and investigated via site-directed mutagenesis. RESULTS: PAA revealed that CrkL becomes serine phosphorylated in response to IL-2 stimulation. Stimulation of Kit225 or Jurkat cells with γc or anti-CD3/rhB7.1 showed altered CrkL gel mobility in a time dependent manner. Mass spectrometry identified novel serine phosphorylation sites in response to IL-2 with/without calyculin A, a PP1/PP2A inhibitor. Further data presented here suggests that these previously unreported phosphosites may play a critical role in regulating IL-2 activation of ERK signaling. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: CrkL is altered in response to γc cytokines and TCR activation suggesting a possible link between these key T-cell pathways. This work may lead to a better understanding of how TCR and cytokine signaling are linked thus expanding our knowledge on how they can be targeted for the treatment of hematopoietic diseases.University of Texas at El PasoGRANT SUPPORT: Research supported in part by grants from the Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation and Edward N. and Margaret G. Marsh Foundation, and made possible by grant 5G12MD007592 to the BBRC from the NIMHD, a component of the NIH.
AshleyTARGETING FKBP52 FOR THE TREATMENT OF PROSTATE CANCERPURPOSE: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men; the third highest mortality rate. Current treatment options consist of androgen deprivation therapies, actual or chemical castration and use of androgen blockers called anti-androgens. Ultimately the disease advances to a hormone-independent state termed castration-resistant prostate cancer. The heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) -associated 52-kDa FK506-Binding Protein (FKBP52) plays important roles in steroid hormone receptor regulation including the androgen receptor (AR), glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and progesterone receptor (PR). Our data suggest that the FKBP52 proline-rich loop that overhangs the PPIase catalytic pocket on FKBP52 serves as an AR interaction surface, and represents a promising target site. Thus, small molecules targeting the FKBP52 proline-rich loop will be ideal drug candidates for prostate cancer. METHODS: We performed an in silico screen and identified a hit molecule (GMC1) that inhibits FKBP52-regulated AR, GR and PR activity at high nanomolar concentrations in functional assays, AR-dependent PSA expression, and proliferation of LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells. Using GMC1 as our scaffold we performed structure activity relationship analysis (SAR) by rationally designing modifications and assessing them for activity in AR-mediated luciferase assays. RESULTS: While we have identified chemical modifications that are, or are not, conducive to activity, we have not yet identified a molecule with increased potency. CONCLUSION: Information obtained from each successive round of SAR will be used to inform the next round of modifications. Ultimately the data gleaned from these hit-to-lead optimization studies will be used to design a drug with increased solubility and potency.University of Texas at El PasoCancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Grant RP110444-P2 awarded to MBC; NIH/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Grant 2G12MD007592 to the Border Biomedical Research Center
AVIJITZINC (II) SENSING RAMAN PROBE FOR PROSTATE CANCER CELLSEarly stage identification of cancer is very important to cure from the chronic disease. Mobile zinc signatures can be used as a biomarker for prostate cancer prediction, opening the route for the early diagnosis of cancer. Clinicians need a reliable tools which can offer fast, highly sensitive and selective mobile Zn(II) concentration in live cells. Raman sensor hold high promise for in-vivo sensing of cancer, where near IR light can be easily used to avoid tissue auto-fluorescence and to enhance tissue penetration depth. The current work report to design of novel and highly efficient surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) probe using p-(imidazole)azo) benzenethiol attached gold nanoparticle as a Raman reporter, which has the capability to identify prostate cancer cells based on Zn(II) sensing. Reported data show that after binding with Zn(II), Raman reporter attached gold nanoparticle forms assembly structure, which allows selective detection of Zn(II) even at 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) concentration. Experimental data shows that SERS probe can distinguish metastatic cancer cells from normal prostate cells very easily. Reported results demonstrated that this sensor's sensitivity is as low as 5 cancer cells/mL. Designed Raman probe has the capability to be used as chemical toolkit for determining Zn(II) concentrations in the biological sampleJackson State UniversityThe research supported by National Science Foundation (PREM NSF DMR-1205194) and NIH/NCRR (Award Number: G12RR013459) & NIH/NIMHD (Award Number: G12MD007581) for supporting the Analytical Core Laboratory Facilities
AxelGENERAL HOSPITAL INPATIENTS: DRUG AND MENTAL HEALTH HISTORYDrug use has been found to substantially increase the cost of health care, especially when left untreated. Literature regarding drug use among Medicaid beneficiaries in Puerto Rico found that over 40% of these additional costs were generated in the physical health services sector.: Through a secondary data analysis using the Damas Hospital Clinical Psychology Services Program database (PSPC-HD), we explore the frequency of drug use and its association with history of mental health. Subjects considered were those evaluated by the PSPC-HD, from January 2015 to December 2016. This analysis showed that 25.5% (n=903) of our sample (n=3,546) have a history of substance use and abuse. Further, 43% (n=388) reported to be frequent substance users consuming 6 to 7 times a week, and 47% (n=423) indicated to consume it 4 times or more a day. Preliminary results show a significant association between substance use and abuse, and history of mental health [x2 (1, N = 3545) = 46.28, p<.001]. Secondary analyses are currently being conducted to further understand this association.Ponce School of Medicine
The specific aims of this study were to 1) examine the prospective association between depression symptoms and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components over seven years 2) investigate the mediator role of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) on the association between depression symptoms and MetS.
Depression symptoms were self-reported and assessed using Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale. MetS was defined according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III. The Proc Genmod procedure was used to calculate risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI).
Of 797 participants in this cohort, 599 participants (419 whites (70%) and 180 blacks (30%), with a mean age of 36 years. The incidence of Mets was 26% among whites and 30% among blacks. The RR of hs-CRP for developing MetS was 1.47 with a 95% CI 1.19-1.80 in blacks and 1.17 with a CI 1.05-1.30 in the total sample, adjusted for CVD risk factors. Also, depression and hs-CRP were related to central obesity in whites (unadjusted RR 1.30, CI: 1.04-1.62 and RR: 1.28, CI: 1.18-1.38, respectively). After controlling for CVD risk factors, the RR of depression was 1.10 (CI: 0.81-1.49) which was not significant; and the RR of hs-CRP was 1.21 (CI: 1.06-1.38). The complete mediator role of hs-CRP was confirmed for the incidence of central obesity with depression in whites.
The hs-CRP was independently associated with Mets in this cohort, and the mediator role of hs-CRP was established for central obesity in whites.
Jackson State UniversityAcknowledgements: This research was supported by a grant National Institutes of Health (Grant No. G12MD007581) through the NCRR-RCMI Center for Environmental Health at Jackson State University (JSU). It was approved by Bogalusa Heart Study Founder and Principal Investigator, Dr. Gerald S. Berenson during the 2013-2014 academic year.
BekirThe Role of Hippo-YAP Pathway in Prostate Cancer DisparityEvidence suggests that African-American (AA) men and Caribbean men of African descent have the highest PC incidence and mortality rate compared to any other race. Metastasis of PC, particularly to the bone, is a major cause of death from this disease. The mechanisms that contribute to PC disparity are largely unknown, hindering the development of an effective therapy for this disease. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the first line of therapeutic options for patients with advanced PC. However, almost all patients treated with ADT develop metastatic castration-resistant-prostate cancer (CRPC), which is lethal. Genetic and epigenetic studies have indicated that the biology of PC in AA men is substantially different from Caucasian American (CA) men. Here, we investigate a possible collaboration between dopamine receptors (DRD1-5) and the Hippo-YAP/TEAD pathway to gain insight into an aggressive PC cell phenotype in AA. We have found that PC cells of AA origin expressed the high levels of TEAD proteins, key transcriptional mediators of YAP, compared with CA. In addition, we demonstrated that levels of DRD1/2 mRNA in metastatic AA PC cells were significantly higher than CA. Moreover, the cell killing efficacy of pimozide, a potent DDR2 inhibitor and an FDA-approved antipsychotic, on metastatic AA cells was significantly higher than CA. Furthermore, pimozide suppressed the expression of YAP and TEAD protein in PC cells. These observations suggest that the interactions between DRDs and YAP/TEAD play a critical role in the biological disparity of PC and that pimozide can be tuned as a potent anti-cancer agent.Clark Atlanta UniversityRCMI, LSAMP, RISE
BenemTHE EFFECTS OF TREX1 OVEREXPRESSION ON HIV-1 INTEGRATIONPURPOSE: The HIV/AIDS pandemic has resulted in more than 72 million infections worldwide. In the absence of a vaccine, antiretroviral therapy (ART) has been highly effective in suppressing viral load. However, the ART regimens are expensive, face viral resistance, and cause adverse side effects. Thus, there is an urgent need for continued development of drugs directed against novel cellular and viral targets. One possible cellular target is TREX1, which the most abundant 3′exonuclease in mammalian tissues. TREX1 assists HIV-1 evade the innate immune system by preventing the accumulation of cytoplasmic viral DNA. However, the mechanism by which the viral DNA in the HIV-1 preintegration complex (PIC) is protected from TREX1 in the PIC remains unknown. METHODS: We used qPCR to investigating the effects of TREX1 overexpression on early steps of HIV-1 infection including reverse transcription (RT), nuclear entry and integration. RESULTS: In initial studies, we are Our results illustrate the overexpression of TREX1 decreases HIV-1 DNA integration and that the decrease was not due to reduced levels of RT. Furthermore, analysis of abortive integration products in the nucleus suggest that TREX1 overexpression does not disrupt nuclear import. To further study a direct role of TREX1 in HIV-1 integration, we have isolated HIV-1 PICs from acutely infected SupT1 cells. Integration activity of PICs isolated from TREX1 overexpressing cells retained higher integration activity compared to the controls. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: In summary, our data provide biochemical evidence for a functional role of TREX1 in HIV integration.Meharry Medical CollegeR56AI22960 01A1, R01DA042348-01, R24DA021471, P30 AI110527 02, U54 MD007593 08
BenjaminTRANSLATING T-CELL RECEPTOR GENE REGULATION TO GENE THERAPYPURPOSE: Genetic engineering of T cells with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) genes may eventually treat many diseases, including HIV and cancer types that disproportionately impact U.S. minorities. A recent report indicates that a CAR functions more physiologically, safely and effectively when its expression is regulated by the endogenous T cell receptor (TCR)-α gene locus. We study TCRα gene regulation. We aim to use our basic findings to design vectors that can provide a physiological TCRα gene-like expression pattern to transduced therapeutic CAR gene expression in T cells. METHODS: We employ reporter genes linked to TCRα gene locus-derived regulatory DNA, and test the function of these elements after random integration into the genome. For these tests, we have utilized transgenic mice, T cells derived in vitro from transfected mouse embryonic stem cells, and transfected T cell lines. RESULTS: We identified key regulatory elements supporting the TCRα gene expression pattern in both developing and mature, circulating T cells. One of these is within the TCRα locus control region. Others reside in a novel regulatory region we recently identified immediately upstream of the constant region exons. We have also extensively characterized the structure and function of separate DNA elements that provide transcriptional insulation capacity. These are crucial to preventing transcriptional silencing of gene therapy vectors at the random site in the genome into which they ultimately integrate. DISCUSSION: Our findings provide novel gene regulatory tools to improve the efficacy and safety of CAR gene therapy.Hunter College of CUNYThis work was supported by NIH grants SC1-GM095402 (to BDO) and UL1-TR000457 to the Clinical Translational Science Center at Weill Cornell Medical College. The biomedical research infrastructure at Hunter College is supported in part by NIH RCMI grant MD007599.
This study aimed to assess the temporal trends in pediatric secondary primary malignancy (SPM). Additionally, we sought to determine racial and sex variability in the cumulative incidence (CI) and mortality.
A retrospective design was used to examine the Surveillance Epidemiology and Ends Results data from the National Cancer Institute, 1973-2014. The sample comprised children (0-19 years) diagnosed with SPM. The percent and annual percent change were assessed using the weighted mean squared average and the population size from the 2000 US census. To assess race as a function of morality while controlling for other exposures effects, a binomial regression model was utilized.

Of the 92,594 children with cancer, 1,425 had SPM (1.5%). The CI was higher in whites relative to blacks (14 per 1000 persons vs 2 per 1000 persons), implying that white children were 7 times as likely to be diagnosed with SPM compared to blacks. Similarly, SPM was more prevalent among males compared to females (52.2% vs 46.8%). Compared to whites survival was poorer among black, Risk Ratio (RR) = 1.26, 95% Confidence Interval, 1.04- 1.59. Despite adjustment for potential confounding, racial disparities did persist, adjusted RR= 1.30, 99% Confidence Interval, 1.05 -1.59.

The CI of SPM was higher among whites and males, while survival was poorer among blacks, suggestive of health disparities. These findings are indicative of the need to examine via genomic and socio-epigenomic the biologic aggressivity of SPM among children in facilitating therapeutics prevention, thus narrowing SPM disparities.
Nemours Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children
BeverlinEXAMINING CONTEXTUAL FACTORS AND SUICIDALITYPURPOSE. Emerging adulthood is a time of development of particular vulnerability for self-harm behavior among racial and ethnic minorities. However, there has been limited research attempting to understand racial and ethnic differences in contextual and interpersonal factors precipitating self-harm behavior, with previous studies providing mixed evidence. The present study seeks to address this gap in the literature by examining racial and ethnic differences in contextual and interpersonal factors among emerging and young adults with a history of suicide attempts (SA; n = 101), non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI; n = 76), or no history of self-harm (n = 276). METHOD: Four hundred and fifty young adults (ages 18-34) from racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds (32% Asian, 30% White, 20% Latino/a, 10% Black, and 8% biracial or multiracial), who were oversampled from two larger studies for a history of suicidal behavior, completed measures of hopelessness, suicidal ideation, depressive symptoms, and history of self-harm. RESULTS: The majority of individuals (81%) with a history of suicide attempts reported that their attempts were preceded by interpersonal events (e.g., relationship influences), with no racial/ethnic differences in precipitating events. There were also differences in suicidal ideation by self-harm category, with individuals with a history of self-harm reporting more suicidal ideation than those without a history. These differences were the same across racial/ethnic groups. DISCUSSION: These findings help clarify inconsistencies in the literature and further expand current understandings of how contextual and interpersonal factors are associated with self-harm among different racial and ethnic groups.Hunter College and The Graduate Center, City University of New YorkNIH Grant 5SC1MH09187, a grant from the APA Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs, and a grant from the Hunter College Gender Equity Project
BharatCHANGES IN CONDUCTANCE & TEMPERATURE OF H2O IN TIDAL WAVESIt is known that oceanic tidal waves are generated in response to the gravitational forces of the Moon and Sun on the Earth. We wanted to determine experimentally how the water properties of sea water change when exposed to sunlight and moonlight. Our hypothesis is that physical properties of saline water will be altered in accordance with tidal wave cycle. Our results have demonstrated a very high correlation of temperature, conductance and the tidal cycle. For example, maximum conductance and minimum temperature has been observed during lunar exposure and minimum conductance and maximum temperature during solar exposure. This alteration in temperature and conductance may correspond to the change in physical properties of saline water as the tidal wave is associated with lunar gravitational and solar gravitational forces. The fact that saline water changes its properties in accordance with tidal waves cycle brings a new insight into water research and can be of practical application in different fields of science. This is the first report which suggests that saline water can change its properties according to oceanic tidal wave cycles which has been demonstrated by the change in the conductance and temperature recordings.Jackson State University
BibianaRECRUITING DIVERSE POPULATIONS IN THE “ALL OF US” PROGRAMPURPOSE: The goal of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program is to build a diverse research cohort of one million or more U.S. volunteers, engaged as partners, in a longitudinal, long-term research effort to transform the understanding of factors contributing to individual, health and disease for 3 years. In response to the ”All of Us” Medicine Research Initiative, the Consortium to Enhance Diversity Precision Medicine Research was formed by four institutions from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN).
METHODS: The grant proposal described methods of community engagement in five geographically diverse communities (rural and urban Africa American, Hispanic, and Asian and Pacific Islanders) to reach broader and diverse audiences. This synergistic approach proposed evidence-based, best practices led by experienced community engaged researchers to recruit and retain highly diverse populations in the “All of Us” initiative. Stokols’ (1996) Social-Ecological Model (SEM), for Health Promotion (Dahlberg and Krug, 2002), was a social influences framework that contextualized engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies within five levels. Levels of influence are: individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy representing the intervention levels to improve health outcomes.
RESULTS: Although not funded, the Consortium to Enhance Diversity Precision Medicine catalyzed a collaborative team for future opportunities to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies in scientific studies.
DISCUSSION: To underscore the value of community engaged research, engagement, recruitment, and retention strategies must be viewed as an intervention, utilizing existing theoretical principals and approaches to mitigate risk factors.
The University of Texas at El PasoThis work was supported by Grant 5G12MD007592, U54MD008149 (RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN)), G12MD007597-29, and U54CA153708 from the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
BinahCOCAINE-REGULATED PROLIDASE ACTIVITY AT THE BBBPURPOSE: Cocaine, a commonly used drug among HIV-1 patients, has been suggested to worsen HIV-pathogenesis in the brain. Deregulation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is critical in the HIV-1 infection in the brain. Notably, published data suggest that cocaine disrupts the extracellular matrix (ECM) of BBB. However, the mechanism of ECM degradation and its implications in HIV-1 neuropathogenesis are not clearly understood. We propose a novel mechanism mediated by the cellular enzyme prolidase (PLD) for cocaine’s exacerbating effects on HIV-1 pathogenesis in the brain. The catalytic activity of PLD plays an important role in collagen metabolism and matrix remodeling.

METHODS: Using human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMVECs), we tested whether cocaine modulates PLD. Nitric oxide has been shown to regulate prolidase activity through serine/threonine (S/P) phosphorylation, therefore PLD phosphorylation was assessed by immunoprecipitation. Further, the functional implications of cocaine induced PLD activity on hBMVEC monolayer permeability was assessed on Transwell supports using FITC-dextran.

RESULTS: We found that hBMVECs treated with cocaine upregulate PLD expression and activity in a dose-dependent manner. Cocaine treatment resulted in a dose-dependent increase in S/P phosphorylation on PLD. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) in cocaine treated cells decreased PLD catalytic activity and had no effect on PLD protein expression, indicating that nitric oxide is involved in the phosphorylation of prolidase. Permeability to FITC-dextran across the membranes was significantly increased by cocaine treatment, indicating potential impairment of monolayer integrity.

CONCLUSION: This may in part account for the reason HIV positive individuals who also abuse cocaine have increased pathogenesis in the brain.
Center for Health Disparities Research at Meharry Medical CollegeBbY is supported by the T32 grant 5T32AI007281-25 from NHLBI/NIH. This work is partly supported by grants DA024558, DA30896, DA033892 and the DIDARP grant R24DA021471 from NIDA/NIH to CD. We also acknowledge the RCMI Grant G12MD007586, the Vanderbilt CTSA grant UL1RR024975 and UL1TR000445, the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC) CTSA grant (U54 RR026140 from NCRR/NIH, the U54 grant MD007593 from NIMHD/NIH that supported the research reported in this abstract.
BindongPROGESTRONE ENHANCES HIV-1 FEMALE SEXUAL TRANSMISSIONHIV/AIDS is the top ten killers in the world. In 2012, around 35 million people living with HIV worldwide, 2.3 million people became newly infected. 1.6 million have died from AIDS-related causes. Without an effective vaccine, blocking HIV transmission is one of the critical strategies to prevent HIV infection.
Progesterone based contraceptives are one of the most widely used contraceptives in the world and are highly used in areas endemic for HIV-1. Epidemiologic reports and animal studies have uncovered a possible link between use of progesterone-based hormonal contraceptives and an increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition and transmission. WHO has issued a warning of the possible risk between uses of progesterone-based contraceptives and higher HIV-1 acquisition rates, but noted that more work needs to be done to provide conclusive evidence.
In our recent publication, we have defined the intracellular trafficking pathways that HIV-1 utilizes to transcytose infectious viral particles across vaginal epithelial cells, a critical step for HIV transmission and acquisition. In this study, we showed that the treatment of the human cervical/vaginal epithelial cells with progesterone leads to a reduction of lysosomal activity, resulting in an increased intracellular accumulation of HIV and a higher rate of viral transmission.
These data provide novel insights into the mechanism that progesterone enhances HIV transmission through reducing lysosomal activity, which will lay a solid foundation for interventions in hormonal contraceptive practices, and provide vital evidence to policy experts responsible for disseminating information to the public about the link between progesterone usage and HIV-1 acquisition.
Meharry Medical CollegeThis study is supported by NIH grant U54MD007593 through Meharry Clinical and Translational Research Center (MeTRC), and partially supported by Meharry RCMI program (G12MD007582) and Tennessee Center for AIDS Research (P30AI110527).
BlancaREGULATION OF IMMUNE FUNCTION VIA B2 ADRENERGIC SIGNALINGPURPOSE: Interleukin 2 (IL-2), a key regulator of lymphocytes, signals through receptor-ligand engagement and subsequent activation of the JAK/STAT, MEK/ERK, and PI3K pathways. Lymphocytes are also regulated by the β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR) pathway, an important component of the central nervous system. Both the IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) and the β2AR ultimately affect cell differentiation, proliferation, trafficking, and cytokine production. The crosstalk and regulation amongst these two signaling pathways represents an important mechanism that has yet to be fully elucidated. We hypothesize that activation of the β2AR pathway will negatively regulate IL-2 signaling. METHODS: Human lymphoid cell lines were treated with the β2AR agonist isoproterenol (ISO) followed by stimulation with IL-2. ICI-118551 was used to specifically block β2AR signaling prior to stimulation with ISO. Whole cell lysates or immunoprecipitated IL-2Rβ or JAK3 were separated by SDS-PAGE and analyzed by Western blot (WB) using phosphospecific antibodies. Cell viability and cAMP production were assessed by measuring ATP content. RESULTS: Treatment of cells with ISO alone resulted in cAMP production and activation of AKT and ERK, which was suppressed by ICI-118551. In addition, ISO inhibited IL-2 induced activation of several signaling molecules including STAT5, AKT, and ERK1/2, formation of the IL-2R complex, and IL-2 induced proliferation of cells. Lastly, ISO disrupted activation of STAT5 induced by other gamma common cytokine family members. CONCLUSION: Isoproterenol works through the β2AR pathway to negatively regulate gamma common cytokine signaling and cell proliferation. This could represent a novel regulatory mechanism for cytokine signaling important for immune response.The University of Texas at El PasoResearch supported in part by grants from the Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation and Edward N. and Margaret G. Marsh Foundation, and made possible by grant 5G12MD007592 to the BBRC from the NIMHD, a component of the NIH.
BoRole of CFHR1 protein in lupusPURPOSE. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-organ autoimmune disease which disproportionately affects African-American women. Genetic factors influence susceptibility to SLE. Homozygous deletion of the gene encoding complement factor H related-1 (CFHR1) protein, which is more prevalent in African-Americans (16%) than in Caucasians (5%), increases the risk of SLE. However, the mechanisms underlying this association are not known. Whereas CFHR1 is structurally related to factor H, the major regulator of the alternative pathway of complement, its function remains poorly understood. We tested the hypothesis that the loss of CFHR1 promotes the formation of autoantibodies to factor H, as shown in atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. METHODS. Sera from 18 African-American and 14 Caucasian patients with lupus nephritis were analyzed for the presence of CFHR1 protein and anti-factor H autoAbs. Modulation of complement activation by CFHR1 was evaluated in vitro. RESULTS. Complete absence of CFHR1 protein was found in 3 out of 18 African-Americans patients with lupus but was not associated with autoantibodies targeting factor H. In vitro, purified CFHR1 activated the alternative pathway of complement by serving as a platform for the assembly of C3bBbP convertase. CONCLUSIONS. Genetic loss of CFHR1 is not associated with anti-factor H autoAbs in lupus nephritis. CFHR1 may increase opsonization by promoting complement activation. Thus, the loss of CFHR1 may contribute to SLE by impairing the clearance of apoptotic cell debris.Meharry Medical CollegeThis work is supported in part by NIMHD grant U54 MD007593.
BobbyNeurotoxicity of HIV-1 integrase inhibitorsPURPOSE: In spite of the success of antiretroviral therapy (cART), approximately 50% of HIV-1 infected patients continue to face a spectrum of behavioral, cognitive, and motor dysfunctions characterized as HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND). Although drugs that target reverse-transcription and maturation steps of HIV-1 life cycle have been shown to cause neurotoxicity, the effects of integrase inhibitors on neuronal function are poorly understood. Currently, the integrase inhibitors Raltegravir (RAL), Dolutegravir (DTG) and Elvitegravir (ELV) are used as part of the ART regimen. In light of accumulating evidence that prolonged exposure to cART may contribute to neurotoxicity within the central nervous system (CNS), we hypothesized that HIV-1 integrase inhibitors may contribute to neurotoxicity leading to neuronal dysfunction that may be responsible for the observed CNS effects in patients. METHODS: Using a differentiated dopaminergic neuronal cell model, we investigated the effects of clinically relevant concentrations of RAL, DTG and ELV on neurotoxicity. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that a single dose of ELV induced marked neuronal cytotoxicity, whereas a single dose of DTG or RAL showed minimal effect. In addition, accumulation of reactive oxygen species was observed with ELV treatment suggesting the involvement of oxidative stress as the potential mechanism for cytotoxicity. Currently, we are testing several cellular pathways to pinpoint the underlying mechanism of integrase inhibitor induced neuronal toxicity. DISCUSSION/Conclusion: These studies will provide novel insights into how these drugs affect neuronal health and contribute in exacerbating HAND.Meharry Medical CollegeNIGMS RISE Grant and NIH grants 5R03DA037779 DA037779, DA024558, Vanderbilt CTSA
The development and progression of prostate cancer relies on the androgen receptor (AR). The constitutively active androgen receptor variants (AR-Vs) have resulted in an inevitable resistance to available AR-targeting therapies. Developing novel drugs targeting AR-Vs is an urgent task. Recent studies have shown that niclosamide effectively down regulates AR-V7, making it a valuable drug template for drug-resistant prostate cancer (PC). We hypothesize that structural modifications of niclosamide may lead to more effective AR-Vs down-regulators.
Several molecules with chemical structures similar to niclosamide were identified from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) database using the Schrodinger Suite. A pharmacophore based shape screening was also conducted and compounds with Tanimoto coefficient above 0.7 were selected. We also synthesized a library of niclosamide analogs by optimizing the substituents on the aromatic rings. All compounds were tested in two enzalutamide resistant cell lines, LNCaP95 and 22RV1, both expressing high level of AR-V7.
We have synthesized 21 compounds and evaluated a total of 91 compounds of which 70 were obtained from NCI, for their inhibitory effect on the resistant prostate cancer cell lines. Initial results show that at least five analogs exhibited equivalent or better anti-proliferation and AR-V7 down-regulating activities compared to niclosamide. A 3D quantitative structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) analysis of niclosamide analogs was performed to provide guidance for further pharmacological optimization.
We have identified niclosamide analogs as a new set of AR-V7 down-regulators which may support a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of drug-resistant PC.
Xavier University of LouisianaThis publication was made possible by funding from the NIMHD-RCMI grant number 2G12MD007595 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the NIGMS-BUILD grant number 8UL1GM118967. This publication was also made possible by the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NIMHD.”
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among men worldwide. Curcumin is a well-established lead compounds for the development of new anti-prostate cancer agents. The main purpose of this study is to obtain an insight into structural prerequisites that influence the biological activity of curcumin-based compounds.

Chen QH et al have identified 1,7-diarylhepta-1,4,6-trien-3-ones as a potential scaffold for developing curcumin-based anti-cancer agents. They observed that manipulation of the terminal heteroaromatic ring on this scaffold significantly enhanced the anti-proliferative potency against PC-3, DU-145 and LNCaP human prostate cancer cell lines. To further the development of new anti-prostate cancer agents, 3D quantitative structure activity relationship (QSAR) studies were conducted on earlier reported 35 trienones. The model was generated based on the training set and validated on the test set.

Ligand based 3D-QSAR has been developed using 35 trienones, curcumin and their anti-proliferative activity data against human prostate cancer cell lines. The model, generated based on the training set and validated on the test set, showed acceptable r2 and q2 values (Rtrain2 = 0.72, Qtrain2 = 0.55 and RPearson test =0.84).

The molecular structural features and field contour maps provided relevant insight into structure activity profile of 1,7-diarylhepta-1,4,6-trien-3-ones scaffold derivatives. This study is helpful for future lead compound optimization, design and prioritization of new anti-prostate cancer agents based on this scaffold.
Xavier University of LouisianaThis study was supported by an NIH grant 2G12MD007595 from NIMHD, and by the LCRC.
BrandiURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD AND RESIDENTIAL FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITHCertain residential characteristics in urban neighborhoods have shown to have negative impacts on health, especially in the African American population. The purpose of this systematic review is to understand the relationship between urban neighborhood and residential factors and breast cancer risk, incidence, stage at diagnosis/late stage diagnosis, survival and mortality in African Americans. Using PubMed and Web of Science, the existing literature was reviewed. Observational, cross-sectional, cohort, and prospective studies until February 2017 were examined. Studies which included populations of African American women, setting in “urban” areas, and a measure of a neighborhood or residential factor were reviewed. Three parameters related to neighborhood/residential factors were extracted including: neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), residential segregation, and residential pollution. Eighteen studies were identified for systematic review. 10 studies showed significantly higher odds of late stage diagnosis, higher mortality and lower survival in African American women living in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. One study showed slightly higher odds of upward neighborhood change and probability of distant metastasis at diagnosis of African American woman compared to White women (OR=1.24). Similarly, 5 studies showed significantly high associations between residential segregation and late stage diagnosis. As well as high associations of residential segregation and higher mortality in African American women. Two studies assessed residential pollution on breast cancer risk. The first study showed a weak rate of breast cancer risk in African American women between differentiating levels of trihalomethane in public water (RR=1.2). The second assessed the association of magnetic field exposure and breast cancer risk and found that the odds of getting breast cancer was not significant in African American women (OR=1.02). This review provides a qualitative synthesis of major neighborhood and residential factors on breast cancer outcomes in African American women. By enacting health policies and utilizing health informatics tools; steps can be taken to drive the breast cancer disparity down in this population.University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
BrendaPREPARING GRADUATE STUDENTS IN CARDIOVASCULAR EPIDEMIOLOGYOBJECTIVE: An emerging trend in the structure of major research studies is the utilization of a graduate training center to build capacity among graduate students. The objective of this study is to describe a learning community used in the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) to train graduate students in cardiovascular epidemiology.
METHODS: In 2013, the JHS Graduate Training and Education (GTEC) was implemented at Jackson State University with responsibilities to develop a training program to provide opportunities for scholars to acquire professional expertise in public health and biomedical.
RESULTS: GTEC developed a learning community (LC) to provide expertise in a learning environment where graduate students are exposed to intensive academic training and expert mentoring to prepare them to be future professionals. The mentoring teams oversee efforts by the scholars to analyze, present, and publish their research.
CONCLUSIONS: This process is important in Mississippi with one of the largest prevalence of CVD where this community has increased morbidity, mortality, decreased productivity and requires increased health care resources. We conclude that well organized learning communities can lead to a strong graduate student collective efficacy, which translates to acquisition of professional proficiency
School of Public Health, Jackson State UniversityJackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Center (GTEC) NHLBI-NIH Contract HSN268201300049C; Jackson State University Center of Excellence of Minority Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20MD006899
BrendaPHYSICAL ACTIVITY IN AN AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITYOBJECTIVE: This study was designed to examine access to physical activity in a Mississippi African American community.
METHODS: We selected the Metro Jackson Area comprised of Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties because it is a combination of urban and rural communities. The sample consisted of 70 participants from seven sites. A total of seven focus groups were asked to respond to three question to assess barriers to physical activity participation: (1) Indicate facilities that you have to exercise in your community? (2)Are you aware of any playgrounds, running tracks or fields that belong to a school or educational facility in your community?(3) Are there any sidewalks or bicycle lanes in your community? Focus groups consisted of six to twelve participants and were asked to comment on their participation in physical activity. The focus group interviews were digitally-recorded. The recorded interviews were transcribed by a professional transcriptionist.
RESULTS: Participants identified schools in their communities as accessible locations of outside facilities where residents can engage in exercise. Based on focus group participants’ responses, Madison County had more outside facilities for exercise, such as walking trails, parks and schools, followed by Hinds and Rankin Counties.
CONCLUSION: Creating a culture that supports active living will enable future generations of African Americans in Mississippi to change the current negative health trends into more positive ones.
School of Public HealthJSU Center of Excellence of Minority Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20MD006899
BrendaBREAST CANCER SURVIVAL AND P53, MDM2, AND MDM2-C EXPRESSIONPURPOSE: Breast cancer incidence and survival rates are influenced by multiple factors and vary by race/ethnicity. Inactivation of the tumor suppressing, p53 pathway, by p53 mutation or increased expression of MDM2, is a common event in breast cancer and is associated with poor survival. MDM2 has multiple isoforms that are frequently overexpressed in tumors. We examined the association between survival and protein expression profiles for p53, MDM2, and MDM2 isoform C (MDM2-C) in breast tumors from a multiethnic population.
METHODS: We conducted immunohistochemical analyses for p53 and MDM2, and MDM2-C expression for a total of 791 invasive breast tumors included in a tissue microarray.
RESULTS: Based on Cox proportional hazards regression analysis we did not observe significant associations between expression of p53, MDM2, or MDM2-C and mortality across all cases. However when we examined associations for the major racial/ethnic groups, we observed a significant positive association of p53 expression (HR=1.63, 95% CI: 1.02-2.59) and a marginally significant association of MDM2-C (HR=1.69, 95% CI: 0.94-3.01) with all-cause mortality for Japanese women. We observed negative associations between MDM2-C expression for all-cause and breast cancer-specific mortality for Caucasian women (HR=0.60, 95% CI: 0.33-1.08 and HR=0.28, 95% CI: 0.12-0.67, respectively). No significant associations for Native Hawaiian women were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Recent reports indicate that the functional effects of MDM2 isoforms are dependent on the presence of wild-type or mutant p53, and our preliminary results suggest that the association between breast cancer outcome and MDM2-C expression is context dependent on p53 status.
University of HawaiiU54MD008149 (SGP14-183) ; Hawai`i Community Foundation (16ADVC-78885)
BrendaA DATABASE SYSTEM TO FACILITATE RESEARCH PROGRAM REPORTINGPURPOSE: Reporting progress is a requirement for research programs, and the task of collecting and managing data to create reports can be daunting. In an effort to minimize data dispersion and facilitate data management, we designed a database system based on interrelated data tables using REDCap, a secure, web application for survey and database management. METHODS: Individual, scattered, Excel files containing data such as publications, equipment and research projects were collected and exported into CSV format. Each CSV file was imported into REDCap as an individual database. A set of common code tables were created in REDCap for each of the following data elements: investigator names, affiliated institutions, schools, departments/centers, cores/facilities, research categories and health disparity groupings. SQL fields were created in REDCap to link each data table to the set of common code tables. A series of report templates was created for each dataset. In addition, REDCap’s existing features are used to clean and manage data as necessary prior to the generation of reports. RESULTS: The result is a series of data tables with a common set of codes. Program reports are now easily created from diverse datasets sharing a common set of codes in a single, secure, web-based platform. In addition, REDCap’s data management tools are available to facilitate tasks such as data editing, data cleaning, and exporting files for statistical analysis. CONCLUSIONS: This approach to data management facilitates access to information and provides administrative personnel with an efficient tool to manage data and generate quick reports.University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences CampusThis project was funded by RCMI grants G12MD007600 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health.
BrianA T3SS SIPD-LIKE PROTEIN AIDS PARASITE SUCCESS IN DROSOPHILAPURPOSE: Parasitic wasps engage in a biological arms race with their Drosophila hosts as they confront the flies’ immune defenses. Mixed-strategy extracellular vesicles (MSEVs) injected with the wasp egg suppress fly immunity either by influencing blood cell function (L. boulardi (Lb)—a specialist parasite) or destroying blood cells (L. heterotoma (Lh)—a generalist parasite). Through comparative analysis of Lh MSEV proteins and abdominal wasp transcripts, we identified a sequence for p40, a protein present in Lh, but absent in Lb venom glands. Previous work shows that p40 is responsible for lysis of host blood cells. Our hypothesis is that p40 contributes to differences in virulence strategies between Lh and Lb.
To examine p40 function, the full-length or specific domains of p40 are expressed in bacteria and transgenic flies. Protein function is examined in ex-vivo and in-vivo cell-biological and immune assays.
Protein modeling studies indicate structural similarity between p40’s central domain (CD) with the bacterial IpaD/SipD family of Type III Secretion System tip proteins. However, our genomic and transcriptome analyses indicate a eukaryotic gene structure with introns. When p40 CD is expressed in E. coli and whole cell-lysate is applied to host blood cells, they exhibit lysis and death, reminiscent of the effects of wasp venom. We are producing transgenic flies (with full-length p40, its CD, or CD with amino acid modifications) and expect in-vivo assays to support findings from ex-vivo experiments.
CONCLUSION: Our studies reveal the mechanisms underlying host-parasite specificity and pave the way for understanding host-parasite co-evolution.
City College of NYNASA (NNX15AB42G), the NSF (IOS-1121817), and the NIH (1F31GM111052-01A1 and G12MD007603-30).
BruceHPV16 QUANTITATION DISTINGUISHES ANAL DYSPLASIA/CANCER GRADEPURPOSE: HIV-positive individuals are encouraged to undergo anal dysplasia screening using anal cytology (AC) with follow-up high resolution anoscopy (HRA) if AC is abnormal. However, AC variability could influence if HRA is performed. Our objective was to include HPV16 (most prevalent high-risk HPV type accounting for majority of anal cancers) DNA quantitation in screening algorithm.
METHODS: AC specimens from 75 HIV-positive patients were used for HPV16 detection using quantitative real-time PCR. Abnormal AC results reported: atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS), atypical squamous cells but cannot exclude high-grade (ASC-H), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL), or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL). HRA biopsy results available from 18 patients who provided consent; abnormal biopsy results reported: low-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (LGAIN) or high-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (HGAIN). Statistical tests included Kruskal-Wallis test and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis.
RESULTS: HPV16 copies were significantly different according to AC grade (p=0.001) with following means (SD): Negative (45217), ASCUS (108312), ASC-H (89126), LSIL (4841397), HSIL (440611010). Additionally, HPV16 copies were significantly different according to HRA grades (p=0.009) with following means (SD): Negative (59118), LGAIN (88183), HGAIN (741014648). A HPV16 copy 65 predicted high-grade HRA (p=0.04) with sensitivity=1, specificity=0.843 and area under the ROC curve (AUC)=0.920.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Significantly higher HPV16 copies corresponded to higher AC and HRA grades suggesting importance of HPV burden on disease stage. Furthermore, it was determined HPV16 copy 65 can distinguish high-grade disease from the other grades; supporting potential use of HPV quantitation with AC in anal dysplasia screening.
U. of Hawaii John A. Burns School of MedicineSupported in part by U54MD007584
CaresseNMT INHIBITORS AS CHEMOTHERAPY FOR CHAGAS DISEASETrypansoma cruzi (T. cruzi) is the causative agent of Chagas disease (ChD), an emerging illness originating in Latin America. Presently, there are only two clinically available drugs against T. cruzi, which have high toxicity and limited efficacy in the chronic phase of Chagas disease. This ailment affects millions of people in Latin America and has become an emerging concern in the U.S leading to an urgent need for the discovery of new drug sources. N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) catalyzes the attachment of myristic acid in proteins, which is a requirement for cell signaling and function of many eukaryotic proteins. This pervasive modification has shown to be crucial for protein localization and function of protozoan parasites such as T. cruzi, and Trypanosoma brucei (T.brucei). Over one hundred myristoylated proteins have been identified in T. cruzi, predicting that inhibition of NMT will have pleiotropic effects. Additionally, NMT is found to be expressed in all stages of the parasite. Thus, encouraging NMT inhibitors as valid candidates for the treatment of T. cruzi, which have been previously evaluated against T. brucei NMT. Respectively, selective NMT inhibitors DDD1 and DDD5 presented high trypanocidal activity with an EC50 of 0.18 µM and 0.26 µM in intracellular forms of T. cruzi with minimal cytotoxicity. For this reason, anti-trypanosomidal activity of NMT inhibitors (DDD1 and DDD5) were screened in an in vivo murine model for the acute and chronic of ChD. Compounds DDD1 and DDD5 significantly reduced parasite load in the murine acute and chronic model without permissible toxicity.University of Texas at El Paso
CarlaRCMI TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH NETWORK TEAM SCIENCE CASE STUDYPURPOSE: The RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN) facilitates inter-institutional collaborations via “clusters” that convene researchers with shared interests. The formative stages of teams developed through the clusters may impact the overall success of the collaboration. Best practices in team science suggest a theoretical set of processes underlie formation of effective teams. However, the complexity of systematically applying those recommendations may be impractical. The relative value of suggested best practices remains unclear.
METHODS: This analysis will assess the extent to which the theorized team science best practices were observed in an organically formed team in the absence of a structured effort to implement recommended practices. The RTRN Community Engagement (CE) Cluster’s efforts to develop a multi-site community-engaged research proposal will be used as a case study. Reflective practice approaches will provide a framework for measuring team development. A questionnaire will assess three established team science frameworks: 1) Nominal group process; 2) The Toolbox method; and 3) Consensus building. Each member of the CE research team will independently complete the reflective practice questionnaire.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Descriptive statistics will characterize the extent to which the identified team science best practices were observed by team members and the extent to which each practice added value to the team.
DISCUSSION: This analysis will identify 1) activities that tend to occur naturally within newly formed teams; 2) processes that are unlikely to occur organically, but have the potential to enhance team productivity; and 3) practices that potentially have limited value to working teams.
Howard UniverityThis work was supported by Grant 5G12MD007592 from the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
CarlaCHEMOKINE NETWORK: TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER & NON-TNBCTriple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for 12-25% of total breast cancer (BC), and contributes to the more aggressive, therapy-resistant tumors and poorer outcomes due to lack of successful therapeutic targets. Chemokines are mediators of immune response and have chemoattractive potential for metastasis. Using a Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) dataset, we investigated the signature of chemokine network in human BC lines and identified specific chemokines between TNBC and non-TNBC cells. Compared to non-TNBC cells, TNBC cells expressed highly CCL2, CXCL1-3, 5, 6 and 8, but decreased CXCL12, 14, CXCR4 and 7. Among TNBC sub-types, basal-like (BL) and mesenchymal-like (ML) subtypes expressed high levels of proinflammatory chemokines compared to luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype. Also, we checked the chemokine signature in human BC samples and compared the differential expression of chemokines among BC subtypes such as basal-like, HER2, luminal A and B. Basal-like BC expressed high levels of proinflammatory chemokines compared to other subtypes. Taken together, TNBC cells have increased expression of proinflammatory chemokines compared to other BC types, probably contributing to aggressiveness and metastasis in TNBC biology.Meharry Medical CollegeRISE Meharry Medical College SOGSR (4R25GM059994-17). Meharry Medical College/NCI (2U54CA163069-06 – 6965, 5SC1CA200519-07).
CarlosKnowledge of and perceived access to PrEP among Latino GBMSMPURPOSE. Between 2008-2014 HIV incidence decreased by 18% among white gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM); whereas, new infections increased among Latino GBMSM by 22%. Surveillance reports show that Puerto Rico (PR) is experiencing a disproportionate increase of HIV incidence among GBMSM. Along with increased risk for HIV, adequate PrEP use and access might be challenging for MSM in PR. This study was conducted in order to explore the knowledge of and perceived access to PrEP in a sample of GBMSM in PR. METHODS: Following a sequential exploratory mix-method approach, data were collected from life history interviews with 16 HIV- GBMSM and an online survey conducted with 256 HIV- GBMSM. Interviews were transcribed for discourse analysis using NVivo. Quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS. RESULTS: During the qualitative interviews, participants shared limited knowledge of PrEP, not having had discussions about PrEP with healthcare providers, trust issues with a new pharmacological intervention, and potential challenges with adherence. In the on-line survey, participants reported an average age of 31 years, most had private medical insurance (58%), at least a college degree (68%), and were employed (74%). More than half of the sample (64%) could not assert on the proper use of PrEP, and 47% reported that PrEP was among the HIV-prevention services perceived as least accessible in PR. DISCUSSION: Unawareness of PrEP along with low perceived access represent significant barriers to position PrEP as an alternative for HIV prevention in PR. Structural and behavioral research and interventions must be developed to increase knowledge and facilitate access to PrEP.University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus, School of Public HealthResearch reported in this abstract was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U54MD007587. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
CarmenCharacterization of Histone Genes from Lucina pectinataPurpose: Lucina pectinata is a bivalve that lives in sulfide-rich environments and houses intracellular sulfide-oxidizing endosymbionts. In order to identify new proteins in this organism of biomedical relevance we produced genomic and transcriptome assemblies using semiconductor sequencing.
Methods: We searched for Histone-like sequences using the Blastn tool using the known partial coding sequence of L. pectinata histone H3 against our genome assembly to obtain the complete coding region. This H3 coding region was used to identify the H3 coding sequence from the clam Solen marginatus. The reported S. marginatus histone nucleotide sequences were then used as query sequences using the genome and transcriptome assemblies to identify the L. pectinata H1, H2A, H2B and H4 genes. We obtained the complete coding regions of the 5 histone genes by RT-PCR to corroborate our findings using automated Sanger DNA sequencing.
Results: The histone genes and coding region nucleotide sequences were identified from the L. pectinata genome and transcriptome assemblies. The amino acid sequence conservation between the L. pectinata and Solen marginatus histones was: 77%, 93%, 83%, 96% and 97% for H1, H2A, H2B, H3 and H4, respectively. As expected, the H3 and H4 proteins were the most conserved. The L. pectinata H1 protein was most similar to H1s from marine organisms like Amphideon queenslandia, Crassostrea gigas, Aplysia californica, Mytilus trossulus and Biomphalaria glabrata.
Conclusion: The L. pectinata draft genome and transcriptome assemblies, obtained by semiconductor sequencing, were adequate for identification of conserved proteins as evidenced by our results for the histone genes.
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences,From the UPR-Medical Sciences Campus: INBRE grant NCRR P20RR16470, RCMI program NCRR grant G12RR003051, RCMI program NIMHD grant G12MD007600 and the PRCTRC National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Award Number 2U54MD007587. From PSC: NIH NIGMS MARC Grants T36-GM-008789, T36-GM-095335. XSEDE NSF grant OCI-1053575, Blacklight (ACI-1041726) and Bridges (ACI-1445606). From UPR-Mayagüez Campus: RISE-2-BEST, NIGMS grant R25GM088023.
CarolynHEALTH COMMUNICATION INTERVENTIONS AND HEALTH DISPARITIESObjectives:  Health disparities impact African Americans for virtually every disease and condition.   Health communication (HC) plays a critical role in exploring and providing strategies to address such issues.  Given this disparate health burden and opportunity for HC to have an even greater role in eliminating disparities, we developed a two-part research protocol. Objectives:  (1.) conduct a systematic review of health communication articles  to assess extent to which the field has addressed African American health disparities during the past 10 years, and (2.) offer recommendations regarding how the field might effectively address this issue in the future 
Design:  We first conducted a search from 2007-2017 on PubMed and Ebscohost for articles on health communication and African Americans.   
Measurement: Descriptive information was coded, including intervention type, population, setting, research design and outcomes. 
Preliminary findings: During the 10-years, HC journals increasingly addressed African American health disparities; 25 percent of the 100 articles examined were published in HC journals, i.e., Health Communication, Journal of Health Communications, and Journal of Family Communication.   Limited health topics were explored (e.g., cancer, physical activity/obesity, sexual health, end-of-life decisions). Appropriate messaging and means to encourage engagement in research and treatment were addressed. Community and Faith-based settings were most common.    
The second component is a systematic literature review from HC journals.  Two reviewers will code articles.  Inclusion criteria: health disparities mentioned; health topics; participant characteristics; setting; measurement(s); outcomes.   
This project is in progress; the meta-analysis will be conducted through use of a statistical software package to determine effect size indices.
Howard University
CarolynA HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TRIPLE-NEGATIVE BREAST CANCER TREATMENTBACKGROUND: The majority of breast cancers (BCs) that are estrogen receptor negative are triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs). Aggressive TNBCs with higher mammary cancer stem cell (MCSC) content are frequently diagnosed in young African-American women who suffer worse clinical outcomes when treated with chemotherapy compared to White women. PURPOSE: Because MCSCs are inherently resistant to most available therapies, there is a critical need to develop novel, less toxic TNBC chemotherapeutic regimens. In our expansive examination of their anti-neoplastic activity, we have demonstrated treatment with Vernonia amygdalina aqueous leaf extracts (VA extracts) decreases TNBC cell proliferation, sensitizes with Paclitaxel (TAX), induces apoptosis, decreases mammosphere initiating ability, and exhibits chemo-preventive effectiveness. The standard of care (SOC) regimens recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) for patients with node-positive BC in the United States has been dose-dense therapy with doxorubicin (DOX) and cyclophosphamide (CYC) followed by TAX, an acceptably tolerated approach in the neoadjuvant setting. We hypothesized that VA extracts would improve the action of TAX toward growth inhibitory efficiency when administered with SOC regimens. METHODS: In vitro growth inhibition in response to treatment of TNBC cells was determined by Trypan blue exclusion and MTT assays. In vivo, immunodeficient nude mice were pretreated with VA extracts (10 mg/kg) for 10 days. MDA-MB-468 cells mixed with matrigel were implanted (2X106 cells) subcutaneously in the ventrolateral abdominal region of nude mice and SOC treatment regimens, with or without VA extracts, were administered to various groups for 16 days. Tumor volumes were recorded after 4 weeks. RESULTS: Compared to the efficacies of the DOX-CYC-TAX regimen, with or without cisplatin (CIS), addition of VA extracts to those regimens yielded superior in vitro cell growth inhibition. In vivo, no significant reduction in tumor volumes resulted from treatments with DOX-CYC-TAX regimens, whether with or without CIS. Remarkably, decreases in tumor volumes were seen in each treatment group wherein VA extracts were included with SOC regimens. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Preclinical validation of VA extracts will advance their development and perhaps lead to NCCN-recommended inclusion of VA extracts as necessary components in TNBC therapies, thus better treatment options and improved TNBC patient prognoses.Jackson State UniversityNIH/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Award Number P20MD006899 Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) Pilot Project Program Creative Partnership Grant between Jackson State University (JSU) and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine, Grant Number 8 G12 MD007581-15 through the RCMI-Center for Environmental Health at JSU NIH/National Cancer Institute Grant Number SC1CA165865
CesarANALYZING THE FUNCTION OF CHOLESTEROL IN FACIAL DEVELOPMENTThe cholesterol synthesis pathway produces two independent lipid molecules, cholesterol and isoprenoids, both of which have diverse cellular functions. Mutations that inhibit the cholesterol synthesis pathway result in at least 8 different human syndromes, some of which are characterized by defects in facial development. The presence of facial dysmorphia in these disorders strongly suggests that the cholesterol synthesis pathway facilitates appropriate facial development. Recently, it was demonstrated that mutation or inhibition of HMGCR results in craniofacial abnormalities by interfering with appropriate neural crest cell differentiation. However, whether these deficits in differentiation are cholesterol independent, cholesterol dependent, or a combination of both has not been fully elucidated. In order to better understand the independent functions of cholesterol and isoprenoids during neural crest cell differentiation, we performed a combination of loss of function and pharmacological inhibition studies. Mutation of the zebrafish ortholog of hmgcs1, which encodes the first enzyme in the cholesterol synthesis pathway, interferes with the differentiation of cranial neural crest cells, but does not affect the specification and migration of these cells. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of each branch of the cholesterol synthesis pathway revealed a novel function for isoprenoids in neural crest differentiation. Interestingly, the cholesterol dependent mechanisms modulating cranial facial development were sonic hedgehog independent, raising the possibility that cholesterol regulates facial development via multiple pathways. Collectively, our data demonstrate that the cholesterol synthesis pathway is an essential mediator of late neural crest differentiation.The University of Texas at El PasoGrant no.2G12MD007592 from National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities.
ChandravanuExamining the Role of Cocaine Abuse on HIV-1 PathogenesisAfrican-Americans continue to bear the disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS of all racial and ethnic groups. Tremendous progress has been made over the past three decades on many fronts in the prevention and treatment of HIV-1 disease. However, HIV-1 infection is incurable and antiretroviral drugs continue to remain the only effective treatment option for HIV infected patients. Unfortunately, only three out of ten HIV-1 infected individuals in the US have the virus under control. Thus, majority of HIV-1 infected individuals in the US are either unaware of their infection status or not connected/retained to care or are non-adherent to antiretroviral therapy (ART). This national crisis, as well as the ongoing global HIV/AIDS pandemic, is further exacerbated by substance abuse, which serves as a powerful cofactor at every stage of HIV/AIDS including transmission, diagnosis, pathogenesis, and treatment. Cocaine is one of the most commonly abused substances among HIV infected individuals. Cocaine abuse has been associated with increased infection, accelerated disease progression and AIDS-related mortality. However, the mechanisms by which cocaine use accentuates CD4+ T cell decline remain largely unclear. Therefore, the goal of this project is to delineate effects of cocaine abuse on HIV-1 associated CD4+ T cell death using peripheral mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from HIV-1 infected cocaine users and non-users. Results from our initial studies using PBMCs of uninfected donors indicate that CD4+ T cells exposed to both cocaine and HIV-1, undergo significantly higher apoptosis compared to that of cells treated with cocaine or HIV-1 alone. Therefore, we believe data from this proposal will be instrumental in addressing the mechanism underlying the worsening HIV-1 disease among cocaine abusers.Meharry Medical CollegeThis study is funded by a pilot grant from the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC) (5U54MD007593-09) and in part supported by R56AI22960, R24DA021471, and R01DA042348
ChangdeMetabolism, Pharmacokinetics, and Bioavailability of ZB716ZB716 is a selective estrogen receptor downregulator (SERD) with excellent oral bioavailability and superior efficacy. In this study, we investigate the in vitro and in vivo metabolism and the pharmacokinetics of ZB716 by incubation with liver microsomes, liver cytosol, and by orally dosing rodents. Metabolic products were identified and quantified by a combination of liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. The metabolic profile of ZB716 showed fulvestrant and ZB716-sulfone as the two major oxidative metabolites. ZB716 also underwent some degree of sulfation and glucuronidation in vitro. The major oxidative metabolites of ZB716 were also found in rat plasma, feces, and urine samples. No sulfation and glucuronidation metabolites from ZB716 were found in plasma. Limited amounts of sulfate conjugates and glucuronides of ZB716 were detected in feces. The glucuronidation on 3-OH position of fulvestrant was the main metabolite found in urine, suggesting that this specific site of phase 2 metabolism is blocked in ZB716 and formation of glucuronide 3-fulvestrant must be preceded by metabolic transformation of ZB716 to fulvestrant. The pharmacokinetic study of ZB716 showed a half-life (t1/2) at 9 hour, the area under cure value (AUC) of 1844 ng/ml*h, and the maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) at 137.6 ng/mL reached at 1h after a single dose of 10 mg/kg. Overall this study elucidated important metabolic characteristics of ZB716, an oral SERD that has demonstrated superior bioavailability and efficacy in preclinical rat studies.Xavier UniversityNIMHD-RCMI grant number 5G12MD007595 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
CharleneDeveloping Medical Records for Transgender Women in ThailandPURPOSE:
• To end AIDS in Thailand it is critical to implement a countrywide HIV/AIDS surveillance system with normalized inclusion of the transgender (TG) community. This study aimed to enhance TG visibility and address HIV/AIDS disparities among transgender women (TGW) by developing culturally relevant and gender affirming TGW-centric medical records (demographic, sex-partnership-behaviour).
• TGW participants (N=31) from three Thai cities enrolled in focus group discussions (n=21) or in-depth interviews (n=10) to qualitatively assess TGW-centric medical records; each underwent multi-lens (grammar, medical, gender, sexuality) English to Thai translations. Voice recorded data were transcribed into English, and analyzed for emergent themes.
• All participants were Thai nationals, TGW (male birth sex, lived daily as women), 18 years or older, and provided consent. Hormone use (current: 58.1%; past: 32.3%), sex reassignment surgery (19.3%), and diverse identities emerged: female, lady, woman (32.3%); sao praphet song (16.1%); transgender woman (12.9%); kathoey (9.7%); third gender (6.5%); lady boy (3.2%), kon plaeng phet (3.2%); multiple (16.1%). Utilizing a likert-scale, masculine gender identities (male, boy, man) were disrespectful/ very disrespectful, feminine terms (lady, woman, girl) respectful/ very respectful, and cultural TGW identities (sao phraphet song, kathoey) varied. Sexual orientation responses were contingent two-step method3 (current gender identity, assigned birth sex) interpretation: homosexual (48.3%), straight (38.7%), fluid/ bisexual (6.5%), no response (6.5%). Transgender male medical records (sex-partnership-behaviour) development were suggested.
• Upon further research (item response theory) and collaboration with key stakeholders, TG-centric medical records can be integrated in national HIV/AIDS surveillance systems to more effectively monitor, control, and support the end of AIDS.
John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of HawaiiNIH Research Grant (#R25TW009345) Northern Pacific Global Health Fellows Program by the Fogarty International Center
CharlesM1 MACROPHAGE ACTIVITY MODULATES SEX DIFFERENCE IN TULAREMIAPURPOSE: Female mice do produce higher levels of inflammatory cytokines than male mice. F. tularensis, and certain other infections, causes disease through production of these same inflammatory cytokines. We hypothesized that this heightened inflammatory response may make females more susceptible to tularemia.
METHODS: Male and female mice were infected with F. tularensis and their disease process followed through the course of infection. Systemic pathology was analyzed by multiELISA from blood extracts while local inflammation was analyzed by PCR of infected tissues. Cellular response was determined by flow cytometry and in vitro culture.
RESULTS: Female mice were more susceptible to F. tularensis disease and succumbed to disease faster and more frequently than male mice. This was accompanied by increase in the inflammatory response against the bacterium. Cellular analysis identified an increase in the activity and temporal activation of M1 macrophages in female mice compared with male mice. In vitro analysis demonstrated that on a cellular level M1 macrophages respond stronger in female mice than male mice.
DISCUSSION: While female mice have a stronger baseline inflammatory response than male mice that normally protects them from infectious disease, for certain infections that stimulate an overactive inflammatory response, this heightened response is detrimental. Our studies have identified that this sex difference in susceptibility is explained by differences in the activity of M1 macrophages.
University of Texas at El Paso
CharlesA NEURAL TROPISM FOR THE ZOONOTIC INFECTION F. TULARENSISPURPOSE: Tularemic meningitis is serious and sometimes life-threatening infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Despite the clinical manifestation of tularemic meningitis, it remains unknown whether F. tularensis productively infects the CNS or the presence of F. tularensis in the cerebral spinal fluid is simply a result of blood transmission.
METHODS: Mice were peripherally infected with F. tularensis and the presence of the bacterium detected by histological sections of the brain. Pathology was analyzed by multiELISA from brain extracts. Mechanism of invasion was determined by flow cytometric and transwell assay.
RESULTS: F. tularensis was found in immune cells of the central nervous system, e.g., microglia and astrocytes, and elicited inflammation. Bacteria accumulated in the brain at the time of peak peripheral disease symptomology. Cellular analyses demonstrated that peripheral macrophages invaded the brain and were heavily infected with bacteria compared with brain resident cells, suggesting that peripheral macrophages brought in the bacteria. This is confirmed in in vitro transwell assay.
DISCUSSION: These data demonstrate that following a peripheral infection with F. tularensis, infected macrophages traffic to the brain bringing viable bacteria into the central nervous system. Therein, the bacteria elicit neuroinflammation that could led to neuropathology.
University of Texas at El PasoGRANT SUPPORT: The University of Texas System BRAIN Initiative 365304 “Neural invasion by Francisella tularensis causes lethal neuroinflammation”
CherylINCARCERATED MOTHERS & THEIR CHILDREN: A DISCRIPTApproximately 7% of the 1.5 million prisoners under state and federal jurisdiction are women. A large proportion of women in prison leave children behind when incarcerated.

Objective: Examine the communication between incarcerated mothers and their children, and document concerns regarding reunification.

Method: The baseline data of 173 incarcerated women enrolled in the Women’s Health Intervention Study (WHIS), an HIV, substance use, and mental health prevention intervention for incarcerated women, was used. Women were asked about communicating with their children during incarceration and the concerns they had regarding reunification upon release from prison.

Results: Participants were majority white (59.8%), reported an annual income < $29,999 (78.9%), were single (47%), fell in the 18-44 years old age range (69.9%), and reported an education < high school (69%). Approximately 88% (n = 146) of the women reported having a child, and the average number of children was five. Approximately 77.2% of the participants reported being in contact with their children. The most common method of contact was letters (n = 78, 47%). The concerns the women had about reunifying with their children included the attitudes their children have toward them, financial stability, and lost time with their children.

Conclusion: The results indicated that mothers maintain communication with their children through letters. Regarding reunification, the mothers expressed concern about nature of their relationship with their children and their ability to provide financial support to their children. These results suggest that attention should be paid to preparing women to reunify with their children post incarceration.
Morehouse School of MedicineNatl Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
ChetonyaBUILT ENVIRONMENT AND RISK FACTORS FOR CVD IN MISSISSIPPIPURPOSE: Recent research has attributed the rise in obesity and cardiovascular disease, especially in African American communities, to modifiable risk factors that are linked to elements in the built environment. Identifying these elements is important for developing and implementing effective public health interventions. This study investigates built environment factors in an African American community that may be associated with cardiovascular risk.
METHODS: A search was conducted of databases from the Mississippi State Department of Health that collected information on the presence and location of known built environment risk factors in an African American community in central Mississippi. Data were extracted that assessed environmental attributes that are known to be contributors to CVD in adults. These built environment factors were then carefully examined and enumerated to describe characteristics of the neighborhoods where the residents live and work.
RESULTS: Many aspects of the built environment that may impact health were found to be present in this community. Risk factors, particularly those relating to behavior practices that are preventable and that could contribute to the prevalence of CVD in Mississippi, were detected.
CONCLUSION: These findings provide opportunities for public health officials to launch strategies to counteract the rise in obesity and CVD in Mississippi. Many factors in the neighborhood environment can facilitate exposures to risk factors that have the potential to adversely impact the health status of the residents. Planning efforts can focus on increasing awareness of communities about the risks inherent in behavior practices, and the initiation of capacity building opportunities.
School of Public Health, Jackson State UniversityJackson State University Center of Excellence of Minority Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20MD006899; Jackson Heart Study Community Outreach Center (CORC) NHLBI-NIH Contract HSN268201300050C
ChimeneUsing telehealth to address diabetes in black womenIn 2016, 89 million Americans age 20 and older had pre-diabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010. Without intervention, pre-diabetes is likely to become T2DM in 10 years or less with long-term damage of heart and circulatory system. The most common linking factors to DM II and obesity are excess consumption of nutrient-deficient foods, including high-processed, high-fat foods as well as decreased physical activity and sleep disorders such as night eating syndrome (NES). NES is a stress-related eating disorder associated with symptoms to include: mental stress, depression, increased adipocytes, and poor weight-loss outcomes. NES induced sleep disruption, may exacerbate risk for obesity in those that are prediabetics thus enhancing the probability of developing T2DM. Additionally, some adverse effects of NES consist of morning anorexia, evening hyperphagia, and insomnia. Previous studies on NES have been conducted in predominantly white populations, the paucity of data remain in minority communities. Method: The study participants will be recruited at Howard University Hospital in the District of Columbia (DC) Diabetic Center at Howard University Hospital and other health centers. This proposed study will employ a mixed methodology of survey and focus and interviews to examine the impact of NES among minority populations with pre-diabetes and to explore the motivation and self-efficacy of minority populations for behavior intervention directed at improving NES minority populations with pre-diabetes and T2DM. Discussion/Conclusion: The proposed study outcome will provide vital information for the development of future interventions to target and change behaviors associated with the development of T2DM and will provide support in identifying personal habits of study participants and hone a more tailored application to assist Type II diabetic participants.Howard UniversityNone
ChrissyNICOTINE EXPOSURE ON DROSOPHILA WOUND RESPONSEOne of the cellular functions our body has to maintain homeostasis is the mechanism of cellular repair. The body recovers from injury when a wound response localizes only to damage tissue. Wound response can be visualized in Drosophila embryos, which are 75% genetically similar to humans, by fluorescent wound reporter genes. These genes each display their respective local or global phenotype when activated in epidermal cells. A localized wound response is limited to the cells surrounding the damage site and results from a “control” puncture injury. In contrast, a global response is unlimited and spreads beyond the cells surrounding the damage site and may result from “experimental” microinjection of chemicals.
To investigate nicotine and its effect on wound response. Our hypothesis is that nicotine exposure in Drosophila embryos will activate a global response after puncture injury.
To generate puncture injury, the control embryos are punctured with glass needles, while the experimental embryos are injured and microinjected with nicotine.
Nicotine exposure upon microinjection injury causes a higher frequency (84%) of a global wound response compared to the control punctured injured embryos that showed a local response (86%).
Determining the effect of nicotine exposure during Drosophila injury provides insight into nicotine’s impact on localization and wound repair. We may gain improved understanding of how external factors and human actions, like smoking, may ultimately affect healing after injury. Using studies in Drosophila, as a model organism, will provide new directions for clinical studies to improve recovery following tissue damage.
City College of New YorkNIH NIAID 1R03AI117671, NIH NIMHD 5G12MD007603, NIH NCI U54CA137788
ChristineACT TO IMPROVE SEXUAL HEALTH IN HISPANICS WITH BREAST CANCERPURPOSE: Modern cancer therapy with chemotherapy and hormonal therapy results in low sexual interest, dyspareunia, and premature menopause among women with breast cancer. We describe the quality of life and endocrine symptoms at baseline for a group of patients receiving Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in a group oncology practice.
METHODS: This is a quasi-experimental design with pre and post-test and an experimental and control group. Women are assigned into three age groups and therapeutic scenarios using a randomized block design. The FACT-ES measures quality of life and endocrine symptoms. We collect women perception on their sexual health and self-reported depression with BECK inventory.
RESULTS: A total of 16 women have been recruited. Most women are married, with high school education or higher degree, with private health insurance, and with a monthly income of $1,201. The total FACT-ES score was 72.56 ±13.10. A lower physical and emotional well-being (6.98±5.55; 8.82±3.98), and a moderate social and functional well-being (18.09±6.36; 18.56±5.43) was documented. The baseline endocrine symptoms were established at 20.10±9.43. A majority (54%) of women reported occasionally being interested in the sexual activity, and more than half are afraid of not responding to sexual stimuli. Most females are comfortable with sexual activity (71%), and 29% are satisfied with their sexual encounters. Moderate depression was seen in 19%.
CONCLUSIONS: Hispanic females undergoing therapy for breast cancer have frequent and relevant QoL issues in particular with sexual health. The ACT-ISH may serve to improve sexual health perceptions and symptoms.
Universidad Central del Caribe, School of MedicineResearch Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI): G12MD007583 and the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC): U54MD007587
Systemic chemotherapy is associated with cognitive impairment in some cancer survivors. In a previous study we have reported that female rats injected with doxorubicin/cyclophosphamide chemotherapy display deficits in spatial memory tasks and exhibit altered expression of signaling and synaptic plasticity-related molecules in the hippocampus. The purpose of the present study is to examine the potential role of oxidative stress and identify the downstream molecular players involved in the pathogenesis of cognitive decline after chemotherapy treatment .

Ovariectomized female rats were injected intravenously once a week for three weeks with the combination of cyclophosphamide and doxorubicin. Dissected hippocampi were evaluated for expression of immediate early genes and oxidative stress responsive genes by western blot and qPCR analysis. Dot blot analysis was conducted to evaluate the relative levels of the oxidative damage marker 8-hydroxyguanine (8-OHdG) . Brain sections from a separate cohort of animals were processed for immunohistochemistry to assess the expression and localization of 8-OHdG in the hippocampus.

We found that the activation (cJun) and expression of some immediate early genes (Arc, Bdnf , Creb, Homer1a) were significantly higher in the chemotherapy group. Real-time qPCR analysis revealed that the levels of GPx, NFkB, and TNFa were upregulated. Moreover increased immunohistochemical staining and dot blot detection of 8OHdG in treated animals indicates increased oxidative damage.

These results indicate that chemotherapy may lead to oxidative damage in nucleic acids and induce alterations in the expression profile of stress responsive and plasticity -related genes in the CNS.
The City College of New YorkThis project was been funded by NIH/NCI U54CA137788/U54CA132378 and NIH/NIGMS RCMI RR03060 and NIH RISE R25GM056833.
ClementMechanisms of AFLATOXIN B1 (AFB1) TOXICITYOur study objectives were (1) evaluate the cytotoxicity of aflatoxin B1 to HepG2 cells, (2) determine whether oxidative stress plays a role in aflatoxin B1 induced toxicity , (3) determine whether aflatoxin B1 induces DNA damage, and (4) determine apoptotic mechanisms of Aflatoxin B1-induced toxicity to HepG2 cells. HepG2 cells were treated with different concentration of aflatoxin B1 for 48 hours prior to tests. Data generated from MTS assay indicate that at low concentrations, aflatoxin B1 had no effect on the viability of HepG2 cells, where as a strong positive correlation was observed between higher concentration and cytotoxicity. Oxidative stress biomarkers indicated that oxidative stress on HepG2 cells was induced by AFB1. Induction of DNA damage was mediated by oxidative stress as evidenced by an increase in malondialdehyde level and decrease in glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities. Comet assay detected DNA damage in cells exposed to aflatoxin B1 compared to the controls. Evaluation of cell cycle indicated that cell cycle arrest happened at G2/M phase of the cell cycle, and that an arrest at this stage ensures that the cells do not initiate mitosis before they have a chance to repair damaged DNA. Both annexin-V/PI Assay and caspase-3 activity results show that AFB1 induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells. This suggests that an apoptotic execution, mediated by caspace-3 is a crucial step leading to programmed cell death pathway.

Keywords: aflatoxins, hepatocellular carcinoma cells, DNA damage, apoptosis
Jackson State UniversityGrant No. NIMHD-G12MD007581
CliftonCOPING STRATEGIES AND CVD IN THE JACKSON HEART STUDY COHORTOBJECTIVE: When the safety of daily activities suddenly turns into fear and uncertainty for the future, the effects of coping would depend on the type of stressor as well as individual characteristics and may include a wide array of negative health outcomes. This study sought to examine the association of four coping strategies (Problem-Focused Engagement, Problem-Focused Disengagement, Emotion-Focused Engagement, and Emotion-Focused Disengagement) with CVD related outcomes (heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, kidney problems and stroke).
METHODS: We used data collected during the Jackson Heart Study (JHS) Exam 1, using questionnaires administered to 5301 African-Americans. The CSI-SF collected coping patterns and participants self-reported their CVD status. We conducted six regression analyses, one for every self-reported outcome.
RESULTS: PFD, EFD, and PFE were significant predictors; participants who displayed these characteristics and behaviors were more likely to have one of the self-reported diseases. The coping variables PFD, EFD, and PFE were associated with heart attack, high blood pressure, and kidney problems in the JHS participants
CONCLUSIONS: Coping strategies and coping responses to daily stressors, especially those that are immersed in disengagement practices, are associated with the development of high blood pressure and heart attack.
School of Public Health, Jackson State UniversityJackson Heart Study Graduate Training and Education Center (GTEC) NHLBI-NIH Contract HSN268201300049C; Jackson Heart Study Community Outreach Center (CORC) NHLBI-NIH Contract HSN268201300050C Jackson State University Center of Excellence of Minority Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20MD006899
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal malignant neoplasms across the world with an overall five-year survival rate of 6%(2). When pancreatic cancer is treated with radiation, a challenge arises because of the anatomical position of the pancreas in relation to the small intestine. This relationship leads to intestinal toxicity and degeneration of stem cells. Interestingly, it has been shown that Wnt ligand was required for colonic regeneration after injury in mice (3). This work attempts to study the mechanisms of regeneration of intestinal stem cells post radiation through Wnt regulated pathways.
Intestinal stem cells are harvested from mice and washed using PBS with EDTA and HBSS with EDTA. A mixture of matrigel and crypt stem cells is produced for plating in 12 well plates. Conditioned Medium is prepared from L-WRN cells and added to each well. Crypt organoids were infected with Cre adenovirus to delete Wnt gene and 6Gy irradiation was performed. Then, recombinant Wnt was added to the conditioned medium, differences in dose concentration were compared (rWnt: 10ng/ml, 600ng/ml and 1200ng/ml).
24 hours after radiation there was no growth in the 6Gy+adCre+ organoids and an increase in growth in correlation to rWnt concentration added.
This preliminary data support our hypothesis that Wnt proteins are required for intestinal epithelium regeneration and protection after radiation. Additionally, it demonstrates that this growth is concentration dependent. These results provide information for intestinal epithelium regeneration pathways and could potentially lead to future treatments for intestinal protection against radiation.
MD Anderson Cancer Center/Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer CenterThis presentation is supported by the National Cancer Institute through the U54 CA096297/CA096300: UPR/MDACC Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research Training Program
CristinaSMS TO IMPROVE INFANT WEIGHT GAIN AND FEEDING PRACTICESObjective: To test the effects of weekly SMS sent to caregivers on improving infant feeding practices and infant weight.
Methods: This was a multi-site clinical trial in a convenience sample of 202 caregivers of healthy term infants 0-2 months participating in the WIC program in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. Participants were randomized to receive SMS about general infant’s health issues (control) or SMS for improving feeding practices (intervention) for four months. Weight, length and infant feeding practices were assessed at baseline and four months later.
Results: A total of 170 completed the study (n=86 control and n=84 intervention). Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. After four months of receiving the SMS, exclusive breastfeeding rates were similar between groups (67.4% in control and 59.1% in intervention; p>0.05). Introduction of water, juice, formula and solids, addition of foods to the bottle and encouragement by caregivers to drink all or some more of the bottle was similar between groups (p>0.05). More infants in the intervention group were being placed to bed with a bottle of milk (33.7%) compared to controls (20.7%; p=0.061). Significantly more infants in the control group had started eating solids (68.6%) compared to the intervention group (52.9%, p<0.05) and among these, significantly more infants in the intervention group were being fed mainly using the spoon (34.1%) compared to the control group (19.7%; p<0.05). No significant effects of the intervention were detected in weight status or excessive weight gain.
Conclusion: The intervention group reported improvements only in delaying introduction of solid foods and in using the spoon to eat solids instead of adding it to the bottle. The timeline of the messages in relation to the targeted behavior may have affected the effectiveness of the intervention. Earlier dissemination of messages, higher level of intensity, longer intervention, additional contacts and inclusion of other caregivers may be needed to achieve the desired effects.
Florida International UniversityNational Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, awards U54MD008149 (RTRN), 8G12MD007600 (RCMI-UPR) and U54MD007584 (RMATRIX)
DagmarPHARMACOGENETIC STUDY ON CLOPIDOGREL RESPONSE IN PUERTO RICOPURPOSE: To identify clinical and genetic predictors of on-treatment platelet reactivity in a representative sample of Puerto Rican patients with cardiovascular disease.
METHODS: Retrospective study of 111 Puerto Rican patients on 75 mg/day of maintenance dose of clopidogrel. Patients were allocated into two groups: Group I, without high on-treatment platelet reactivity; and Group II, with HTPR. Platelet function was measured ex vivo using the VerifyNow® P2Y12 assay and HTPR was defined as P2Y12 reaction units (PRU) ≥ 230. Genotyping testing for CYP2C19, ABCB1, PON1, PY2R12, B4GALT2, CES1 and PEAR1 was performed using Taqman® Genotyping Assays.
RESULTS: Forty-two (38%) of 111 patients had HTPR. Mean PRU was 203 ± 61 PRU (range, 8-324). One in four individuals carried at least one copy of CYP2C19*2 loss of function (Lof) allele. Hematocrit and PON1 R192 variant were inversely correlated with platelet reactivity (p < 0.05). Multiple logistic regression showed that 27% of the total variation of PRU was explained by history of diabetes mellitus, hematocrit, CYP2C19*2 and PON1 R192 alleles. Body mass index (OR = 1.15; CI: 1.03-1.27), diabetes mellitus (OR = 3.46; CI: 1.05-11.43), hematocrit (OR = 0.75; CI: 0.65-0.87) and CYP2C19*2 LoF allele (OR = 4.44; CI: 1.21-16.20) were the only independent predictors of HTPR.
CONCLUSION: In a representative sample of Puerto Rican patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, hematocrit, CYP2C19*2 LoF allele and PON1 R192 variant were associated with on-treatment platelet reactivity. These factors may identify a subset of patients at higher risk for adverse events on clopidogrel.
University of Puerto Rico School of MedicineCCTRECD-R25MD007607, HiREC-S21MD001830, U54MD007587, 8G12 MD007600, SC1 HL123911, K23GM104401
DanielMITIGATING HEALTH DISPARITIES: A NEED FOR A PARADIGM SHIFTAbstract: Even after great strides in human and economic capital to close the gap, significant disparities in the burden of disease and illness still persists in the United States. The approach to solving the health disparities (HD) paradox has moved from just dissecting the biology of the problem to understanding the interplay between the socio-cultural, biological, behavioral, economic, and neighborhood factors. However, the goal has not been reached because an old paradigm is still being used. After 32 years since the Heckler Report - Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health, and despite the wealth of data generated on racial/ethnic minority health and health inequities and advances in our knowledge of the major underlying factors of health disparities, the gap still persist. A new paradigm shift is needed to effectively and adequately address health disparities in our nation. Dankwa-Mullin and Maddox, in a recent article, articulated that the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) will embark on a bold vision that will challenge researchers to employ newer, innovative strategies and ideas to address and solve HD. In support of that concept, this presentation is a call to action for a new paradigm shift in addressing health disparities and it provides provocative questions, data and approaches going forward. The proposed tapestry of addressing health disparities includes collaborative science, reframing of the questions and hypotheses, new analytic approaches, socio-cultural factors that address both personal and societal responsibilities, political will, and basic common-sense approaches.Xavier University of LouisianaThis research is partially supported by the Grant, 5 S21 MD 000100-12, from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

With evolving payment policies that reward quality and advancements in health information technology, it is critical to ensure that health systems have the knowledge, tools and incentives to address the health needs of underserved communities. The PETAL Framework is a community-centered strategy applicable to a broad set of health stakeholders that relies heavily on learning health systems, technology solutions and data to advance health equity.


The PETAL Framework consists of five primary constructs: Prioritize, Engage, Target, Act and Learn. Targeting health disparities and acting on the data requires the use of technology such as Electronic Health Records, mHealth technologies and telemedicine. This study assesses the literature and related policies to determine effective technology-based interventions that will support the framework. Barriers and facilitators to equitable adoption are identified and discussed.


Health information technology solutions have the potential to reduce health disparities. For example, Electronic Health Records have the capacity to record important race, ethnicity, language, social and behavioral health data; mHealth technologies empower patients to adhere to their care plans; and telemedicine increases access to healthcare services for patients in rural and underserved communities. However, barriers to equitable adoption and implementation include federal and state-level policies, costs and data analytics challenges.


The PETAL Framework can help healthcare stakeholders to strategically align their technology, consumer needs and resources to advance health equity.
Bridges LLCResearch reported was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U54MD008173. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
DarleneAccess to substance abuse treatments: Whites and Hispanics.Methods: The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) annual census was used for this analysis. Data was downloaded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMSHA) website. Chi-squared test was used to test the proportion difference between Hispanics and Whites.
Results: Hispanics and Whites reported at different frequencies receiving treatment in the past (p =0.005), Whites receiving more frequently treatment than Hispanics. During 2015 Hispanics reported more frequently the need for treatment and for additional treatment than Whites (p=0.206 and 0.261). Hispanics also reported more frequently making efforts to receive the needed treatment compared to Whites (p = 0.289). Both ethnic groups coincide in the three most frequent reasons for not receiving the treatment they needed. No health insurance was the most frequent reason why Hispanics did not receive the treatment they needed (p=0.037), whereas whites reported not ready to stop (p=0.960). Hispanics responded more frequently than Whites all three statements. Hispanics reported more frequently the statement “there were no openings” as the main reason for not receiving the additional treatment (p=0.017).
Discussion/Conclusion: Hispanics still at 2015 show differences in substance abuse treatments compared to Whites in terms of access to treatment and need for treatment. This survey elucidated that Hispanics lack of medical insurance decreases their access to treatment. This points towards strengthening the access to medical insurance in order to make more accessible treatments for substance abuse for Hispanics.
University of Puerto Rico School of PharmacyThis project was partially supported by The National Institute of Health Award Numbers: HCTRECD R25MD007607 and HiREC S21MD001830 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
DavidER-BETA IS A POTENTIAL TARGET FOR TNBC TREATMENTPURPOSE: The incidence of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is higher in young African American women compared to other ethnic groups. TNBC patients have poor clinical outcome due to lack of targetable receptors. Therefore, identifying new therapeutic targets, besides chemotherapy and radiation, is of particular importance. The aim of this study is to understand the role of Estrogen Receptor Beta (ERβ) and its crosstalk with Insulin Growth Factor2 (IGF2) in TNBC.
METHODS: Tissue microarrays from over 250 confirmed TNBC patients were used to analyze ERβ and IGF2 expressions by immunohistochemistry. The expression levels of ERβ and IGF2 were correlated with their disease outcomes. The effect of ERβ on cell proliferation was determined by treating TNBC with either β-estradiol or ERβ agonist/antagonist. The regulatory role of IGF2 in gene expression of ERβ was determined by RT-qPCR.
RESULTS: ERβ and IGF2 expressions were found to be higher in breast cancer tissues from African-Americans and Hispanics compared to Caucasians. ERβ and IGF2 were found to be upregulated in TNBC cell lines. Treating TNBC cells with ERβ agonist increased cell proliferation significantly. Conversely, treatment with ERβ antagonist inhibited cell growth significantly. Our data also showed that IGF2 was able to induce ERβ gene expression in TNBC cells.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggests that ERβ could be important target for treating TNBC. Understanding the mechanisms of IGF2/ERβ axis in TNBC tumors may provide an opportunity to design molecular targeted therapies for treating this aggressive breast cancer subtype.
Charles Drew University of Medicine and ScienceNIH/NCI 1U54CA14393; NIH-NIMHD U54MD007598; NIH-NIMHD 5U54MD007598-08
DavidLINKING SURVIVAL AND METASTATIC SIGNALS IN PROSTATE CANCERPURPOSE: Prostate cells are hormonally driven to grow and divide. Typical treatments for prostate cancer involve blocking the hormone testosterone from activating the androgen receptor (AR) and thus inhibit growth and proliferation of the cancer. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) can lead to the selection of cancer cells that grow and divide independently of androgen receptor activation. Prostate cancer cells that are insensitive to androgens commonly display metastatic phenotypes and reduced long-term survival.

METHODS: In this study we provide evidence that androgen-insensitive prostate cancer cells have elevated PLD activity relative the androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells.

RESULTS: Phospholipase D (PLD) activity has been linked with promoting survival in many human cancer cell lines; and consistent with the previous studies, suppression of PLD activity in the prostate cancer cells resulted in apoptotic cell death. Of significance, suppressing the elevated PLD activity in the androgen resistant prostate cancer lines also blocked the ability of these cells to migrate and invade matrigel.

DISCUSSION: Since survival signals are generally an early event in tumorigenesis, the apparent coupling of survival and metastatic phenotypes implies that metastasis could be an earlier event in malignant prostate cancer than generally thought. This finding has implications for screening strategies designed to identify prostate cancers before dissemination.
Hunter College of the City University of New YorkGRANT SUPPORT: This study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01-CA046677 and R01-CA179542 and a grant from the New York State Department of Health Prostate Cancer Initiative C30330GG to D.A.F. The work was also supported by a pilot project award from the Research Centers in Minority Institutions award RP-03037 from the National Center for Research Resources of the NIH.
DayakarMODELING SALMONELLA INFECTIONS IN EGG-LAYING HENS AND HUMANSPURPOSE: Understanding various pathways leading towards introduction of pathogens in food safety continuum of farm-to-fork is a continuous challenge. Shell-eggs and their products have been implicated in 80 percent of the Salmonella enteritidis (Se) outbreaks. One of the reasons for such high outbreaks is the amount of time such birds spends (60-100 wk) under farm conditions and are vulnerable to pathogens onslaught, which become embedded in their physiological systems and subsequently transfer to eggs and by-products. METHODS: Using 20-80 rule of identifying 20% of causality (hazards) that could account for 80% of effects (damage) may provide an understanding to manage such a complex problem. Modeling approaches, such a quantitative risk assessment using scenario trees of critical control points and conditional probabilities may be one such options. RESULTS: For example, an important finding of 2002 FAO/WHO risk assessment of Salmonella in layers was that reducing flock prevalence by 50% will cut public health risk by one half. In EU number of human Salmonella cases is often linked to reduction of Salmonella flock prevalence in layers – one of the success stories of EU food safety risk management. Other options to manage this problem is through artificial intelligence modeling or traditional statistical and mathematical models. CONCLUSION: The challenge, however, is to validate such models under applied farm conditions and should not be a mere academic exercise. For this particular paper, different risk pathways and modeling approaches will be compared and analyzed to find an optimal solution to manage Se infection in egg-laying hens and humans.

Key words: Salmonella, egg-laying hens, risk assessment, modeling approaches
Jackson State UniversityNIMHD/NIH Award Number G12MD007581
DayakarQUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT MODEL OF SALMONELLA INFECTIONSPURPOSE: Salmonella infections are a major cause of illness in the United States. Each year around 400 people die from the disease and more than 19,000 people are hospitalized. A Quantitative risk assessment model (QRAM) was developed to determine the contributing factors associated with consumer exposure to Salmonella. Human activities that contribute to the spread of Salmonella were examined in this study, including hygiene practices, cooking to proper temperature, cross contamination and exposure to pets.
METHODS: The QRAM was modeled as a series of unit operations and associated pathogen events that included infections human activities such as hygiene practices, pets’ acquisition and restaurants based infections. Data of percent positive foodborne disease test were obtained from the USDA Food Safety and the CDC Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, in addition to published literature. The data distributions were defined using @RISK 6.0. Monte Carlo Simulations of the data were created and 1000 iterations were generated to determine the risk of infection at each of the defined node.
RESULTS: Results of the study showed that the highest contributor of infection was from consuming raw or under cooked meat products. In addition, exposure to live poultry, such as chicks, had a significant contribution to Salmonella infections especially among young children.
CONCLUSION: The QRAM model was used with the current data available to predict the risk of Salmonella infections. This model could be used as a guiding tool to manage the control programs; and to enhance awareness of the critical control points of foodborne diseases.
JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITYThis work is supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number G12MD007581.
DeborahHYPERTENSION MEDICATIONS IN THE ELDERLY BY EDUCATION & RACEPURPOSE. Hypertension is a major risk-factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Effective antihypertensive medication use can decrease morbidity/mortality. We measured hypertension medication access and self-management among elderly in Medicare by education and race/ethnicity.

METHODS. In those age 65 or older with hypertension in the 2013 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (n=6652), we examined satisfaction with access to hypertension medications and confidence in hypertension self-management by education: less than high school, high school graduate, and some college or more (comparison group); and race/ethnicity: Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, other, Non-Hispanic white (comparison group). Multivariable logistic regression modeled the outcomes of being very satisfied, or very confident, controlling for age group, gender, income, comorbidity, health status, and type of prescription drug coverage. Significance was p<.05.

RESULTS: In multivariable models, less than high school education was negatively associated with satisfaction in: the amount paid for medication (OR:0.68;95%CI:0.56-0.83), the list of drugs covered (OR:0.69;95% CI:0.56-0.85), and finding a pharmacy that accepted their drug plan (OR:0.58;95%CI0.47-0.72), compared to those with a college degree. Both those with less than a high school education (OR:0.64;95%CI:0.53-0.77) and with a high school degree (OR:0.70;95%CI:0.62-0.80) were significantly less confident in managing their hypertension than those with some college education. Non-Hispanic blacks were significantly less likely to be very satisfied with finding a pharmacy that accepts their drug plan. Hispanic and Non-Hispanic blacks were significantly more confident in managing their hypertension.

DISCUSSION. This nationally representative sample revealed significant gaps in access to prescription medications as well as less confidence in self-management by educational attainment.
Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of HawaiiExpanding National Capacity in Patient Centered Outcomes Research Through Training (ENACT) Program (grant number R25HS023185 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)) and also from the following National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant: P20 MD000173 from NIMHD.
In this study we use community-based participatory processes to engage community and academic partners in a meaningful exchange to identify and pilot test risk communication strategies for Zika prevention and control.
Community members were actively involved in planning, developing, and implementing a risk communication initiative. Qualitative and quantitative data gathered through individual interviews, focus groups, and community advisory board input provided information for the identification of relevant risk communication strategies to increase understanding about Zika and to promote behavior change. To examine its impact we obtained baseline and follow-up data from a random sample of 75 community residents. A face-to-face interview was conducted to assess community members’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding Zika virus infection.
Study activities focused on three risk communication strategies: Zika awareness health fair, health education through theater, and community forums and workshops. The risk communication initiative was implemented over a two month period. Residents demonstrated strong support, 140 attended the Zika awareness health fair, 130 attended the theatrical performance, and 65 participated in the community forums. Findings from baseline and follow-up data demonstrated significant positive changes in respondents’ recognition of personal and community responsibility for the prevention of Zika infection, increased knowledge of prevention strategies, and enhanced engagement in preventive behaviors for mosquito control.
Our findings sustain the benefits of community based participatory research for the design of risk communication strategies that are essential to enable residents in low-income communities to take informed decisions for protection against Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases.
UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO, MEDICAL SCIENCES CAMPUSInfrastructure support was provided in part by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities RCMI - Grant: 8G12MD007600

To examine the relationship between immigration status and co-healthmorbiditities, type of medications, and health expenditures in a nationally representative sample of patients with diabetes.


The study population included adults with diabetes who filled at least 1 prescription for an anti-diabetic medication and responded to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) in 2013 and 2014 (n=11,496 respondents representing 109 million people). Data are were self-reported, then with confirmed confirmation by health care providers. Generalized linear models estimated the effect of immigrant status on health expenditures controlling for age, gender, education, poverty, race, region, and chronic conditions. Complex survey weighting was included in all analyses.


Compared to non-immigrants, immigrants were younger, had less education and lower income, and were more likely to be uninsured and Asian. Immigrants were less likely to have chronic conditions (coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and prior heart attack). They were also more likely to receive first-line oral anti-diabetic medications (e.g. metformin) and less likely to take the more expensive GLP 1 agonists. After adjustment for demographic factors, immigrants had significantly lower total costs [RR=0.69, 95%CI(0.53,0.88)], total out of pocket costs [RR=0.45, 95%CI(0.34,0.60)], medication costs [RR=0.60, 95%CI(0.47,0.76)], and medication out-of-pocket costs [RR=0.52, 95%CI(0.40,0.67)] than non-immigrants. Other variables that were significantly related to costs were poverty, race/ethnicity, chronic conditions, and region.


Despite having less education, income, and insurance coverage, immigrants seemed to be healthier than non-immigrants and to have lower costs. For patients with diabetes, this may be due in part to the type of medications immigrants are taking.
Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, University of Hawaii at HiloThe research was supported by grants U54MD007584 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and grant 5 U54 GM104944 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
DeidrePHYSIOLOGIC EFFECT OF RACIAL EXCLUSION ON PSYCHOSIS SYMPTOMSPURPOSE: Identify the influence of racial exclusion on physiologic arousal and emotional reactivity in racial minorities with high vs low attenuated positive psychotic symptoms.
METHOD: A mixed factorial experimental design compared heart rate variability and emotional reactions in 34 “high” scorers and 35 “low” scorers on the Prodromal Questionnaire (PQ) who participated in either a social exclusion experimental condition or a new racially-primed version of the condition. Heart rate and breathing rate were obtained continuously throughout the conditions and self-reported emotional responses were obtained after each round of exclusion/inclusion. Average respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) was calculated, as decreases in RSA are linked to withdrawal of the vagal break (stress modulation).
RESULTS: Generalized estimation equations (GEE) showed “high” PQ scorers had significantly more decreases in RSA (p=.0057) and more increases in anger as the degree of exclusion increased, compared to low scorers, and this was particularly true for the racial exclusion condition. In addition, more participants in the racial exclusion condition (39%) than the non-specific exclusion condition (15%) indicated race/ethnicity was the most likely reason they were being excluded.
CONCLUSIONS: Racial social exclusion, which is the most commonly reported component of racial discrimination, caused significant physiologic changes in heart rate variability and increases in self-reported anger. These changes were more pronounced among racial minority emerging adults reporting a high number of attenuated positive psychotic symptoms compared to low endorsers of these symptoms. Race-related stress may play a more salient role in psychosis risk among vulnerable racial and ethnic minorities.
The City College of New YorkThis research was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers U54MD008149 and 5G12MD007603.
DenisseCROSSTALK BETWEEN CYTOKINE AND GPCR MEDIATED SIGNALINGPURPOSE: Regulation of lymphocytes by cytokines such as IL-2 is required for a proper immune response. IL-2 functions through the IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) to activate several signaling pathways. Lymphocytes can also be regulated by the nervous system through the Beta-2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR). Both pathways can influence cell differentiation, proliferation, and function. Signaling through the IL-2R or the β2AR has been extensively studied. However, the crosstalk between these two important signaling cascades is yet to be fully described. Here we hypothesize that activation of the β2AR pathway will influence IL-2R signaling. METHODS: YT and Kit225 cells were lysed and analyzed for the expression of the IL-2Rβ and the β2AR by Western blot (WB) analysis. In addition, cells were treated with the β2AR agonist isoproterenol (ISO) and the activation of the IL-2R and its downstream signaling components was assessed using phosphospecific antibodies and WB. Viability of cells was evaluated by measuring ATP content. RESULTS: YT and Kit225 cells were found to express functional IL-2Rβ and β2AR. In addition, ISO treatment induced a rapid and transient phosphorylation of IL-2Rβ-Thr450, AKT, ERK, CREB, and p38 MAPK in YT cells. Similar results were obtained with Kit225 except for the activation of AKT, which was not observed in this cell line. Finally, ISO treatment alone resulted in increased viability of YT (~80%) and Kit225 (~30%) at specific concentrations. CONCLUSION: The present study provides evidence for communication between the IL-2R and the β2AR and could represent a potential regulatory mechanism for the immune system.UTEPResearch supported in part by grants from the Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation and Edward N. and Margaret G. Marsh Foundation, and made possible by grant 5G12MD007592 to the BBRC from the NIMHD, a component of the NIH.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, comprising 9.6% of all new cancer cases, nationally. Most metastatic prostate cancers treated by hormone deprivation therapy advance to become castration-resistant. About 50% of castration-resistant prostate cancers contain mutations in the tumor suppressor gene, TP53. In breast cancer cells, the expression of gain-of-function mutations (GOF) in p53 protein R273H results in increases in the level of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) on chromatin. This increase in PARP, mediated by GOF R273H mutant p53 (mtp53), yields higher cytotoxicity in cells treated with a combination of DNA damaging agents and PARP inhibitors. It is hypothesized that mtp53 can be targeted to induce synthetic lethality through the trapping of PARP on chromatin. However, the mtp53-PARP-MCM axis has not been studied in prostate cancer.

This study tested the cytotoxicity of a specific PARP inhibitor protocol on DU145 cells with mtp53 (P223L, V274F) by measuring mitochondrial activity in cells exposed to single and combination treatments of drugs: Temozolomide, a DNA alkylator, and Talazoparib, a PARP inhibitor/trapping agent.

Preliminary results show that combination treatment of DU145 cells with Temozolomide and Talazoparib leads to a 57% reduction in mitochondrial activity, while single drug treatment results in <20% reduction. Ongoing experiments investigate the direct role of mtp53 in synthetic lethality by determining if mtp53 depletion with siRNA in DU145 cells inhibits cytotoxic outcomes.

These data are an important step in establishing the mtp53-PARP-MCM axis as a theranostic target in castration-resistant prostate cancer.
CUNY Graduate CenterGRANT SUPPORT of this project is from Grant MD007599 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
DeyuPROFILE OF SELF-INFLICTED HARM HOSPITALIZATION IN USA ADULTSPURPOSE: Self-inflicted injury (SIH) has a substantial life-time prevalence, it is associated with tremendous costs, and its rate is increasing at a national scale. The purpose is examine modify the methods used to commit SIH.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a nationally-representative sample of trauma cases due to self-inflicted harm/injury or suicide attempts between 2007-2012 using the National Trauma Data Bank.
RESULTS: Of the 115,463 cases admitted for SIH, 75.1% were males, 48.2% were 35–64 years old; 70.8% were Caucasian. Blacks were less likely to self-poison (OR= 0.78) compared to Whites. Individuals with psychiatric disorders/substance abuse had 2.5 and 2.0-fold higher risk, respectively. Blacks were less likely to use anoxic methods (OR= 0.69), whereas patients with psychiatric disorders/substance abuse had 1.5-fold higher risk. Black, Hispanic, and Asian (OR: 0.58, 0.55, and 0.55, respectively) and those with psychiatric disorders (OR: 0.80) had lower risk of using firearms. Blacks (OR=0.77) were less likely to cut/pierce relative to Hispanics (OR=1.4), Asians (OR=1.29), and those with psychiatric disorders (OR=2.5) or drug abuse (OR=2). Blacks (OR=1.11), Hispanics (OR=1.13), and Asians (OR=1.57) had higher risk, whereas substance abuser had lower risk to jump from high places (OR=0.77). The risk of using different methods increased with age.
CONCLUSION: Among patients admitted for SIH, males, aged 35-64 years, and Whites comprised the largest groups. Race/ethnicity, sex, age, with concurrent psychiatric/drug abuse disorders can potentially influence how individuals commit SIH, which is discussed.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
DeyuDETERMINANTS OF BICYCLE HELMET USE AND BICYCLE INJURIESPURPOSE: Cycling is the #1 cause of Traumatic Brain Injury in sporting activities. During 2013, there were 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries. The effects of helmet use interventions are not distributed equally among racial/ethnic groups. We aim to describe racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in bicycle helmet use and bicycle-related injury outcomes amongst adults and children in the U.S.
METHODS: Analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank from 2002–2012 for all patients with bicycle-related injuries in the U.S with head and neck trauma that were treated at trauma centers. We examined the association between helmet use, insurance status, and race/ethnicity and determined the association between helmet use, injury severity, hospital and ICU length of stay (HLOS, ICU LOS), and mortality based on race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
RESULTS: Of the 76, 528 bicyclists, 22% wore helmets, with decreased use among Blacks and Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics were four times less likely to wear helmets compared to Whites (p<0.05). The privately insured were more likely to wear helmets compared to other groups (p<0.05). Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to have longer HLOS and ICU LOS compared to Whites (p<0.05). There was no racial difference in mortality. The publicly insured had higher HLOS, ICU LOS, and mortality compared to the privately insured.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates disparities in helmet use among bicyclists across racial/ethnic and insurance groups. Hispanic, Black, publicly insured, and uninsured bicyclists are the at-risk groups who would benefit from targeted efforts to promote bicycle helmet use.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & ScienceNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
A complex disease is usually driven by a number of genes interwoven into networks, rather than a single gene product. Network comparison or differential network analysis has become an important means of revealing the underlying mechanism of pathogenesis and identifying clinical biomarkers for disease classification. Most studies, however, are limited to network correlations that mainly capture the linear relationship among genes, or rely on the assumption of a parametric probability distribution of gene measurements. They are restrictive in real application.
We propose a new Joint density based non-parametric Differential Interaction Network Analysis and Classification (JDINAC) method to identify differential interaction patterns of network activation between two groups. At the same time, JDINAC uses the network biomarkers to build a classification model. The novelty of JDINAC lies in its potential to capture non-linear relations between molecular interactions using high-dimensional sparse data as well as to adjust confounding factors, without the need of the assumption of a parametric probability distribution of gene measurements. Simulation studies demonstrate that JDINAC provides more accurate differential network estimation and lower classification error than that achieved by other state-of-the-art methods. We apply JDINAC to a Breast Invasive Carcinoma dataset, which includes 114 patients who have both tumors and matched normal samples. The hub genes and differential interaction patterns identified were consistent with existing experimental studies. Furthermore, JDINAC discriminated the tumor and normal sample with high accuracy by virtue of the identified biomarkers. JDINAC provides a general framework for feature selection and classification using high-dimensional sparse omics data.
The Graduate Center CUNYNational Library of Medicine of the National Institute of Health under the award number R01LM011986, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number G12MD007599, National Science Foundation under the award number CNS-0958379, CNS-0855217, ACI-1126113, DMS-1554804, the City University of New York High Performance Computing Center at the College of Staten Island, and National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 81573259 and 81673272)
DianaHPV SCHOOL-BASED INTERVENTION FOR PARENTS IN PUERTO RICOPURPOSE: We developed a proposal to assess the intervention effect of an innovative human papillomavirus (HPV) school-based intervention for parents to increase vaccination rate. The specific aims are: (1) to develop an HPV parent’s education intervention to promote and increase HPV vaccination; and (2) to perform a feasibility study.
METHODS: The research design has two phases. The first phase involves in depth interviews and focuses groups to provide additional insight of HPV acceptability and to collect data to guide the design of our intervention. Ad verbatim transcription and content analysis will be carried out. In the second phase, we will prospectively compare two public school groups of parents that will be randomly assigned to the intervention or control group. Longitudinal parental recall and knowledge boost programs will be included in the intervention.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Our intervention will focus on empowering parents to increase rates of HPV vaccination in the Island. This will be accomplished by enhancing their understanding of the spectrum of HPV infection, improving communication skills with early adolescents, increasing parental HPV risky behavior knowledge, and addressing negative beliefs that are not consistent with medical knowledge.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: We understand that by improving knowledge, parental communication skills; the barriers and beliefs will be modified thus increasing HPV vaccination compliance.
Universidad Central del Caribe, School of MedicineNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Awards Number G12MD007583 and U54MD007587
DianaPROFILE OF HIV-HPV CO-INFECTED PATIENTS IN PUERTO RICOPURPOSE: Co-infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is common in people living with AIDS (PLWA). This study describes socio-demographic, risk behavior, and clinical profile of a cohort of HIV-HPV co-infected patients in Bayamon Health Region in Puerto Rico.
METHODS: Data was obtained from the HIV Central Registry of the Universidad Central del Caribe, RCMI Program. Participants were recruited at the University Hospital Ramon Ruiz Arnau or the Bayamon HIV Ambulatory clinic between March 2012 and July 2016. A total of 21 HIV-HPV co-infected patients were reported. Statistical analysis was performed using frequencies, percentages, Chi-square, Fisher Exact test, and Mann-Whitney test.
RESULTS: Median age at HPV diagnosis was 43 years, and 61.9% were male. Most subjects had postsecondary education (63.2%), were unemployed (55%), without a partner (66.7%), and were living with their families (71.4%). The most frequent risk behavior was heterosexual activity (57.1%) followed by homosexual activity (47.6%), and 9.5% were intravenous drug use. Most frequently substances used were tobacco (61.9%), alcohol (47.6%), and cocaine (47.6%). Median time from HIV diagnosis to HPV report was 2.5 years. At the HPV diagnosis, 84.2% of participants had CD4 > 200, 77.8% had HIV viral load < 400, 62.6% were overweight/obese, and 90.5% were on antiretroviral therapy. After stratifying by gender, no significant differences were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: HIV-HPV co-infected patients reported a wide spectrum of socio-demographic, risk behavior, and clinical-immunologic profile. This data will be useful in the construction of diagnostic, preventive, and screening algorithms in HPV-HIV co-infected patients.
Universidad Central del Caribe, School of MedicineNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Awards Number G12MD007583 and U54MD007587
DipakTUNICAMYCIN: A DUAL ACTION GLYCOTHERAPY FOR BREAST CANCERPURPOSE: Breast cancer affects nearly 1.5 million women per year globally and kills approximately 400,000 – 500,000 women per year. This is expected to rise to 747,802 in 2030, if a new therapeutic is not forthcoming. This incidence may be higher in Caucasian Americans but the African Americans are affected with a more advanced stage of the disease. ER-/PR-/HER2- breast cancer (i.e., triple negative cancer; TNBC) accounts for 15% of all breast cancers and has a disproportionate share of mortality. The etiology of breast cancer is complex and its progression is multi-factorial. Since, asparagine-linked (N-linked) glycoproteins play a critical role in angiogenesis and tumor progression, we have hypothesized that targeting the N-glycosylation process with a specific inhibitor would cure the disease.

METHODS: We have used N-glycosylation inhibitor tunicamycin, cell lines as well as pre-clinical mouse models to test the hypothesis. Techniques used include flow cytometry, western blotting, qPCR, fluorescence microscopy, glycomics, cDNA microarray among others.

RESULT/EXPECTED RESULTS: Tunicamycin quantitatively inhibits angiogenesis (in vitro & in vivo), proliferation of non-metastatic & metastatic human cancer cells as well as double- & triple negative breast tumors in athymic nude mice. The animals exhibited no behavioral and/or skeletal toxicity. The treatment develops ER stress followed by cell cycle arrest and induction of unfolded protein response (upr)-mediated apoptosis. The ER chaperone GRP78/Bip is neither expressed on the cell surface nor secreted. Tunicamcin gold nanoparticles are three-times more potent.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The target cells have ‘point of no return’ whether they express “complex” or “high mannose” N-glycans.
School of Medicine, Universiry of Puerto RicoUniversity of Puerto Rico Medical School, the NSF grant EPS-1002410 (DKB) and the HIH/NIMHD 2G12MD007583 grant (KB)
DivaIMPLICATION OF GRF2 IN ANX A6-MEDIATED BREAST TUMORIGENESISThe tumor suppressor, annexin A6 (AnxA6), has been shown to regulate plasma membrane permeability to extracellular Ca2+, inhibit anchorage-independent tumor cell growth and promote tumor cell motility. Using whole genome gene expression profiling, we identified RasGRF2 (GRF2), a Ca2+-activated Ras specific guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RasGEF), as one of the up-regulated genes following down-regulation of AnxA6 in AnxA6-high breast cancer (BC) cells. GRF2 has been shown to promote cell proliferation as a RasGEF and to inhibit cell motility via inhibition of Cdc42, but the implication of GRF2 in AnxA6 mediated cellular functions remains unclear. We show that the cellular levels of GRF2 are inversely related to those of AnxA6 in triple negative BC cells. We also show that loss of AnxA6 in AnxA6-high BC cells is associated with early onset and rapid growth of xenograft tumors, while up-regulation of AnxA6 in AnxA6-low BC cells is associated with reduced Ras activity and growth of xenograft tumors. We demonstrate that upon activation of EGFR, GRF2 is rapidly degraded and this decrease is associated with activation of ERK1/2. Chelation of intracellular Ca2+ with BAPTA did not block the activation/degradation of GRF2 while chelation of extracellular Ca2+ with EGTA, stabilize the expression levels of GRF2. Down-regulation of GRF2 and inhibition of EGFR strongly inhibited tumor cell growth. Together, these data identify RasGRF2 as an extracellular Ca2+ influx-dependent major effector of AnxA6-mediated breast tumor growth and motility and that combined inhibition of GRF2 and EGFR may be a viable alternative treatment for triple negative BC.Meharry Medical CollegeThis research was funded by NIH/NIGMS 5SC2 CA170244 and 1SC1 CA211030
Cardio vascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death worldwide despite the improvement of treatments for atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease and the major underlying cause of CVD. Monocyte activation correlates with CVD in chronic HIV infection. Correlation between monocytes, specifically their subsets, and CVD, as represented by carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), has yet to be reported in the HIV-negative population. This study investigates the association between monocyte subset counts and cIMT in the HIV-negative population.
Clinical data and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) specimens were obtained from 75 HIV-uninfected individuals who served as a comparative group for the Hawaii Aging with HIV-Cardiovascular study. cIMT was measured by high-resolution B-mode ultrasound images of the right carotid artery. PBMCs were stained and analyzed using antibody panels for monocyte subpopulations based on their CD14 and CD16 surface expressions into classical (CD14++CD16-), intermediate/inflammatory (CD14++CD16+), and non-classical (CD14low/+CD16++).
Higher intermediate monocyte count was significantly correlated with increased right common carotid artery (RCCA) and right carotid bifurcation (RBIF) intima-media thickness (IMT) (p=0.025, rho 0.24 and p=0.031, rho 0.22 respectively), even after adjusting for CVD-associated clinical risk factor (p=0.046 and 0.055, respectively).
Our study demonstrated a strong correlation between intermediate monocyte count and cIMT in HIV-uninfected individuals. These results suggest that the relationship between intermediate monocyte expansion and elevated predictor for CVD risk occurred in the general population, and may contribute to developing novel therapeutic strategies in preventing cardiovascular events.
University of Hawaii John A Burns School of MedicineR01HL095135, U54MD007584, and NIH-NIMHD RCMI Multidisciplinary and Translational Research Infrastructure eXpansion-II (RMATRIX-II) 2U54MD007584-04.
DominicTypes of Drug Use among HIV-infected Patients in HawaiiPURPOSE: We describe baseline characteristics of the types of illicit drug use by HIV-infected individuals who reside in Hawaii.

METHODS: Data of self-reported illicit drug use were drawn from the Hawaii Aging with HIV Cardiovascular Study. For each type of drug (e.g., marijuana), individuals were classified into 3 groups: (1) never use, (2) recent use (last use was less than or equal to 1 year), and (3) remote use (last use was more than 1 year).

RESULTS: Of the 160 HIV-infected participants, 87.5% were male and mean age was 52 years. Most of the cohort self-reported as Caucasian (58%); 12% self-identified as part Hawaiian. Over 90% of the cohort reported ever using illicit drugs in their lifetime. Marijuana (49%), nitrates (15%), and methamphetamines (11%) were the three most common recently used substances. Recent marijuana users were younger than non-users, and these users also had higher rates of cigarette smoking. Recent nitrates users had the highest prevalence of hepatitis B infection. Recent methamphetamine users had the highest rate of cigarette smoking, a history of drug overdose, and ever been treated for alcohol abuse. They also had the lowest CD4 count.

DISCUSSION: There is a high rate of illicit substance use in the HIV infected population in Hawaii. Marijuana is the most common recently used substance. Marijuana use rate is slightly higher than national rate (46%) and methamphetamine use is almost double the national rate (6%). The exact consequences of such use on health and daily function needs to be further investigated.
University of HawaiiRMATRIX (U54MD007584)
DominiqueAnemia in pregnancy in Western JamaicaBackground: Anemia is one of the most prevalent problems in pregnancy. In 2011, 29.9 % of all pregnant women in Jamaica were diagnosed with anemia. Objective: To determine the prevalence and predictors of anemia in pregnancy in Western Jamaica. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 293 mothers attending post-natal clinics in Western Jamaica. A questionnaire was administered to the mothers and an abstraction form was used to collect clinical data from the mothers’ records. Results: The prevalence of anemia among the women was 37.6%. Younger mothers (aged 18-24 years) were more likely to be anemic compared to those ≥35 years (OR: 3.44, 95%CI: 1.07-11.06). Mothers who reported not always washing their hands after using the toilet were almost 10 times more likely to be anemic (OR: 9.7, 95%CI: 1.72-54.78) compared to those who reported always washing their hands. Mothers who attended a public facility for antenatal care were 2.3 times more likely to be anemic (OR: 2.31, 95%CI: 1.03-5.18) compared to those who obtained care at a private facility, and mothers who reported being told that they were anemic by a healthcare provider (HCP) were almost 6 times more likely to be anemic compared with those who were not told (OR: 5.58, 95%CI: 1.73-17.93). Conclusion: The results of the study indicate that early identification and treatment of anemia, early especially among younger pregnant women, should be a priority. HCP should ensure that women understand the need to be cured of their anemia and to adhere to preventive hygienic practices.University of Maryland BaltimoreThis study was supported by the Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT), grant no. T37-MD001448, from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA, and the Ministry of Health, Jamaica.
DonnaSTRUCTURE OF JACKSON HEART STUDY COMMUNITY OUTREACH CENTEROBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to chronicle the approach used by the Jackson Heart Study Community Outreach Center (CORC) to effectively implement community outreach and engagement in an African American community.
METHODS: We present programs and activities developed by CORC in collaboration with the diverse voices and expertise that exist outside of the walls of the campuses of Jackson State University and the other JHS partner institutions. We provide an overview of the current practice and infrastructure that propel the operational and management structure of the CORC in its efforts to meet its objectives while establishing and advancing community engagement and outreach as a routine part of the university/community experience and institutional research policy.
RESULTS: The authors identified the key characteristics of the Jackson Heart Study Community Outreach Center, particularly its drive to embed a sustainable, positive impact on the surrounding communities by engaging community partners to facilitate the mission of the Jackson Heart Study.
CONCLUSION: The Jackson Heart Study Community Outreach Center has secured numerous collaborative consultation agreements with institutions seeking to engage and partner in the elimination of health disparities and to set the agenda for academic-community initiatives designed to address the spirally rise of chronic disease and risk factors.
School of Public Health, Jackso State UniversityJackson Heart Study Community Outreach Center (CORC) NHLBI-NIH Contract HSN268201300050C; Jackson State University Center of Excellence of Minority Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20MD006899.
DonnaMISSISSIPPI AFRICAN AMERICANS’ PARTICIPATION IN RESEARCHOBJECTIVES: The purpose of this research was to examine attitudes, behaviors, beliefs and opinions of African Americans in Mississippi about research conducted in the communities.
METHODS: Focus groups were used to collect data from 70 rural and urban participants from the same counties (Hinds, Madison and Rankin) as the Jackson Heart Study. Participants responded to three questions: (1) Have you ever been a participant in a research study? (2) What do you believe will motivate more African Americans to participate in research projects being offered in your community? (3) What do you consider to be the disadvantages and advantages of research being conducted in your community? Analysis was conducted utilizing Interpretive Phenomenology.
RESULTS: More than half had participated in research studies. Five motivators emerged: information; willingness to participate; trust; a monetary incentive and sharing the results. Disadvantages included: fear of the unknown, fear of being mistreated, fear of having to pay to participate and fear of having to disclose personal financial information that could be misused. Advantages of participation were improved individual health and improved health of the community. Motivation to participate in research included building trust, some monetary incentive, sharing the research results in a timely manner and more information, including awareness of what is available, the relevance and benefits, distributed by multiple means such as the media, through churches and word of mouth.
CONCLUSION: Participation in research can improve African American community’s health, increase knowledge, impact behavioral change and save lives, preventing illnesses, and providing a sense of being involved in the community.
School of Public Health Jackson State UniversityJSU Center of Excellence of Minority Health and Health Disparities funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P20MD006899
Despite data that demonstrate African American men are at significantly higher risk for developing certain cancers, their rate of participation in clinical trials continues to be low. The aim of this study was to examine perceptions of cancer prevention trial participation among African American men.
This research used the community engaged approach that involved a faith-based community partner in the research process. Part of this process included the formation of an advisory committee that collaborated with the academic partner to bring perspectives that helped to shape and define study questions and strategies for data collection. Qualitative method-interviewing was used to get an in-depth understanding of attitudes and beliefs centering on clinical trials. The sample for focus groups included 30 African American men drawn from predominantly African American, low-income areas of Nashville, Tennessee.
Preliminary themes included mistrust of the medical and research communities. There was also the belief that African American researchers and institutions had more credibility among African American men. The participants expressed struggles in weighing the potential benefits and harms associated with clinical trial participation.
The findings suggest that African American men do recognize the benefits of participation in clinical trials. In addition, a targeted approach could be effective in the promotion of clinical trials among African American men.
Tennessee State Universitythe Vanderbilt CTSA grant UL1 TR000445 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/National Institutes for Health
DorisENTOMOLOGICAL AND MOLECULAR SENTINEL SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMPURPOSE: around 40,000 cases of arboviral disease were reported in Puerto Rico in 2016, for its prevention the Panamerican Health Organization/World Health Organization recommend: “strengthen and enhance” the entomological surveillance including the community and to reduce the health inequities. At present Puerto Rico has not an entomological-molecular surveillance system. The main objective is to assess the feasibility of an entomological-molecular sentinel surveillance system based on the Entomologist Citizen.
METHODS: A pilot project was implemented. The Entomologist Citizen (EC) is a “person of the community, who has no experience or advanced knowledge in entomology and is trained in the basic skills and knowledge of entomology aimed to be active part of a vector sentinel surveillance system”. Fourteen EC in sixteen zones of Puerto Rico collected information about: mosquitos, bites, and other variables. We calculated the mean, SD, frequency, ANOVA, female/male ratio; the classification of mosquitoes and RT-PCR analysis were done.
RESULTS: in 87.5% of the zones under study (ZUS) were observed mosquitoes (Aedes spp. (72%)) and in 53% of the ZUS were reported bites. Regarding the quantity of both mosquitos observed and bites reported a p<0.05 was found between ZUS. The classification of collected mosquitoes confirmed the observations made by EC. In ZUS with moderate temperatures the quantity of mosquitoes was higher. Until now the results of the RT-PCR analysis to detect Zika in mosquitoes has been negative.
CONCLUSION:1) the project is feasible; 2) sentinel surveillance based in EC bring information about risk.
Ponce Health Sciences University1) National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparitiesof the NIH (RCMI). Award G12MD007579. 2) Seed Money Program, Public Health Program, PHSU
DorisHYPOGLYCEMIA IN TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS HISPANIC PATIENTSPURPOSE: The prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) in Puerto Rico is around 16%. The objectives: 1) to assess the prevalence of hypoglycemia in T2DM patients taking sulfonylureas; 2) to assess the prevalence of T2DM patients who are not at the HbA1c goal of <7%; 3) to assess self-care evaluation, quality of life and the general adherence to treatment.
METHODS: An exploratory study was conducted in private medical office in Puerto Rico. Patients with a diagnosis of T2DM treated with sulfonylureas were invited to participate in the study. Data on adherence, quality of life, lifestyle/behavioral factors were reported by the participant and clinical data from the medical record were collected. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to summarize general data of the patients.
RESULTS: 253 subjects were enrolled in the study. The self-reported hypoglycemia was 40.6% (IC95%: 34.5% - 46.6%), and the prevalence of patients with the last HbA1c <7% was 58.9%. 85.3% of the participants always used their medicines as prescribed by their doctor. The 60.3% of the participants do not follow a special diabetic diet and 67.2% do not follow a routine exercise program. The quality of life self-reported showed that: 67.5% had no problem with mobility.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of self-reported hypoglycemia is in the range of other studies conducted in Asia and Europa; the target of HbA1c < 7 was not achieved by the 41.1% of the sample. These findings highlight the unmet medical need for treatment that can help patients achieve T2DM treatment goals.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityDisclosure: LCM, HM, FA, EIM and YR are Merck’s employees. Founding sources: Merck & Co, Inc.
DorisMALARIOGENIC POTENTIAL AND MALARIA EPIDEMIC SIMULATIONPURPOSE: Since 1962 Puerto Rico (PR) is certified free of malaria, its vector, the mosquitoes Anopheles albimanus, and An. vestitipennis are endemics in PR. The reemergence of the disease due to the development model, commerce, and tourism is a reality. The lack of preparation for this reemergence would imply a health disparity for the rural communities of PR. Our main objectives are:1) Assess the Malariogenic potential; 2) Simulate an epidemic of Malaria in Puerto Rico
METHODS: To assess the Malariogenic potential we analysed (based in historical data): the receptivity (vectorial capacity (VC) Index of Stability (IS)), infectivity (mosquitoes in the Island, plasmodium that can carrier and weather variables), vulnerability (time of diagnosis of imported cases and risk factors). A Susceptible – Exposed – Infected – Recovered (SEIR) model with lost of immunity was created to build the simulated epidemic of malaria.
RESULTS: Total VC (An albimanus + An vestitipennis) was 0.0345; IS was 3.3 (stable) for the An albimanus and 0.2 (unstable) for the An vestitipennis. The Anopheles in the Island can transmit the P. vivax, P. falciparum and P. malariae and the temperature is adequate. The mean of days from Symptoms onset until reported imported case of malarias is about 10 days. Regarding the simulated epidemic, around 130,000 people could become infected and about 1,500 could die.
CONCLUSION: 1) Puerto Rico presents a low/moderate malariogenic potential with possibility of epidemic/outbreaks (“anophelisme without malaria.”); 2) an Entomological-Molecular Surveillance System must be implemented; 3) competent medical care to prevent autochthonous cases is a necessity.
Ponce Health Sciences University1) National Institute On Minority Health And Health Disparitiesof the NIH (RCMI). Award G12MD007579. 2) Seed Money Program, Public health Program, PHSU
DuberINTERPLAY OF GENETIC FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH PROSTATE CANCERProstate cancer (PCA) is among the top four most common cancers in both sexes combined and the second most common cancer in men. Exposure to environmental hazards has been associated with different cancers in humans. Genetic risk factors have also shown to contribute to the cause of PCA. Since there is not a unique environmental or genetic risk factor that can be responsible or associated with PCA alone, it is vital to identify the genetic risk as well as the environmental risk factors that can contribute together to initiate the prostate tumor to grow. Several studies and literature reviews have been conducted to investigate the roles of environmental and genetic risk factors to determine their association on PCA. Based on our reviews and studies, we have found an extensive amount of information about susceptible genetic and environmental risk factors for PCA that has assisted us to examine the consequences of the interplay of these factors on the cause of PCA initiation. We tried to tabulate all the identified genetic (i.e., susceptible genes or alleles) and environmental (e.g., cigarette smoking, air pollution, pesticide exposure, or heavy metal poisoning) risk factors for comparative studies side by side to understand the interaction and interplay of these risk factors. So far, we found that obesity, diabetes, and genetic polymorphisms in some key genes have phenotypic correlation in PCA.Jackson State University
DulcieASSOCIATION BETWEEN SMOKING AND SAGITTAL ABDOMINAL DIAMETERPURPOSE: During 2011–2012, about 58 million nonsmokers in the United States were exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS). The relationship between SHS and Sagittal Abdominal Diameter (SAD) is less established. The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between SHS exposure and SAD.
METHODS: Data from 2011-2012 cycle of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was used. Our analytical sample was 1108 adults. Serum cotinine levels and self-reported data on smoking were used to determine smoking status. SAD was categorized using a cutoff of 24.2 cm. Descriptive, bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted.
RESULTS: Our sample composed of 264 (20.8%) current smokers, 232 (21.7%) former smokers, 164 (11.7%) SHS, and 448 (45.7%) non-smokers. Gender, Race/ethnicity, Alcohol consumption, physical activity, education, poverty level, were associated with smoking status (p<0.05). Participants who were exposed to SHS had a higher SAD, compared to non-smokers (27.8% of SHS had higher SAD, 20.4% of NS had higher SAD). In a multivariate analyses, there was no association between SHS and SAD.
CONCLUSION: We conclude that based on our preliminary analyses on our analytical sample, secondhand smoke is not associated with SAD. We need to further investigate this relationship after taking into account other confounding factors.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598
EarlPHARMACOGENOMICS AND DIABETES MANAGEMENT IMPLICATIONSPURPOSE: Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications, such as cardiovascular disease, ocular complications, renal disease, and increased mortality. Ghana has a diabetes prevalence of 4.8% and a prevalence of elevated fasting blood glucose of 6.4%. Pharmacogenomic testing as a component of clinical decision support may help to improve treatment outcomes. We embarked on a research project at the National Diabetes Management and Research Centre (NDMRC) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana to determine which genetic polymorphisms identified via pharmacogenomic testing are predictive of diabetic treatment failure.
METHODS: Participants were recruited from the NDMRC and provided informed consent prior to involvement in the study. Demographic information, medication history, and HbA1c levels were collected from each participant. A buccal swab was performed to collect genetic material for pharmacogenomic analysis. Pharmacogenomic testing and individual reports were provided by a reference laboratory. Regression analyses were conducted to determine genetic polymorphisms that are predictive of treatment failure, indicated by a glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) value greater than or equal to 7%.
RESULTS: A total of 156 participants were included in the study cohort. Mean HbA1c was 8.6% (SD = 2.3%). The cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes 2C9, 2D6, and 3A4, the dopamine receptor D2, and the serotonin receptor HTR2C had at least one variant that was predictive of HbA1c level.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Pharmacogenomic testing in diabetic patients may help improve treatment outcomes. Further research is needed to determine additional genes of interest that impact diabetes management.
Howard University College of PharmacyThis research is supported by an NIH grant for the Howard University Minority Health International Research Training (MHIRT) Program (T37MD008639).
EbelechukwuAN INTERACTIVE VISUALIZATION TOOL FOR CLINICAL DATAHospitals generate unprecedented amounts of data on a daily basis. From lab test results, to information related to a patients visit. This data, if properly utilized, provides valuable insight that could be used to better manage and improve patient’s disease outcomes. Data visualization plays an important role in recognizing trends and patterns in data which could enable us predict the outcome of a clinical event. With the exponential influx of clinical data, there is a urgent need to ensure a user friendly and interactive means of visualizing clinical data. Unfortunately, most clinical researchers lack proper visualization tools which could help quickly uncover insights related to data trends. To address this issue, we have developed CliniViz, an interactive visualization dashboard which allows clinicians and researchers a means to properly understand disease outcomes. For our implementation, we used anonymized clinical patient data, free from personal information to test the effectiveness of our system. Patient demographic information are projected on an interactive web application in which users have the flexibility of querying multiple predictors. Data utilized is stored in a non-relational database, MongoDB. MongoDB was chosen as our storage medium because of its flexibility and speed in dealing with massive datasets. In conclusion, this system is a start in direction of outlining how interactive visualization tools can be developed to enable efficient utilization by clinicians and researchers.HOWARD UNIVERSITYThis project was supported (in part) by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number G12MD007597. The content is soely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
EbonyIMPLEMENTING SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL: NEW LANDSCAPESBackground: In 2006, a national program, Safe Routes to School (SRTS) was designed to create a safer environment for children to walk and bicycle to school. These programs aimed to promote and encourage physical activity by making pedestrian travel fun and more convenient for children. Through collaboration with local stakeholders, the programs have been successful. However, SRTS programming have largely been implemented in predominantly middle to high income communities.

Methods: We directed a community and school needs assessment to highlight assets, potential barriers to SRTS implementation, and opportunities for stakeholder engagement in a low to middle income community in a large, urban city in the south. We led focus groups comprised of school leadership, community members, and parents. We took a tally of student travel patterns. We conducted a walking audit of the community surrounding the school.

Results: Of the 487 students, 9% of the students walk to school (n = 44) and 14% of students walk from school (n = 68). The focus groups highlighted themes surrounding safety, including traffic hazards, abandoned property which may encourage criminal activity, and unattended animals as barriers. The focus group also highlighted a engaged school leadership and staff as an asset. The walking audit highlighted infrastructure issues, included cracked sidewalks, hazardous debris, and speeding vehicles as barriers. The audit also highlighted the availability of sidewalk cutouts in some areas as an asset.

Conclusions: Aligned with the SRTS program’s long term goals, early analysis indicates that improvements to community infrastructure, increased stakeholder engagement, and availability of bike racks could increase walking and biking among the students.
Morehouse School of Medicine / Satcher Health Leadership Institute
EbonyCAREER IMPACT OF HEALTH POLICY LEADERSHIP TRAININGThe Satcher Health Leadership Institute Health Policy Leadership Fellowship Program at Morehouse School of Medicine is a multidisciplinary, postdoctoral, training program designed to build public health leadership and workforce capacity among minority and other underrepresented professionals, through extensive training in leadership, health policy, health disparities, and health equity, with a focus on both sexual and behavioral health. We conducted content analysis of curriculum vitae (CV) of seventeen fellowship alumni to assess their continued participation in roles that promote policies and practices to reduce disparities and advance health equity. We independently reviewed the CVs for health equity, sexual health, and behavioral health themes in employment history, written and oral products, and populations they serve. The seventeen alumni work in: academic institutions or health centers (n = 10), government agencies (n = 5), and healthcare systems (n =2). Alumni work in the following fields: general public health (n =6), sexual health (n =7), and behavioral health (n = 4). Following completion of the program, alumni produced policy briefs, peer-reviewed publications, curricula, and oral presentations assessing the impact of health disparities or advocating for the promotion of health equity among diverse populations. Their work covered: racial and ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals; immigrant populations; people living with HIV/AIDS; and individuals living in impoverished urban centers. Aligned with the program’s long term goals, early analysis indicates the fellowship promotes professional advancement of diverse, highly qualified, culturally-sensitive health leaders who impact policy and practice, with a demonstrated commitment to health equity.Morehouse School of Medicine / Satcher Health Leadership Institute
EbonyTRUFFLE BUTTER: HETEROSEXUAL ANAL SEX AMONG BLACK AMERICANSBlack Americans have disproportionately higher rates of new and existing cases of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Black women, specifically, make up the second largest population impacted by the STI burden, and most black women contracted these infections through heterosexual transmission. Historically, these transmissions have only been studied orally and vaginally. Receptive anal sex is the riskiest sexual behavior for HIV transmission, but has largely been ignored due to the underreporting of heterosexual anal sex practices. This oversight of anal sex as a mechanism for STI transmission could negatively impact the sexual health of Black Americans.

Using 2013-2015 NSFG data, a sample of Black Americans (n = 1,548) were assessed for predictors of anal sex behaviors and risk for sexually transmitted infections. To summarize the demographic factors, anal sex participation, and history of sexually transmitted infections of the participants, univariate analyses were conducted. Independent associations between demographic factors, engagement in anal sex, and STI diagnoses were examined using a series of logistic regression models, with STI diagnosis as the primary study outcome.

Results indicated that 35% of participants had engaged in anal sex with an opposite sex partner (n = 535). Of those practicing anal sex, 57.4%, were women. Only 14% of the sample had been diagnosed with an STI (n = 214); but most participants with infections were women (73.4%). Individuals who reported having anal sex were more also likely to have been diagnosed with an STI (OR = 2.325, 95%CI: 1.688, 3.204).

Findings suggest anal sex may be a viable mechanism for transmitting sexually transmitted infections among Black Americans. Heterosexual anal sex practitioners may be unknowingly placing themselves at greater risk for infection. Expanding sexual health messaging to include individuals who engage in heterosexual anal sex may help reduce the STI burden among Black Americans.
Morehouse School of Medicine
EDMUNDCorrelated Bivariate Logistic-Gaussian Models.The Logistic-Gaussian distribution is used in statistical applications
to account for clustering among binary outcomes. However, its extension
and applicability to bivariate outcomes are limited. We developed
a model for correlated bivariate binary data that incorporated the Logistic Gaussian
distribution. Bivariate response probabilities in terms of random
e§ects models are formulated, and maximum marginal likelihood estimation
procedures based on Gauss-Hermite quadrature. Application to the analysis
of vision loss in diabetic retinopathy are is discussed.

Key words: Correlated Data; Logistic -Gaussian Distribution; Maximum
Marginal Likelihood; Bivariate Binary Outcomes; Gauss-Hermite quadrature;
Few studies focus solely on the outcomes of Black male bariatric surgery patients. Our aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of bariatric surgery on weight loss and resolution of co-morbidities among Black males and Black females.

Retrospective study of bariatric surgery patients at a single academic institution between 2008 to 2016. Data included demographics, pre- and post-operative weight, height and co-morbidities (diabetes mellitus type II [DM], hypertension [HTN], and hypercholesterolemia [HC]), and surgical procedures (laparoscopic roux-en y gastric bypass (LRYGB), laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), and laparoscopic adjustable gastric band (LAGB)). All analysis compared males to females and stratified by surgical procedure. Primary outcomes interested were weight loss by 12 months. Secondary outcomes were resolution of co-morbidities by 12 months. Adjusted multivariable regression analysis was performed to assess the relation between sex and outcomes of interest.

At one year postoperatively, the mean BMI was 39 kg/m2 for males and 40 kg/m2 for females. Among these patients, 15% of males and 9% of females had DM, 47% of males and females had HTN, 15% of males and 25% females had HC. There was no statistical significance between male and female outcomes in EWL% (OR=1.89, 95% CI=-6.78-4.46), BMI point difference (OR=3.60, CI=-19.03-26.23), resolution of DM (OR=1.55, CI=0.67-3.57), HTN (OR=1.13, CI=0.62-2.05), and HC (OR=1.87, CI=0.69-5.06).

Our study demonstrates that there were no differences between Black males and Black females after bariatric surgery with respect to weight loss and resolution of co-morbidities.
Howard University College of Medicine
EfraínENCOUNTER WITH CLINICAL AND TRASLATIONAL RESEARCHERSPURPOSE: Forty-seven (47, 81.7%) respondents of a post survey at an introductory educational intervention in a variety of themes in clinical and translational research (CTR), sponsored by Title V Cooperative Project between the Medical Sciences Campus (MSC) of the University of Puerto Rico and the Universidad Central del Caribe, were unable to identify a CT researcher. Responding to this, we provided interdisciplinary sessions as part of the training cycle of Research Education Towards Opportunities (RETO) and Mentorship Offering Training Opportunities for Research (MOTOR), in which students and faculty identified, interviewed and shared a presentation of its encounters with CT researchers. METHODS: Undergraduate students (US), undergraduate faculty (UF) and graduate students (GS) of RETO-MOTOR were trained to prepare and share a presentation of a CT researcher, as well as to identify and interview a CT researcher during the Annual Research and Education Forum at MSC. In addition, an on-line survey was administered. RESULTS: Ten (10) out of seventeen (17) participants of RETO-MOTOR shared a presentation of a CT researcher. Five (5) of them were selected to be part of a panel during the VI Annual Symposium in CTR. Seventeen (17) answered and submitted an on-line survey. Of these, 96% agreed that through the training sessions they had the opportunity to meet, know and interact with CT researcher from a variety of health professions. CONCLUSION: The interdisciplinary sessions related to the encounter with a CT researcher demonstrated to be an effective and innovative strategy to foster and interaction with a CT researcher.University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences CampusSupported by the US Department of Education: Title V Grant Award # P031S160068
EidaHealth Disparity/CBPR training for RCMI investigators in PRPURPOSE: The purpose of our institutional RCMI Professional Development Program (PR-PDP) is to improve our current translational research training and career development academic programs addressing minority health and health disparities research gaps, as well as to establish an innovative community-based practice training program to enhance the capabilities of RCMI investigators using community engagement strategies.
METHODS: We developed the program’s training activities by leveraging on a training needs assessment with our own research faculty and conducted by the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC). Based on the results of this assessment, the PR-PDP implemented the following training activities: didactic workshops, online courses and community-academia forums. We also leveraged resources by integrating our RCMI-sponsored investigators in community engagement activities, funded by other research projects (#grant), as part of their training activities.

RESULTS: A total of 36 faculty members and 272 students out of 308 have participated in one or more of the PR-PDP activities. On average, 82% of faculty members strongly agreed that the workshop activities were relevant to their profession. Two new training activities are offered to the RCMI research faculty at our institution: the Inter-Professional Perspective in Health Disparities course, and the Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) practicum activities conducted in collaboration with community stakeholders.

DISCUSSION: The developed and implemented PR-PDP is an excellent resource to address the training needs of new and experienced investigators, as well as graduate students who will be entering the work force as minority health and health disparity researchers.
Ponce Health Sciences University, Ponce Research InstituteRCMI Program at Ponce School of Medicine: Addressing Health Disparities supported by the National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities (grant # 2-G12-MD007579-29)
ElenaSOCIAL CAPITAL AND HIV BEHAVIOR CHANGES IN LATINO IMMIGRANTSPURPOSE: To assess longitudinal changes in social capital and HIV risk behavior among recent Latino immigrants (RLIs) in South Florida.
METHODS: Secondary analysis was performed on baseline/pre-immigration data and follow up/2 years post-immigration data from RLIs aged 18 – 34 years who were in the U.S. ≤12 months at enrollment (n=476). In addition to demographic variables, a social capital scale including five subscales (‘families’, ‘friends & others’, ‘groups & associations’, ‘agencies’, and ‘businesses’) was used. HIV risk behavior was measured by condom use frequency and number of sexual partners in the past 90 days. Frequencies and means were calculated in SPSS 22.0, and, differences between baseline and follow-up were compared using a paired t-test for continuous variables, and a Pearson χ2 or McNemar test for non-continuous variables. PROC GENMOD and PROC MIXED (SAS 9.4) were used to estimate effects of social capital on HIV risk behavior.
RESULTS: From baseline to follow-up, there was an 8% decrease in total social capital (p˂0.05). 'Never use' of condoms in the past 90 days increased overall (p˂0.05), and, there was a decrease in number of sexual partners (p˂0.05) among unmarried men. Lower ‘friend and other’ and ‘group’ social capital scores were marginally statistically associated with less sexual partners (β=0.06, p=0.06; β=0.03, p=0.06).
CONCLUSION: RLIs experience changes in both social capital and HIV risk behaviors pre to post-immigration. Findings suggests the direction of influence social capital changes can have on HIV risk behavior depends on the type of social capital, and, the social context.
Florida International UniversityThis study was supported by Award Number P20MD002288 from National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities (NIMHD). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIMHD or the National Institutes of Health. This study was also supported by the Florida International University Graduate School Dissertation Year Fellowship.
ElisaANTIAPOPTOTIC ROLE FOR PROHIBITINS IN HEMATOLOGICAL CANCERSPURPOSE: Prohibitin-1 (PHB1) and PHB2 have been proposed to play important roles in cancer development and progression, however their oncogenic mechanism of action has not been fully elucidated. Previously, we showed that the PHB1 and PHB2 protein complex is required for mitochondrial homeostasis and survival of normal human lymphocytes. METHODS: Human lymphoid tumor cell lines were utilized to examine PHB1 and PHB2 expression by Western blot; subcellular localization by immunofluorescent microscopy; and function by siRNA depletion studies. In addition, 56 leukemia and lymphoma patient samples were analyzed for PHB1 and PHB2 expression compared to normal donor PBMCs. RESULTS: In this study, evidence is provided that indicates mitochondrial prohibitins are overexpressed in hematologic tumors and promote cell survival under conditions of oxidative stress. Immunofluorescent confocal microscopy revealed both proteins to be primarily confined to mitochondria in primary patient lymphoid and myeloid tumor cells and tumor cell lines. Subsequently, siRNA-mediated knockdown of PHB1 and PHB2 in Kit225 cells significantly enhanced sensitivity to H2O2-induced cell death, suggesting a protective or anti-apoptotic function in hematologic malignancies. Indeed, PHB1 and PHB2 protein levels were significantly higher in tumor cells isolated from leukemia and lymphoma patients compared to PBMCs from healthy donors. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that PHB1 and PHB2 are upregulated during tumorigenesis to maintain mitochondrial integrity and therefore may serve as novel biomarkers and molecular targets for therapeutic intervention in certain types of hematologic malignancies.The University of Texas at El PasoGRANT SUPPORT: Research supported in part by grants from the Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation and Edward N. and Margaret G. Marsh Foundation, and made possible by grant 5G12MD007592 to the BBRC from the NIMHD, a component of the NIH. ER-E was supported by the RISE Scholars Program at UTEP through NIGMS Grant No. R25GM069621-12.
EliutMedical Students Knowledge About Mental Illness and SuicidePeople with Serious Mental Illness (SMI) die on average 25 years earlier than the general population. Suicide is a main factor for this disparity as it is still the leading cause of unnatural deaths among this population. Physicians play a vital role in the prevention and identification of SMI and suicide. Research has documented that more than half of patients who are suicide victims contact their physicians at least four weeks prior to their deaths. However, literature has suggested that these efforts could be hampered by physician’s lack of knowledge, negative attitudes and lack of skills towards SMI and suicide in clinical interactions. Thus, this research aimed to document medical student’s knowledge, attitudes and skills regarding SMI and suicide. We implemented an exploratory cross-sectional design using several self-report measures (e.g. Literacy of Suicide Scale). A total of 124 medical students from 1st to 4th year participated in the study. Our findings suggest that knowledge is limited (e.g. 66% agreed that people who die by suicide have a SMI) and attitudes are not generally negative (e.g. Only 33% reported fearing someone with a SMI). However, skills were found as very limited (e.g. Only 26% reported they would further inquire about suicide if a patient told them they were tired of living). Despite limitations of this study, two main findings emerge: 1) the need to further investigate medical student’s skills regarding SMI and suicide, and 2) emphasize SMI and suicide management skill building in medical school.Ponce Health Sciences UniversityResearch Center for Minority Institutions (PHSU) National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities G12MD007579
ElizabethAHEFT AND THE ILLUSION OF EQUITABLE CAREBackground: Equitable care means the provision of care that does not vary in quality because of personal characteristics such as sex, ethnicity, geographic location, and socio- economic status. About 6 million US adults are affected by heart failure (HF), annual cost of $40 billion. HF rates are twice as high for African Americans(AA) compared to Whites and Hispanics, with worse outcomes. The landmark African American Heart Failure Trial (AHEFT) demonstrated mortality, hospitalization and quality of life benefit of fixed dose combination isosorbide dinitrate/ hydralazine (FDC-ISDN/HYD). Despite FDA approval, AA with HF are not receiving appropriate treatment; HF practice guidelines suggest generic combinations of isosorbide dinitrate and hydralazine may be as effective as FDC-ISDN/HYD.
Objective: Determine 12 month mortality outcomes among medicare patients who are receiving FDC-ISDN/HYD compared to off label (OLC) generic combinations.

Methods: Black Medicare beneficiaries with HF were matched with Medicare Part D data to identify patients with prescriptions to FDC-ISDN/HYD or the off-label combinations. Propensity- matched scoring, comparison of FDC-ISDN/HYD with the off-label combinations and Kaplan-Meier (KM) survival curves with the log-rank test were done.

Results: 1-year overall survival were 87.9% (95% CI 85.6–89.9%) for patients receiving FDC-ISDN/HYD versus 83.0% (95% CI 80.3–85.3%) for OLC-ISDN/ HYD. Number needed to treat (NNT)=20; Based on estimated 140,749 eligible but untreated AA HF patients, 7,037 patients could be saved each year.

Conclusions: Appropriate treatment of AA with FDC-ISDN/HYD could save 7,037 patients each year. Performance and quality measures should prioritize high risk subgroups like AA with HF.
Morehouse School of MedicineNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U54MD008149, U54MD007588, and U54MD008173, also from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000454.
ElizabethThe National Research Mentoring Network (NRMN)Background: NRMN is one of three integrated initiatives of the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), a trans-NIH program that aims to impact the participation and persistence of individuals from diverse backgrounds in the biomedical research pipeline, as well as on transforming the culture and efficacy of biomedical research training and mentoring nationwide by: 1) engaging, training and mentoring students 2) enhancing faculty development, and 3) strengthening institutional research training infrastructure.
Objective: NRMN’s overarching goal is to significantly contribute to national efforts to increase the size, quality, diversity, and research productivity, and long term, to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.
Methods: The NRMN integrated logic model has 4 pillars and goals that drive key activities and outcomes: 1) Promote & Refer; 2) Resource Access & Use; 3) Match & link mentees to mentors & coaches; 4) Train and Develop mentors, coaches, & mentees
A multi PI leadership structure ensures coordination of NRMN resources.
Results: NRMN has enrolled over 8000 individuals with over 27,000 participant interactions: 1) 6000 diverse mentors and mentees have registered on NRMNet, in national reach across most states: 29% white; 24% Black;24%Hispanic;12% Asian;2% Native American(NA);1%Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander(HPI)
2) 3025 mentors and mentees across 60 institutions have been trained
3) Over 70 of 360 scholars trained have submitted grant applications: 37% Black; 21% White; 19% Hispanic; 7% NA; 2%HPI. Early results show scholars have increased confidence in research process and methods.
Conclusion: NRMN is engaging diverse mentors and mentees across the nation, in evidence based training.
Morehouse School of MedicineNIH grant U54 GM119023
Evidence-based e-Health technologies have great potential to improve clinical outcomes, but their uneven adoption by minority populations exacerbates existing health inequities. E-healthystrides© was developed to meet the need for a suitable technology-based intervention to enhance self-management skills among minority patients with poorly controlled diabetes. We aimed to document the factors impacting effective implementation of e-HealthyStrides© within the Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization Education System (MCACO-ES).
Semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with five key informants who were strategic to implementing e-HealthyStrides© within the MCACO-ES. Interviews were transcribed and subjected to deductive and inductive content analysis utilizing NVivo 11 software to identify emerging qualitative themes.
The main challenges to e-HealthyStrides© implementation as identified by participants were: 1) lack of coordinated communication of procedures and expectations for the program, 2) the need for sustained buy-in among the partners, and 3) the need for better harnessing of data sharing strategies. The usefulness of e-HealthyStrides© for patient care and the innovative design of the technological platform were emphasized as key strengths of the intervention. However, the need for adequate engagement of the target population was described as a crucial area of focus for ensuring successful delivery and sustainability of the intervention.
Our findings highlight the overarching influences on the success of the implementation process for an e-Health intervention within a complex healthcare delivery network. These findings have significant implications for improving e-HealthyStrides© and fostering its long-term sustainability to improve equitable care outcomes among minority populations served by the MCACO-ES.
Morehouse School of MedicineThe project was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Grant Number U54MD008173, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
ElizabethMDA-MB-231 TRANSCRIPTOME SHIFT BY 3OACβ-BOSWELLIC ACIDHigh throughput screening of natural compounds that can effectively impede the growth and metastasis of triple –negative breast cancer (TNBC) may open up a therapeutic intervention for this aggressive cancer. In this study, we used a reciprocal screening method for screening >1400 commonly used botanical herbs and natural compounds. The data obtained show that Boswellia Serrata extract (BSE) and 3-O-Acetyl-β-boswellic acid (3-OAβBA) were of the most effective anticancer natural products examined in TNBC MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, we evaluated the effects of these natural products on transcriptome profile alterations. The data obtained show that out of the 48,226 genes analyzed, 300 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified for BSE, 265 were up-regulated and 65 down- regulated. Whereas treatment with 3-OAβBA: 648 DEGs were identified, 520 up-regulated and 128 down-regulated. The data also show that BSE and/or 3-OAβBA significantly down-regulate a large number of transcripts previously reported as oncogenes. Also, BSE and/or 3-OAβBA caused a major increase in tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). The primary known pathway initiated by both BSE / 3-OAβBA was the upregulation of PERK (protein kinase RNA-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase) unfolded protein response, and the photodynamic therapy ER unfolded protein response with a near identical overlap for BSE / 3-OAβBA. These findings show that Boswellia Serrata extract (BSE) is likely to be an excellent multi-targeted anti-neoplastic agent natural product, with actions mimicking the reported OG independent targeting by miRNAs.Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversitySupported by NIMHD grants RCMI (8G12MD007582-28.) and COE (P20 MD006738).
ElizabethCVD-IS REGISTRY TO SUPPORT CARE FOR UNDERSERVEDBackground: African Americans, other minorities and underserved populations are consistently under represented in clinical trials, leading to worsening health disparities. The ABC Cardiovascular Disease Implementation Study (CVD-IS) is a prospective cohort registry collaborating with private practices, academic health centers and FQHCs.

Objectives: 1) Prospectively collect socio-demographic, clinical and biospecimen data from enrolled adults, adolescents and children with prioritized cardiovascular diseases;
2) Evaluate the safety and clinical outcomes of new therapeutic agents, including post marketing surveillance and pharmacovigilance
3) Support NIH and industry sponsored research
4) Support CMS and Health Plans quality measures

Methods: Novel informatics tools will include i2b2 and FHIR. We will deploy Health 360X Mobile technology application programming interface (API) to health system or practice EHR, standardized on the Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies (SMART) platform and the openly licensed Health Level Seven standard called Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR) technology with enhanced security.

Results and Conclusion: Long term, CVD-IS will become the most comprehensive patient registry for minority patients with CVD and co morbid conditions and provide real world data to address health disparities: 10,000 patients will be enrolled from 50 sites across the US and 5 sites in Sub Saharan Africa to address the following diseases: CAD; Heart failure; Atrial Fibrillation; Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); Hypertension; Dyslipidemia; Sickle Cell.

CVD-IS was launched with 10 Vanguard sites in March 2017. Enrollment will begin in Fall/Winter 2017.
Morehouse School of MedicineNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U54MD008149, U54MD007588, and U54MD008173, also from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000454; FDA Conference Grant: 1R13FD005981-01.
EmileeENTOMOLOGICAL SURVEY OF MOSQUITOES IN ARBOVIRUS ENDEMIC AREAVector-borne diseases represent a significant number of emerging infectious diseases. Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika are viral diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti that are endemic in Puerto Rico. A major challenge to control these diseases relays in controlling the mosquitoes. PURPOSE: The goal of this project was to conduct a survey (8 sampling points) in Puerto Rico to assess the prevalence of mosquitoes and further determine virus presence. METHODS: Lured BG - Sentinel 2 traps were used to collect mosquitoes from April 2017 to present. Meteorological variables (temperature, humidity, pressure, and precipitation) for each sampling day were recorded. Mosquitoes were identified using morphological characteristic keys and were classified by genus, sex and specie. RESULTS: In total, 877 mosquitoes were collected including Aedes spp. (39.4%), Culex spp. (59.4%) and Anopheles spp. (1.2%). All mosquitoes were georeferenced in the GIS. We found a positive correlation between humidity and male/female Culex spp. ratio (p <0.05) and Culex spp. quantity (p = 0.06); the correlation between temperature and quantity of Aedes spp. is positive (p <0.05), the correlation between humidity and Aedes spp. is negative (p <0.06); the percentage of captured Aedes spp. increases with precipitation and pressure (p <0.05). DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: Our results show that integrating mosquito survey and meteorological data have a better knowledge about the prevalence of mosquitoes and genus. Establishing a well-distributed monitoring system will provide significant data to help mosquito surveillance and control, as well as prediction of epidemics.University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences CampusNIMHD-RCMI 8G12MD007600 Pilot Project
Puerto Rico is one of the first countries in the Americas to successfully eradicate malaria. However, five cases of imported malaria were reported in the Island in 2015, by infected travelers that returned from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Although the parasite that affects humans is not currently reported in the Island, malaria vectors are still found in the surroundings. For such reasons, to assess whether infected people returning from endemic countries possess a threat by reintroducing the malaria parasite in the Island, the distribution of Anopheles mosquitos is being evaluated.
Four experimental agricultural stations were selected as a representation of two Holdridge Life Zones (HLZ) and ponds inside the stations were identified as mosquitoes breeding sites. Mosquitoes were collected with UV light traps and stored in ethanol 95% at -20°C for subsequent DNA extractions. Four microsatellites will be used to test for homogeneity between the Anopheles of the two HLZ.
Several mosquito genera were collected, including Aedes spp., Culex spp., and Anopheles spp. Two Anopheles species, A. grabhamii and A. vestitipennis, were identified in the four stations with greater abundance in the Sub-Tropical Wet Forest part of the Island.
Our findings suggest that Anopheles can be found in the Island, pointing out that exposure of the mosquito to an infected individual can become a real scenario. Further experiments are still under way to evaluate gene flow, and state if there are physical barriers that may impede possible infected mosquito migration between the two HLZ under evaluation.
University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences Campus
EmilyFatherhood and mHealth: Promoting Efficacy and Engagement?A systematic assessment of evidence-based literature on mobile interventions with expectant and recent fathers centers around the research question: does mHealth offer a pathway to promote fatherhood self-efficacy and engagement? The question may be especially salient for urban, minority fathers interested in receiving support in the development of parenting skills (Lee & Walsh, 2015). Relevant work from the field of social work, communication, public health, and sociology is identified and assessed, with a particular focus on studies aiming to engage fathers from disadvantaged communities. Where applicable, literature on mHealth outreach to low-income and/or minority expectant and recent mothers offers insight into how the question may be answered in future studies. Data synthesis consists of the development of a study index featuring the characteristics, qualities, and effects of collected works (see Khan, Kunz, Kleijnen, & Antes, 2003). Findings are interpreted with an eye toward evaluating extant literature and directing future research in the area of fatherhood and mobile technologies.

References: Khan, K.S., Kunz, R., Kleijnen, J., & Antes, G. (2003). Five steps to conducting a systematic review. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 96(3), 118-121; Lee, S. J., & Walsh, T. B. (2015). Using technology in social work practice: The mDad (Mobile Device Assisted Dad) case study. Advances in Social Work, 16(1), 107-124.
Howard University
Emma3D PRINTING APPLICATIONS TO ADDRESS HEALTH DISPARITIESPURPOSE: The BioInnovation Laboratory, at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, strives to apply new technologies and approaches to biomedical research. Three-dimensional printing (3D printing) is one of these cost-efficient technologies and is executed globally with a unique impact on biomedical applications. Collaboration has been established with the Hand Challenge Organization, a non-profit organization in South Carolina, to provide 3D manufactured functional hands to address the needs of economically disadvantaged children. The objective of our project was to demonstrate that we could produce 3D printed prosthetic hands at low cost. METHODS: Utilizing the 3D WOX Sindoh Printer, three prosthetic design files were selected for evaluation based on the hand-closing capacity and cost-efficiency. The Netfabb Basic program was employed to correct any slicing errors in the STL design files and 3DWOX Sindoh Desktop program was used to enter the machine parameters into the G.CODE files used to control the printer. The hands were printed using filaments of Polylactic Acid (PLA). RESULTS: We successfully printed three hand designs: the “Snap-Together Robohand”, the “K-1 Hand” and the “Raptor” prosthetic hand. Each hand design required 10-13 hours to print completely. Arrangements are in progress to identify Puerto Rican children who could benefit from the 3D prosthetic hands produced at the BioInnovation Suite. CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated our capacity to produce functional prosthetic hand designs. It is our intention to provide free prosthetic hands to Puerto Rican children, especially those from economically disadvantaged areas.School of Medicine/ UPR Medical Sciences CampusGRANT SUPPORT: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Grant Number G-12 MD007600.
EmmaA NOVEL PILOT AND FACULTY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMPURPOSE: Recognizing the gap in professional mentoring identified at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, the RCMI Program developed a Targeted Faculty Development Program (TFDP) which complemented the Pilot Project Program. The objectives of the program were to mentor early career investigators as they transition to independent funding; fund innovative basic, behavioral and/or clinical pilot projects focusing on health disparities and/or minority health; and match participating investigators with outside collaborators/mentors in order to strengthen collaborative networks. METHODS: Career enhancement activities included: one-on-one coaching for new and early-stage investigators; an on-line course in grantsmanship; bi-monthly group discussions to discuss research progress; self-assessment of SWOT analysis; development of a five-year career plan; mock study-sessions; a one-day workshop resulting in award of a Certificate in Responsible Conduct of Research, and a Seminar Series on the Translation of Minority Health and Health Disparities Research. This mosaic of activities was designed to provide new and early-career investigators with some of the necessary tools to succeed in a research career. An external evaluator assessed the implementation of activities aimed at strengthening the Program (process) and assessed the extent to which the Program achieved its short-term and long-term goals (outcomes). RESULTS: During a five year-period, the Targeted Faculty Development Program impacted 19 investigators. Outcomes included 105 peer review articles, 26 grant awards, $8.7million in external funds (ROI of 14.7). CONCLUSION: The Targeted Faculty Development Program complemented scientific mentoring activities and resulted in a higher retention, scientific focus, and grant success rate in participating investigators.UPR Medical Sciences CampusGRANT SUPPORT: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Grant Number G-12 MD007600.
EmmaZIKA-PILOT PROJECT PROGRAM INITIATIVEPURPOSE: In the Spring of 2016, Puerto Rico was experiencing an approximate doubling of confirmed Zika virus cases per week and was unique in the total number of cases, the level of local transmission, and the presence of the Zika-carrying vector. In response to this emergency, the RCMI Center for Collaborative Research in Health Disparities targeted for support pilot projects (basic, behavioral, population and community-based) from early stage investigators focusing on ZIKA research. METHODS: A call for proposal for Zika-projects was distributed throughout the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus (UPR-MSC). A Review Committee was created including investigators working on the research areas relevant to the applications. Two reviewers were assigned to each application. Selection was made by the Review Committee based on: scores assigned by scientific external reviewers, project impact to Zika research, potential for leading to a fully-funded independent project, and availability of funds. Of the 8 research project applications received, 4 were awarded utilizing both RCMI grant and institutional funds. RESULTS: The selected projects encompass basic, behavioral, clinical and community engagement research studies, representing three of the six schools of the UPR-MSC. Each of the four research projects are of relevance to the Puerto Rican Zika emergency. Significance advances, ranging from the molecular to the community level have been made to better understand the prevention and transmission of the Zika virus. CONCLUSION: The Pilot Project Program achieved its goal of supporting translational studies by early stage investigators addressing health disparities affecting the Puerto Rican population.University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusGRANT SUPPORT: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Grant Number G-12 MD007600.
EmmanuelpH SENSITIVE NANOPARTICLES FOR DELIVERY OF BIOACTIVE AGENTSWe studied pH sensitive nanoparticles capable of rapid degradation in the mildly acidic environments in the endosomes and lysosomes of tumor tissues but are more stable in the physiological pH. Three pH-sensitive acetal crosslinkers were synthesized and characterized by 1H NMR, 13C NMR, FT-IR and high resolution mass spectroscopy. The nanoparticles were fabricated by dispersion polymerization technique. Hydrolysis studies were carried out on the crosslinkers and blank nanoparticles, and drug release studies were done on docetaxel-loaded nanoparticles in acetate buffer (pH 5.0) and phosphate buffer saline (pH 7.4). Statistical experimental design used was randomized complete block design followed by analyses of variance with F-test of significance. Pairwise comparison test was used to locate specific differences among parameters of the crosslinkers and the nanoparticles. Scanning electron micrographs showed the formation of spherical particles. Particle size analysis showed that the nanoparticles are within nanometer range with negative zeta potential. Hydrolysis and drug release studies showed that the rate of hydrolysis was faster at pH 5.0 compared to pH 7.4, which confirms the pH-responsiveness of the crosslinkers. Hydrolysis and drug release studies were dependent on the structure of the acetals: Di(2-methacryloyloxyethoxy)-[2,4,6- trimethoxyphenyl] methane crosslinker showed the fastest rate of hydrolysis, followed by di(2-methacryloyloxyethoxy)- [2,4-dimethoxyphenyl] methane and di(2- methacryloyloxyethoxy)-[4-methoxyphenyl] methane. The docetaxel-loaded nanoparticles were internalized into cancer cells within 2 hours and the nanoparticles were as effective as free drug against prostate cancer cells. They are suitable for the delivery of bioactive agents to overcome the side effects related to toxicity of anticancer drugs.College of Pharmacy, Howard UniversityResearch reported in this publication was supported by NCI/NIH Grant #: 1SC1CA199810-01. This work was carried out in facilities supported by NCRR/NIH Grants #1 C06 RR 020608-01 and #1 C06 RR 14469-01.
EmmanuelSUBENDOTHELIAL TO APICAL TRANSPORT OF LDL CHOLESTEROLPURPOSE: High concentration of subendothelial low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is associated with increased risk of atherosclerosis. The role of endothelial cells in removing subendothelial LDL cholesterol is poorly understood. We hypothesize that subendothelial LDL cholesterol is actively transported to the apical medium as part of the normal function of endothelial cells through mechanism(s) that is influenced by apoprotein A1 or E, macrophages, or smooth muscle cells. METHODS: Transwell polyester inserts were seeded with or without primary human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). [3H]-cholesterol labeled LDL ([3H]-LDL) was added to the basolateral media in the presence or absence of apoprotein A1 or E. [3H] cholesterol was detected in the apical media by scintillation counting and the nature of the released cholesterol was evaluated by discontinuous gradient ultracentrifugation. RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS: In the presence of HAEC, but not cell-free conditions, [3H]-cholesterol was found in high density fractions, which were enhanced in the presence of apoA1 or apoE. It is expected that conditioning of the LDL by arterial resident cells will reduce the ability of endothelial cells to release LDL cholesterol to the apical side. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: It is concluded that HAEC transport subendothelial LDL cholesterol to the apical medium in the form of high density particles. The ability of endothelial cells to transport subendothelial LDL cholesterol to the apical medium may reflect on the in vivo function of these cells, and thus on atherosclerosis development.Meharry Medical CollegeThe research is supported by NIH grant SC1HL101431-08 (HY) and NIMHD Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC) (5U54MD007593) (EO).
EquarTQ REDUCES INFLAMMATORY MARKERS IN LPS ACTIVATED BV-2 CELLSPURPOSE: Excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the brain have been implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases. Microglia are the primary immune cells of the brain and when activated they release various pro-inflammatory cytokines. Natural compounds such as Thymoquinone (TQ) that have an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anticancer activities may offer a promising strategy for inflammation-mediated neurodegenerative disorders involving activated microglia cells. Our previous study showed that exposure to TQ in activated microglia reduces several cytokines/ chemokine’s including IL-6, MCP-5, IP-10, MCP-1 and nitric oxide. The purpose of this study was to investigate the global molecular targets underlying the anti-inflammatory effects of TQ. METHODS: Microglia BV-2 cells were first stimulated for 1 hr with 1µg/mL Lipopolysaccharide (LPS); then incubated for 24 hr in the presence or absence of 10 µM TQ. Genomic and proteomics approaches were used to identify target genes and proteins of TQ in activated microglia BV-2 cells. RESULTS: Genomic results showed that TQ significantly decrease gene expression of miR-155 by 3.9 folds, JAK2 by 2.2 folds, CCL5 by 13.2 folds, CCRL2 by 12 folds, and PTGS2 (COX2) by 3.3 folds in LPS-stimulated BV-2 cells. Proteomics results also showed that TQ significantly decrease protein expression of NOS by 10 folds and Tyrosine-protein kinase (SYK) by 8 folds. CONCLUSION: Our results showed that TQ significantly decreased genes and proteins involved in activated microglia-mediated inflammation. These results suggest that TQ could be an effective treatment for neuro-inflammation that occurs in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s diseases.Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL“Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number G12MD007582.” The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”
EricSACRED Connections: NIDA-funded RCT w/Native American YouthPURPOSE: Native American youth report more alcohol, marijuana and other illicit drug use than youth from any other racial/ethnic group. Clinically effective culturally appropriate interventions for Native American youth are in extremely short supply. Health disparities and health inequities affecting Native American youth are severe and deserve immediate public health attention. With NIDA support, FIU partnered with Native American communities to culturally adapt and test a brief motivational intervention targeting substance use problems among Native American youth.
METHODS: Participants (N=405) were recruited from six public high schools in predominantly Native American rural communities in the South Central US. Participants were randomly assigned to an active intervention or treatment-as-usual (TAU) control condition.
RESULTS / EXPECTED RESULTS: At baseline, over one third of participants had consumed alcohol (38.7%) and marijuana (27%) during the past 30 days. Many reported lifetime use of prescription pain killers (18.5%), synthetic drugs (9%) and tranquillizers (8.5%). Older participants (β= .32, p<.001), and participants whose mothers were unemployed (β= .14, p<.05), demonstrated greater and more frequent substance use. At 3-months post-intervention, controlling for baseline use, the likelihood of reporting marijuana use (β= -.11, p<.01) was significantly lower among active intervention participants.
DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: This study documented important associations between (a) substance use severity and (b) age, poverty, and culture among Native American youth. Results support the effectiveness of a culturally adapted brief motivational intervention for reducing marijuana use among Native American youth.
Florida International UniversityBrief Intervention for Substance Using Native Youth” (SACRED Connections; NIDA R01DA02977)
ErikDISPARITIES IN PREVENTABLE DIABETES-RELATED HOSPITALIZATIONSPURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to analyze trends in preventable diabetes-related hospitalizations in Los Angeles County with a focus on subpopulations for which large racial and socioeconomic disparities have been previously observed.
METHODS: Inpatient discharge data from California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development was used to examine preventable hospitalizations related to type 2 diabetes among adults in Los Angeles County from 2013 to 2015. Hospitalization rates were compared by race/ethnicity, and across the county’s Service Planning Areas (SPAs). Geospatial analysis was conducted to facilitate visual comparison of hospitalization rates across the county.
RESULTS: Between 2013 and 2015, there were 54,695 hospitalizations of adults in Los Angeles County that could be categorized as preventable diabetes-related hospitalizations (PDRHs). In all subpopulations, there were fewer PDRHs in 2015 than 2013. Across the three years studied, the age-adjusted odds ratio compared to Whites was 2.55 for Blacks (p<0.0001); 1.89 for Hispanics (p<0.0001); and 0.64 for Asians/Pacific Islanders (p<0.0001). PDRH rates in the SPA with the largest Black population were more than three times higher than in adjacent areas. For hospitalizations involving diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations (DRLEAs), rates were more than seven times higher.
DISCUSSION: PDRH rates improved across all communities and racial groups from 2013-2015, but significant disparities still exist. Overall PDRH rates for Blacks were more than double rates for Whites. The highest PDRH rates were clustered around low-income areas with predominately minority populations. Disparities were most pronounced for DRLEAs, which are more costly, debilitating, and preventable than other PDRHs.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceAnalytic support for geospatial analysis was provided by the Charles Drew MedGIS Laboratory which is supported in part by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award numbers S21 MD000103 and U54 MD007598.
ErikaTHERAPEUTIC EFFICACY OF ARSENIC IN LIVER CANCER TREATMENTPURPOSE: Liver cancer incidence rates have more than tripled since 1980, with men being twice as likely as women to be diagnosed as well as higher incidence in minority male populations. The dominant primary liver cancer form, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), impacts more than 700,000 people annually and is the sixth most common cancer in the world. Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been shown to be a potent anticancer agent in various carcinomas, however, its bioactivity and molecular mechanisms against HCC has not been fully studied.
METHODS: Using human HCC (HepG2) cells as a test model, we studied the cytotoxic effects of ATO. The role of oxidative stress (OS) was analyzed by lipid peroxidation, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) activity. Apoptotic effects of ATO were determined by flow cytometric analysis of annexin V and caspase 3, DNA laddering and western blot analysis of specific apoptotic proteins.
RESULTS: With increasing ATO concentrations, OS biomarkers showed significant increase (p< 0.05) of malondialdehyde, and gradual decrease of GPx & CAT activities. Flow cytometric analysis revealed a dose dependent increase in annexin V positive cells and caspase 3 activities. DNA laddering data demonstrated clear evidence of nucleosomal DNA fragmentation. Western blot data showed significant modulation of specific apoptotic related proteins, including activation of p53 and p21 expression and downregulation of Bcl-2 expression in ATO-treated cells.
CONCLUSION: Collectively, our research shows that ATO has a potential therapeutic efficacy against HCC that may be mediated via oxidative stress and activation of the mitochondrial or intrinsic apoptotic pathway.
Jackson State UniversityThis research was financially supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (Grant No. G12MD007581), through the RCMI-Center for Environmental Health at Jackson State University.
Some studies have reported that individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) have 2.9-fold significantly increased odds of having depression compared to non-diabetes individuals. Also, there is evidence that individual with T2D shown elevated levels of cytokines and endotoxins as part of its mechanism. Despite the fact that it is estimated that 12.7% Puerto Rican adults are diabetic, making it one of the highest in the nation, these variables have not been studied with a sample of Puerto Rican. Therefore, the objectives of this study were: (1) to compare depression levels and (2) to compare cytokines and endotoxins levels of T2D individuals and a control group.
A cross-sectional design was used in which a total of 42 subjects were recruited from an endocrinologist office who were treated for T2D and 21 were recruited as controls from a church in the community. We performed descriptive statistics as well as t-test and Mann-Whitney test to examine our study hypotheses.

On average, T2D patients shown higher significant depression symptoms (M=9.48, SD=6.56) than the healthy control group (M=5.71, SD=5.16), t (61) = 2.294, p =. 025, and represents a medium sized effect using Cohen’s d = .64. On the other hand, in terms of cytokines and endotoxins, T2D patients obtained significant lower levels on IL-10, TNF-Beta, IL-5, IL-6, IL-4, IL-13, and endotoxins in compare to the control group.
Depression symptoms were higher on T2D patients than controls as expected. In contrast, cytokines and endotoxin levels were lower on T2D patients.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityThe project described was supported by the RCMI Program at Ponce School of Medicine: Addressing Health Disparities, Award Number G12MD007579 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Some studies have reported that individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D) have 2.9-fold significantly increased odds of having depression compared to non-diabetes individuals. Also, there is evidence that individual with T2D shown elevated levels of cytokines and endotoxins as part of its mechanism. Despite the fact that it is estimated that 12.7% Puerto Rican adults are diabetic, making it one of the highest in the nation, these variables have not been studied with a sample of Puerto Rican. Therefore, the objectives of this study were: (1) to compare depression levels and (2) to compare cytokines and endotoxins levels of T2D individuals and a control group.
A cross-sectional design was used in which a total of 42 subjects were recruited from an endocrinologist office who were treated for T2D and 21 were recruited as controls from a church in the community. We performed descriptive statistics as well as t-test and Mann-Whitney test to examine our study hypotheses.

On average, T2D patients shown higher significant depression symptoms (M=9.48, SD=6.56) than the healthy control group (M=5.71, SD=5.16), t (61) = 2.294, p =. 025, and represents a medium sized effect using Cohen’s d = .64. On the other hand, in terms of cytokines and endotoxins, T2D patients obtained significant lower levels on IL-10, TNF-Beta, IL-5, IL-6, IL-4, IL-13, and endotoxins in compare to the control group.
Depression symptoms were higher on T2D patients than controls as expected. In contrast, cytokines and endotoxin levels were lower on T2D patients.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityThe project described was supported by the RCMI Program at Ponce School of Medicine: Addressing Health Disparities, Award Number G12MD007579 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
EstelaOVERCOMING WRITING ROADBLOCKS FOR RESEARCH INDEPENDENCEPURPOSE: Main roadblocks for promising minority researchers to become independent investigators include peer-reviewed publications, followed by project funding. To help overcome these challenges, the “Scientific Communication in Clinical and Translational Research” course of the Master of Science in Clinical & Translational Research (MSc) was thoroughly reviewed in 2017 to respond to recommendations from previous scholars.
METHODS: Scholars’ roadblocks identified from previous course evaluations included: critical thinking strategies, individual approach, agreement between objectives and assigned work and availability of time. A senior writing coach offered the course using strategies such as: review of published manuscripts; the art of choosing the audience and mastering the beginning; proficiency in re-writing; while addressing NIH core competencies for clinical and translational research.
RESULTS: The course was offered at a distance modality to 7 MSc scholars (3 MDs, I DMD and 3PhDs) in 54 contact hours (16 weeks) with two face-to-face and two web videoconference sessions. Six (86%) scholars completed a manuscript ready for submission by the end of the course. One requested an extension because data was not available to complete Results and Discussion.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: We found that the careful selection of a qualified senior writing coach as professor and a structured methodology were instrumental in motivating participants to enjoy writing as a priority. The next step will be to offer this course to local researchers in collaboration with other NIH-NIMHD awards: Hispanics in Research Capability (HiREC) and PR Clinical & Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC) to compare its effectiveness in increasing publications in peer-review journals.
University of Puerto Rico- Medical Sciences CampusGRANT SUPPORT: This work and presentation was partially supported by NIH-NIMHD Award numbers: R25MD007607 and S21 MD001830.
Evaa-Gal-neoglycoprotein vaccine for cutaneous leishmaniasisBackground: Protozoan parasites from the genus Leishmania cause broad clinical manifestations known as leishmaniases, which affect millions of people worldwide. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), caused by L. major, is one the most common forms of the disease in the Old World. There is no preventive or therapeutic human vaccine available for L. major CL, and existing drug treatments are expensive, have toxic side effects, and resistant parasite strains have been reported. Hence, further therapeutic interventions against the disease are necessary. Terminal, non-reducing, and linear α-galactopyranosyl (α-Gal) epitopes are abundantly found on the plasma membrane glycolipids of L. major known as glycoinositolphospholipids. The absence of these α-Gal epitopes in human cells makes these glycans highly immunogenic and thus potential targets for vaccine development against CL.
Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we evaluated three neoglycoproteins (NGPs), containing synthetic α-Gal epitopes covalently attached to bovine serum albumin (BSA), as vaccine candidates against L. major, using the α1,3-galactosyltransferase-knockout mouse model. We observed that NGP5B, was able to significantly reduce the size of footpad lesions by 96% and parasite load by 68% in comparison to control groups. Furthermore, we observed a strong humoral immune response with the expression of high levels of protective lytic anti-α-Gal antibodies, and a Th1-type cellular immune response. Moreover, vaccination triggered a strong cellular response including the induction of CD4+ T-cells.
Conclusions/Significance: We propose that NGP5B is an attractive candidate for the study of a potential synthetic α-Gal-glycoprotein-based vaccine against L. major infection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first experimental protective glycovaccine model against Old World CL.
Department of Biological Sciences, Border Biomedical Research Center, Bioscience Research Building, the University of Texas at El PasoAuthors thank the Biomolecule Analysis, and the Cytometry, Screening and Imaging, and Genomic Analysis Core Facilities at the University of Texas at El Paso supported by NIMHD-NIH Grant No. 2G12MD007592. The RISE Scholars Program at UTEP through NIGMS Grant No R25GM069621-11 supported EI; and additional support from Dodson Research Grant to EI. KS and AA-S were supported by the Shefa Fund, and WSA by a PhD scholarship from the Saudi Ministry of Health.
FabianEXPLORING NONINVASIVE BIOMARKERS FOR AUTISM IN HIPPOTHERAPYPURPOSE: The pandemic of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) accounts for 1 in 68 children. ASD features core symptoms associated with poor psychosocial functioning, including impaired social interaction, repetitive behaviors, and deficits in sensorial and verbal integration. DNA methylation (DNAm) and oxytocin (OXT) play crucial roles in ASD, and are candidate therapeutic targets for core symptoms. Studies show that hippotherapy (HT) improve psychosocial functioning in ASD. HT involves the use of therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities to promote health benefits and psychosocial wellness. We hypothesize that benefits of HT on psychosocial functioning correlate to changes in DNAm and OXT. This pilot study aims to 1) evaluate the association of two empirical biomarkers of ASD in response to HT, and 2) explore whether early changes in oxytocinergic marks correlate with psychosocial functioning. METHODS: After consent and assent, we recruited 6-9 year old participants with (n=6) or without (n=3) ASD at the Puerto Rico Equus Center. Participants underwent 5 weekly sessions consisting of 45 minutes of HT. Saliva was collected before and after each session, and OXT and DNAm were quantified by immunodetection and biophotometry. OD values were interpolated, and statistically analyzed using Kruskal-Wallis test with Dunn’s multiple comparison, with significance set at p = 0.05. RESULTS: Children with ASD on HT exhibited greater global DNAm and lower OXT levels than their counterparts (p < 0.05). This association was lost after stratification. DISCUSSION: Preliminary results suggest that salivary OXT and DNAm may have informative utility for assessing early beneficial responses to HT.PONCE HEALTH SCIENCES UNIVERSITY
FangMachine learning in Breast cancer proteomics data predictionThough the data chosen to complete this research has been tested with K-means, we will test other machine learning methods to see if a better model can be implemented and give better results.
Breast are made up of glands called lobules that can make milk and have thin tubes called ducts that carry milk to the nipple. Breast tissue also contains fat and connective tissue, lymph nodes and blood vessels. Some breast cancers can begin in the cells of the ducts, cells of the lobules or in other tissues in the breast. This research will explore prognosis and diagnosis of breast cancer based on clinical data. Factors such as age, tumor stage, metastasis and response to chemotherapy will also be explored. Estrogen receptors (ER), Progesterone receptors (PR), and Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), are part of the predictive factors that will be used: they provide information on the likelihood of response to therapy administered to the subjects.
We propose using several different machine learning prediction model that we can: a) clustering tumor apply to chemotherapy treatment on protein data, b) predict age on both protein data and clinical data, c) predict tumor stage, Node stage and Metastasis progress by using protein data and clinical data, and d) predict AJJC stage by using protein data and clinical data.
jackson state univerisityNSF MRI Grant 13-38192: Scalable Omnipresent Environment (SCOPE);NSF CNS Grant 14-56638 Sensor Environment Imaging (SENSEI)
FangMachine learning in cancer proteomics studiesIn this study, we try to use serval machine learning model to predict breast cancer, Three data set are used in this research. The dataset contains published iTRAQ proteome profiling of 77 breast cancer samples generated by the Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (NCI/NIH). It contains expression values of samples for approximately 12,000 proteins, with missing values present when a given protein could not be quantified. Our goal is try to predict tumor stage, age of the patient also other clinical prediction.jackson state univerisityNSF MRI Grant 13-38192: Scalable Omnipresent Environment (SCOPE); NSF CNS Grant 14-56638 Sensor Environment Imaging (SENSEI)
The purpose of this investigation is to determine the susceptibility to hepatitis and awareness of prevention and treatment for the disease among non-healthcare populations. Project objectives: evaluate prevalence and awareness of hepatitis; assess use of preventative services and to provide outreach and hepatitis education to non-healthcare populations.

To complete the specific aims of the project, patients at the New Orleans East Louisiana (NOELA) Community Health Clinic deemed at high risk for either hepatitis b virus (HBV) or hepatitis c virus (HCV) infection underwent a clinical screening to determine their hepatitis status. At the time of their screening, blood was drawn for serological testing and patients were surveyed about background and awareness of hepatitis treatment options.

Results from the study thus far indicate several patients tested positive for Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C. Although the age groups that were affected varied, individuals between the ages of 55-64 accounted for the highest rates. This remained the same in both male and female populations. Findings revealed that specific non-healthcare populations who tested positive for hepatitis included nail technicians, beauticians, chefs, and fishermen.

The results indicate that non-healthcare populations are at risk and susceptible to hepatitis infections. The age group demographic results for this investigation are consistent with the CDC’s finding that individuals born between 1945 and 1965 are at greater risk for specific hepatitis infections. More outreach and education is needed to inform at risk non-healthcare populations about hepatitis treatment which could prevent chronic infections, liver diseases and cancers.
Xavier University of LouisianaThis project was funded by LCRC and the NIH-RCMI Grant 8G12MD007595 from the NIMHHD and NIGMS 1UL1MD009607-01.
FeliciaThe Genetics of Sleep-Of Mice and ManIntroduction: Sleep is essential for human health. There is growing scientific data on the biological and psychological consequences of chronic sleep deprivation. My mentors (KP and JCE) at the University of California Los Angeles, and Morehouse School of Medicine are leading researchers on sleep regulation, including the role of sex-differences and genetics. This abstract describes my work as a student researcher and member of the Sleep research laboratory
Objective: Characterize baseline sleep and the recovery response to sleep deprivation in 24 inbred mouse strains. A database of quantitative sleep-traits based on these data were then used to identify novel sleep genes by quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis.
Methods: Polysomnographic recordings from 24 inbred mouse strains were collected and scored in the KP and JCE laboratory. Recordings were classified according to electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic (EMG) wave forms as awake, non-rapid eye movement (nonREM) or REM sleep. Recordings were scored in ten second epochs and compiled into a database for QTL analysis.
Results: Preliminary analysis of 9 out of ~140 traits resulted in the identification of 25 chromosomal loci linked to seven of the 9 traits analyzed.
Conclusion: This database will support ongoing studies to identify novel sleep-regulatory genes in mice and man. Genes identified in these studies will potentially shape new research on biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the treatment of sleep disorders.
University of North Carolina Chapel HillNIH U54-NS083932
FeliciteTargeting CRD-BP in the Treatment of Colorectal CancerColorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States and the second leading cause in men. It is expected to cause about 50,260 deaths during 2017. The choice of treatment of colorectal cancer depends mainly on the location of the tumor and the stage of the disease. Chemotherapy is used for advanced cancers. However activation of anti-apoptotic pathways and upregulation of multidrug resistance membrane transporters in advanced colorectal cancer cells render them resistant to drugs. Therefore, targeting factors regulating these mechanisms would sensitize colorectal cancer cells to treatment. Constitutive activation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is one of the central drivers of the development of colorectal cancer. We previously showed that β-catenin stabilizes the mRNA encoding the F-box protein β-TrCP1, and identified the RNA-binding protein CRD-BP (coding region determinant-binding protein) as a previously unknown target of β-catenin/Tcf transcription factor. CRD-BP binds to the coding region of β-TrCP1 mRNA, stabilizes it and elevates its levels. This increase of β-TrCP1 levels results in the activation of the Skp1-Cullin1-F-box protein (SCF)(β-TrCP) E3 ubiquitin ligase and in accelerated turnover of its substrates. One of the major physiological outcomes of β-TrCP1 upregulation is the β-TrCP1-dependant activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway and suppression of apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells. CRD-BP also upregulates GLI1 and c-myc which promote cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Moreover, CRD-BP was shown to induce the multidrug resistance-1 membrane transporter MDR-1 that contributes to drug efflux from the cells. Therefore, CRD-BP may promote the resistance of colorectal cancers to chemotherapeutics by contributing to both inhibition of apoptosis and active drug efflux from cells. CRD-BP is absent or scarce in adult tissues but re-activated and/or over-expressed in various tumors including primary colorectal cancers. Hence, its inhibition would have no or little effect on normal cells. This makes CRD-BP an attractive target to sensitize colorectal cancer cells to chemotherapeutics. Our hypothesis is that inhibiting CRD-BP can sensitize colorectal cancer cells to drugs. To test our hypothesis we used the colorectal cancer cells HCT116, RKO and the chemotherapeutic drug 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). We assessed; 1) cell proliferation using the MTT assay, 2) apoptosis of the cells using caspase assay, and 3) cell senescence by using the -galactosidase assay. We observed that CRD-BP inhibition significantly reduces the proliferation of HCT116 cells. This reduction was more pronounced when CRD-BP inhibition was combined with the drug treatment (P<0.01). This inhibition in cell proliferation was associated with a significant increase in apoptosis in the same cells (P<0.001). However, CRD-BP inhibition had no effect on the growth and proliferation of RKO cells. Our data suggest inhibition of CRD-BP potentiates the anti-growth effect of 5-FU in HCT116 cells which exhibit constitutive activation of the Wnt signaling by promoting apoptosis.

Key words: colorectal cancer; CRD-BP; drug resistance; 5-FU.
Jackson State UniversityThe research described in this publication was made possible by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIMHD-G12MD007581) through the RCMI-Center for Environmental Health at Jackson State University
FengxiaTRENDS OF PREVENTIVE HEALTCARE IN TYPE 2 DIABETES ASIANSOBJECTIVE—To examine the diabetes self-management and management with healthcare providers trends in Asian Americans compared to Non-Hispanic white.
RESEARCH METHOD—National telephone survey data BRFSS was used to analyze the trend. Total 372532 participants were used for our final analyses which included 6640 Asians and 365892 whites. SAS survey procedures were constructed to show the difference between Asian and whites.
Results—There was increase trend of type 2 diabetes over 12 years in both Asian and white. There was no significant difference of diabetes rate between Asian and white from the raw data while Asian was almost 50% more likely to have type2 diabetes after adjusting age, gender and BMI. There were increase trend in self-checking blood sugar and feet as well as HbA1C checking at least twice a year and checking feet with doctor at least a year. Asian was 50-60% less likely to perform self-checking management including blood sugar and feet check. There were no significant difference of routine checkup, eye and feet checkup with doctors within past year as well as checking HbA1C at least twice a year.
Conclusion: Increase trend was observed in some diabetes management even though several management rates were very low in both Asian and white. Asian Americans were less likely to perform self-checking.
Morehouse School of MeicineNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Grant Number 8 U54 MD007588
FikruMATURATION OF HIPSC-CM USING ECM PROTEINS AND GENOME EDITINGPURPOSE: Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes (HiPSC-CMs) hold great promise for study of developmental and disease processes (patient in a dish). Thus acquisition of adult gene and mature morphology akin to adult heart is important. Goal: To develop an in vitro platform for assessing the contractile performance of HiPSC-CMs using extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and adeno associated virus safe harbor integration site 1/ zinc finger nuclease (AAVS1/ZFN) based genome editing.
METHODS: hiPSC-CMs were seeded in ECM proteins coated culture plate for attachment, long term survival and acquisition of mature gene and structure. Cellular morphology, sarcomere, and mature gene expression was assessed by Immunofluorescent. AAVS1/ZFN was used to generate inducible hiPSC expressing the adult motor αMHC gene. We used this platform to measure contractility of hiPSC-CMs by edge detection in Ionoptix system.
RESULTS: hiPSC-CMs attached to either laminin or fibronectin. HiPSC-CMs remained bound efficiently to combination of fibronectin and laminin. We combined the two ECM substrates that allowed attachment and maturation. Using immunohistochemistry and western blotting; we verified dox-induced αMHC protein expression and sarcomere incorporation. We determined the effects of αMHC expression on myocyte contractility using edge detection. Replacement of ßMHC with αMHC augmented contractility conferring positive inotropy compared to ßMHC dominant isogenic controls.
CONCLUSION: This approach can be used to study the contractile strength and kinetics of hiPSC-CMs in a model of acquired and inherited cardiac disease. Further, these systems facilitate studies of hiPSC-CMs maturation, disease modeling, drug screening, pharmacogenomics and fundamental aspects of human cardiac contraction.
Howard universityNIH PCBC U01 HL1000407 (DJG, JMM, MK)
The Buprenorphine Integrated Care Delivery Project is a multidisciplinary collaboration between an academic health center and a community-based medical practice to provide comprehensive primary care and behavioral health services, to patients with chronic opiate addiction. This marginalized population represents a significant risk to community health due to high health care expenditures, community violence, communicable disease transmission, etc.
Clinical assessments for index patients receiving buprenorphine therapy were conducted to determine primary health care and behavioral health needs as well as provide a medical home and appropriate interventions. The care managers provided access to a wide range of clinical and non-clinical support services in order to enhance wellness and self-sufficiency for patients receiving buprenorphine therapy.
Seventy-seven patients were enrolled into the program, 80% are male, 20% female with 98% of this population being African American. Their age ranged from 33 to 73 years, 14% were confirmed Veterans and only 4% were gainfully employed. Approximately 72% of patients confirmed having a primary care physician, of the 28% who denied having a current primary care physician, 80% of those patients have been linked to primary care. Forty seven percent of enrollees confirmed having followed up with behavioral health services, to include association with a Case Manager (40%) and 56% receiving Individual or Group therapy.
The Howard University Urban Health Initiative program provided quality wrap around to opioid dependent patients to decrease the number of ED visits, hospitalizations, and recidivism which have shown to have a significant impact on local economics and medical cost.
Howard University/ Urban Health InitiativeThe project is funded by the District of Columbia Department of Health.
FinieCOMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: ADDRESSING TRAUMA ACROSS THE LIFE SPANOur Community, Our Health (OCOH) is a town hall series that shares innovative research findings to foster conversations among researchers and intended audience. Locally, Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science hosted a community town hall to explore the impact and long term effects of trauma across all age groups. Principles of Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) were employed to engage content-experts, key influencers and community stakeholders. Partnerships were established and leveraged to feature authentic expressions of trauma and resilience. Current research and interventions to address trauma stemming from family disintegration, discrimination, violence, and abuse were highlighted. Live streaming and social media platforms facilitated engagement of participants from across the country. Demographic information and program effectiveness outcomes were measured with a participant satisfaction survey. Feedback was received from 30 of the 44 attendees (68% response rate). The audience (excluding those participating by live stream) primarily consisted of African American (61%), females (77%), 50 years of age and older (61%) that addressed trauma as part of their professional activities (68%). Seventy eight percent reported increased awareness of health research due to event attendance. Event ratings ranged from good to excellent, with positive remarks for the blended panel forum that shared personal stories, research and professional perspectives. OCOH is a best practice model for academic-community based partnerships that could help communities understand the multiple manifestations of trauma. Dialogue resulted in demonstrated need for community-driven solutions and research agenda priority to propagate resources for first responders that encounter chronic exposure to trauma.Howard University/GHUCCTSThis project has been funded with Federal funds (UL1TR000101 previously UL1RR031975) from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health, through the Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program (CTSA), a trademark of DHHS, part of the Roadmap Initiative, “Re-Engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise”.
ForoughStressful Life Events among African-American Young AdultPURPOSE: To investigate the effects of social and environmental stressors such as exposure to stressful life events among African Americans young adults ages 18-25 living in Washington DC. METHOS: This study presents baseline analysis of data collected in a longitudinal study from 638 African Americans young adults. To test the hypothesis that there are statistically significant differences between men and women, an independent sample t-test was performed. Then we conducted exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to investigate the factor structure of the stressful life events. RESULTS: The 10 highest ranking stressful life events were: victim of burglary, death of spouse/lover/partner, divorce, break up, losing custody or separation from children, death of a close family member, eviction from home, change in living condition, major personal injury or m illness, and fired from a job. Women were more likely to be exposed to life stressors, whether measured on scales that averaged scores on Standard Life Stress Events, or using factor analysis of these items. The analysis extracted 3 factors that included 17 of the 31 original items which accounted for 32.7% of variance in the items. The three factors included crime or family break up, activity changes, and death or incarceration of family or friends. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that young African American adults are exposed to stressful life events, and that the exposure of women to stressful life events was significantly higher on the 12 of the 31 items of stressful life events than men’s exposure.Howard UniversityThis project has been funded in whole or in part with U.S. Government funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Minority Health & Health Disparities (Grant # 4RO1MD005851), “Re-Engineering the Clinical Research Enterprise,” Grant # UL1TR000101 and the District of Columbia Department of Health (DCDOH), The HIV Prevention Grant #16Z202. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the DCDOH.
GabrielleCULTURAL BARRIERS TO HPV VACCINATION ADHERENCEThe goal of this current study is to examine human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine adherence in a primarily Hispanic community. There are various reasons why Hispanic youth may not receive the vaccine (e.g., barriers such as time, insurance coverage, or education). There are also cultural impediments that are important to understanding the high rates of HPV in this particular community such as patient communication with practitioners and where people are learning information about HPV and the HPV vaccine from that were further examined in this study. Additionally, many may not have sufficient knowledge about the vaccination. Research is needed to investigate the impact of cultural values and social stigma on HPV vaccination adherence. Approximately 220 participants were recruited from the University of Texas at El Paso to complete a survey that assesses attitudes, perceptions, and experiences related to the HPV vaccination. This study found the importance of Familism in relation to intentions to vaccinate. Results from this study provided insight into cultural factors that impact decisions related to the HPV vaccine. Results will be disseminated to healthcare practitioners and community stakeholders to increase HPV vaccination knowledge and adherence in this region.The University of Texas at El PasoBUILDing SCHOLARS funded by the NIH
GeorgeActivation of iron-dependent cell death in neuronsAlthough abnormal metabolism of biometals, especially iron, in the brain has been associated with a number of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer´s and Parkinson´s, the specific mechanisms, metabolic pathways and identity of biomolecules that regulate these processes are lacking. Accumulation or overload of bioavailable redox active metals causes protein overexpression-aggregation, mitochondrial dysfunction, nucleus alterations, inflammation-immune responses and high oxidative stress that directly disrupt normal neuronal cell functions. Significantly, a novel form of iron-dependent regulated cell death process termed ferroptosis was recently identified in cancer that is morphologically, biochemically and genetically distinct from apoptosis and necroptosis. Ferroptosis results from dysfunction of cellular redox homeostasis, leading to lipid peroxidation and high amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Misregulated ferroptosis pathways have been speculated to trigger neurodegeneration through programmed cell death that is distinct from classical mechanisms, although the underlying mechanisms remain only partially understood.
We tested three small molecule drugs that interfere with ferroptosis (erastin, buthioninesulfoximine and sulfasalazine) on in vitro cultured mice neurons. Cell viability was determined for neurons dosed with 0-200 micromolar for over 72 h to determine susceptibility of neurons to ferroptosis-inductors. Ultra-high resolution SEM helped to reveal the morphological features: alteration in cell membrane, rupture and blebbing of plasma membrane and rounding-up of the cells. Whereas ultra-thin sections visualized by TEM/STEM revealed alterations in cytoplasm and nucleus, mitochondrial dysfunction, condensed mitochondrial membrane densities, reduction or vanishing of crista and membrane rupture.
University of Texas at San AntonioThis work was supported by San Antonio Life Sciences Institute and Semmes Foundation. Facilities of Kleberg Advanced Microscopy Center (KAMC), NIH RCMI Nanotechnology and Human Health Core (5G12RR013646-12) and NIH RCMI Biophotonics Core (G12MD007591) at UTSA.
GeorgeINVESTIGATING SENILE PLAQUES BY MALDI TOF MS WITH LIFTPURPOSE: The increase of insoluble senile plaques in the brain is a primary sign of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It is believed that senile plaques are primarily comprised of amyloid-beta peptides but there is evidence of other species that take part in the progression and onset of the disease. Our project demonstrates a novel method for the characterization of senile plaques from AD brains and the relative quantification of each component of the plaque.
METHODS: We demonstrate the usefulness of matrix-assisted laser/desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) with laser ionization fragmentation technology (LIFT) for the characterization and relative quantification of the components of senile plaques from AD patients. We isolated senile plaques from AD brains using modified methods and have developed a washing and preparation protocol for the analysis of the samples by MALDI MS.
RESULTS: We have observed many previously unidentified species in isolated senile plaques. Species including but not limited to, dynein, ADNP, and myoferlin were discovered to be localized within isolated senile plaques, in addition to amyloid-beta, and quantified in relation to one another using an internal standard.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: Many of the species identified had been previously linked to AD however, few were demonstrated to be localized within senile plaques. This work is the first step in determining the potential roles that the species may have in the aggregation or proliferation of the plaques. In addition, this is one of the first studies to utilize LIFT technology for the identification of species in disease state tissues.
University of Texas at San AntonioThe authors gratefully acknowledge the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (G12MD007591) and the National Science Foundation under CHE-1126708. Work was also supported through the Semmes Foundation (Kelley and Perry).
GeorgeElectron holography of magnetite in amyloid-β of Alzheimer’sMetals play a significant role in neurobiology, particularly in neurodegeneration. Iron, copper and zinc bind to amyloid-β , resulting in aggregation and precipitation into APC. High affinity of Aβ for metals is correlated with accumulation of Fe and their eventual aggregation into more stable forms. These events are a possible mechanism of neurons associated to mitigate increased oxidative stress and misbalance of metals.
Using an integrative set of advanced analytical electron microscopy techniques allowed identification and quantification of the amounts of Fe, Cu and Zn present within APC. Cu and Zn were directly associated with Aβ fibers, while the majority of Fe was essentially independent from the fibers. Remarkably, iron oxide nanoparticles were highly structured and crystalline with 8–50 nm in diameter within the APC but separate from the fibers.
Ultrastructural location, atomic arrangement and chemical composition of Fe as magnetite (Fe3O4)
were confirmed by aberration-corrected STEM, electron nano-diffraction and in situ spectroscopy (EELS and EDX). Interestingly, Fe3O4 present within APC showed a superparamagnetic response as observed by off-axis electron holography. The magnetic contours of magnetite corresponded to the mean inner potential and no lines of magnetic force were observed, which in fact agrees with the lower critical size for the superparamagnetic response and consistent with our previous observations from the collective content of APC.
The presence of magnetite associated with AD reveals the importance of metallobiology of human
neurons, as a key point for identification of misbalanced processing/transport of metal ions in neurodegenerative diseases.
University of Texas at San AntonioThis work was supported by San Antonio Life Sciences Institute and Semmes Foundation. Facilities of Kleberg Advanced Microscopy Center (KAMC), NIH RCMI Nanotechnology and Human Health Core (5G12RR013646-12) and NIH RCMI Biophotonics Core (G12MD007591) at UTSA.
GerónimoNEURAL NETWORKS IN HIV: A DIVERGENT STATISTICAL APPROACHPURPOSE: Chronic diseases including antiretroviral therapy related morbidities are a clinical burden. Traditional statistical models utilize human-chosen interactions; we propose the use of an artificial neural network (ANN) to assist in the prediction of a cluster of chronic conditions (CC) in patients with HIV/AIDS. We designed an ANN to predict CC defined as at least one chronic condition across seventeen years and evaluate the applicability of the final model to the HIV Registry Database. METHODS: Six chronological brackets were constructed: 2000- 2002; 2003-2005; 2006- 2008; 2009- 2011; 2012-2014; 2015-2016 to predict the incidence of CC using an ANN. Seventy percent of sample was dedicated to the ANN training, thirty percent for testing. Output variables were hypertension, renal insufficiency, diabetes and anemia. Input variables were: intravenous drug, amphetamines, cocaine, crack, and cannabis use. RESULTS: Eleven thousand one hundred fifty four observations on a steady ART regime and detectable viral load were analyzed. Model accuracies were: training model: 92.4% of developing at least one CC and testing model 89.5% of developing at least one CC. Prediction accuracies were computed using the presence of two or more input variables. The neural network computed incidence from time bracket one with two input variables. A comparative binary logistic regression (CBLR) revealed CC incidence on time bracket three with four input variables, Sensitivity and specificity in the neural network was 0.89 and 0.86 respectively. The CBLR model produces 0.62 of sensitivity and 0.79 of specificity. CONCLUSION: The ANN prediction algorithm surpasses the comparative statistical model.Universidad Central del CaribeSupported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Awards Number G12MD007583 and U54MD007587.
GolaraAttributes of Hospitalized Marijuana Users in CaliforniaAim: To compare the characteristics of admitted patients with marijuana use in all California,
Non-Los Angeles-County California (NLAC), Non-SPA-6 Los Angeles (NSLA), and Service Planning
Area 6 (SPA-6).
Methods: We used the California Hospital Discharge Data to complete a retrospective cohort
study of all Californian marijuana users admitted for any reason.

Results: We included 18,326 patients from all California including 13,970 NLAC, 3,756 NSLA,
and 600 SPA-6 patients. Patients had a mean age (SD) of 33.0 (12.4) years old, and Females
comprised 45.0% of the subjects. African-Americans comprised 9.18%, 7.80%, 8.87%, and 43.5%
of all, NLAC, NSLA, and SPA-6 patients respectively. Medicaid was the primary coverage in
28.5%, 28.6%, 25.7%, and 43.6% of the same four populations. Alcohol/drug use was the major
diagnosis among 15.9%, 13.6%, 23.9%, and 17.3% of the same four populations. Among
alcohol/drug abusers, the average hospital charges were $9,725, $10,701; $8,066; and $6,130
in the same four populations. Also, 41.8%, 42.5%, 40.4%, and 34.5% of the same four
populations had mental disorders as their major diagnosis, and 45.4%, 45.5%, 46.2%, and 38.3%
were admitted to psychiatric care beds.
Conclusions: We observed disparities in demographics, concomitant mental health disorders,
health coverage, and resource utilizations among admitted patients with marijuana use in
NLAC, NSLA, and SPA-6.
Charles Drew University of medicine and science
GuangdiPharmacology of GLL398, a Nonsteroidal Oral SERDFor advanced metastatic breast cancer that has progressed upon tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitor (AI) treatment, fulvestrant, the only FDA approved selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD), serves as the last line of endocrine therapy. However, the drug is not orally bioavailable and even its high-dose monthly regimen of 500 mg as an intramuscular injection is believed to produce limited drug exposure and ER turnover in patients. In the second, third, or fourth line setting, the low bioavailability of fulvestrant and its slow action may in particular contribute to limited efficacy because endocrine-resistant tumors require an even higher drug exposure. The clinical response rate to fulvestrant in the advanced metastatic setting remains below 20%. There is an unmet, urgent need for an orally bioavailable SERD that offers great systemic drug exposure with more durable treatment outcome for advanced breast cancer patients. We describe the design, synthesis, and pharmacological evaluation of a novel SERD candidate, GLL398 which acts as a potent antiestrogen, binds to ERα with strong affinity, effectively degrades ERα in breast cancer cells. Most importantly, GLL398 showed superior oral bioavailability and efficacy in animal models, making it a promising oral SERD suitable for clinical evaluation.Xavier University of Louisiana2G12MD007595
GuangdiZB716, an Orally Bioavailable SERDOrally bioavailable selective estrogen receptor downregulators (SERDs) may offer greater systemic drug exposure, improved clinical efficacy, and more durable treatment outcome for breast cancer patients with disease progression following antiestrogen or aromatase inhibitor therapy. We report the design and synthesis of ZB716, a C-3 position boronic acid modified fulvestrant, which behaves as a steroidal SERD suitable for oral administration. ZB716 binds to ER competitively at an IC50 of 4.1 nM as compared to 3.9 nM for fulvestrant, and it effectively downregulates ER (IC50=12.7 nM) in both tamoxifen-sensitive (T47D) and tamoxifen-resistant (T47D/PKC) breast cancer cells. It acts as an antiestrogen that exerts potent antiproliferative effects on tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7/TamR, T47D/PKC, and T47D/Y537S). When orally administered to mice, rats, and Beagle dogs, ZB716 demonstrates superior oral bioavailability in all animal-based pharmacokinetic studies when compared to fulvestrant administered by subcutaneous injection. More importantly, orally administered ZB716 was found to potently inhibit xenograft tumor growth in mice. These pre-clinical data strongly suggest that ZB716 is a promising SERD drug that could offer significant improvement over existing SERD regimen of Faslodex. ZB716 is being prepared in an IND application for phase 1 clinical trial in ER+, HER2- advanced breast cancer patients.Xavier University of Louisiana2G12MD007595
GuillermoSTRESS-INDUCED INFLAMMATORY RESPONSES IN OVARIAN CANCERPURPOSE: Mounting evidence suggest that chronic stress accelerates growth of existing tumors by activating the sympathetic nervous system. Specifically, our data suggest that sustained adrenergic signaling can induce tumor growth, secretion of inflammatory cytokines and macrophage infiltration. Moreover, increased macrophage infiltration was associated with decreased survival in ovarian cancer patients. Hence, we investigated role of adrenergic-stimulated macrophages in ovarian cancer biology.

METHODS: To assess the effect of adrenergic stimulation in pro-tumoral functional outputs, we used cytokine arrays and invasion assays. Pre-clinical orthotopic models of ovarian cancer were used to assess the in vivo effect of daily restraint stress on tumor growth and macrophages.

RESULTS: Cytokine array analyses showed that adrenergic stimulation modulated pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion in a SKOV3ip1 (ovarian cancer cells) /U937 (macrophages) co-culture system. Among these, 23 significantly upregulated cytokines were identified in both, epinephrine and norepinephrine, treated co-culture systems. PDGF-AA, ENA-78, Angiogenin, VEGF, GM-CSF, IL-5, Lipocalin-2, MIF, and TfR were among upregulated cytokines shared between treatment groups. Our data suggest that stress hormones induced ovarian cancer cell invasiveness, but the addition of macrophages to the culture system did not result in an additive effect. In addition, daily restraint stress resulted in increased ovarian cancer growth in two orthotopic models of ovarian cancer (SKOV3ip1 and HeyA8), while zoledronic acid (agent with anti-macrophage activity) abrogated this effect.

CONCLUSION: Here, we show that adrenergic-induction of macrophages might play a key role in the progression of ovarian cancer. Future studies will be directed towards further investigating the role adrenergic-induced macrophages and cytokines in ovarian cancer progression.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityPR-INBRE NIH/NIGMS P20GM103475, NIH/NCI U54CA163071, NIH/NIMHHD G12MD007579, American Cancer Society IRG Grant and the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust.
HardeepCULTURAL CHILD REARING PRACTICES AMONG WOMENPURPOSE To assess the cultural child rearing practices and prepare pamphlets to enhance healthy child rearing practices among women. METHODS Data collected from women who had children age group (0-5 years). Semi-Structured Interview Schedule used to collect the data from 100 subjects by using purposive sampling technique. Interviewer conducted the interview of women and time taken for the completion of full tool varied from 20-25 minutes. The data analysis done by using descriptive and inferential statistics. RESULTS Findings revealed that all the women were following cultural child rearing practices. Majority of (93%) women were following pre-lacteal feeding practices after birth of child before breast milk. More than two third (67%) women did not give colostrum to newborn baby and not start breastfeeding immediately after birth. Most of the women (43%) started breastfeeding after 3 days of birth. More than three-quarters (79%) women preserved umbilical cord in clothes due to family beliefs. Almost one quarter (24%) women used black thread around the neck to protect the child from evil eye and more than two quarters (53%) women started supplementary feeding at the age of 6 month. Religion was found to be statistically significant at p<0.05 level related to cultural child rearing practices among women. CONCLUSION Different cultures have different child rearing practices, customs, beliefs that affect the upbringing of child. In present study, majority of the women were following healthy cultural child rearing practices and unhealthy practices need modifications through education.SKSS College of Nursing, Sarabha, Ludhiana, PB IN
HariURINE + FECES TO H2SO4 + (NH4)2 SO4 SATURATED MANURESolid human waste that include feces (nitrogenous solid waste) and urine (nitrogenous liquid waste) are usually found in combination. Thus, the need of the hour is to make the human waste devoid of smell and provide some tangible revenue. The smell is due to hydrogen sulphide of the feces and ammonia of urine. Ammonium sulfate [(NH4)2 SO4] is a well-known fertilizer where both nitrogen and sulphur are required for crop production. It is proposed that a prototype can be developed that is a septic tank with some additional features. A septic tank is a watertight chamber through which domestic sewage flows. It is equipped with an exhaust fan, a mixing agitator, a faucet that allows coarse calcium carbonate to be introduced. The septic tank has an additional opening which allows a tube to condense sulphuric acid coming out of the tube. A colorometic paper test is used that detects as low as 0.1 ppm of hydrogen sulphide. In this closed system steam is produced by the addition of calcium carbonate, oxygen is sucked in by the exhaust fan which combine with Sulphur in the feces to form Sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide with ammonia from the urine and water vapor produces ammonium sulphate which saturates the nitrogenous waste and the sulphuric acid formed passes through the opening via the tube. The resulting nitrogenous waste is removed and used as an ammonium sulphate fortified fertilizer along with sulphuric acid collected in a separate tube.Jackson State University
HariA NEW APPROACH TO FRACTURE HEALING OF BLUNT TRAUMATIC INJURYINTRODUCTION: Costal cartilage is often damaged by fracture during blunt trauma injury. Treatment usually involves pain relief coupled by natural healing which usually takes six weeks. There is inherently poor healing ability of cartilage repair. therefore, new technology is required to enhance the healing status in cartilage repair. Stem cell exosomes are known to mediate the cellular communication to induce cell-differentiation/self-renewal. Urine is an easily accessible source of mesenchymal stem cells. It has been demonstrated that mammary stem cell exosomes have been delivered at systemic sites and in the brain tissue thus exhibiting that urinary exosomes can also be orally consumed and would reach the repair site of the cartilage.

HYPOTHESIS: It is our hypothesis that the wound healing can be augmented by providing source of mesenchymal stem cell exosomes.

PROCEDURE: X-rays should be taken and exosomes of patient’s urine to be purified by removing polymeric network formed by Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) and other mucoproteins at 17,000 x g in the presence of 0.58 M NaCl and the supernatant re-centrifuged at 20,000 x g to cause agglutination of exosomes induced by incubation with concanavalin A at a final concentration of 2 mg/ml at room temperature for 2 hrs.

EXPECTATIONS: It is expected that X-ray analysis would reveal faster repair compared to natural healing without any exosome consumption.
Jackson State University
HariVISIBLE LASERS ON A SIX-STATE H2O CYCLE MODEL FOR CLIMATEThe most important issue that we are struggling in these times is the wrong notion that climate is altered by using fossil fuels. The classical water cycle existing in the literature includes the following states of water: ice (solid), rain water (liquid), vapor, cloud (solid/liquid interphase). We are envisioning an “extended water cycle” that includes a new state of water, in the form of water mixed with air in motion (gas/liquid water interphase), which exists after the cloud state and water as a gas state (state of water which exists beyond critical temperature), which exists after the state of water mixed with air in motion. The high-level contribution of this paper is a novel theoretical model that conceptually implying the western principles of quantum physics proposes the use of visible light to impact the state transitions within the extended or six-state water cycle and increase the occurrence of eco-friendly events. The potential applications of our approach could be in the form of eco-friendly events such as cloud formation, fog dissipation and hurricane mitigation/ displacement. We propose the use of specific spectrums corresponding to the seven different colors of visible light to induce the particular state transitions within the water cycle. The choice of a specific color or a combination of colors of visible light that can induce a particular state transition is however hypothetical and has to be experimentally identified and verified as part of our future work.Jackson State University
HariA NEW PERSPECTIVE: ARTIFICIAL LIGHT VERSUS NATURAL LIGHTCandle light is artificial light and sunlight is natural light. Moonlight is a reflection of sunlight. Reflection of light is an example of incident light changing its polarity by 180 degrees. When a beam of sunlight is passed through a triangular prism it splits into its individual light spectrum components Violet (V), Indigo (I), Blue (B) , Green (G), Yellow (Y), Orange (O) and Red (R) VIBGYOR while when a candle light or artificial beam of light is passed through a prism it splits into ROYGBIV. Here there is reversal in direction of the colors of spectrum. Further, if both artificial and natural sunlight are individually passed through a hole in a cupboard and prism then the temperatures of the individual light components will show a temperature gradient with the V being the highest frequency and the lowest temperature while and R being the lowest frequency and the highest temperature while the artificial light would have V being the highest frequency and highest temperature and red being the lowest frequency and lowest temperature. There is no difference in the frequencies of the colored light but the temperature gradient of natural sunlight is the reverse of the artificial light. The artificial light is an example of candle light where the blue light is the hottest and the red light is the coolest. Further in zero gravity it has been established that light from a Bunsen burner under oxygen environment generates blue and yellow color flames of which blue is the hottest compared to yellow flame. Thus, the difference between natural sunlight and artificial light is that the polarity of light is reversed and the heat index associated with the red color in sunlight is hottest part of the visible spectrum while the red color in the artificial light is the coldest part of the visible spectrum.Jackson State University
HariHYPOTHESIS: LUNAR ENERGY MORE POWERFUL THAN SOLAR ENERGYSun governs the day while the moon governs the night. The sun gives the sunlight and heat while the moon gives us moonlight and cold temperatures. Moonlight reflects silvery light which is a reflection of the sun. Moon is responsible for the high and low tides due to the gravitational force of the moon on earth. Only 3% of the Sun’s light is reflected by the moon and only ½ of the moon’s surface is lighted. During the day the earth’s atmosphere is ionized by solar radiation, during the night by cosmic rays. The origin of Cosmic rays are high energy-radiation mainly originating outside the solar system. It is our HYPOTHESIS that during moonlight there is higher cosmic radiation energy impacted on humans compared to solar radiation. Further, cosmic radiation is the highest over the poles during the night time. Higher level of cosmic rays is experienced by astronauts in space travels than encountered on earth. Data analysis from Cosmic neutron detectors has postulated that the cosmic radiation is three to seven times larger in the early morning hours. The following frequencies of 3, 4.5, 76, 108, 126 Hz have been recorded using SQUID in subjects who meditate using Ultra-transcendental techniques. It was demonstrated that meditation is the only way by which humans can generate high frequency gamma waves. In this study the individuals did meditation in the early morning hours 2.5 hours before sunrise. This means that the best time to do meditation is when there is no sunlight.Jackson State University
HaroldTargeting Mitotic Kinases in Breast Cancers in Latinas.African Americans and Latino women (Latinas) in the US have higher risks of developing molecular subtypes of breast cancer that associate with poor-prognosis, including hormone receptor-negative (HR-): triple-negative (ER-PR-Her2-), and Her2-positive breast cancer relative to whites. These women also present with higher-stage breast tumors relative to whites. We specifically study Puerto Rican women, a population in which breast cancers are the primary cause of cancer-related death, and who display a higher frequency of HR- breast tumors than other Latinas. We propose that chromosome instability (CIN) is a principal contributor to poor prognosis breast cancers in African Americans and Latinas, since HR- breast cancers accumulate the highest CIN of all breast cancer subtypes. CIN in cancers correlates with poor clinical outcomes, and centrosome amplification –defined as the accumulation of ≥3 centrosomes within a cell-, and defective mitosis are two principal drivers of CIN. Albeit CA correlates with invasion, metastasis, poor clinical outcomes, and HR- subtypes, molecular mechanisms responsible for CA in breast cancers are unknown. We have identified MPS1 and NEK2 as centrosomes/mitotic kinases that drive CA/CIN in HR- breast cancer cells, and that can potentially be targeted to curb the malignant behavior of the most aggressive breast cancer subtypes affecting ethnic minorities. MPS1 and NEK2 are upregulated in HR- breast tumors and are co-overexpressed in several predictive signatures of poor prognosis subtypes and metastasis. Our preliminary data indicated that these kinases are overexpressed in over 60% breast cancers from Puerto Rican women and that they are exclusively co-upregulated in basal breast cancers. Our preliminary data also showed that these two mitotic kinases can significantly influence epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and invasion -activities never described for mitotic kinases. Also, although inactivating NEK2 suppresses S phase, inhibition of MPS1 reduces survival of breast cancer cells. Because inhibitors are available for MPS1 and NEK2, it would be feasible to target these kinases to combat metastatic HR- breast cancers. Our work will allow the identification of pathways influenced by mitotic regulators in breast cancer cells driving invasion and metastasis and will provide potential prognostic markers for high-risk breast tumors in various ethnic/racial groups, including African American and Latinas (including Puerto Rican women).Ponce Health Sciences UniversityNIH NCI U54CA163071 and 2U54MD007587 from the PRCTRC, G12MD007579 from MBRS, The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, and Ponce Medical School Foundation Inc.
Background: Identification of mutant genes with known clinical value as predictive markers. Cancer hotspot gene panel can be used for targeted cancer therapy. Indeed, we aimed to use such panel to identify clinically relevant mutations.
Method: Tumor and matched normal tissues (n=16) from African-American colorectal cancer patients were analyzed using a 48-gene NGS cancer panel (Ion Torrent) covers mutations in frequently mutated genes. Variants’ type was determined using bioinformatic pipelines including Ensembl’s Variant Effect Predictor. The genes with the most clinical value were determined based on frequency of somatic variants.
Results: Somatic variants were detected in 39/48 (82%) of genes. Overall, 46 novel and known hotspot somatic variants were determined in the following 7 genes with clinical value: KRAS (7/46 [15%]), NRAS (2/46 [4%]), MLH1 (1/46 [2%]), PIK3CA (8/46 [18%]), SMAD4 (6/46 [13%]), RET (9/46 [20%]), and TP53 (13/46 [28%]). Of the KRAS variants, 57% (4/7) were found in codons 12 and 13 while the other 43% (3/7) were found in codons 117 and 146. Out of the 46 somatic variants, 30% (14/46) were hotspot. Of the KRAS hotspot variants, 100% (4/4) were in codons 12 and 13. The 2 NRAS variants both belong to codons 59 and 61. Lastly, the 9 genes without somatic variants are CDKN2A, SMARCB1, AKT1, ALK, FGFR2, IDH2, CSF1R, HNF1A, MPL.
Conclusion: Our results reveals the actionable targeted genes with clinical relevance were TP53, RET, PIK3CA, SMAD4, KRAS, NRAS and MLH1, respectively. Patients with significantly high hotspots mutations in TP53 had a poor prognosis. If confirmed in future studies such variants should be taken into consideration clinical relevant and personalize approaches.
Howard University College of Medicine
HassanMAJOR DYSBIOSIS IN SCD PATIENTS GUT MICROBIOMEBackground: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited blood disorder that occurs primarily in patients of African descent that associates with pain crises. The gut microbiome may have a major impact on host health.
Aim: To characterize the gut microbiome in SCD patients.
Patients & Methods: DNA from stool and saliva samples from 14 controls and 14 SCD patients were used { 7 SCD patients had few pain crises (< 3 hospitalizations/year) while 7 had frequent pain crises. Amplicons of the 16S rRNA gene V4 region were sequenced using Illumina MiSeq. Operational taxonomic units were taxonomically classified using BLASTn against a curated database (RDPII/NCBI). A LeFSe analysis was used to determine differential bacteria.
Results: A major dysbiosis was noticed in the SCD gut microbiome. These patients were defined by a prevalence of Bifidobacteria , Campylobacter , Veillonella , Actinomyces , Scardovia and Atopobium. A subanalysis revealed that the dysbiosis was more pronounced in SCD patients with frequent pain crises with a prevalence of Campylobacter strains. The analysis of saliva microbiome of these patients revealed no dysbiosis.
Conclusion: We report a major dysbiosis in SCD patients, that is more pronounced in patients with frequent pain crises. Veillonella, a predominant bacterium in SCD patients is a normal oral and colon inhabitant, known for its ability to form biofilms and as a facilitator of Streptococcus strains pathogenesis. SCD patients with frequent pain crises were defined by Campylobacter strains, a known group of pathogen bacteria. SCD patients were generally depleted of Clostridiales.
Howard UniversityNIH P50 Grant
HectorEFFECT OF CILOSTAZOL ON PLATELET REACTIVITY TO CLOPIDOGRELPURPOSE: Antiplatelet therapy with clopidrogrel is recommended to reduce cardiovascular events in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Nevertheless, failure to clopidogrel therapy has been poorly studied in this group. We aimed to determine the effects of cilostazol therapy on platelet reactivity to clopidrogel in PAD patients.
METHODS: We performed a pilot cross-sectional study of 46 Puerto Rican patients diagnosed with PAD. Patient cohort was divided based on use of clopidogrel and cilostazol (n=24) or clopidrogel alone (n=22). Platelet function was measured ex vivo using the VerifyNow® P2Y12 assay.
RESULTS: Among all the enrolled participants, 18 (39%) had high on-treatment platelet reactivity (HTPR). The mean platelet reactivity was 207 ± 53 (range, 78-325) with higher P2Y12 reaction units (PRU) on the non-cilostazol group, 224 ± 45 vs. 191 ± 55 on the cilostazol group. No significant differences were observed in clinical and genetic profile between the studied groups. History of diabetes mellitus (DM) and concomitant use of cilostazol were the only variables found to be associated with platelet reactivity. A multiple regression analysis showed that history of DM (p=0.03), use of cilostazol (p=0.03) and hematocrit (p=0.02) were the only independent predictors of platelet reactivity to clopidogrel.
CONCLUSION: In PAD Puerto Rican patients on clopidogrel therapy, history of diabetes mellitus, use of cilostazol and hematocrit are independent predictors of platelet reactivity. Adjunctive cilostazol therapy could enhance clopidogrel antiplatelet activity in patients with HTPR to clopidogrel.
University of Puerto Rico School of MedicineR25MD007607, S21MD001830, TL1TR001434, HL123911
HectorBIT1 as a tumor suppressor in NSCLCThe mitochondrial Bit1 protein exerts tumor suppressive function in NSCLC through induction of anoikis and inhibition of EMT. Having this dual tumor suppressive effect, its downregulation in the established human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cell line resulted in potentiation of tumorigenicity and metastasis in vivo. However, the exact role of Bit1 in regulating malignant growth and transformation of human lung epithelial cells, which are origin of most forms of human lung cancers, has not been examined. To this end, we have downregulated the endogenous Bit1 expression in the immortalized non-malignant human bronchial epithelial BEAS-2B cells. Knockdown of Bit1 enhanced the growth and anoikis insensitivity of BEAS-2B cells. In line with their acquired anoikis resistance, the Bit1 knockdown BEAS-2B cells exhibited enhanced anchorage-independent growth in vitro. The loss of Bit1-induced tumorigenic phenotypes was in part attributable to repression of E-cadherin expression since forced exogenous E-cadherin expression attenuated the malignant phenotypes of the Bit1 knockdown cells. Importantly, we show that the loss of Bit1 expression in BEAS-2B cells resulted in increased Erk activation which functions upstream to promote TLE1-mediated transcriptional repression of E-cadherin. These collective findings indicate that loss of Bit1 expression is an important molecular event regulating human lung epithelial cell transformation via Erk activation-induced suppression of E-cadherin and underscore the role of Bit1 as a tumor suppressor in human lung cancer.Xavier University of LouisianaLouisiana Cancer Research Consortium start up grant (to HB), NIH 2R15 CA158677-02 Grant (to HB), NIH RCMI grant #8G12MD007595 (Xavier University of Louisiana), and NIH R25GM060926 (Xavier University of Louisiana)
Living 3,000 miles from the nearest land mass, Native Hawaiians, the indigenous peoples of Hawai‘i, developed complex food systems based on practices of land stewardship. Western colonization disrupted traditional food systems and access to land and natural resources, contributing to the high rates of obesity-related diseases seen among Native Hawaiians today. To address these health disparities, a community-based initiative engaged Native Hawaiian families in building aquaponics systems to grow fresh fruit, vegetables, and fish in their backyards.

To measure the preliminary impacts of this community initiative, a mixed-method study was conducted. A total of 27 participants completed a cross-sectional online survey and nine participants completed in-depth interviews.

Participants reported multiple benefits, such as an increased intake of fresh fruits and vegetables (78%) and fish (52%). Participants shared how growing their own food motivated them to eat healthier with approximately 81% reporting that they have taught others to make healthy meals. Participants also reported an enhanced sense of self-sufficiency with 91% of the participants reporting they have become more active in land conservation and protection efforts because of their engagement with aquaponics.

Backyard aquaponics may be a promising strategy to promote food access, healthy eating, and mental wellness among indigenous communities. Efforts are underway to conduct a larger-scale, prospective study to establish causal relationships and identify mediating factors of aquaponics as a health intervention.
University of Hawai'i
HiroshiNOVEL SHAPES OF NANOCARRIERS IMPROVE DRUG DELIVERY & IMAGINGAlthough a range of nanoparticles have been developed as drug delivery systems in cancer therapeutics, this approach faces several important challenges concerning nanocarrier circulation, clearance, and penetration. The impact of reducing nanoparticle size on penetration through leaky blood vessels around tumor microenvironments via enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect has been extensively examined. Recent research has also investigated the effect of nanoparticle shape on circulation and target binding affinity. However, how nanoparticle shape affects drug release and therapeutic efficacy has not been previously explored.
It has been a challenge to fabricate nanoparticles less than 15 nm in complex shapes. We developed a method to fabricate such inorganic nanoparticles by controlling desorption of atoms from seed nanocrystals. In these compartments, atomic desorption is accelerated from specific crystalline faces of seeds based on the surface energy landscape, and this balancing allows one to evolve shape and structure of inorganic nanoparticles into targeted designs. Iron oxide nanocages were succeeded in incorporating drugs inside the cavity and the cytotoxicity for cancer cells was more efficiently when the cage-shaped nanoparticles were applied as drug carriers as compared to spherical and cubic iron oxide nanoparticles. In this work, we compared the drug release and efficacy of iron oxide nanoparticles possessing either a cage shape (IO-NCage) or a solid spherical shape (IO-NSP). Riluzole cytotoxicity against metastatic bone cancer cells was enhanced three-fold with IO-NCage. The shape of nanoparticles (or nanocages) affected the drug release point and cellular internalization, which in turn influenced drug efficacy. Our study provides evidence that the shape of iron oxide nanoparticles has a significant impact on drug release and efficacy shown both in vitro and in vivo. The MRI activity of iron oxide nanocages and the effect of shapes of nanoparticles for MRI contrast will also be discussed. With antibodies, cage-shaped nanoparticles posess better biodistribution and organ specificity as compared to other shapes.
Hunter College of CUNYNIH
Although gay and bisexual Latino men often experience family rejection, families ties are often reestablished over time, especially among siblings. Yet we do not know the value of sibling support for older gay and bisexual Latino men aging with HIV, who often conceal their sexual orientation and HIV status out of fear of embarrassing their families. This study aimed to understand the value of sibling social support for gay and bisexual gay men aging with HIV.
Semi-structured interviews were used to explore how study participants interpreted their experiences of sibling relationships related to their recovery, disclosure of sexual orientation, and HIV+ status. We used thematic analysis.
We interviewed 15 gay/bisexual Latino men aged 50-64 living with HIV. We identified the following themes: (1) experiences of unconditional support, (2) siblings more likely to support recovery efforts than gay identity or HIV status, and that (3) support changed over time.
Findings suggest that sibling bonds can in some situations counteract any homophobia found in cultural practices as well as any generational differences between middle-aged participants and their older siblings. This challenges us to deepen our understanding about the nuances of Latino family relationships, especially as it pertains to LGBT populations. Further study is needed to quantify the impact of sibling relationships on health outcomes of gay/bisexual Latino men aging with HIV.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceNIH/NIA P30-AG021684; NIH/NCRR/NCATS UL1TR0010124; NIH/NIMHD U54MD007598; NIH/NIA P30AG028748-09S1
HongREGULATION OF ABCA1 EXPRESSION BY VLDLR/APOER2 PATHWAYWhile increase in cellular cholesterol is able to upregulate ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) expression, the increased ABCA1 level by this stimulation is insufficient for prevention of foam cell formation. Using a mouse macrophage cell line, we demonstrated a signaling cascade independent of cellular cholesterol level for upregulation of ABCA1 expression. Specifically, activation of very low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) and apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (apoER2) with apoE, reelin or a reelin subregion containing its receptor binding domain significantly increased ABCA1 mRNA and protein levels. These VLDLR/apoER2 ligands also increased phosphorylation of disabled-1 (Dab1), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase C-ζ (PKC-ζ), and specificity protein 1 (Sp1), and increased PKC-ζ binding with Sp1. Sequential knockdown or inhibition of VLDLR/apoER2, Dab1, PI3K, PKC-ζ and Sp1 diminished the upregulatroy activity of apoE and reelin on ABCA1 mRNA and protein expression. Mutation of the Sp1 binding site in the ABCA1 promoter and inhibition of Sp1 DNA binding suppressed the ABCA1 promoter activity and reduced the ABCA1 mRNA expression level. In addition, VLDLR/apoER2 ligand treatment enhanced phosphorylation of Akt1 and Akt2, but not Akt3. PI3K inhibitors weakened Akt phosphorylation. Inhibition of Akt or knockdown of Akt2 only reduced ABCA1 protein but not its mRNA. Suppression of protein synthesis did not erase the ability of apoE to increase ABCA1 protein level. Further, apoE increased the resistance of ABCA1 protein to calpain-mediated degradation without affecting calpain activity. These data support a model in which activation of VLDLR and apoER2 by reelin and apoE induces ABCA1 transcription via a signaling cascade involving Dab1, PI3K, PKCζ and Sp1, and inhibition ABCA1 protein degradation via a signaling cascade involving PI3K and Akt2. We also observed that apoE, reelin and its subregion accelerated apoAI-mediated cholesterol efflux and inhibited foam cell formation. Thus, upregulation of ABCA1 expression via mechanisms additional to increasing cellular cholesterol level might inform interventions to inhibit foam cell formation and atherosclerosis.Meharry Medical College
HuaRole of P. gingivalis in oral mucosa transmission of HIV-1The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS pandemic continues to be a major global health priority, as millions of people worldwide are currently living with HIV/AIDS. The majority of new HIV infections originate predominantly via the genital and rectal mucosa. HIV-1 appears to be able to penetrate and transmit across a multi-layered epithelium in the absence of any apparent breach or lesion. However, mechanism of HIV transmission through mucosal epithelium remains unclear. Porphyromonas gingivalis, an invasive oral bacterium, is known as one of keystone pathogens of periodontitis. This bacterium is able to modulate the host responses in harmful ways that induce inflammation and cause periodontal tissue damage. Data from our recent studies show that HIV-1 binds to P. gingivalis cells and its OMVs through the interaction between viral pg120 and bacterial outer membrane protein (gingipain), and that HIV-1 is internalized into CD4-negative mucosal epithelial cells in the presence of P. gingivalis cells and its outer membrane vesicles (OMVs), but not in their absence. We also demonstrate that P. gingivalis vesicles promote translocation of HIV-1 from its infected oral epithelial cells to the neighboring cells, including CD4 receptor positive and negative cells. This work sheds light on the significant role of microbiota in the pathogenesis of HIV infection and represents insight into the potential mechanisms of mucosa transmission of HIV.Meharry Medical CollegeThis work was supported by NIH grants DE022428 and 025332 (HX) and DE012505 from NIDCR, and by MD007593 and MD007586 from NIMHD. The project described was also supported by NCRR grant UL1 RR024975, which is now mediated by the NCATS (2 UL1 TR000445).
HuanLC-MS/MS ASSAY DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW ANTI-INFECTIOUS MOLECULEPURPOSE: NC2459 is a novel anti-leishmania compound. The objective of this work was to develop and validate sensitive and rapid liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) methods for the quantification of NC2459 in solution, plasma and urine.
METHODS: An ACE® Excel SuperC18 UHPLC column was used for separation. Mobile phase comprised of water (A) and acetonitrile (B) containing 0.18% acetic acid. Flow rate was 0.3 mL/min. An API 4000 QTRAP LC-MS/MS was used for analysis. Positive mode multiple reaction monitoring with transitions m/z 605 →m/z 117 for NC2459 ([M+H]+), and m/z 266 →m/z 234 for IS (Albendazole, [M+H]+) was used. Samples were prepared by precipitation of protein using cold acetonitrile.
RESULTS: The retention times for NC2459 and IS were 2.67 and 1.89 min, respectively. The standard curves of NC2459 in all matrices were linear from 10 – 1000 ng/mL. Intra- and inter-day accuracy (%RE) ranged from 0.17-12.58% and 1.09-11.79%, respectively. Precision (%CV) ranged from 5.63 -14.3% and 3.22-13.26%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: A rapid, sensitive and reproducible LC-MS/MS method was developed and validated to quantify NC2459 in solution, rat plasma and urine. This method was validated according to FDA Guidance and is applicable for the quantification of NC2459 in pre-clinical studies.
Texas Southern UniversityNIH/NIMHD/RCMI grant (2G12MD007605-22A), NIH/NIGMS grant (1SC3GM102018-)
I. LeslieCOMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TO REDUCE ASTHMA IN RURAL CHILDRENPURPOSE: There is a high incidence of asthma and asthma-related illnesses including emergency room visits, hospitalizations and school absenteeism among children living in a low income, minority and underserved population in rural Fort Valley, Georgia. The goal of this project is to work with families who have children with asthma to identify asthma triggers in the home, work with the families to reduce the asthma triggers, provide health literacy for the families to improve asthma management, measure asthma morbidity in children before and after the intervention and establish a sustainable process to continue to reduce asthma triggers and continue to improve the health of children with asthma in Fort Valley.
METHODS: We established a collaborative partnership with academic centers, state agencies, and local leaders, including Region 4 EPA, Department of Public Health Children’s Medical Services, Department of Public Health Healthy Homes Division, Fort Valley State University, University of Georgia Extension Service, Georgia Asthma Coalition, Early Head Start Program, school nurses and the Mayor’s office as well as local leaders. We attended local events to recruit families into the program and conducted in-home assessment of asthma triggers.
RESULTS: As the project is ongoing, we have limited results; however, preliminary findings strongly suggest a significant lack of health literacy on asthma among the families interviewed to date.
DISCUSSION: As the project approaches its endpoint, we find that the original focus on in-home asthma triggers is leading us to focus on asthma health literacy and towards asthma education at a broad community level.
Morehouse School of Medicine
IbisTREATMENT FOR IMPROVING QUALITY OF LIFE IN LATINAS WITH CODPURPOSE: Proyecto Mujer is an integrated trauma and substance use service which provides treatment for Latinas with co-occurring disorders (COD) who are at risk for HIV/AIDS. We compared changes in the quality of life (QoL) domains after a brief (eight-sessions) vs. extended (11-sessions) intervention.
METHODS: Prospective cohort study of 151 Latinas with COD, 38 with and 113 without neurodevelopmental disorders and schizophrenia (organic diagnoses (ODx). T test, Fisher’s exact test, and Chi-square test were used to identify differences in intervention groups. QoL differences in time and by interventions were evaluated using linear mixed models. Analyses were conducted twice, based on presence or absence of ODx.
RESULTS: Mean age of participants was 40 years. Women without ODx, differed by intervention groups in history of trauma (brief: 96.9%, extended: 80.2%; p<0.05) and anxiety disorder (brief: 37.5%, extended: 13.6%; p<0.01). Statistically significant post intervention increments were observed in all domains of QoL, for both interventions. When comparing the interventions, there was a significant difference in the physical domain only, with participants of the brief intervention reporting a higher change (19.2 vs. 5.2; p<0.01). Women with ODx did not differ by intervention groups. Significant increments were only observed in the psychological domain for both interventions. In this group, we observed a statistically significant difference between interventions; participants of the brief intervention had a better outcome in social domain (p<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the use of combined substance use disorders and trauma-specific treatment adjusted to the type of diagnoses served to improve QoL outcomes.
Universidad Central del Caribe, School of MedicineSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA): TI02454, the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI): G12MD007583, and the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC): U54MD007587.
IbrahimGLYCOLYSIS: SURVIVAL OF LUNG FIBROBLASTS VS CARCINOMA CELLSPURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate six potential glycolytic modulators namely, Pyruvic acid, oxalic acid, Zn acetate, sodium citrate, fructose diphosphate (FDP) and sodium bicarbonate at µM concentrations on growing A549 (lung cancer) and MRC-5 (normal; human lung fibroblast) cell lines with the objective of determining their influence on visual impact, cell metabolic activity, cell viability and end-point cell survival. METHODS: Exposed and non-exposed cells were tested with phase-contrast micro-scanning, survival/death and metabolic activity trends through MTT-assays, as well as death end-point determinations by testing re-growth on complete media and T4 Cellometer counts. RESULTS: showed that oxalic acid and Zn acetate both influenced the pH of the medium and resulted in differential massive cell debris within the exposure period. Pyruvic acid, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate and FDP did not cause pH changes; however, they caused detectable cell disfigurement and loss of metabolic activity, viability and survival/death end points with the resultant death of the A549 cell line. The MRC-5 cell line was differentially unaffected by exposure to pyruvic acid, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, FDP and Zn acetate, underwent complete recovery and remained attached and healthy for 6 weeks upon subculture when transferred to a new complete medium. Oxalic acid did not show differential modulation with the consequent loss of survival and death of the MRC-5 cell line. Phase contrast, metabolic activity, cell counts as well as death end-point findings confirmed our hypothesis. CONCLUSION: These studies show the potential possibly for exploiting cellular metabolic differences in cancer control.Jackson State UniversityThis research supported by the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Grant # G12MD007581, through the RCMI Center for Environmental Health at Jackson State University.
IndrajitCURCUMIN POTENTIAL ENDOMETRIOSIS THERAPYPURPOSE: Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological inflammatory disorder in which immune system dysregulation may play a role in its initiation and progression. Due to altered sex steroid receptor concentrations and other signaling defects, eutopic endometriotic tissues have an attenuated response to progesterone and are considered to be progesterone-resistant, which contributes to lesion proliferation and survival. Current agency-approved hormonal therapies, including synthetic progestins, GnRH-agonists, and danazol are often of limited efficacy and counterproductive to fertility, and can cause systemic side effects because of suppression of endogenous steroid hormone levels. Therefore, we compared basal levels of pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic chemokines, cytokines and miRNA in normal endometrial stromal cells (NESC) and cells derived from eutopic endometrium of endometriosis subjects (EESC) and assessed the effects of curcumin, which has long been used as an anti-inflammatory folk medicine in Asian countries.
METHODS: ESCs were isolated from eutopic endometrial biopsies with and without evidence of endometriosis. The cells were cultured under established conditions and the effects of curcumin were assessed at different doses over a time course.
RESULTS: The basal levels or secretion of proinflammatory and pro-angiogenic chemokines, cytokines and miRNA, and survival factors are higher in EESC compared to NESC. The treatment of EESC and NESC with curcumin significantly reduced expression of proinflammatory and pro-angiogenic chemokines, cytokines and miRNA in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, curcumin treatment decreased activation of NF-kappa β pathway in EESC.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate chemokines, cytokines and miRNA production differences in eutopic EESC compared to NESC, and suggest that curcumin may have potential therapeutic uses in the reduction of inflammation associated with this disease.
Morehouse School of MedicineThis study was supported in part by National Institutes of Health Grants 1SC3 GM113751, U01 HD66439, 1R01HD057235, U54 CA118948, HD41749 and G12-MD007602. This investigation was conducted in a facility constructed with support from Research Facilities Improvement Grant #C06 RR018386 from NIH/NCRR.
InezEFFECT OF PARP INHIBITORS ON BREAST CANCER SUB-TYPES.BACKGROUND: Poly (ADP-Ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors are a class of chemotherapeutic agents that are currently being developed and tested to treat triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients. Our study is designed to characterize specificity and efficacy of PARP inhibitors on different types of breast cancer cells.

METHODS: We utilized five different PARP inhibitors: Rucaparib, AZD2461, NMS-P118, E7449, and NU1025. We treated six different ATCC lines: ER/PR positive (MCF7), HER2 expressing cells that are resistant to trastuzumab (JIMT1), and triple negative breast cancer cells both with BRCA1 mutant (HCC1937 and MDA-MB-436) or wild-type BRCA1 (BT549 and MDA-MB-468).
RESULTS: We observed that Rucaparib and E7449 are the most effective PARP inhibitors in inhibiting the growth of MCF7, JIMT1, MDA-MB-468, BT549, and MDA-MB436. Strikingly, we found that E7449 effectively inhibits JIMT1 proliferation at 20 uM concentration. Furthermore, we found significant difference between HCC1937 and MDA-MB-468 cells response to PARP inhibitors. HCC1937 showed less sensitivity to the inhibitors compared to MDA-MB-436 cells that may due to the difference in BRCA1 mutation sites. HCC1937 harbors a 5382insC mutation that resulted in a frameshift and MDA-MB-436 harbors a single nucleotide variant (5396+1G>A) which resulted in truncated protein in the phosphoprotein binding domain.
DISCUSSION: Our data suggests that PARP inhibitors are specific to breast cancer subtypes with specific mutation status. Further mechanistic studies are warranted to better understand the actions of PARP inhibitors in treating different types of breast cancers.
Charles R. Drew UniversityNIH/NCI 1U54CA14393; NIH-NIMHD U54MD007598 to J.V. Vadgama and NIH-NIMHD 5U54MD007598-08: Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research (Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science (AXIS), PI: Dr. Vadgama) to I. Yuwanita.
IrisThe Latino Way Food GroupIn 2015, 17.6% of the US population was of Latino/Hispanic origin making it the largest minority group. By 2060 it is projected to rise to 28.6%. Latinos in the US have different eating patterns from the Non-Latinos, in addition to the diversity within them, leaving food as their common ground. Overall, Latinos eat the same food with different preparations and use many names for the same food item creating confusion among themselves and health educators. Studies show that a different food guide approach may be appropriate for ethnic groups with distinct and varying food preferences and needs. Universal dietary guidelines may not be effective for different ethnic groups. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to raise awareness of the diverse eating patterns and food preferences among the Latino groups and to present the Latino Way Food Group guidelines and the Latino Plate. This guide was created based on field observations, public information and ecological data collected from Latino clients and students for the last 25 years. The significance of this model was further tested with focus groups, interviews and surveys. This revised Latino Food Group guide reflects the nutritional needs and food preferences of Latinos in the US. It also incorporates their culinary traditions, acknowledging diversity and includes different food names and eating patterns. The Latino Way Food Group guide intends to fill the gap left by the limited food and nutritional educational materials available and address the variety of cultural foods used by Latinos in the US.CUNY- Hostos Community College
IvelisseCTSA-RCMI INTERDISCIPLINARY EXCHANGE AND GENETIC RESEARCHPURPOSE: To promote collaboration through brainstorming, exchange, and interaction among colleagues of different cultures, disciplines, and academic appointments between Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) and Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI).
METHODS: University of Rochester’s (UR) CTSA implemented an approach inspired by the “Medici Effect,” engaging with 3 RCMIs: University of Hawaii (UH), University of Puerto Rico (UPR), Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). Semi-structured interactions were organized around common interests in placental research, precision medicine, and institutional biorepositories. Three-day site-visits were composed of campus tours, RCMI director meetings, researcher discussions, graduate workshops, and departmental guest lectures. Participants included principal investigators, researchers, faculty, and trainees of biology or public health sciences.
RESULTS: The Exchange Group was exposed to resources unique to each hosting institution. UH shared lessons from its placental biorepository of 10,000 maternal-child pairs. UPR provided training in ZIKA placental sampling and collection protocols. UR offered placental imagining training and open-venues for brainstorming among RCMI groups with staff, visitors, and students. MSM shared expertise in bioinformatic analysis alongside community opinions toward genetic testing. Serendipitous moments facilitated research interests and deeper engagement.
DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: Core principles of the “Medici Effect” - placing people from different backgrounds and expertise together without an overly structured plan - led to generation of creative ideas, meaningful connections, and satisfying interactions. This approach served our exploratory exchange well, demonstrating that interdisciplinary and culturally diverse interaction can inspire future academic collaborations. The CTSA and RCMI pipeline provides a plausible scenario for future interinstitutional collaborative and professional engagement.
University of RochesterFunded, in part, by the University of Rochester’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) number UL1 5TR002001 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.
Latino households are more than twice as likely to be food insecure as White, non-Hispanic households. In Florida, there is scant research on Latino food insecurity. We explore through a health assessment the existence of food insecurity and associated determinants in this population.
This comprehensive community-based participatory health assessment research study focused on health inequities of Hispanic/Latino populations, in particular in rural communities. Data was collected in the end of 2015 with the engagement of Latino community-based professionals, bilingual FAMU Institute of Public Health faculty, and students of the FAMU College of Pharmacy. We measured 9 dimensions of food insecurity in a rural Latino community in Florida.
Respondents felt they had not enough food (31%), or that they did not have access to their preferred food (23%), or felt they were limited in the food they consumed due to cost (25%), or had to consume food they did not want in order to eat (22%). Hunger measures were less common than the food insecurity measures, although they were still present.
We found that this population has low grade food insecurity. Other studies suggest that these trends lead to high grade food insecurity in time. We also have developed a community-based participatory research training and education core for the Latino Health Initiative of the Center for Health Equity. Technical assistance for Latino families as well as for preparing minority investigators, students and helping-community members to contribute to community-based participatory research (CBPR), are tailored to the uncovered needs.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityFAMU Center for Health Equity
Latino households are more than twice as likely to be food insecure as White, non-Hispanic households. In Florida, there is scant research on Latino food insecurity. We explore through a health assessment the existence of food insecurity and associated determinants in this population.
This comprehensive community-based participatory health assessment research study focused on health inequities of Hispanic/Latino populations, in particular in rural communities. Data was collected in the end of 2015 with the engagement of Latino community-based professionals, bilingual FAMU Institute of Public Health faculty, and students of the FAMU College of Pharmacy. We measured 9 dimensions of food insecurity in a rural Latino community in Florida.
Respondents felt they had not enough food (31%), or that they did not have access to their preferred food (23%), or felt they were limited in the food they consumed due to cost (25%), or had to consume food they did not want in order to eat (22%). Hunger measures were less common than the food insecurity measures, although they were still present.
We found that this population has low grade food insecurity. Other studies suggest that these trends lead to high grade food insecurity in time. We also have developed a community-based participatory research training and education core for the Latino Health Initiative of the Center for Health Equity. Technical assistance for Latino families as well as for preparing minority investigators, students and helping-community members to contribute to community-based participatory research (CBPR), are tailored to the uncovered needs.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityCenter for Health Equity, College of Pharmacy, FAMU
JacquelineARSENIC TRIOXIDE-INDUCED APOPTOSIS IN COLON CANCER CELLSPURPOSE: Arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been used in the treatment of relapsed/refractory acute promyelocytic leukemias. This chemotherapeutic agent has been shown to induce apoptosis in several tumor cell lines. However, research into its effects on colon carcinoma cells is still very limited. We previously reported that ATO is cytotoxic and causes DNA damage in human colorectal adenocarcinoma (HT-29) cells.
METHODS: In the present study, we further evaluated its effect on oxidative stress (OS), and examined its apoptotic mechanisms of action on HT-29 cells. Spectrophotometry, Fluorescence microscopy, Flow cytometry and Western Blotting were used to study oxidative stress and apoptotic mechanisms.
RESULTS: Spectrophotometric data from the lipid peroxidation assay revealed a dose–dependent increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) production. Images from DAPI staining showed morphological changes in the cell's nucleus due to apoptosis. Flow cytometry data from cell cycle analysis and annexin V-FITC assay, respectively, demonstrated a dose-dependent effect of ATO in HT-29 cells as evidenced in the accumulation of cells at the sub G1 phase and increase in the percentages of Annexin V-positive cells. Western blot analysis showed an upregulation of caspase 3, Bax, and cytochrome C expressions, and down-regulation of Bcl-2 expression in ATO-treated HT-29 cells.
CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate that ATO induces OS and its cytotoxicity is mediated through the mitochondria intrinsic pathway of apoptosis.
Jackson State UniversityThis research was financially supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (Grant No. G12MD007581), through the RCMI-Center for Environmental Health at Jackson State University; NIH-Minority Access to Research Careers/Undergraduate Student Training in Academic Research (MARC/U*STAR) Program Grant No. GM007672-32; and NSF Grant No. HRD-1008708, Transforming the Climate and Advancing STEM Women at Jackson State University, an HBCU in the South (JSUAdvance).
Jae EunAPPLICATION OF RTRN GIS TOOL INTO GEOTAGGED TWITTER MININGApplicability of RTRN Web-based GIS interface into Geotagged Twitter Mining: Association of Sentiments with Neighborhood Characteristics
Purpose: To cope with stressful situation in daily routine, people tend to share their emotion with others through the social media. This study is to determine the association of emotion expressed on Tweets with neighborhood characteristics and discuss the applicability of RTRN web-based GIS in geotagged twitter mining.
Methods: Using Twitter's streaming API, 155,360 tweets were collected between August 15 and 21, 2017 across 6 metropolitan cities: NY, Denver, Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami and Jackson. Geo-coordinates tagged at tweet were spatially linked to 2010 census data and community characteristics by using RTRN web-based GIS application. To conduct sentiment analysis, we utilized the National Research Council lexicon which categorizes words into positive, negative, anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise, and trust. A series of multilevel analyses were conducted to determine the association between two.
Results: Anger, disgust, sadness, surprise and negativity were significantly higher during weekdays than weekend. A highest score of anticipation, trust, joy and positivity were found in Denver. Positive tweets were associated with median house value, median household income and % owner occupied; negative tweets associated with % labor force population, median household income, % owner occupied and population density.
Conclusion: Despite the system traffic, RTRN GIS application was useful to capture community characteristics linked to tweets. Our study revealed that sentiments expressed in the tweets were significantly associated with neighborhood characteristics. Therefore, RTRN GIS interface may be applicable to mining tweets which are valuable and inexpensive data source for understanding relationship between well-being and neighborhood environment.
College of Science, Engieering and Technology, Jackson State UniversityThis study was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number U54MD008149.
Jae EunTRANSFORMING MEDICAL RECORDS INTO OMOP CDM: ROLE OF RTRN DCCPurpose: Observational health data from various sources (e.g., insurance claims, hospital billing, clinical registries, etc.) are of increasing impotance for patient safety surveillance, cost-effective recruitement of trial participants, and clinical discovery. Although various common data models (CDMs) for standardization of multiple, disparate observational data have been developed, limited information are given on skillsets required. This study aims to transform the medical records in a local hospital into Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP) CDM and discuss relevant issues that occur during the process.

Methods:Data extraction was performed by the hospital database manager and data conversion to the OMOP CDM v5.1 was coducted by RTRN data coordinating center. We examined the information loss that occurred through the standardization process. Quality of transforming was assessed by comparing characteristics of data between raw and transformed.
Results: The data transformed into the CDM resulted in 2% of the data being discarded due to data errors in the raw data. A total of 87.7% of the diagnosis code and 71.7% of measurement code were mapped successfully to a standard vocabulary. However, conversion rate of drug and procedure codes was low due to data quality. The patient characteristics were similar between raw and transformed data.

Discussion: Despite issues in de-identification, quality of hospital data, and generation of consecutive visit ID for onging transforming, data were successfully transformed into the proposed model. Therefore, data coordinating center for a research network which contains skills and experience in data science can play a pivotal role in locally and/or centrally transforming.
College of Science, Engineering and Technology, Jackson State UniversityThis study was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number U54MD008149.
Jae EunAPPLICATION OF RTRN GIS TOOL INTO GEOTAGGED TWITTER MININGPurpose: People tend to share their emotion with others through the social media. This study is to determine the association of emotion expressed on Tweets with neighborhood characteristics and discuss the applicability of RTRN web-based GIS in geotagged twitter mining.
Methods: Using Twitter's streaming API, 155,360 tweets were collected between August 15 and 21, 2017 across 6 metropolitan cities: NY, Denver, Atlanta, New Orleans, Miami and Jackson. Geo-coordinates tagged at tweet were spatially linked to 2010 census data and community characteristics by using RTRN web-based GIS application. To conduct sentiment analysis, we utilized the National Research Council lexicon which categorizes words into positive, negative, anger, anticipation, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, surprise, and trust. A series of multilevel analyses were conducted to determine the association between two. RStudio 1.0.153 was used for mining and analyzing.
Results: Anger, disgust, sadness, surprise and negativity were significantly higher during weekdays than weekend. A highest score of anticipation, trust, joy and positivity were found in Denver. Positive tweets were associated with median house value, median household income and % owner occupied; negative tweets associated with % labor force population, median household income, % owner occupied and population density.
Conclusion: Despite the system traffic, RTRN GIS application was useful to capture community characteristics linked to tweets. Our study revealed that sentiments expressed in the tweets were significantly associated with neighborhood characteristics. Therefore, RTRN GIS interface may be applicable for mining tweets which are valuable and inexpensive data source for understanding relationship between well-being and neighborhood environment.
CSET/Jackson State UniversityThis study was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number U54MD008149.
JamesInappropriate Medication Use among elderly African AmericansThis study examines the use of potentially Inappropriate Medication (PIM) among hypertensive older African American adults. Methods: This study includes a convenience sample of 193 underserved hypertensive older African American adults, aged 65 years and older recruited from South Los Angeles. Medication use was assessed by the drug inventory method. The updated 2015 AGS Beers Criteria was used to identify participants using PIMs. Results: More than 48% of the participants were 75 years of age or older (M 75.2 ± 7) and 67% of the participants were woman. The number of reported chronic illnesses ranged from one to seventeen, with the average at close to eight (7.8 ± 3.2). More than 64% of participants reported being diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and 61% reported having chronic pain. Participants reported taking an average of 7.3 (SD = 3.60) prescription drugs (range: 1 – 24). Inappropriate drug use occurred in 46% of participants. The most common PIM was the use of Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) and greater than two or more Central Nervous System (CNS) active agents occurring at 46% and 18%, respectively. Nearly 56% of PIMs used increased the risk of fall and bone fractures. Combination of being diagnosed with both hypertension, diabetes, and depression significantly exasperate use of inappropriate medications. Discussion: The growing rates of polypharmacy and medication inappropriateness raise important questions about quality of care and safety among this segment of our population. PIM, polypharmacy, and nonadherence to medications are all interconnected, and these factors are linked to effectiveness of medications and health outcomes among older adults.CDUCMS award numbers 1/0CMS331364 and 1/0CMS030458; NIMHD award “R25MD007610”, “U54MD008149” and “U54MD007598.”
JamesZika Virus Replicates in the Vaginal EpitheliumZika virus (ZIKV), a positive-sense single stranded RNA virus in the family Flaviviridae, has been declared a public health concern. While ZIKV is primarily transmitted through an infected Aedes mosquito, studies have emerged associating ZIKV transmission via sexual contact with an infected partner. Centers for Disease Control confirmed 46 ZIKV cases that have been acquired through sexual transmission within the Unites States. In recent animal studies, reports show the vaginal tract and testes sustain high viral burden in Ifnar-/- mice following ZIKV infection. Also, recent evidence show that vaginal exposure to ZIKV supports productive replication in WT mice; and ZIKV vaginal infection resulted in fetal brain infection and growth restriction. Despite the growing evidence associating ZIKV to sexual transmission, the molecular basis of ZIKV transmission in the female genital tract remains elusive. In this study, we investigated vaginal ZIKV transmission using a vaginal epithelial cell (VK2/E6E7) model system. Using qRT-PCR analysis and immunofluorescent assay, we showed that vaginal epithelial cells are permissive to ZIKV infection. Also, ZIKV isolated from ZIKV infected VK2 cells remained infectious in Vero cells by plaque assay. Given the capacity of sexual intercourse, the vaginal epithelium constitutes the first line of viral susceptibility; and the local replication of ZIKV in the vaginal mucosa might play a critical role in ZIKV sexual transmission.Meharry Medical CollegeRise Grant
JamesNMDA CURRENTS AT VHPC-TO-IL SYNPASES REGULATE FEARPURPOSE After exposure therapy, some patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relapse when trauma-associated cues are experienced outside of the therapeutic context. Similarly, rodents show increased fear to cues that are given outside the context where fear extinction occurred. Recent evidence suggests that changes in ventral hippocampal (vHPC) activation of the infralimbic cortex (IL) could be mediating the context-specificity of fear extinction memory.
METHODS To test this, we used optogenetics to compare hippocampal activation of IL neurons in brain slices from male rats after receiving pseudo-conditioning, fear conditioning, same context extinction, or different context extinction. We did whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to assess AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked by optical stimulation of channelrhodopsin-expressing vHPC axons.
RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS We found that NMDA to AMPA ratios in IL neurons were reduced after fear conditioning due to a reduction in NMDA currents. Extinction in the conditioning context caused a larger reversal of these changes than extinction in the different context. Furthermore, animals that failed to recall extinction did not show these synaptic changes suggesting that the observed changes in NMDA currents at vHPC synapses contributed to the decrease in fear.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION Our findings suggest that traumatic events weaken NMDA receptor-mediated excitation of IL neurons by vHPC synapses, and that extinction in the conditioning context strengthens the weakened vHPC synapses. The inability of different context extinction to inducing similar strengthening of vHPC synapses in IL might account for fear renewal, which could explain relapse in certain patients with PTSD.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityThis project was supported by the Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) RCMI Behavioral Research and Integrative Neuroscience (BRAIN) Core under award number G12MD007579 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Additional support was provided by F31 MH106288, MBRS-RISE R25 GM082406 to OSC, and R15 MH101700 to JTP.
JammieTransdisciplinary Policy Collaborations For Health EquityPURPOSE: Eliminating health disparities through policy change is complex and necessitates cooperation of stakeholders from multiple sectors. The “transdisciplinary collaborative” approach involves engaging stakeholders from diverse disciplines supported by a unifying agenda and shared resources, to: 1) examine the impact of health policies on vulnerable populations; 2) implement and evaluate innovative strategies; and 3) strategically disseminate evidence-based findings to inform the direction of future policy. There is a paucity of literature examining the health and policy impacts of population-level collaborative efforts. This presentation will describe the approach, key outcomes, valuable lessons learned of a NIH-funded Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center (TCC) led by a historically minority-serving institution located in the American South. METHODS: TCC currently supports collaborative research subprojects in four primary health policy areas: childhood development, integrated primary care, health IT, and health policy leadership. The TCC Pilot Project Program engages 7-10 community and academic partners in health policy research and capacity building efforts annually. Outcomes are assessed at two levels; at the subproject level, and collectively among all TCC stakeholders engaged in TCC activities within HHS Region IV. RESULTS: To date TCC has engaged over 75 collaborative partners within 18 states. Specific research outcomes and policy impacts are forthcoming and will be shared during the presentation. Lessons learned include navigating complex bureaucracies; language; balancing time and expected workflow; and maximizing accountability and transparency. DISCUSSION: Insights and lessons learned from TCC may help elucidate the complexities of transdisciplinary policy work and inform other stakeholders committed to elimination of persistent health disparities.Morehouse School of MedicineThe Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research is supported by the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Grant Number U54MD008173.

According to the Unites States Code 38, the term “veteran” refers to a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable. Currently, there are 19.3 million veterans and 1.1 active military personnel in the United States. Of which, 1.5 million veterans reside in Florida alone. These servicemen experience an assortment of health concerns than the civilian population does not. This is primarily a consequence of the unique environments, behaviors, and stressors that accompany the duties experienced. However, when compared to civilian populations, veteran health, lifestyle behaviors, and physical functioning are diminished despite improved healthcare access. The aim of this study is to assess the relative contributions of morbidity, mental well-being, physical functioning, lifestyle behaviors, and access to healthcare services on perceived health status among veterans paralleled to the civilian population. All analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was performed using SAS, 9.4. Overall, results demonstrated that Veterans had significantly greater prevalence among all medical conditions and poor lifestyle behaviors such as alcohol use and abuse. However, non-veterans accounted for increased cigarette consumption. Also, those veterans who reported depression were more likely to abuse alcohol (34.43%) than those who did not (17.56%) [OR, 2.46, CI, 1.55-3.92] and those veterans reporting suicidal thoughts were more likely to abuse alcohol (55.56%%) than those who did not (44.44%) [OR,3.85, CI, 1.48-9.99]. Lastly, more veterans reported a work disability and physical, mental, and emotional limitations than non-veterans.
Florida A&M University
JanaeSexual Consent Knowledge of Black Male College StudentsAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sexual violence is a serious problem in the United States and especially on college campuses. There is a gap in the literature pertaining to African American males’ attitudes about sexual consent. In order to reduce sexual violence through college-based programs, it is important to understand the men’s knowledge of sexual consent. This study will focus on men using a pre-existing dataset that surveyed African American collegiate men entering their freshman year of college. The purpose of the present study is a descriptive study of sexual consent knowledge among African American men. Sexual consent was assessed using a 25-item measure of sexual consent attitudes and knowledge. Survey items included, “Nonverbal behaviors are as effective as verbal communication to indicate sexual consent” and “If a sexual request is made and the partner indicates “no”, it is okay to continue negotiating the request”. Response options were on a 7-point likert-type scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Results were analyzed using SPSS. Results indicated a gap in knowledge surrounding sexual consent. Survey participants were unaware of when consent should be given and what constitutes consent. Examining sexual consent knowledge and attitudes is important to ensure that interventions effectively provide the education needed and that interventions are culturally competent.Spelman College#4R25GM060566-16
JasmineHIV Adherence: A Review of Stage Based InterventionsTitle: HIV ADHERENCE: A REVIEW OF STAGE BASED INTERVENTIONS
Authors: JA WILLIAMS; ER Houston, PhD
Affiliations: Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU)
PURPOSE: According to the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM), changes in behavior occur in six stages, with 80% of people in the pre-contemplation and contemplation stages. Poor adherence is a major problem among patients undergoing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) treatment, and interventions designed to promote treatment-related behavior change among these patients have had mixed outcomes. The purpose of this rapid review of published adherence interventions is: to (a) identify the types of HIV adherence interventions during a single year, (b) evaluate how these interventions match each stage in the TTM, and (c) determine the extent to which these interventions correspond to the proportion of HIV patients in the different stages of the model.
METHODS: PsychInfo was used to find articles using the keyword combination: HIV and adherence and intervention. Articles were considered for selection if they were published in peer-reviewed journals during 2014, and used either a randomized control or pre- and post-test research design.
RESULTS: The search identified 638 studies. Fifteen articles met the criteria for inclusion. Adherence interventions examined in these articles used strategies that mostly consisted of helping relationships, thereby focusing on individuals within the action and maintenance stages.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The majority of HIV adherence interventions found do not correspond to the proportion of individuals represented by the TTM stages. Improvement in adherence outcomes among patients undergoing HIV treatment may require a shift in the types of interventions used.
Grant Support: This work was supported by Grant 2016142 from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science.
Charles R Drew University2016142
JayalakshmiDEVELOPMENT OF NEW NOVEL ANTI-ANGIOGENIC AGENTSAngiogenesis is the process of vascular growth by sprouting from pre-existing vessels. Angiogenesis is involved in various pathological conditions such as arthritis, psoriasis, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and cancer. Angiogenesis is stimulated by several growth factors, including basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-a, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family. Among these, VEGF is the most potent tumor angiogenic factor, which acts on endothelial cells and plays a central role in their proliferation, migration, and survival. VEGF is expressed abundantly in most human and animal tumors.
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK-1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,and 9) are serine/threonine kinases. In contrast to the cell cycle-related CDKs (e.g. Cdk1, 2, 4 or 6) which regulate the main cell cycle transitions, CDK9 forms the catalytic core of the positive transcription elongation factor b (p-TEFb), which plays a critical role in the angiogenesis.
These factors led to a rigorous search for small molecules that are dual inhibitors of the VEGFR and CDK9 for therapeutic purpose. Computational molecular modeling studies conducted by our group on CDK9 and VEGF revealed that amido-phthalimide is a reputable core structure due to its ability to competitively bind CDK9 and VEGFR, in place of ATP, and thus inhibit downstream signaling of angiogenesis. Here in we are presenting the synthesis and biological studies of a library of phthalimide derivatives as CDK and VEGF inhibitors.
Xavier University of LouisianaNIH-NIMHD
African American adolescents have a higher prevalence of risky sexual behavior compared to Hispanic and White adolescents. African American adolescents account for 65% of HIV diagnoses among individuals aged 13 to 24 years (Jackson et al., 2015). The rising rate of new STI and HIV cases remains a public health concern and the need for intervention in target populations is outstanding. The objective of this study is to measure the association between alcohol and other substance use and risky sexual behaviors in African American adolescents in the United States.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2015 National Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBS) was used in this study. SAS 9.3 software package was used for descriptive analysis, univariate logistic regression, and multivariate logistic regression of assessing the relationship between alcohol and drug use with risky sexual behaviors in black adolescents in comparison with white adolescents.
When controlling for age, gender, and all other variables, African American adolescents that reported ever consuming alcohol were 2.2 (OR=2.2 95% CI=1.6-3.2 p= <.0001) times more likely to ever had sex, 3.8 (OR=3.8 95% CI= 2.9-4.9 p= <.0001) times more likely to have had sex with 4 or more people in the past 3 months, and 1.3 (OR=1.3 95% CI=0.8-2.1 p= <.0001) times more likely to have had sexual intercourse with at least 4 people in their lifetime. When asked if they ever used marijuana, adolescents that reported at least once were 4.5 (OR=4.5 95% CI= 3.2-6.5 p=<.0001) likely to have engaged in sexual intercourse, 3.8 (OR=3.8 95% CI=2.6-5.5 p= <.0001) times more likely to have had sex with four or more people in the past 3 months, and 6.1 (OR=6.1 95% CI=3.7-10.2 p= <.0001) times more likely to have at least 4 sexual partners in their lifetime.
The findings of this study indicate that use of illicit substances does increase risky sexual behaviors in African American Adolescents. Further implications of this study can be utilized in the development of intervention programs. Intervention programs should target African American adolescents that engage in risky sexual behaviors and any substance use.
Morehouse School of Medicine
Adaptive immune responses require a repertoire of immunoglobulins, which are generated in genetically programmed DNA deletion/recombination reactions in B cells. Class switch recombination (CSR) alters the immunoglobulin isotype that is produced by a B cell and requires AID (activation-induced cytidine deaminase). The phosphorylation of AID at Ser38 (pS38-AID) is required for wild-type levels of CSR, in part through its interaction with APE1, an essential component of the base excision repair (BER) pathway. However, reduced class switch recombination in AIDS38A/S38A B cells suggests an additional role of pS38-AID in CSR. We sought to examine if pS38-AID co-opts other DNA repair pathways, such as mismatch repair (MMR), to drive CSR.

Genetically engineered mutant mice were bred to carry a homozygous knock-out mutation of a MMR or BER gene (MSH2 or UNG, respectively) in conjunction with a homozygous knock-in mutation of the AID phosphorylation site (S38A). B-cells from AID S38A/S38AMSH2-/- and AIDS38A/S38AUNG-/- were isolated and stimulated in vitro and analyzed for CSR. Serum isolated from NP (4-Hydroxy-3-Nitrophenylacetyl)-immunized AIDS38A/S38AMSH2-/- and AIDS38A/S38AUNG-/- mice were analyzed by ELISA for serum immunoglobulin levels.

CSR in both AIDS38A/S38AMSH2-/- and AIDS38A/S38AUNG-/- B-cells is dramatically reduced to the levels observed in AID-/- B cells. Serum IgG1 and IgG3 in both AIDS38A/S38AMSH2-/- and AIDS38A/S38AUNG-/- mice are also absent.

We have genetically confirmed the critical role of pS38-AID in the BER pathway during CSR. Interestingly, the lack of CSR in AIDS38A/S38AUNG-/- mice in vivo suggests an additional role of pS38-AID in regulating CSR through MMR.
City College of New YorkNIMHHD 5G12MD007603 RCMI at City College of New York NCI; 2U54CA132378 CCNY-MSKCC Partnership Research Grant
JeffreyPROTEOMICS ANALYSIS OF METH-INDUCED DAT INTERACTOMEThe human dopamine transporter (DAT) is critical to DA homeostasis, which can be disrupted by drugs of abuse, leading to drug dependence. Methamphetamine (METH) abuse disproportionally affects the health of poor, rural, Native Americans, and homosexual men. DAT regulates the extra-cellular concentrations of dopamine (DA) by re-uptaking DA into dopaminergic neurons. Methamphetamine (METH) disrupts DA homeostasis by inhibiting DA reuptake and reverse transport activity, resulting in increased synaptic DA levels and efflux of DA via DAT. We investigated the differences in DAT interacting proteins by tandem mass spectrometry to examine the interacting proteome of DAT when exposed to methamphetamine (METH), a psychostimulant substrate and DA, the physiological substrate. We used Perseus software platform to interpret our proteomics data. Analysis of the data revealed distinct protein repertoires for DA and METH treated cells. We confirmed known DAT interacting proteins, and discovered novel protein interactions including redox, actin-binding, calcium binding/regulating, and voltage-dependent proteins based on treatment. Here we provide a comprehensive, qualitative analysis of proteins detected in response to psychostimulant treatment. Co-immunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy experiments confirm novel protein interactions with DAT when exposed to METH. Lastly, comparative analyses of the METH and DA interactome have revealed several interesting molecular pathways, offering the possibility to explore psychostimulant-specific protein interactions in the cell.Meharry Medical CollegeNIH grants DA036420, MHD007593, CA163069, MHD007586, and GM059994
JemilaALZHEIMER’S DISEASE & OTHER DEMENTIAS IN SSA & CARIBBEAN.Background: Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia (AD) is an important cause of death and disability in high-income countries. Few published data are available on AD in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Caribbean.
Methods: We examined estimates from the Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2015 (GBD 2015)for SSA and the Caribbean. The GBD 2015 gathered mortality data from many sources including vital registration, verbal autopsy, surveillance systems, survey/census. Using a special analytic technique (DisMod-MR 2.0), investigators calculated estimates of mortality for 21 regions and each country for AD.
Results: Globally, rates of death per 100,000 for AD were lowest in SSA. In 2015 age-specific death rates per 100,000 for AD in the Caribbean were lower than those in high-income North America but higher than rates in SSA. Regions within SSA varied from Western SSA, which displayed the lowest rates of any region worldwide, to Central SSA. Also, Central SSA had the highest AD death rates for ages 70-74, and 75-79 relative to the other SSA regions. Age- adjusted rates increased substantially between the years 1990 and 2015 in the Caribbean and High Income North America, but not in SSA. Patterns for disability and total burden were similar. For SSA, chief among limitations is the paucity of primary mortality, morbidity, and disability data from the region.
Conclusions: Rates of death from AD were lowest in SSA, higher in the Caribbean, and highest in High Income North America.
Howard University Hospital
Community criminal justice supervised mothers are an underserved population who experience high rates of psychological distress and unique parenting challenges. Chronic maternal stress is associated with altered physiological stress system function, but little is known about parenting stress in community-supervised mothers. We tested salivary biomarkers of basal and reactive sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function as predictors of subjective maternal stress.

We recruited 23 mothers (age M=35.6, SD=9.3; 35% Hispanic, 22% Black, 22% White, 22% Multiracial) who were court mandated to live at a treatment center. We measured salivary alpha-amylase (AA) and cortisol, which index SNS and HPA activity, respectively, before and after a naturalistic reminder of a stressful parenting experience. We assessed self-reported parenting stress using the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) and its subscales (Parental Distress, Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interactions, and Difficult Child). We used regression to test basal and reactive AA and cortisol as predictors of PSI scores.

Basal, but not reactive, salivary stress biomarkers were associated with parenting stress domains. Basal cortisol predicted total PSI scores and scores on the Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction subscale, and showed a trend-level association with the Parental Distress subscale, whereas basal AA predicted Difficult Child subscale scores.

Our results demonstrate the potential predictive utility of basal AA and cortisol as salivary biomarkers of maternal stress in community-supervised mothers. Given that maternal stress is associated with maternal recidivism and child outcomes in this population, these biomarkers could potentially inform parenting interventions to improve child and maternal outcomes.
Hunter College, the City University of New YorkWeill Cornell Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC)
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is found more often in African Americans (AA) than in whites and there is currently no targeted treatment. In TNBC 80% have mutations in the tumor suppressor p53 (TP53). Many TP53 mutations encode gain-of-function oncogenic mutant p53 (GOF mtp53) protein. Our goal is to determine if different GOF mtp53 proteins in TNBC increase Poly ADP Ribose Polymerase (PARP) and minichromosome maintenance (MCM) chromatin complexes and if these proteins can be used for improved diagnostics and treatment.

Inducible knockdown of endogenous GOF R273H mtp53 in TNBC MDA-MB-468 cells in conjunction with stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) and subcellular fractionation identified proteins that were up and down-regulated. Bioinformatics was used to identify novel pathways and these pathways were validated by cell biology and biochemical tests. Biochemical and cell biology methods were used to test for co-association of the identified factors in variable processes.

Mtp53 influenced the level of 3,010 unique cytoplasmic proteins and 3,403 unique chromatin proteins. The chromatin-associated heterohexomeric MCM complex (MCM 2-7) and PARP were up-regulated by mtp53. Overexpressed mtp53 R273H, but not wild type p53, showed a protein-protein interaction with MCM2 and MCM4. In the presence of functional MCM2-7 and mtp53 targeting the PARP-MCM pathway with the PARP inhibitor talazoparib and the alkylating agent temozolomide caused synergistic activation of apoptosis. We saw that mtp53 and PARP bound to EdU-labeled nascent DNA. In response to talazoparib plus temozolomide combination treatment there was increased mtp53 associated with trapped PARP at stalled replication forks.

The mtp53-PARP-MCM axis is a potential therapeutic target pathway for mtp53 R273H expressing TNBC.
City University of New York at Hunter College and The Graduate Center and Weill Cornell Medical CollegeGRANT SUPPORT was from the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and infrastructure support was from Grant MD007599 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
JinFLOW CYTOMETRY APPLICATION OF PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCHESFlow cytometry provides high-dimensional quantitative measurement of light scatter and fluorescence emission properties of hundreds of thousands of individual cells in each analyzed sample. It allows the simultaneous analysis of different cellular features with high performance and reliability. Moreover, it enables the separation of living cells on the basis of marker expression or functional properties by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. With support from NIH RCMI program and Georgia Research Alliance, BD Accuri C6 flow cytometer and BD FACSJazz cell sorter were purchased within recent years in the core facilities of Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development (CCRTD), Clark Atlanta University. We utilized the flow cytometer and cell sorter to improve both analysis of different cellular features, and cell sorting of special sub-populations. Different protocols were developed for various purposes of prostate cancer research. More specifically, the BD Accuri C6 was widely applied to characterize cell cycle, cell apoptosis, cell efflux and expression of certain proteins in different CCRTD labs. FlowJo, software of flow cytometer data analysis, was also applied to analyze and show cell cycle results. Moreover, different CCRTD labs applied the cell sorter in their special research to collect GFP-positive cells following CRISPR/Cas9 DNA mutation and also to enrich cancer stem cells with related cell membrane marker CD133 or ID4 antibody, respectively. Presently, flow cytometry has become a routine methodology to identify, analyze, and/or sort different populations of cells in CCRTD Core Facilities.Clark Atlanta UniversityNIH/NIMHD/RCMI Grant #5 G12 MD007590 and NIH/NIMHD/P20 Grant #2P20MD002285
JinIMPROVEMENT OF CCRTD CORE FACILITIES IN CAUThe core facilities in center for cancer research and therapeutics development (CCRTD), Clark Atlanta University (CAU) provides a state-of-the-art research support including instruments, technology, education, and training for all investigators and research staffs engaged in health-related scientific research. During the past 10 years, the core facilities has renovated and reorganized all facilities to address new challenges of health-related research and satisfy growing demands of investigators. With the continued support from NIH RCMI program and Georgia Research Alliance, several cutting-edge instruments including BioRad CFX Connect Real-Time System, Carl Zeiss Axio Imager.Z1 microscopy with Apotome, Carl Zeiss Axiovert 200M inverted microscope, Carl Zeiss LSM 700 confocal microscopy, Leica LMD6000 Laser microdissection microscope, BD FACSJazz cell sorter, DAKO Autostainer, and Leica Aperio VERSA 8 were purchased in the Core Facilities. Moreover, a web-based core facility management system, iLab Solutions, has been applied to improve the service and management of the core facilities. Major instruments, services, and related information of the core facilities were listed in the system. It enabled users inside CCRTD to make their reservations of special instruments and service online easily. It also helped core manager and staffs in instrument usage tracking, billing and invoicing, reporting, and lab supplies requisitioning. The enhancement of existing core facilities and creation of new sub-core facilities successfully supported the health-related scientific research in CAU.Clark Atlanta UniversityNIH/NIMHD/RCMI Grant #5 G12 MD007590 and NIH/NIMHD/P20 Grant #2P20MD002285
Majority of nail salon workers in the New York City (NYC) are Asian immigrant women. They are exposed to potentially toxic chemicals and hazards daily in their workplace. Considering their low socioeconomic status and lack of access to care, long-term occupational exposure makes them more vulnerable to have possible health problems. The purpose of this study was to identify factors influencing healthcare utilization among Asian immigrant women working in nail salons.
A cross-sectional study was conducted based on a modified Andersen’s behavioral model. We surveyed 148 Korean and Chinese immigrant women currently working in nail salons. Descriptive statistics, hierarchical linear regression and logistic regression were conducted to assess the predisposing, enabling, and need factors related to healthcare utilization.
Household size, English-speaking proficiency and work-related health concern were significantly influenced total number of health services (p < .05). Individuals having health insurance and having more work-related health symptoms increased the likelihood of visiting primary care providers (p < .05). Having higher household income, having a doctor with the same cultural background, and having more work-related health symptoms also increased the likelihood of using traditional Chinese medicine (p < .05). Women having a doctor with the same cultural background increased the likelihood of women’s health visits about fourfold (p < .05).
Results showed that culturally specific factors and work-related health symptoms played an important role in seeking health care. This study supports the importance of culturally sensitive care for immigrants, specifically for women’s health services.
Hunter College, the City University of New YorkThis study was supported by the Community Engagement Project Grant, Clinical &Translational Science Center in Weill Cornell Medical College and the research award grant from Alpha Phi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing.
JoannINHIBITION OF AhR and Src ABOLISHES AR SIGNALINGPURPOSE: Altered c-Src activity has been implicated in the development, growth, progression, and metastasis of prostate cancer. There are several Src inhibitors under evaluation for clinical effectiveness but have shown little activity in monotherapy trials of solid tumors. Combination studies are being explored by in vitro analysis and in clinical trials. Here we investigate the effect of simultaneous inhibition of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and Src on androgen receptor (AR) signaling in prostate cancer cells. AhR has also been reported to interact with the Src signaling pathway during prostate development. c-Src protein kinase is associated with the AhR complex in the cytosol and upon ligand binding to AhR, c-Src is activated and released from the complex. AhR has also been shown to regulate AR signaling which remains functionally important in the progression of prostate cancer. METHODS & RESULTS: We provide evidence that co-inhibition of AhR and Src abolish AR activity. Evaluation of total protein and cellular fractions revealed decreased pAR expression and AR nuclear localization. Assays utilizing an androgen responsive element (ARE) and qRT-PCR analysis of AR genes revealed decreased AR DNA binding and transcriptional activity in the presence of both AhR and Src inhibitors. Furthermore, co-inhibition of AhR and Src reduced the growth of prostate cancer cells compared to individual treatments. DISCUSSION: Several studies have revealed that AhR and Src individually inhibit cellular proliferation. However, this study is the first to suggest simultaneous inhibition of AhR and Src to inhibit AR signaling and prostate cancer cell growth.Clark Atlanta University2G12MD007590-29
JoelALCOHOL CRAVING AND DRINKING: DOES RACE/ETHNICITY MATTER?PURPOSE: Alcohol dependence disproportionately affects nonwhite populations. There is a critical need to elucidate factors that contribute to the development of dependence, especially among young adults, who are at particularly high risk. Research has demonstrated that triggers in drinkers’ natural environments (e.g., sight/smell of a preferred alcoholic beverage) can elicit powerful cravings which are difficult to resist. Although such “cue-induced” cravings tend to be robust across race/ethnicity, there have been mixed results as to how (or if) these cravings actually impact drinking decisions. Moreover, research has relied on predominantly Caucasian samples, leaving little information on the importance of these commonly experienced cravings on decisions to consume alcohol among nonwhite drinkers.
METHODS: A diverse sample of young adult drinkers aged 18-25 (n=99) completed measures of cue-induced cravings elicited in a classic laboratory paradigm (visual and olfactory exposure to one’s preferred alcoholic beverage), and drinking decisions (amount consumed/dollars spent in a hypothetical drinking scenario), using a well-established alcohol purchase task.
RESULTS: Consistent with previous work, exposure to alcohol-related stimuli elicited significant alcohol craving reactions, and the magnitude of craving reactions was comparable across race/ethnicity. Interestingly however, effects of craving on poor drinking decisions were only significant for Caucasian drinkers. Craving was not predictive of drinking decisions among drinkers who self-identified as African American, Asian American, or Hispanic.
CONCLUSION: Results suggest that predictors of poor drinking decisions among non-white drinkers need to be better elucidated and predictive models in the current literature based on primarily Caucasian drinkers may be limited in their generalizability.
Hunter CollegeThis work was supported by Grant #R21AA020955 from the National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (Erblich, PI).
JohnathanM. TUBERCULOSIS FADD17 AND FADD19 IN CHOLESTEROL CATABOLISMIdentification of new Mtb metabolic pathways for development of novel antitubercular drugs is urgently needed. Evidence suggests Mtb requires cholesterol for phagocytosis in macrophages and to sustain chronic infection; however, understanding of these lipid catabolic pathways is limited. PURPOSE: The objective of this study is to elucidate the cholesterol side-chain degradation pathway involving FadD17and FadD19 acyl-CoA ligases. We hypothesize that the utilization of host cholesterol reshapes Mtb’s metabolism as an adaptive mechanism for survival in macrophages and that the acyl-CoA ligases, FadD17 and FadD19, play a role in this process. METHODS: We combined gene inactivation, biochemical, and targeted metabolomics approaches to confirm the participation of FadD17 and FadD19 in the catabolism of cholesterol side-chain and fatty acids. RESULTS: Upon reconstituting enzymatic activity of recombinant Mtb FadD17 and FadD19 proteins, we confirmed formation of CoA-thioesters and quantified. Both enzymes showed similar catalytic activity preferences toward fatty acids (C10-C18), with highest activities seen for shorter carbon chains. In contrast, the two enzymes exhibited greater and specific activities on sterol substrates, with FadD17 and FadD19 acting on 4-cholenic acid and cholest-4-en-3-one-26-oic acid, respectively. Inactivation of fadD17A2, fadD19A2, and fadD19B1 of M. smegmatis, individually or in combination, did not result in any significant growth defect on cholesterol. However, metabolomics profiling of mutant strains confirmed substrate specificity. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrates that FadD17 and FadD19 are not essential for growth on cholesterol, but provided insights on cholesterol catabolism in mycobacteria. Future work will include growth, metabolomics profiling and infection studies of mutants of M. tuberculosis.University of Texas at El PasoNIH/NIAID/NIGMS (SC1 AI116567-01A1), UTEP/BBRC Start-up funds, UTEP BBRC NIH/NCRR (5G12RR008124) and NIH/NIMHHD (8G12MD007592), National Science Foundation via the S-STEM Program Award No. NSF DUE-1153832.
JorgeGenomic Association Study of Warfarin in Caribbean HispanicsPURPOSE: Existing algorithms account for ∼50% of variance in warfarin dose requirements, but they do not perform as well in populations other than Caucasians because some ethno-specific alleles are overlooked. This study was aimed to identify genetic polymorphisms that can explain variability in warfarin dosing among Caribbean Hispanics of Puerto Rico.
METHODS: A case-control pharmacogenetic association study was conducted in 275 Puerto Rican patients on warfarin, using the Extreme Discordant Phenotype approach. Next-Generation Sequencing of candidate genes CYP2C9 and VKORC1 and genotyping by DMET®-Plus Array were performed.
RESULTS: An admixture-adjusted pharmacogenetic model that explained more than two-thirds of observed variance in stable warfarin dose in Caribbean Hispanics was developed. CYP4F2*3 and NQO1*2 variants were independently associated with a 17 and 10% increase of the dose per allele, respectively; the admixture index decreases the dose by 7%. The African-related rare CYP2C9*8 allele explained 31% decrease of the dose. The genomic diversity of Puerto Ricans is highlighted by the presence of 11 major CYP2C9 haplotypes. The CYP2C9 rs2860905 variant showed stronger association with warfarin sensitivity than common CYP2C9*2 and *3 alleles. Incorporation of rs2860905 in a model that also includes additional genetics (VKORC1-1639 G>A; CYP2C9 rs1856908; ABCB1 c.IVS9-44A>G; CES2 c.269-965A>G) and non-genetic factors showed better prediction of warfarin dose requirements (R2=0.63).
CONCLUSION: Although our findings need further replication, we identified novel genetic variants that increase predictability of warfarin dosing among Caribbean Hispanics. We concluded that admixture and ethno-specific alleles are both clinically relevant predictors for algorithmically computed warfarin doses in Caribbean Hispanics.
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusThis work was partially supported by the RCMI award # 8G12 MD007600 and the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC) under award # U54MD007587, both from the NIMHD, NIH. JD is supported by the SC1 grant # HL123911 from NHLBI and the MBRS SCORE Program of the NIGMS. KICC is supported by the UPR Minority Biomedical Research Support-Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (MBRS-RISE) with the grant R25 GM061838.
JorgePharmacogenetic Study of Clopidogrel in Caribbean HispanicsPURPOSE: High on-treatment platelet reactivity (HTPR) with Clopidogrel is predictive of ischemic events in adults with coronary artery disease. Clopidogrel is the most commonly used P2Y12 inhibitor in Puerto Rico. Despite strong data suggesting HTPR varies with ethnicity, clinical and genetics, no pharmacogenetic studies of Clopidogrel have been performed in Puerto Ricans. This study was aimed to identify clinical and genetic predictors of HTPR in a cohort of Puerto Ricans with cardiovascular diseases.
METHODS: A pharmacogenetic association study was conducted in 111 Puerto Rican patients on Clopidogrel (75 mg/day). Patients were separated into two groups: Group I without HTPR and Group II with HTPR. Clinical data was obtained from medical record. Platelet function was measured by VerifyNow® P2Y12 assays and HTPR was defined as P2Y12 reaction units (PRU) ≥230. Genotype testing for CYP2C19, ABCB1, PON1, PY2R12, PEAR1 and B4GALT2 were performed using Taqman® Genotyping Assays.
RESULTS: Forty-two (38%) patients had HTPR. Mean PRU was 203±61. One in four individuals carried at least one copy of the CYP2C19*2 allele. Hematocrit and PON1 Q192R variant were inversely correlated with HTPR (p<0.05). Multiple logistic regression showed that 27% of the total PRU variation was explained by history of diabetes mellitus (OR=3.46; CI:1.05-11.43), hematocrit (OR=0.75; CI:0.65-0.87), CYP2C19*2 (OR=4.44; CI:1.21-16.20) and PON1 Q192R alleles.
CONCLUSION: In a representative sample of cardiovascular patients from Puerto Rico, diabetes mellitus, hematocrit, CYP2C19*2 and PON1 Q192R variants were associated with HTPR. These factors may identify a subset of Puerto Rican patients at higher risk for adverse events.
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusThis work was partially supported by awards # CCTRECD-R25MD007607, HiREC-S21MD001830 and the RCMI award # 8G12 MD007600 from NIMHD, NIH. JD is supported in part by the SC1 grant # HL123911 from NHLBI and the MBRS SCORE Program of the NIGMS. SAS is supported in part by the grant K23GM104401 from NIGMS.
JosePUERTO RICAN ELDERLY SUICIDE RATES BETWEEN 2005-2010PURPOSE: Puerto Rican elderly suicide has been a serious concern in public mental health in the Caribbean island. Pioneer research has demonstrated major prevalence rates in elderly (> 65 years) suicide, as compare to younger groups; however, limited research effort have been performed recently that explore the suicide phenomenon in the elderly. Specific factors that influence elderly suicide prevalence are; higher poverty levels, serious mental and physical diseases, health disparities, and social margination. METHOD: Puerto Rico Health Department data was analyze in order to determine the suicide prevalence rate during the period of 2005-2015, in two groups (10-64 years and 65 and older), in addition, odds rates (OR) was obtained to determine the risk probability of suicide for the elderly. RESULTS: Findings indicates that the elderly (>65 years) has had, in average, for the period under study, a mean index rate of 10.30 as compare to the younger group (10-64 years) of 7.92, and a higher risk of suicide (OR= 1.51). CONCLUSION: Currently, Puerto Rican elderly population is at a higher risk for suicide as compare to younger groups. At present, precarious socio-economic conditions, serious health disparities and medical disorders that affect this population make the elderly population a sensitive one to experience the suicide phenomenon. It’s vital that effective and efficient preventive strategies need to put together in order to prevent elderly suicide.Carlos Albizu University
JoseNOVEL STRESS SIGNALING COMPLEXES OF THE YEAST PKC1 PATHWAYPURPOSE: Signaling proteins required for activating the yeast PKC1-Cell Wall Integrity(CWI) pathway are attractive targets for antifungal drugs because they contribute to cell viability under stress. The objective of this research is to identify proteins that interact with stress sensor proteins Wsc1p, Wsc2p, Wsc3p, Mid2p and Mtl1p of the PKC1-CWI pathway and determine if they contribute to cell survival under stress conditions. Our hypothesis is that these interacting partners are required for resistance to antifungal drugs and environmental stress. METHODS: To identify novel interacting partners, the integrated Membrane Yeast Two-Hybrid (iMYTH) technique was applied. Confirmatory tests were Immunoprecipitation coupled to Mass Spectrometry (IP-MS) and Affinity Purification with western blot (AP-WB). To test the functional importance of specific interactions, viability assays were performed under stress conditions induced by Caspofungin(CS, 75ng/ml), Amphotericin B(AmpB), temperature, and oxidizing agent (1mM H2O2). PKC1 activation was assayed by western blot. RESULTS: At 30°C, 14 novel interactors were confirmed for Wsc1p, 31 for Mid2p, 14 for Wsc2p, 5 for Wsc3p, and 15 for Mtl1p. Interacting proteins were associated with biological processes of signal transduction, stress response, cell wall organization, protein phosphorylation, and previously unknown functions. Null mutant strains of Wsc1p and Mid2p interacting partners acquired sensitivity to H2O2 (3) and CS (6). Double mutant strains yke2Δwsc2Δ, msa1Δwsc2Δ, and egd2Δwsc3Δ acquired sensitivity to specific drug stressors. Effects on viability were observed by comparing growth constants of mutant and wild type strains. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: Stress signaling proteins involved in PKC1 regulation are associated with yeast cell survival under stress conditions.University of Puerto Rico-Medical Sciences CampusThis research was supported by grants from NIMHD-G12MD007600 and 8U54MD007587, NIGMS-RISE-R25GM061838, NIGMS/NIAID-SC1AI081658, and NIGMS-INBRE-5P20GM103475.
JoseDONOR 45 DERIVED HIV-1 ENV IMMUNOGENS SHOW NATIVE PROPERTIESRecent studies show that ~20-30% of HIV-1 infected individuals develop broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) against the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) and, it is likely that a native-like and stable Env mimic will be required for an effective HIV-1 vaccine. We designed and characterized two soluble Env mimics derived from Donor 45 Env sequences, from whom VRC01, VRC02, VRC03 and other bNAbs targeting the CD4-binding site (CD4bs) were isolated. In this study, we used the Native Flexible Linker (NFL) platform for the design and development of two native like, soluble, cleavage independent and stable Env trimers by de novo synthesis. This platform replaces the furin cleavage site in gp140 with a flexible “Glycine-Serine” peptide linker (2xG4S) and has a series of stabilizing substitutions to achieve highly stable and homogeneous covalently linked gp120-gp41 trimers in native-like association and structure. Size-exclusion chromatography profiles of the lectin-purified trimers showed a low degree of aggregation and low levels of dissociation into monomeric forms of Env. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis revealed thermal transition midpoints (Tm) for both NFL trimers of over 73°C. Biomolecular binding assays using Bio-layer light interferometry showed reactivity with trimer preferring bNAbs while excluding binding by non-neutralizing antibodies. Weak but detectable recognition was observed with the germline-reverted precursors of the 3BNC60, VRC13 and VRC16 bNAbs targeting the CD4bs. We conclude that these trimers may have utility to trigger neutralizing antibody responses in vivo.Interamerican University of Puerto Rico-Ponce, PRIAVI and all it's major donors, NIH, NSF and the SURF at TSRI
JoseRELIGIOUS FANATICISM: MEASURE THE CONSTRUCT IN PUERTO RICOPURPOSE: Until this moment, no effort has been made to develop a scale that measures religious fanaticism in Puerto Rico, not matter that Puerto Ricans are considered a very religious population with multiple religious practices in a very conservative way. The concept of fanaticism is basically defined as, excessive, obsessive and even unhealthy exaltation in the assessment or defense of a topic. METHOD: 50 items were written according to the definitions of religious fanaticism that appear in the literature. A focal group, was organized for items evaluation. Twenty items were selected for evaluation by experts and administered to a sample of 89 subjects. RESULTS: Content Validity Index and Exploratory Factor Analysis was performed obtained 14 items in a Likert format of 4 points. It was established that the higher the scale index more religious fanaticism (56 points maximum). Cronbach's alpha, was 0.79, which is considered adequate. Sample characteristics reveal an average age of 51 years (SD + 18 years); there are more women (n = 52 or 58%) than males (n = 33 or 37%); usually married (n = 53 or 60%); over 50% have complete an undergraduate degree (n = 36 or 40%) or graduate studies (n = 19 or 21%); with full-time job (n = 39 or 44%). Subjects report a high religious fanaticism mean index (40 points). CONCLUSIONS: The Fanaticism Scale is a valid instrument for screening religious fanaticism in adult Puerto Rican population. We recommend the standardization of the scale and testing with other ethnic groups.Carlos Albizu University
JosiahGALECTIN3, BIOMARKER FOR BREAST CANCER IN AFRICAN AMERICANS.PURPOSE: The long term goal of this project is to identify a biomarker that can guide personalized treatment decisions for more aggressive breast cancer, particularly in African American patients.
METHODS: We analyzed the sera of patient and normal control subjects, for galectin-3 and galectin-3 autoantibodies by modified ELISA. We also analyzed by Immuno-histochemical methods, archival breast tumor specimens including Tissue Micro-Arrays (TMA) for galectin-3 expression.
RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS: African American breast cancer patients had higher concentrations of galectin-3 and its autoantibodies in their sera compared to their Caucasian counterparts. The expression of galectin-3 was also elevated in breast cancer tissue specimens, particularly in triple negative breast tumors of African Americans.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The results support our hypothesis that galectin-3 drives the progression of breast cancer particularly of Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNB) of the Basal subtype that is more common in African American patients. We posit that galectin-3 is a useful biomarker that can guide the physician to tailor a proper treatment protocol for patients who express high levels of this lectin.
Meharry Medical CollegeNIMHD TU54MD007593-09 (P.L.) AND HRSA-D34HP16299 (J.A.)
JovikkaIMPROVING MALARIA DIAGNOSTICS: SPIT IS THE NEW PRICKPURPOSE: Saliva is a less invasive alternative to blood for the detection of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), a parasite that causes malaria. The purpose of this study was to develop an improved PCR-based assay to detect Pf DNA in saliva using newly reported ultrasensitive primers (mito cox 3 and varATS) and compare to the commonly used 18s rRNA primers. We hypothesized that since ultrasensitive primers target more gene copies, an increased number of infections could be detected compared with 18S rRNA primers.
METHODS: DNA tested in this study were isolated from archival saliva and blood samples in 2015 following collection. Sixty saliva samples from subjects who were blood PCR positive using 18S rRNA primers in 2015 were re-assessed with 18S rRNA, mito cox 3, and varATS primers. DNA was amplified by PCR and further analyzed with gel electrophoresis or Magnetic Nanoparticles PCR Enzyme-Linked Gene Assay, which uses a colorimetric measurement.
RESULTS / EXPECTED RESULTS: The proportion of Pf positive saliva samples were 62%, 77% and 68%, for 18S rRNA, mito cox 3, and varATS, respectively. When stratified by number of parasites in the blood, ultrasensitive primers successfully detected 100% of infections above 2000 parasites/µL. The turnaround time for the 18S rRNA and mito cox3 nested primers was 7 hours and 3.5 hours, respectively. For varATS primers, the turnaround time was 3 hours.
DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: In conclusion, both of the ultrasensitive primers increased the sensitivity of the saliva-based assay and gave a faster turnaround time compared to the 18S rRNA primers.
University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of MedicineThis project was funded by the International Biomedical Research Training for Minority Students grant (National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, NIH (1T37MD008636-01).
Juan EmilioDEFINING AND TARGETING HEALTH CARE ACCESS BARRIERSDefining and targeting the social and cultural determinants that impact a population's health are essential considerations for research in poor, underserved and immigrant communities. Health care access is an important determinant of population health. The Health Care Access Barriers Model (HCAB) provides a research methodology that helps define a community’s social and cultural access barriers and facilitates the formulation of interventions. HCAB provides a taxonomy and practical framework for the classification, analysis and reporting of those modifiable, evidence-based, health care access barriers that are associated with health care disparities. The model describes three categories of modifiable health care access barriers: financial, structural, and cognitive. The three types of barriers are reciprocally reinforcing and affect health care access individually or in concert. These barriers are associated with three measurable intermediary factors - screening, lack of treatment, and late presentation to care, which in turn result in poor health outcomes and health disparities. The HCAB model has been applied in the U.S and other countries. We have identified eighty-one community based interventions or programs that have referenced the application of HCAB in biomedical or public health publications. These include Australian rural health, cancer screening and diabetes care in the US-Mexico border, aging immigrants in Sweden, free clinic care in New Zealand, Syrian Refugees in Jordan, Iran public hospitals, children with intellectual disabilities in rural India, and Dominican immigrants in Northern Manhattan. We examine multiple national and international applications of HCAB to help define the usefulness of the model.Weill Cornell Medicine
JulieVITAMIN D AND LEVELS OF DNA REPAIR CAPACITY IN BREAST CANCERVitamin D has been studied as a risk factor for hormonal cancers including breast cancer (BC). BC tumors may (+) or may not (-) have three hormonal receptors: estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR), and HER2. Based on their status, four molecular subtypes have been identified: luminal A (ER+, PR+/−, HER2-), luminal B (ER+, PR+/−, HER2+), HER2+ (ER−, PR−, HER2+), and triple-negative (TN) (ER−, PR−, HER2−). PURPOSE: Since we have previously shown that low DNA repair capacity (DRC) is a BC risk factor, and that there is an association between DRC levels and ER positivity, the focus of this study is to examine whether plasma vitamin D and DRC levels are associated among BC subtypes. METHODS: BC cases (n=47) were selected and stratified by subtypes: luminal A (n=13), luminal B (n=11), HER2+ (n=10), and TN (n=13). Plasma vitamin D levels were measured at a CLIA-certified laboratory. RESULTS: Vitamin D levels were significantly different among all groups (p=0.0019, ANOVA) with ER- BC cases having the highest levels (47.97±2.4 ng/mL) (p=0.03, t-test). A significant difference was also found in HER2+ and TN groups when compared with the control group (n=20) (p<0.05, Kruskal-Wallis). CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary results suggest that plasma vitamin D and DRC levels are correlated in women with BC. Interestingly, through a previous miRNA discovery experiment in our cohort we found high levels of miR-125b in women with low DRC. Since miR-125b modifies vitamin D levels through regulation of CYP24 expression; future studies are warranted.Ponce Health Sciences University, Ponce Research Institute#S06GM008239-20, 9SC1CA182846-04, PHSU–U54 CA163071, MCC–U54 CA163068, and G12-MD007579
JulieADMIXTURE MAPPING REVEALS NEW LOCI FOR BREAST CANCER RISKPURPOSE Race-associated disparities in incidence, prognosis and tumor biology of breast cancers (BC) have been partly attributed to genetic factors. Our objective was to identify the genomic loci determining the risk and biological characteristics of BC.

METHODS In populations of mixed genetic origins, admixture mapping scans the genome for regions that have retained an excess of ancestry from the population at higher risk disease. A total of 1,200 BC cases and controls from Puerto Rico were genotyped on the Affimetrix UK Biobank Axiom Array (822,502 SNPs). After filtering for genotype quality and phasing (ShapeIT), local ancestry was determined using RFMix. The Cochran-Armitage test was used to assess the statistical significance of the association between having 0,1 or 2 copies of a particular ancestry with BC risk using an additive model corrected for variations in global ancestry proportions.

RESULTS We identified three loci (7p15.3, 10q21.1 and 14q24.1), two of which have not been reported previously. African ancestry at 10q21.1 (P=1.8X10-5) was associated with an increase risk of triple negative negative BC lacking the estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR) and human epithelial growth factor (HER2) receptors, known to be associated with a poor prognosis. Within the identified loci, genes of interest include genes involved in DNA damage response and repair, growth signaling, and cell adhesion.

CONCLUSIONS This work emphasizes the utility of including diverse populations in genomics research to develop precision medicine approaches that incorporate natural differences in populations to maximize the identification of individuals at risk and the efficacy of therapeutic regimens.
Ponce Health Sciences University, Ponce Research InstituteThis work is supported by a grant of the grant of the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute (NCI) (1SC1CA182845, JD PI) with the technical support of the Ponce Research Institute Molecular and Genomics Core (M.A.G.I.C) (NIH-National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) MD007579).
JulieSBIRT CURRICULUM ENHANCEMENT FOR FUTURE CARE PROVIDERSPURPOSE: Early and wide use of substance use Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) in primary and emergency care settings has demonstrated success in reducing substance use treatment gaps in the United States. However, care providers face unmet challenges in implementing SBIRT practices in the clinic. This study presents the preliminary findings of a substance-use SBIRT curriculum enhancement intervention for medical students and residents. METHODS: A graded-level SBIRT curriculum was adapted using SAMHSA materials and piloted with medical students and residents at Meharry Medical College. Trainees completed pre- and post-knowledge tests and attitude and satisfaction surveys at baseline and 30-day follow-up. IBM SPSS Statistics 22.0 was used to conduct paired and independent t-tests to analyze impacts of our intervention. RESULTS: To date, 186 trainees, 160 students and 26 residents, have received our intervention. Pre- and post-test SBIRT knowledge scores improved significantly (5.50 ± 1.74 to 6.21 ± 1.67, p=<0.001). Trainees reported overall positive attitudes at baseline (8.12 ± 1.00) with significant improvements at follow-up (8.49 ± 0.71, p= 0.019). Overall, trainees reported high satisfaction at baseline 4.58 ± 0.38, but we observed a significant decline at follow-up (4.18 ± 0.66, p=<0.001), with those who reported not applying skills learned also reporting the greatest decline in satisfaction. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Preliminary findings of our pilot project observed significant improvements in SBIRT knowledge, overall positive attitudes and high satisfaction. Our findings suggest SBIRT curriculum enhancement may help to better prepare future health care professionals in closing substance use treatment gaps.Meharry Medical CollegeThe project described was supported by Grant Number U79T1025396-03 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Grant Number T8HP24465 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), operating divisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
JulioEVALUATING A CBPR CURRICULUM FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERSThe CBPR approach has been identified as a great asset in reducing health disparities through the integration of community members in all phases of the research process. It is essential to provide skills to community members to achieve successful research partnerships. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of the CBPR training curriculum for community members. This project is part of a capacity building continuum process initiated with the RCMI academic researchers. Using mixed-methods, non-comparative design, eight workshops were developed and tested. Workshops covered topics such as CBPR principals, Health Disparities, Ethics in CBPR and Fundamentals of Research Methodology. A total of 25 community leaders were trained. Pre/Post-test knowledge (paired t-test), retention rate, workshop satisfaction, and cognitive debriefing sessions were used to assess knowledge gained, acceptability and feasibility of the curriculum. A retention rate of 100% and an average satisfaction of 92.68% was obtained. Pre/Post-test results indicate that there was a significant change in participant’s knowledge in 4 out of the 6 topics (p=<0.05). In the cognitive debriefing, participants were satisfied with the organization and structure, skills provided to be more effective in their communities and work with academic researchers. The following changes were recommended: workshops’ order, time, practical activities and level of language. Findings from this study suggest that the curriculum was acceptable and feasible to community leaders and that it might provide skills to actively incorporate community members in research activities. A large RCT study to evaluate curriculum effectiveness is recommended.Ponce School of MedicineRCMI Program at Ponce School of Medicine: Addressing Health Disparities (Grant #: 5g12md007579), Administrative Supplement “Community-Based Participatory Research Training Program"
JulioHEALTH CARE UTILIZATION AMONG INPATIENT WITH MENTAL ILLNESSAnnual visits to general hospitals in the US have increased in the past decade. Individuals with psychiatric illnesses are more likely to visit the ER on multiple occasions than the general population. In Puerto Rico, mental health has been identified as a major public health problem and the usage of general hospitals by mental health patients has not been well documented. Through a secondary data analysis using the Damas Hospital Clinical Psychology Services Program database (PSPC-HD), we evaluated information of patients served by the program from January 2015 to December 2016. A total of 3,543 patients were evaluated, 61% female, to which 11.6% (n=408) had a psychiatric primary medical diagnosis, and 35.3% (n=1,251) had previous history of mental health. More so PSPC-HD provided 29% (n=1,037) of the sample with a new psychological diagnosis. Alarmingly, the program reminisced on a psychiatric hospitalization on 10.4% (n=369) of our total sample and found that 58% (n=30) of the patients that visited the ER five or more times during the past 6 months had history of mental health. These results show a high frequency of mental health disorders in the population served and highlights the importance of integrating clinical psychological programs into general hospitals due to the frequent usage and high psychological diagnosis rate among people seeking health care services. Directions for future research should focus on the impact of cost this population has on the health care system.Ponce School of Medicine
KadiatouFactors Influencing HIV Testing Among Incarcerated WomenThe objective of this paper is to examine factors associated with HIV testing among incarcerated women. The purpose is to provide information that could aid in the implementation of new effective strategies on how to increase HIV testing among incarcerated women. Data were obtained from the Women’s Health Intervention Study (WHIS). WHIS is a peer facilitated - HIV, substance use, and mental health prevention program for incarcerated women 30-60 days from release. Using survey questionnaire instrument, data were collected from 121 incarcerated women. Descriptive statistics and the Fisher Exact were used to measure the association between self-reported HIV and behavioral factors; number of sexual partners, needle sharing, frequency of condom use, drug use, partner influence, and forced sexual intercourse, were analyzed using SAS 9.3. Of the 121 participants, the large majority of the participants reported having (N = 93.4%) reported having received HIV testing. The majority of the respondents were were White, between 45-64 years of age (48.7%), college graduates (68.6%, and not married (85.9%). Condom use (p-value=0.02), partner influence (p-value=0.01) and forced sexual intercourse (p-value=0.05) were significantly associated with HIV testing among incarcerated women. Individuals who reported not using condoms were more likely to report an HIV test; individuals who reported of forced sexual intercourse and negative partnership influence, were more likely to report an HIV test.
Our results suggest that engaging in risky sexual behaviors influence HIV testing among incarcerated women. Because incarcerated populations return to their communities, correctional facilities should provide HIV testing, and education.
Morehouse School of MedicineNational Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities Grant #1P20MD006881-02
KaquantaUSE OF DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER GENETIC TESTING BY MINORITY ADULTSScientific advances and decreasing cost has resulted in an upward trend in the utilization of genetic testing for determining cancer risk. However, this trend has not been seen among racial and ethnic minority (REM) populations. While recent studies have identified various factors that contribute to the utilization patterns of genetic testing, very few research studies have examined those factors that predominantly impact (REM) populations.

Data for this study were obtained from the National Center for Health Statistics 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a cross-sectional survey of American adults. Data files for adult and cancer questionnaires were combined. Multivariable logistic regression analyses estimate adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to determine whether gender, private insurance status, physician referral, and family history of cancer, are factors associated in person having genetic testing for cancer risk. Analyses were conducted using SAS version 9.4.

Among adult respondents who received genetic testing for cancer risk, adults ages 50-64 (AOR= 1.43; 95% CI=1.04,1.97) and 75 and older (AOR= 2.20; 95% CI=1.35,3.60), were more likely to have had a genetic test for cancer risk. Being advised to have a genetic test was highly significant (p value= <0.0001), and indicative of a person having a genetic test when compared to those not advised for a genetic test (AOR= 0.11; 95% CI=0.08,0.15).

Age and physician recommendation to have genetic testing were strong predictors for (REM) populations utilizing a genetic test for cancer risk. Direct-to-consumer personal genome testing companies should integrate physicians into the model.
Morehouse School of Medicine
KarenUSE OF ADJUVANT CHEMOTHERAPY FOR STAGE III COLON CANCERPURPOSE: This study aims to examine factors associated with the use of adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT) and the use of oxaliplatin after curative resection in stage III colon cancer patients and assesses the effect of their use in the three-year survival. METHODS: This retrospective cohort study was conducted using Puerto Rico Central Cancer Registry-Health Insurance Linkage Database. The study cohort consisted of stage III colon cancer patients with a curative surgery during 2008-2012. Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios. Kaplan-Meier methods and propensity score adjusted Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess the association between ACT and oxaliplatin use and overall survival and risk of death, respectively. RESULTS: Overall, 75% of the study population received ACT. Factors statistically associated with receiving ACT within four months after resection included being married (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.64; 95% CI 1.18-2.28; p=0.003), and being enrolled in Medicare (AOR 1.68; 95% CI: 1.03-2.75; p=0.039) or Medicaid and Medicare dual eligible (AOR 1.66; 95% CI: 1.06-2.60; p=0.028). However, patients aged ≥70 years were less likely to receive ACT (AOR 0.22; 95%CI 0.14-0.36; p<0.001). We observed a significant reduction in mortality in ACT treated patients. Similarly, Patients <70 years treated with oxaliplatin had significantly lower risk of death, although for patients ≥70 years no statistical significance was achieved. CONCLUSION: Consistent with previous studies, we identified disparities in the use of ACT that need to be addressed. Future studies should assess effective interventions to reduce barriers to access guideline-based recommended colon cancer treatment.University of Puerto Rico, Comprehensive Cancer CenterThis study was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number S21MD001830, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (Award Number U54MD007587), and by Award Number 5UGICA189862-03 (PR NCI Oncology Research Program Minority / Underserved – Cancer Care Delivery Research). The collection of cancer-incidence data was supported, in part, by the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Puerto Rico Central Cancer Registry, Grant #5U58-DP 003863-05.
Karen PatriciaIncluding Scientific Rigor in Community Based ResearchThere is a misunderstanding that community based research or community participatory research does not include scientific rigor. Using both a community based research and a community participatory research approach at various points along the research continuum, the Kin KeeperSM Cancer Prevention Intervention was developed. The pre-posttests, utilized the Cancer Literacy Assessment Tools that were validated in English, Spanish and Arabic, also used a community based approach in their development. Ultimately a community based randomized controlled (RCT) study was conducted with N=516 Black, Latina and Arab women partnering with the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion and the Arabic Community Center for Economic and Social Services. When assessing cancer literacy, a semi-parametric approach outperformed a fully parametric one. In the RCT, the Kin KeeperSM intervention significantly increased health literacy with regard to breast and cervical cancer among Black, Latina, and Arab women (p < 0.05 for the changes in literacy scores from baseline to 24 months and 36 months). The increase in the intervention group was significantly higher than that of the control group (p = 0.0468 compared to p = 0.0206 at 24 and 36 months for breast cancer; p = 0.0206 compared to p = 0.0005 at 24 and 36 months for cervical cancer). Having good community/university partnerships that were mutually beneficial in which the university partner is building capacity within the community and the community partner is providing indigenous technical assistance to the university was essential in developing this program of research.The Ohio State University College of Nursing1R01NR011323
KeishaPATHOPHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF DEPRESSION IN WOMENPURPOSE: Women at reproductive ages present with depression at twice the frequency of males. Reduced levels of beta-arrestin1 (β-AR1) and increased levels of testosterone as well as prolactin from human blood samples are evident during depression. Measurement of β-AR1, testosterone, and prolactin levels in reproductive women may potentially serve as biochemical diagnostic purposes and might be useful as evidence-based support for questionnaires. METHODS: Study participants were 18-42 years old non-pregnant women and at their luteal phase of menstruation. Additionally, they were not taking any antidepressants/therapy since last four months. The participants were evaluated with Neuropsychiatric Interview (DSMIV-TR). The severity of depression were determined by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores (HRSD). The measurement of β-AR1 in peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (PBMC) were done by ELISA; testosterone and prolactin levels were determined by radioimmunoassay. RESULTS: Women with HRSD score of above 19 were observed with higher magnitude of the different parameters of Axis 1 mental disorders, plasma testosterone and prolactin levels were also significantly higher whereas the β-AR1 was significantly lower compared to women with HRSD score of below 19. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: These findings support that reduction in beta-arrestin1 protein and associated increased levels of testosterone and prolactin are implicated in the pathophysiology of depression in reproductive women. According the Center for Disease Control, 61.7% sexually experienced women in the United States are currently using some form of contraception. The correlation of these data with the use of either hormonal or non-hormonal contraceptives, for routine birth control, are currently in progress.Meharry Medical CollegeClinical Research Education and Career Development in Minority R25RR17577 (NCRR/NIMHD) and U54 MD007593 (NIMHD) and U54 RR026140 (NCRR) at NIH
The human gut microbiota possess a dynamic community that helps in important biochemical processes. Changes in this system are associated with diseases such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory diseases. Our goal is to quantify and compare the frequencies of pro-inflammatory bacterial genes in metagenomic Whole Genome Sequences (mWGSs) samples from patients with inflammatory diseases in comparison with healthy individuals.

Eight pro-inflammatory genes were selected for this analysis. These genes are clbN, clbB, cif, cnf-1, usp, tcpC, gelE and murB (from A. muciniphila). We included 2 murB genes from E. coli and E. faecalis, as housekeeping genes to determine their presence in the samples. We selected three different mWGS cohorts accessed through Human Microbiome Project (HMP). The first cohort included 251 stool samples from healthy patients. The second and third cohorts corresponded to the unhealthy cohorts, 60 samples associated with Crohn’s disease and 17 samples associated with Ulcerative Colitis, respectively.

The frequencies of pathogenic gene hits in mGWS data from the unhealthy cohorts are significantly higher when compared to the healthy sample cohort. Additionally, murB housekeeping genes prove higher presence of the species E. coli and E. faecalis in individuals with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, when compared to healthy individuals.

Our results suggest preliminary associations between the presence of these pathogenic genes and bacteria with inflammatory bowel diseases. In addition, these results illustrate the power of HMP database in the detection of possible clinical correlations for individual bacterial genes.
Medical Sciences Campus - University of Puerto RicoThis research was supported by (CCRHD), Award Number G12 MD007600 and the Intramural Research Program of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health
KennethVAT METABOLISM OF B(A)P IN PIRC COLON CANCER MODELPURPOSE: Consumption of Western Diet (rich in red meat), contaminated with toxicants has been implicated as a causative factor for sporadic colon cancer. Studies have shown that benzo(a)pyrene [B(a)P], an environmental toxicant in high fat diet cause intestinal inflammation. Being lipophilic, B(a)P partition into adipose tissue and undergo metabolism. The B(a)P metabolites reach colon tissue through circulation and enhances CRC progression. As intake of fatty foods are linked to adiposity, obese individuals are likely to sequester B(a)P in lipid-rich tissues and are at a greater risk of B(a)P-induced CRC. The objective of this study was to determine whether there is an increased expression of drug metabolizing enzymes (DME) in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) of PIRC rats that were provided B(a)P + Western diet.

METHODS: Groups of rats (n = 5) were fed with AIN-76A regular diet (RD) or Western diet (WD) and received 25, 50 and 100 µg B(a)P/kg body wt. via oral gavage for 60 days. After exposure, rats were euthanized; tissues of interest (colon, liver and adipose) were assayed for DME such as cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST). Samples were also analyzed for B(a)P metabolites.

RESULTS: Rats which received B(a)P + WD showed a B(a)P dose-dependent increase in CYP1B1 expression and metabolite concentrations compared to B(a)P + RD. On the other hand, there is no difference in diet-related GST expression in these rats.

CONCLUSIONS: Our studies indicate that enhanced metabolic activation of B(a)P in VAT of rats fed WD generate harmful metabolites that induce the carcinogenic effects of B(a)P.
Meharry Medical CollegeThis research was supported by funding from the NIH grants 5R25GM059994-3, 1F31ESO2407901, 5U54CA163069-06, G12MD007586-29, 5RO1CA142845-04 and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
kennethS100P Modulates Transformation in Glioblastoma Cells.Abstract: Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the worse type of brain cancer. The standard treatment of GBM has been surgical resection of the tumor, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. However, the mean survival of patients with GBM is only extended from 2 months to 1 year. Therefore, the development of new targets and approaches is imperative. Therapeutic target development requires identification of novel functional molecules and their mechanisms of action. S100P expression is described in many different cancers, and its expression is associated with drug resistance, metastasis, and poor clinical outcome. S100P is considered a potential target for cancer therapy. In this study, we examined the role of S100P in glioblastoma cells (LN-319 and U-87) by assessing cell proliferation, apoptosis, anchorage independent growth, cell migration and invasion. Western blot techniques were utilized to assess the endogenous levels of S100P in glioblastoma cells compared to normal neuronal cells. We observed significant levels of S100P in LN-319 and U-87 cells compared to the HCN-2, normal neuronal cells. We next asked whether S100P knockdowns are sufficient to suppress the proliferation of these cells. Results showed that S100P knockdowns inhibited the proliferation of LN-319 cells. We also observed similar patterns and levels of inhibition in U-87 cells. Anchorage independent growth study also revealed significantly decreased colony formation in cells where S100P was suppressed. Moreover, Knockdown of S100P inhibited cell migration in glioblastoma cells. Similar results were observed in spheroid formation and expansion. Our results indicate that S100P may contribute to the invasive nature of glioblastoma. Thus, interference with S100P may provide a novel approach for treatment of glioblastoma. Key Words: Glioblastoma; Knockdown; S100P; Cancer Cell Line.Jackson state universityG12MD007581
KimberlyRACISM AND NEGATIVE EMOTIONS PREDICT NOCTURNAL HRVPURPOSE: Heightened nocturnal autonomic nervous system (ANS) arousal is a major effector of stress on adverse health outcomes including: obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and early mortality, which disproportionately affect African Americans. ANS arousal is normally attenuated during sleep, however, PNS dominance during sleep can be compromised with PTSD and insomnia. Perceived racism has also contributed to adverse health in African Americans. Though perceived racism has been linked to ANS activity at rest, specifically heart rate variability (HRV), we are not aware of prior research on exposure to racism and nocturnal HRV. We hypothesized rumination related to perceived racism on HRV would persist into sleep, attenuating normal shifts to parasympathetic dominance during sleep. This study examined relationships between perceived racism and negative emotions on nocturnal HRV in healthy African Americans (age 18-35). METHODS: Fifty-three participants completed the Perceived Racism Scale experienced per year, and two overnight 24-hour electrocardiogram recordings conducted 1-week apart. Normalized high frequency (nHF) was used to index PNS activity, ratios of low frequency to high frequency components (LF/HF) of HRV, used as an index of SNS activity, were computed for 5-minute epochs during sleep. RESULTS: Standard multiple regression analyses were used predict nHF time in bed and LF/HF time in bed. Results indicate endorsement of racism experienced per year on the job and negative emotions towards experiencing racism, were inversely related to nHF time in bed and positively associated with LF/HF time in bed. Collectively, perceived racism on the job per year and negative emotions predict nHF and LF/HF during the time in bed, F(2,51) = 5.572, p = .006, R2 = .179 and F(2,51) = 4.514, p = .016, R2 = .117 respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Findings of this study suggest that perceived racism and negative emotional reactions influence nocturnal PNS activity during sleep.University of the District of ColumbiaNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant R01HL087995 to Dr. Mellman and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences grant UL1RR031975 for the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science
KinfeSUBSTITUTED TETRAHYDROISOQUINOLINES AS ANTI-CANCER AGENTSPURPOSE: The tetrahydroisoquinoline (THIQ) structure is an important pharmacophore in natural products that show important biological activities. Our recent work showed that synthesized THIQ derivatives may act as selective estrogen receptor (ER) antagonists/agonists and may serve as potential therapeutic agents for breast cancer. In an attempt to explore this potential, we designed and synthesized new THIQs with various substituents on the THIQ rings and studied their in-vitro anti-breast cancer activities. METHODS: The compounds were synthesized by reacting the substituted isoquinolines with the aminating agent, 2,4-dinitrophenyl hydroxylate in acetonitrile at 50 oC for 24 hours, followed by reaction of the resulting N-amine isoquinoline dinitrophenoxy salts with substituted acyl/sulfonyl chlorides to give the respective N-ylides. Reduction of the ylides with sodium borohydride in absolute ethanol yielded the desired substituted THIQs. The cytotoxic effects of these compounds were determined on ER (+) MCF-7, ER (-) MDA-MB-231 and Ishikawa cancer cell lines using the CellTiter-Glo luminescent cell viability assay. RESULTS: The most active compound in the present the study was 4-Ethyl-N-(7-methoxy-3,4-dihydroisoquinoline-2(1H)-yl)benzamide (IC50 = 0.11, 0.25, 0.23 mg/ml) towards Ishikawa, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines, respectively. DISCUSSION: The results indicate that the compounds exhibit both ER dependent and independent mechanisms in cancer inhibition. THIQs containing substitutions on the 7th position of the THIQ phenyl ring and the 4th position of the acyl ring found to be the most active. The information gained in the present study would be used to design more selective and potent ER inhibitors.Florida A&M UniversityThis research was supported by the National Center for Research Resources (NIH/NCRR) and the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIH/NIMHD) of National Institutes of Health through Grant Number 8 G12MD007582-28.
Our research provides insight to better understand the role of the noncancerous breast epithelial (NCBE) microenvironment in breast cancer metastasis. Our long-term goal is to understand the molecular determinants that cause early stage breast cancer cells to transform into a more aggressive, metastatic phenotype. Exosomes are released from starved NCBE cells demonstrated enhanced breast cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Genes associated with disease progression were evaluated to identify potential targets for potential pharmacological intervention.

MCF10A cells was grown in standard conditions, and then stressed via serum starvation for 24 hours. Conditioned media (exCM) was harvested from MCF10A cells. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) MDA-MB-231 cells were grown to 80% confluency and treated for 24-72 hours with exCM. Alamar blue measured proliferation a 6-well transwell plate was used for both the migration and invasion assays. Super array analyses were performed.

ExCM enhanced MDA-MB-231 cell proliferation by 36% at 48 hours. Migration was enhanced 53% 48 hours. Invasion was increased by 20% at 48 hours. The data was reported as percentage of control +/- SEM. TRAIL increased by 20-fold in MCF-10A samples.

The data indicate that exosomes from NCBE cells promote proliferation, migration, and invasion. However, the high expression of TRAIL in the noncancerous breast epithelial cells suggest pro-apoptotic events may be occurring, however, there are also indicators of MCF-10A cell survival. Taken together, mimicking events associated with in vivo progression of metastasis may allow us to better understand the molecular switches that may trigger EMT.
Xavier University of LouisianaU54MD008149, sub-award 13-14-MB-G007RN0A-XU-KPL; NIMHD-RCMI grant number 5G12MD007595
KlaheA University-Community Pilot Program to Inform Health PolicyPilot project programs play an integral first-step in fostering novel and innovative research topics among a broad range of disciplines. The existing research reveals the alarming and unmet need for academic institutions and community-based organizations to assume leadership roles in advancing health equity and eliminating health disparities. The purpose of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research (TCC) is to partner with communities to improve population health and provide technical assistance and capacity building expertise to inform health policy. The goal of the TCC Pilot Project Program is to support feasibility studies on health policy that seek to address barriers to the implementation of health policies and to impact health equity. The overarching principle guiding the TCC Pilot Project Program is to sustain active participation of TCC partners in the full range of health policy research, implementation, and dissemination efforts. Utilizing an adapted selection and review process, the TCC Pilot Project Program selects applicants from a diverse pool of academic and community-based investigators. Funding is provided to multidisciplinary teams of academic-community partners to explore new domains of community-based participatory research for development, advancement, and the implementation of health policy. As a result, the TCC Pilot Project Program creates expanding regional community and academic partnerships that model best practices in health policy and research innovation. This presentation will present an overview of the TCC Pilot Project Program process and describe preliminary project outcomes related to health policy research.Morehouse School of MedicineThe Transdisciplinary Collaborative Center for Health Disparities Research is supported by the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Grant Number U54MD008173
KonstantinosTranscriptomics Explorer for Discovery (TED)Background: In translational medicine, the technology of RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) continues to prove powerful, and transforming the RNA-seq data into biological insights has become increasingly imperative.

Results: We present the Transcriptomics Explorer for Discovery (TED) toolkit, a comprehensive approach to processing and analyzing RNA-seq data. TED is divided into three major modules: data quality control, transcriptome data analysis, and data discovery, with ten pipelines in total. These pipelines perform the preliminary steps from assessing and correcting the quality of the RNA-seq data, to the simultaneous analysis of five transcriptomic features (differentially expressed genes, gene fusions, alternative splicing events, noncoding RNA, genetic variants of somatic and germline mutations) and ultimately translating the RNA-seq analysis findings into actionable, clinically-relevant reports. TED was evaluated using prostate cancer transcriptome data where we verified previously reported results observed well-studied biological insights, and also created a knowledge database of highly-integrated, biologically relevant reports demonstrating that it is well-positioned for clinical applications.

Conclusion: TED is implemented on an instance of the Galaxy platform, as intuitive and reproducible pipelines providing a manageable strategy for conducting substantial transcriptome analysis in a routine and sustainable fashion.
Hunter College, City University of New YorkCTBR NIMHD award G12 MD007599, WCMC-CTSC 2UL1TR000457
KristenHISTOPATHOLOGY SUPPORT FACILITYPURPOSE: The purpose of the University of Hawaii Histopathology Support Facility is to provide education, training, service and access to equipment and consultation for histopathological techniques to users at the University of Hawaii and the broader research community within the State of Hawaii, as well as interested users from other institutions.
METHODS: Training and advice for general histopathology and imaging techniques. Service and training in histology processing, including paraffin embedding, frozen or floating sections, staining and other conventional histopathology techniques. Assistance with optimization of immunohistochemical or in situ hybridization approaches. Equipment includes automated tissue processors, cryostats, sliding microtomes, and a rotary microtome.
RESULTS: Users include over 100 faculty and staff from 8 JABSOM departments or research centers, 5 departments or research units outside of JABSOM, and three institutions outside of UH (Hawaii Pacific University, Chaminade University of Hawaii, and Pacific Health Research Institute). Histopathology was acknowledged in 51 peer-reviewed publications since 2011, over 40 presentations, and multiple R01s, F, K, P and U awards. User satisfaction ranged from 4.8 to 4.95 out of 5.0 for the past 5 years.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The Histopathology Support Facility is a unique and valuable resource for the University of Hawaii and the State of Hawaii biomedical research community.
University of Hawaii ManoaSupported by NIH grants G12MD007601 (NIMHD) and P30GM103341 (NIGMS)
To measure the association in the Hispanic population between major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) and genetic polymorphisms known to be clinically relevant to the safety and efficacy of clopidogrel.
We propose a case-control study for Hispanic patients receiving clopiodgrel treatment with the primary outcome being MACE occurring within one year of starting treatment. All clinical and genetic information will be obtained from an electronic health records of over 12,000 Hispanic patients who have consented to genetic association research. Candidate alleles of the CYP2C19, B4GALT2, ABCB1, PON1, CES1, and P2RY12 genes will be the focus of this study. Study cases will be defined as patients receiving a 75 mg daily dose of clopidogrel following acute coronary syndrome (ACS) who experience a MACE within the first year of treatment. MACE will be defined as cardiovascular death, MI, stent thrombosis, or stroke. Patients who have received clopidogrel 75 mg daily for a minimum of one year following ACS without experiencing a MACE will serve as controls. Deviation from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium will be assessed for all polymorphisms, followed by the construction of a multivariate logistic regression model to describe the association between polymorphisms and MACE.
We anticipate a significant association between major genetic determinants of clopidogrel response and MACE. If so, detecting these genetic variants could lead to individualized antiplatelet therapy to overcome future adverse cardiovascular events.
Determining the prevalence and effect of these polymorphisms holds the potential to personalize antiplatelet treatment for Hispanic patients following ACS.
University of Puerto Rico School of PharmacyThis project was partially supported by The National Institute of Health Award Numbers: HCTRECD R25MD007607 and HiREC S21MD001830 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Kyung-AnSocial context impacts impulsivityInhibitory control is a core executive function for goal-directed behavior and dysfunctional inhibitory control is associated with a broad range of mental disorders including ADHD, autism, schizophrenia, PTSD and addiction. Inhibitory capacity is not uniform in all individuals at all times but is affected by genetic and environmental interplay. Yet, the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. We have found that social context interacts with dopamine activity to impact inhibitory control in Drosophila. We developed a fly version of the go/no-go test to measure action restraint. In the presence of same-sex peers, wild-type flies sustained movement suppression; however, the flies with enhanced dopamine neurotransmission lost inhibition and exhibited impulsive movements. The social context-sensitive impulsivity requires the mushroom body D1 dopamine receptor and cAMP signaling. Strikingly, mushroom body activation is sufficient to provoke impulsivity without dopamine input nor social context. Genetic association studies of inhibitory control often reveal inconsistent findings. Our study underscores the impact of social environment in task performance, which is largely overlooked, and provides a unique opportunity for mechanistic study of social and genetic influence on inhibitory control.Border Biomedical Research Center, University of Texas at El PasoNIMH/NIH; NARSAD Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
La'MarcusTHE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF SHINGLES VACCINE DISPARITIESBackground: Herpes zoster (shingles) is a debilitating disease that affects approximately 1/3 of the U.S. population. Although the herpes zoster vaccine is effective in preventing the onset of this disease, the vaccine remains underutilized, particularly in African-Americans. Recent epidemiological data indicate that 35% of whites receive the vaccine in comparison to only 13.5% of blacks.

Methods: A decision analysis model with multiple Markov nodes was developed to determine the number of shingles cases that would occur in two groups of elderly African-Americans, those currently 60-65 years old, and those that are currently 70-75 years old. The model was set up to compare the numbers of shingles cases that would occur among these groups with their current rates of shingles vaccination and those that would occur if they were vaccinated at the same rate as whites.

Results: The disparities in shingles vaccination were demonstrated to be associated with an excess of 13,500 additional cases of shingles vaccine in the elderly African Americans examined. This was associated with nearly $22,000,000 in excess treatment cost to treat shingles and it's complications.

Conclusion: The under utilization of shingles vaccine in elderly African Americans is associated with a substantial public health impact and economic burden. Some of these costs, may be borne by the patients themselves.
Howard University College of Pharmacy
New therapies are needed for prostate cancer, a disease which disproportionately affects the African-American community. A recent study has suggested that the sodium-glucose transport 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor canagliflozin reduces proliferation of human prostate cancer cells. However, the mechanism by which canagliflozin inhibits proliferation is not fully understood. The goal of this study was to define the effect of canagliflozin on the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-activated transcription factor that drives growth of early stage and advanced prostate cancers.
Presto Blue cell viability assays were used to test the anti-proliferative effect of canagliflozin on the 22Rv1 and PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines. The effect of canagliflozin on AR protein levels was measured by Western blotting. In addition, quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was performed to assess the effect of canagliflozin on AR mRNA and the expression of AR target genes.
Micromolar concentrations of canagliflozin significantly reduced proliferation of the PC-3 and 22Rv1 cell lines. Canagliflozin also decreased the amount of wild type AR (AR-FL) and the AR variant AR-V7 within 22Rv1 cells. This decrease may be linked to reduced AR protein synthesis, for canagliflozin exposure lowered the amount of AR-FL and AR-V7 mRNA. Canagliflozin also reduced the levels of the AR target gene PSA within the 22Rv1 cell line.
Our data indicate that canagliflozin reduces proliferation of human prostate cancer cells in part by interfering with the AR signaling pathway. Canagliflozin may therefore serve as an effective therapeutic strategy for patients with AR-positive prostate cancers.
Meharry Medical CollegeThis project was supported by Tennessee State University MARC U*STAR Program, the Meharry Clinical and Translational Research Center (MeTRC) grant and institutional funds from Meharry Medical College.
LaShanaleMITOCHONDRIAL INFLUENCE ON COLORECTAL ADENOMA-TUMOR SEQUENCEPURPOSE: Colorectal cancer remains a common cause of cancer mortality despite the implementation of effective screening mechanisms. A subset of colorectal tumors develops via the adenoma-carcinoma sequence making this an important pathway to elucidate for early detection. However, the optimal management of patients with colorectal adenomas depends on the accuracy of appropriate staging strategies due to the heterogeneity of the disease. Focusing on changes in the mitochondria may play an important role in defining the differences based on often dysregulated functions. These changes can lead to reactive oxygen species generation disrupting the balance needed to keep the cell in homeostasis. METHODS: In this study, PCR based sequencing, qRT-PCR, and Western blot analysis was used to determine differences in mitochondrial DNA, genes, and polypeptide expression. A total of 1 non-coding and 7 coding genes of the mitochondria genome were studied. Forty pairs of tissues comprised of colorectal tumors and corresponding normal surrounding tissues were also used. RESULTS: We observed 296 common variants found abundantly in the 7392-8921 region. The frequency of these variants in all stages was as followed; 23% in tubular adenoma, 27% tubulovillous, and 25% in villous and carcinoma. Of the variants identified A8701G of ATP synthase F0 subunit 6 was found at a high frequency in African American samples. Protein and gene expression profiles also varied within and among the different stages. CONCLUSION: Therefore, alterations in the mitochondria may have a direct impact on colorectal cancer transformation in which elucidation of changes may lead to novel screening mechanisms.Morehouse School of MedicineThis study was funded by grants from NIGMS (GM122669 and GM099663 awarded to FOA). RCMI 8G12MD007602, NCI U54 CA118638, RISE 2R25GM058268.
LaTayiaINFLAMMATION AND PROSTATIC HYPERPLASIA IN NOD/ShiltJ MICEPURPOSE: The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse is a model of autoimmune inflammation leading to type 1 diabetes in a proportion of mice. This model was used to determine the effects of diabetes and auto-immune inflammatory dysregulation on prostatic hyperplasia.
METHODS: Blood was collected via tail nick and glucose levels were monitored biweekly using a standard over-the-counter glucometer. Weight measurements of each mouse was taken at time zero and at time of sacrifice. Organs including the prostate, pancreas and testis were harvested. Tissues were divided, some were fixed and paraffin embedded while other portions were processed for FACS analysis or frozen in OCT.
RESULTS: Grossly, prostates taken from diabetic mice were much smaller than non-diabetic mice while histologically, both diabetic and non-diabetic mice exhibited epithelial piling, stromal expansion and areas of inflammation. However, inflammation appeared to be more severe in areas where a hyperplastic phenotype was observed. Additionally, there were a few mice that exhibited PIN-like changes. Interestingly, the testes of diabetic mice appeared to be partially or completely non-functional and demonstrated atrophy with calcification and global cell loss.
DISCUSsION: BPH is a complex disease and no animal models exist which replicate all components seen in human patients. Many BPH patients suffer from multiple morbidities, for example, many suffer from both diabetes and obesity. New models are necessary to determine the specific role that these play in BPH pathogenesis and progression. Use of the NOD mouse model enabled us to examine the effects of inflammation and diabetes in a non-obese model.
Meharry Medical College5 F31 DK111186-02
LatifaResilience Genomics: Identifying robust candidate variantsDespite the strong correlation of social and behavioral determinants to allostatic load in older American populations, allostatic load alone does not define the successful immunological responses in individuals. The ability of individuals to be positively responsive to adverse environmental factors has been documented and immunologically parameterized however it has not been well characterized at the genetic level. This study sought to provide a more robust understanding of the interplay between environmental the presence of environmental stressors such as violence and genetic variants with the goal of identifying those common genomic variants putatively contributing to resilience phenotypes.

To identify genomic regions putatively associated with immune stress and resilience phenotypes, NCBI curated gene set locations for immune, hypothalamus and pituitary stress genes (N=2387, 113, 452 respectively) were mapped onto the genome. Resilience gene-enriched hotspots were identified and compared across HapMap African American (ASW) and European American (CEU) populations. region also contained additional adjacent genes and regulatory motifs which were of functional importance in resilience phenotypes.

Five resilience hotspots were identified across the genome on chromosomes 1, 6, 11, 16, and 19. When comparing African Americans and European American populations, we found six genomic variants that appear to significantly differ in allele frequencies when demography was controlled. This suggests that genomics may be an important contributing factor in the resilience of young African Americans.
These genetic variants will serve as the substrate for potential novel immune stress variants of interest where those variants share functional unity with their neighboring immune stress genes.
Howard UniversityGHUCCTS NIH TL1 Training Grant
LatriceLearning and Action Communities for ResearchBackground: Participation of ethnic/racial minorities in clinical trials (CT) is not proportional to their representation in the U.S. population. Previous studies have shown that awareness and understanding of CTs and perceptions toward CTs are associated with general public willingness to participate in CTs. The RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN) engages minority communities in research participation. This mixed methods pilot study used the Health Belief Model to guide an educational intervention on minority research participation. Data was collected on the perceptions and beliefs of a group of 60 African Americans regarding participation in clinical studies and biospecimen donation before and after the education.

Methods: Sixty African Americans participated in a 1-hour educational session about clinical studies research and biorepository participation. Pre- and post-surveys were distributed to gather data on knowledge, perceptions and willingness to participate in clinical studies and biorepositories before and after the educational session. Four focus groups were conducted to learn about barriers and facilitators to participating in clinical studies and biospecimen donation.

Conclusions/Results: There were no statistically significant changes in attitudes and perceptions about clinical research and biorepositories. However, there were statistically significant changes in participants’ knowledge about clinical studies and biorepositories. Future studies will include other ethnic/racial groups served by RTRN to compare knowledge and perceptions about research participation and identify both universal and unique barriers and facilitators for each group.
Morehouse School of Medicine/RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN)U54 MD008149, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities
LawrenceFACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH GENETICS AND CANCER RISK BELIEFSThere is a growing disparity involving the utilization of genetic testing for cancer risk among racial/ethnic minority groups and Non-Hispanic Whites. We postulate that identifying factors associated with beliefs about genetics determining whether a person will develop cancer will further our understanding of the disparities that exist among these populations.
Data were obtained from the National Cancer Institute’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS4) Cycle 4. Bi-variate analyses were conducted to examine the association between our demographic, socioeconomic status variables and the belief that genetics determine whether a person will develop cancer. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) to determine the statistical significance of factors between our independent and dependent variables. Analyses were conducted using SAS version 9.4.
After adjusting for socio-economic status, women (AOR=2.15; CI=1.40,3.30) and those who believed that “there’s not much you can do to lower your chances of getting cancer” (AOR=1.60; CI=1.04,1.38) were associated with higher odds in believing that genetics determine whether a person will develop cancer. Those over 75, those who had a high school education or less (see results), and those believing that health behaviors determines whether a person will develop cancer (AOR=0.09; 95% CI=0.05,0.14) were less likely to report this belief.
Our study results may inform the development of tailored educational materials and recruitment strategies to increase genetic testing utilization among minority populations. In addition, the results may enhance technologies used to improve health and prevent cancer among minority populations.
Morehouse School of Medicine
LeiTackling Complex Diseases Using Systems PharmacologyGenome-Wide Association Studies, whole genome sequencing, and high-throughput techniques have generated vast amounts of diverse omics and phenotypic data. However, these sets of data have not yet been fully explored to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of drug discovery, which continues along the one-drug-one-gene-one-disease paradigm. In order to tackling complex diseases such as cancer, we need to target complex biological system. In this talk, I will present our recent work in developing a structural systems pharmacology (SSP) approach to drug discovery, which aims to rationally design drugs perturbing interaction networks instead of targeting a single gene. Our SSP approach combines heterogeneous omics data integration and analysis with mechanism-based modeling using biophysics and systems biology. It allows us to model drug actions on a multi-scale from atomic details of genome-wide molecular interaction to emergent properties of biological network. Under the framework of SSP, we have developed new method for predictive modeling of protein binding/unbinding kinetics, multi-layered network model for omics data integration, and novel machine learning algorithms for predicting drug-gene-disease-side effect associations using sparse and noisy omics data. In collaboration with experimental labs, we have successfully applied SSP to individualized adverse drug reaction prediction, drug repurposing, polypharmacology, and network-based biomarker identification. Our findings demonstrate the potential of SSP in studying complex diseases. Its continue development may provide new opportunities on understanding disease mechanisms, accelerating drug discovery, and realizing the full potential of precision medicine.Hunter College, CUNYR01 LM011986
Historically, Blacks have been disproportionately, underrepresented in clinical trials. Outcomes of suboptimal participation include poor understanding of the predictors and treatment of the disease, increasing health disparities, poor health equity, and suboptimal wellness of the nation. To address this gap in the literature, we analyzed our recruitment data to identify the most effective strategies for enrolling older Blacks in clinical trials.
Determining the most effective strategies for engaging Blacks in clinical research, we used tests of proportion to assess significant differences in recruitment sources, counts and percentages for optimal recruitment strategies by gender. Finally, we employed regression analyses to confirm our findings.
A significantly higher proportion of men than women were engaged through family (3.86% vs. 1.30%, p = 0.0004) and referral sources (5.89% vs. 2.59%, p = 0.0005). Compared to other recruitment sources, we encountered a higher proportion of volunteers at health fairs (42.95%), and through advertisements (14.97%).
Black men and women in our population were predominantly recruited from health fairs, as well as through advertisements tailored to their health needs and interests. Conversely, we mostly engaged Black men through family referrals and persons known to them, indicating a need for trust in their decision to engage study personnel, and or participate in clinical trials.
Howard University
LeoDiabetics' Evaluation of Diabetes websiteAn internet convenience sample of 100 responded to the survey: rating and Evaluating Healthcare Website Survey; Computer/Internet Experience Skills Questionnaire; Self-Efficacy Accessing Internet Website; Risk Perception Survey for Diabetes Mellitus; and Survey Assessing Preferred ways of Learning about Health Information. Finding suggested that subjects responded to the social marketing campaign, resulting in a sample of mostly Caucasian (n=61), African American (N=27), including males (n=57) and females (n=43).
The preferred learning about diabetes from physicians, was first followed by the internet. Older subjects rated the overall website lower. Those who reported better physician care rated the website higher. The higher their worry score then the higher they rated the new website. The best predictors of a high rating of the website were better overall health status, worry and experience using the computer and internet to access health care information accounted for 30% of the variance. Finding suggest that potential to combine the preferred venues of the doctor's office with internet-based learning; physician may consider equipping their offices with public-access laptops that permit access to innovative websites.
Howard UniversityNO
LeoStudent Characteristics and Sleep Deprivation.INTRODUCTION: Sleep deprivation is a health concern particularly affecting college students. It has been reported that approximately 70% of students report getting less than 8 hours of sleep/night. Additionally, many students report that sleep problems rank only second to stress when it comes to factors that negatively impact their academic performance. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between students’ sleep; socio-demographic and academic characteristics at an historically black college and university. METHODS: In particular, students responded to a twenty-three item questionnaire that assessed their sleep by: number of hours slept on weekdays and weekends; rating the quality of sleep; days having trouble staying awake and waking up in the middle of the night/early morning. RESULTS: Preliminary findings show an association between students’ academic standing; credit load and certain sleep characteristics. Similar to previous findings, many students also did not get at least 8 hours of sleep/night; and few reported having a sleep disorder. CONCLUSION: Initial results may help to conclude that there are pivotal teachable moments during a student’s initiation into college/university life, wherein orientation programs should stress the importance of sleep as a necessary time management skill for student academic success.Howard University
LeRoyBlack and Latino Parental Perceptions of the HPV VaccineThe human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection and is implicated in a number of health conditions. Parents have an important role in the health decisions of their adolescent sons that influence their health status. The HPV vaccine reduces HPV-related risks for specific conditions for adolescents given their increased risk for acquiring HPV. The Health Belief Model was utilized to examine perceptions of Black and Latino parents regarding HPV vaccine acceptability for their unvaccinated sons.

A quasi-experimental design was employed and participants were recruited through pediatric clinics serving low income Black and Latino patients. The inclusion criteria for parents were self-identification as Black or Latino, having an unvaccinated adolescent son and qualifying for the Medicaid children’s insurance program. The data reported here are part of a larger HPV vaccine acceptability study that included Black and Latino adolescent males and healthcare providers that serve this population.
One hundred ninety-one Black (n = 100) and Latino (n = 91) parents participated. Linear regressions were conducted to evaluate whether the independent variables predicted the dependent variable i.e. vaccine acceptability. Perceived benefits (p<.001), cues to actions (p<05) and self-efficacy (p<.01) were significant predictors of vaccine acceptability for Black and Latino parents. For Black parents, the perceived threat of HPV (p<.05) significantly predicted lower vaccine acceptability.

Vaccine benefits was the strongest predictor of vaccine acceptability for parents. While analyses continue, intervention that highlight the role of parents and the benefits of the vaccine in culturally responsive are indicated.
Morehouse School of MedicineNational Cancer Institute 3U54CA118638-05S2
LeRoyHPV Vaccine Acceptability in Black and Latino MalesThe human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Adolescents are more susceptible given their increased risky sexual behavior. Adolescent males, the focus of these analyses are at a higher risk of genital warts and certain male specific cancers should they contract HPV. The HPV vaccine reduces these risks and positive vaccine acceptability influences whether adolescent’s uptake the vaccine. This study utilized the Health Belief Model to examine factors influencing vaccine acceptability among low income Black and Latino males.

A quasi-experimental methodology was employed to examine influences on HPV vaccine acceptability in low-income Black and Latino males. Inclusion criteria were identification as a Black or Latino male between 12-18, not receiving the HPV vaccine and qualification for the state’s Medicaid children’s insurance program. A convenience sample was recruited through community health fairs and pediatric clinics serving this patient census. Although not reported here, participants also included parents of Black and Latino males and healthcare providers serving this patient census.
One hundred seventy-two Black (N=93) and Latino (N=79) adolescents completed surveys. Linear regressions were conducted to evaluate whether the independent variables predicted vaccine acceptability. Cues to Action and Perceived Benefits were significant predictors of vaccine acceptability for Black and Latino adolescents and Self-Efficacy was a significant predicator for Latino’s. Perceived Barriers was a significant impediment to acceptability for Latino’s.

Results suggest that while similar factors may influence acceptability in Black and Latino youth, there are important variances. Efforts to increase vaccine acceptability requires interventions that reflect these differences.
Morehouse School of Medicine
LiangEGFRvIII MUTATION IS A PD-L1/PD-L2 IMMUNE CHECKPOINT DRIVERPURPOSE: The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutated form, EGFRvIII, has been shown in various types of cancer, serving an oncogenic driver. In this study, we investigated whether EGFRvIII is also involved in the immune checkpoint of programed death 1 (PD-1) and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, serving an immune escape promoter. METHODS: We first created four cancer cell lines with stable expression of EGFRvIII. We then investigated whether EGFRvIII could promote the PD-L1 and/or PD-L2 expression and whether it was involved in the PD-L1/PD-L2-mediated inhibition of Jurkat T cell activity. RESULTS: The results showed that enforced expression of EGFRvIII indeed enhanced the expression of PD-L1 and PD-L2 on tumor cells, but very limited in vitro. EGFRvIII could sensitize the cancer cell response to IFN-γ stimulation, showing increased expression of PD-L1 and PD-L2, and inhibition of IL-2 production by activated Jurkat T cells. In mouse models with T lymphocyte deficiency, we observed a significant increase for the PD-L1 and PD-L2 expression in the tumors formed by U87-EGFRvIII than those formed by the parental U87 cell line, indicating that the EGFRvIII-driven effects on PD-L1 and PD-L2 were much stronger in animals than in vitro. The constitutive activity of EGFRvIII and EGFRvIII-induced autocrine loop on wild type EGFR may play a critical role for this finding. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that EGFRvIII acts as an oncogenic as well as a PD-L1/PD-L2 immune checkpoint driver. Combined EGFR/EGFRvIII-targeted therapy and PD-L1/PD-L2 blockade may be an effective strategy for treatment of cancer.College of Medicine, Howard UniversityNIH/NCRR/RCMI/4, G12 RR003048 at Howard University and NIDCR/NIH (1R15DE025138-01)
LiangDEVELOPMENT OF AN EGFR AND EGFRvlll-TARGETED IMMUNOTOXINPURPOSE: Recombinant immunotoxins (RITs) possess some superior features over traditional chemotherapeutics: high specificity, extraordinary potency, effectiveness against quiescent non-dividing cells, and no known cross-resistance with other agents. The purpose of this study was to develop an efficacious RIT for cancer treatment. METHODS: Leveraging the high prevalence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) overexpression and its mutated form EGFRvIII in various types of cancer, as well as the unique specificity of antibody mAb806 to EGFRvIII and overexpressed EGFR, we constructed a bivalent RIT, DT390-HuBiscFv806. Its cytotoxicity and anti-tumor efficacy were evaluated against a group of cancer cell lines and tumor xenografts. RESULTS: DT390-HuBiscFv806 was constructed by fusing two humanized single-chain variable fragments derived from mAb806 to the truncated form (DT390) of Diphtheria toxin (DT). It was expressed in a DT-resistant Pichia pastoris expression system. In vitro, DT390-HuBiscFv806 showed extremely cytotoxic against various types of cancer cells. The half maximal inhibition concentrations (IC50) were <1 pM for cancer cell lines with EGFR and EGFRvIII co-expression. In the immuodeficient mouse models of glioblastoma and breast cancer with EGFRvIII mutation, the growth of established tumor xenografts was significantly inhibited following i.v. injection of DT390-HuBiscFv806. In pathology, a much lower mitotic activity and a large number of degenerative tumor cells were observed throughout the entire RIT-treated tumors. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that DT390-HuBiscFv806 is promising for treatment of various types of cancer, especially for those with EGFR and EGFRvIII co-expression.College of Medicine, Howard UniversityNIH/NCRR/RCMI/4, G12 RR003048 at Howard University and NIDCR/NIH (1R15DE025138-01)
LillyECOLOGICAL RISKS LEADING TO ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANT INFECTIONSPURPOSE: Community associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections continue in alarming rates worldwide. Identifying those children who have risks for CA-MRSA infection based on socio environmental characteristics found in a particular geographic community can improve the delivery of preventive or empiric treatment.
METHODS: Data from children who were treated for S. aureus infections (2002-2010) at three pediatric hospitals were analyzed in Atlanta, Georgia. Patients’ demographics, medical conditions, and results of S. aureus cultures were obtained from health records. Area data based on patients’ US postal address was obtained from the US Census. Statistical models for CA-MRSA risks were developed and geospatial analyses was conducted and mapped to identify clusters of CA-MRSA.
RESULTS: Data from 10,642 patients with S. aureus infections were analyzed; 50.5% were CA-MRSA. Significant individual-level differences were found between CA-MRSA and CA-MSSA children, with regard to race, age, gender and type of health insurance. Although white children had the highest proportion of both MRSA and MSSA, the proportion of black children with MRSA was nearly double that of black children with MSSA infections. Children with MRSA also were younger and had higher rates of public health insurance compared to those with MSSA (p<0.01). Spatial analyses identified distinct neighborhood clusters which differed between CA-MRSA and CA-MSSA infections, even after controlling for known individual risk factors.
CONCLUSION: Geospatial data from patients’ neighborhoods indicate that CA-MRSA infections occur in geographic small-area clusters which are distinct from CA-MSSA, and independent of individual differences in race, age, and type of health insurance.
Morehouse School of MedicineGeorgia Tech’s Health Institute, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Friends’ Fund; PHS Grant UL1 RR025008 from the Clinical and Translational Science Award program, National Institute of Health, as part of the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute; Grant Number 2R25RR017694-06A1; Grant Number G12-RR03034, a component of the National Institute of Health; Grant Number HS024338-01, K-08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Award, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.
LillySpace-time Modeling of an Antibiotic Resistant InfectionPURPOSE: Healthcare costs associated with treating and preventing antibiotic resistant staphylococcal infections (MRSA) have continued to rise in the US. Paramount to improving the healthcare delivery to those who are infected with MRSA is efficient identification of those who might be at highest risk for infection so that correct and appropriate antibiotic therapy when they present with symptoms of infection. We propose to use geographic information system tools (GIS) and space time statistical modeling to characterize the movement of this community’s antibiotic resistant pathogen over a ten years (2002-2011), including a period when rates were at epidemic proportions in the US.
METHODS: We plan to apply two space-time models using a log-Gaussian Cox process and a non-homogeneous Poisson process to analyze our dataset from 2 area pediatric hospitals. By using GIS, we geocode each patient's place of residence in order to obtain US Census tract data. We are then able to evaluate these patient's profiles for potential covariates such as crowding and housing conditions by census tract. Using multi-level analyses will allow us to better understand how the patterns of antibiotic resistant and non resistant staphylococcal infection have changed in the metro Atlanta over time.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The results generated will indirectly impact the delivery of healthcare and assist with the development of health policy guidelines as it pertains to infection control, quality of healthcare delivery for those who may be at increased risk for MRSA and save healthcare dollars by improving the efficiency of diagnosing and managing those infected.
Morehouse School of MedicineGeorgia Tech’s Health Institute, PHS Grant UL1 RR025008 from the Clinical and Translational Science Award program, National Institute of Health, as part of the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute; Grant Number 2R25RR017694-06A1; Grant Number G12-RR03034, a component of the National Institute of Health; Grant Number HS024338-01, K-08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Award, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.
LindaHEALTH FAIRS AND RESOURCES IN UNDER-RESOURCED NEIGHBORHOODSPURPOSE: Racial/ethnic health disparities are preventable differences in health outcomes that are closely linked to socioeconomic disadvantages. Geography continues to be a predictor of health disparities where infant mortality and chronic health outcomes are intensified in poverty areas where African Americans and Latinos live. Community health fairs including resources have been identified as effective approaches to reach residents, ensure health screenings, share resources, and gather data. The primary objective of this study was to provide screenings and resources, while assess effectiveness of the fair and gather residents’ health-related seeking behaviors to identify community-driven strategies to improve overall health.
METHODS: Using community based participatory research, this study administered a bilingual survey to inquire about the effectiveness of the fair, personal health seeking behaviors, and suggestions to improve health in the community.
RESULTS: The surveys were de-identified and coded for frequency analysis of responses. Of the 200 attendees, 107 completed the survey: 71 Latinos, 28 African Americans, 73 Females, 26 Males, 31 between the ages of 36-45, and 51 with a household income under $15,000. Respondents determined their primary reason for attending was health screenings and identified transportation as a barrier to making their doctor’s appointment. The park and library were resources accessed the most, and community-driven recommendations included nutritional education and more health fairs.
CONCLUSION: Resources and health fairs in low-income communities serve as immediate approaches for racial/ethnic populations. However, health fairs are not able to follow-up with most participants. Therefore, interventions should address limitations to ensure wellbeing in these areas.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceResearch reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number S21 MD000103 and The California Endowment Grant number 20142223. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
LinyongPopulation Differentiation in Obesity Allele FrequenciesBackground
Obesity is emerging as a global health problem, with more than one-third of the world’s adult population being overweight or obese. In this study, we investigated worldwide population differentiation in allele frequencies of obesity-associated SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms).
We collected a total of 225 obesity-associated SNPs from a public database. Their population-level allele frequencies were derived based on the genotype data from 1000 Genomes Project (phase 3). We used hypergeometric model to assess whether the effect allele at a given SNP is significantly enriched or depleted in each of the 26 populations surveyed in the 1000 Genomes Project with respect to the overall pooled population. Our results indicate that 195 out of 225 SNPs (86.7%) possess effect alleles significantly enriched or depleted in at least one of the 26 populations. Populations within the same continental group exhibit similar allele enrichment/depletion patterns whereas inter-continental populations show distinct patterns. Among the 225 SNPs, 15 SNPs cluster in the first intron region of the FTO gene, which is a major gene associated with body-mass index (BMI) and fat mass. African populations exhibit much smaller blocks of LD (linkage disequilibrium) among these15 SNPs while European and Asian populations have larger blocks.
We have detected substantial population differentiation in allele frequencies of obesity-associated SNPs. The results will help elucidate the genetic basis which may contribute to population disparities in obesity prevalence.
Howard UniversityThis work was supported by the grant (G12 MD007597) from NIMHD, NIH, to the RCMI program at Howard University, a grant from the Office of Naval Research (#N00014-17-1-2105) and a HUMAA (Howard University Medical Alumni Association) Endowed Founder’s Chair in Basic Science award to YF.
To evaluate a piperidone compound, P2, in vitro for its potential cytotoxic activity on a variety of cancer cell types.
Various cytotoxicity assays, transcriptome analyses, and molecular biology techniques were used in the analysis.
The P2 piperidone compound selectively killed hematological cancer cells by the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Analyses of the effects of P2-treatment on the transcriptome of HL-60 promyelocytic leukemia cells revealed that it differentially-regulated the expression of 456 genes. Pathway analyses revealed that a significant number of the genes affected by this compound were related to the unfolded protein response and induction of proteotoxic stress leading to apoptosis. Proteotoxic stress along with other factors including high expression of pro-apoptotic proteins is an important hallmark of the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis. The effects of a subset of genes involved in proteotoxic stress and the pro-apoptotic gene PMAIP1 (also referred to as NOXA) was verified by RT-qPCR. Further analyses of the transcriptome data revealed similarities between the gene profile of P2 to known proteasome inhibitors. Proteasome inhibition causes an accumulation of poly-ubiquitinated proteins and this was subsequently confirmed after P2 treatment of HL-60 cells.
Our results demonstrated that the apoptotic activity of P2 is likely mediated by the induction of proteotoxic stress leading to inhibition of the proteasome.
University of Texas at El PasoNIGMS Grant SC3GM103713-4 and NIMDH RCMI Grant 5G12MD007592-24
LizzieDISPARITY AMONG OBSTETRICAL SERVICES IN ZIKA AFFECTED AREASPURPOSE: In Puerto Rico active screening of all pregnant women was mandated and the use of barrier methods during pregnancy were incorporated as additional preventive methods. Efforts included ensuring access to information and strategies to reduce the risk of transmission, but there is still an increased risk of exposure to Zika during pregnancy among women of low socioeconomic background. METHODS: To document difference in the rate of attack among women of different socioeconomic background. We documented the number of live born infants delivered by women with history of positive Zika tests during pregnancy in two Hospitals within the Puerto Rico Metropolitan Area that provide services to patients from different socioeconomic backgrounds. We reviewed the delivery reports at HIMA San Pablo Bayamón (SP) and Auxilio Mutuo Hospital (AM) to determine if there are differences in the risks of exposure based on socioeconomic background. We reviewed the delivery reports starting on August 2016 up to July 2017. RESULTS: A total of 131 Zika exposed live born infants were delivered among both institutions. Of the total number of exposed newborns, 18 were born at AM and 113 were born at SP. For AM this represents 2% of all live born deliveries vs SP this represents 9.4%. CONCLUSION: The observed difference in the rate of attack suggests a health disparity and requires further study. Further exploration of the impact of social determinants of health in the development of emergency response plans is needed to enable a more equitable response.University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusResearch reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U54MD007587, and primarily through award number G12 MD007600 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
Cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases impose a major health burden to society, being the main causes of mortality and disability in the United States, respectively. The aim of this study was to evaluate how sex may relate to rheumatic disorders among patients with cardiovascular diseases.
Medical records of 377 patients hospitalized at the Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, who were consulted to the in-patient rheumatology service during January 2006-December 2015, were evaluated. Age-adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between sex (men as reference) and rheumatic diseases were estimated using logistic regression models.
More than half of patients were men (56.8%); the mean age was 58.5 ±16.7 years. The most common admission diagnoses were congestive heart failure (20.7%) and acute coronary syndromes (18.3%); 56% of patients had a previous rheumatologic condition. Patients were mainly diagnosed with the following rheumatic disorders: gout (33.7%), osteoarthritis (11.9%), and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (9.6%); 12.7% of patients had >1 rheumatologic disease. Women were less likely than men to be diagnosed with gout (AOR: 0.06, 95% CI: 0.03-0.13), while the opposite was shown for SLE (AOR: 7.5, 95% CI: 2.7-20.3), unspecified connective tissue disease (AOR: 3.7, 95% CI: 1.7-8.3), rheumatoid arthritis (AOR: 6.9, 95% CI: 2.5-18.8), and scleroderma (AOR: 5.5, 95% CI: 1.1-26.3).
In this population of patients with cardiovascular diseases, acute gout was the most common rheumatic disorder. Sex disparities were found for acute gout and autoimmune rheumatic disorders.
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusSupported by NIMHD and NIAID grant #U54MD007587.
LorenaBIOSTATISTICS/STUDY DESIGN AT A CONSORTIUM SERVING HISPANICSPURPOSE: The Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC) is a collaborative network of academic health centers in the island: University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, Ponce Health Sciences University and Universidad Central del Caribe. The services provided by Research Design and Biostatistics core (RDB) of PRCTRC include support for research design/statistical analysis of clinical studies, and trainings. Our aim was to describe the RDB experience and progress during the first five years of the consortium. METHODS: Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the number of projects, services and outcomes. Changes in trends in number of outcomes were evaluated using Poisson models and reported as annual percent change (APC) (Joinpoint Regression Program,,NCI). RESULTS: RDB provided services to 304 research projects during the period. Services corresponded to: data analysis (56.3%), study design/methods (24.2%) and data management (19.5%). With the exception of year three, there were annual increments in abstracts and manuscripts submitted (APC: 53.3, p<0.05; 28.2, p=0.10) and accepted (APC: 57.3, p<0.05; 9.9, p=0.6). The number of submitted and funded grant proposals remained stable after a decrease in year two (APC: 3.9, p=0.8;-22.0, p=0.3). The number of training activities sponsored by RDB and the number of attendees increased annually (APC: 6.0, p=0.5; 55.9, p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Results demonstrate an overall increase in the activities supported by RDB. Its essential to identify and solve existing barriers to enhancing manuscripts’ acceptance, process of grant development and submission, as well as success in funding, in order to pursue our long-term goal of enabling translational research in PR.University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusResearch was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U54MD007587 and G12MD007583. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
HIV-infected macrophages infiltrate the brain, triggering neuronal dysfunction. Patients develop HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). During HIV infection, macrophages secrete cathepsin B (CATB), a lysosomal protease, that interacts with serum amyloid p component (SAPC) inducing neuronal apoptosis. We hypothesize that CATB is released from macrophages in vesicles, and internalized by neurons inducing apoptosis.
Neurons were exposed to histidine-tagged CATB in culture media alone or with anti-CATB and SAPC antibodies, and localized the histidine tag in neurons by flow cytometry and western blot. We examined the presence of CATB and SAPC in exosomes secreted from uninfected and HIV-infected macrophages.
CATB was internalized by neurons, while pre-treating the media with CATB and SAPC antibodies reduced CATB internalization. Treatment with His-CATB triggered the activation of caspase-3 and decreased synaptophysin marker reduced by the pre-treatment with anti-CATB and SAPC antibodies, and CA074 cysteine protease inhibitor. Exosomes with the markers CD63, CD81 and HSP70 contain CATB and SAPC. Finally, we found increased CATB along with decreased synaptophysin in the striatum of HIV-encephalitis mice, by immunofluorescence.
Our results suggest a novel mechanism of neuronal dysfunction in which CATB: (1) is internalized by neurons, a mechanism lessened by CATB and SAPC antibodies; (2) is secreted in exosomes that facilitate neurotoxicity; and (3) is expressed in the brain of HIVE mice, a model we will use to test CATB and SAPC inhibitors. Further studies will allow us to determine if CATB/SAPC inhibitors can be characterized to be considered as therapy candidates against HAND.
University of Puerto Rico Medical SciencesNIH R24 OD 018546-01, NIGMS SC1GM113691, NIMH G12MD007600, RCMI Grant G12-MD007600
Pathogenesis of HIV-1 associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) is mediated through the infiltration of perivascular macrophages into the brain that secrete inflammatory factors such as cathepsin B (CATB), a lysosomal cysteine protease that induces neuronal apoptosis. CATB increases in plasma and in cerebrospinal fluid from HIV-1 infected patients (Cantres-Rosario et al., 2013). Cocaine potentiates CATB secretion and neurotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Cocaine modulates the sigma-1 (Sig1R), and increase viral replication, oxidative stress, and inflammatory cytokines in macrophages. However, the role of Sig1R in CATB secretion and HIV-1 replication in macrophages is unknown. We hypothesized that pharmacological modulation of Sig1R would alter CATB secretion from HIV-1 infected macrophages exposed to cocaine.
Monocyte derived-macrophages (MDM) from seven (n=7) healthy human donors were isolated and infected with HIV-1ADA, pretreated with Sig1R antagonist (BD1047 dihydrobromide) or 2-(4-Morpholinethyl) 1-phenylcyclohexanecarboxylate hydrochloride (PRE-084), a specific Sig1R prior to 10 μM cocaine treatment for 3, 6, 9 and 11 days post-infection. Statistical Analyses were done by a Two-way ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc tests.
BD1047 decreased CATB secretion (HIV+420 ng/mL vs. HIV+BD1047+cocaine 200 ng/mL) at 11 days post-infection when administered prior to cocaine, compared to untreated infected MDM (p<0.05). Pretreatment with 1µM of PRE-084 significantly decreased HIV-1 infection (p24=90,000 ng/mL vs. 10 ng/mL) and CATB secretion (420 ng/mL vs. 200 ng/mL). However, administration of PRE-084 prior to cocaine had no effect (p<0.05).
These results demonstrate that Sig1R plays a role in CATB secretion and infection levels, and that Sig1R antagonist in presence of cocaine has the potential for diminishing neurotoxicity.
University of Puerto Rico Medical SciencesAcknowledgements to SC1 Grant (SC1GM113691) and RCMI Grant (G12-MD007600)
High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common type of epithelial ovarian cancer and accounts for 70-80% of ovarian cancer deaths. RNA-Binding Protein With Multiple Splicing (RBPMS) is a member of a family of proteins that bind to the nascent RNA transcripts and regulate their processing, including the pre-mRNA splicing and the transport, localization, and stability of the RNA molecules. Our group recently published that RBPMS is decreased in cisplatin-resistant compared with cisplatin sensitive ovarian cancer cells. However, little is known about the proteins associated with RBPMS in cisplatin sensitive and cisplatin resistant ovarian cancer cells. We partnered with the Translational Proteomics Center at the Medical Sciences Campus, to elucidate the role of RBPMS associated proteins in the response to therapy against ovarian cancer.
RBPMS was immunoprecipitated in cisplatin resistant (A2780CP20) and in cisplatin sensitive (A2780) cells. RBPMS-associated proteins isolated, separated by SDS-PAGE and digested with trypsin. The recovered peptides were analyzed by Tandem Mass Spectrometry and identified using Sequest HT Database search.
Twenty (n=20) proteins were identified as RBPMS interacting partners present in cisplatin sensitive ovarian cancer cells and absent in cisplatin resistant cells.
It is in our interest to determine the cellular processes associated with these RBPMS interacting partners to elucidate the role of RBPMS in response to ovarian cancer cisplatin therapy. Future studies involve the validation of these proteins by Western blots to confirm their interactions. This partnership demonstrates how proteomics tools can be applied to move forward Cancer Research.
University of Puerto Rico Medical SciencesAcknowledgements to NIH RCMI Grant (G12-MD007600) and Comprehensive Cancer Center
LuciaMETABOLOMICS OF THE SELENOCYSTEINE LYASE KNOCKOUT MOUSEPURPOSE: The role of selenium (Se) in metabolic disorders remains controversial, with reported positive and negative effects. In cells, Se is processed into selenocysteine (Sec), an amino acid present in selenoproteins, a class of proteins mostly working in mechanisms to cope with oxidative stress. The enzyme Sec lyase (Scly) is responsible for decomposing Sec into selenide, which is then reutilized in selenoprotein translation. We previously demonstrated that mice lacking Scly (Scly KO) were obese, glucose intolerant and had fatty liver. As Scly is mostly expressed in the liver, an organ that controls energy metabolism, we investigated the role of Scly in hepatic energy metabolism. METHODS: We performed metabolomics profiling analysis in the livers of Scly KO mice fed Se adequate and Se deficient diets to unveil metabolites changing due to Scly deletion. RESULTS: Our analysis revealed enriched metabolites for amino acid metabolism, specifically glycine, serine, threonine, and creatine, in Scly KO livers. Moreover, Scly KO mouse pathways were affected in a sex-specific manner, including the transsulfuration pathway that degrades selenomethionine, and cysteine and methionine metabolism. DISCUSSION: Overall, our results point to an additional involvement of Scly in regulating glucogenic amino acid metabolism, beyond Sec decomposition. Understanding of the crosstalk between amino acid and Se metabolism may help to clarify the controversial relationship of Se and energy metabolism in hepatic physiology. Ultimately, our results may improve our knowledge of the complex interconnection between Se and metabolic disorders.John A. Burns School of Medicine/ University of Hawaii at ManoaNIH - R01DK047320 to MJB; Pilot Project of G12MD007601 to LAS.
LuciaSEX DIFFERENCES IN METABOLIC SYNDROME IN THE SCLY KO MOUSEPURPOSE: Selenium (Se) has well-studied roles in male reproduction, neurological development, and redox function. Clinical trials and epidemiological studies suggest that Se influences human energy metabolism, and animal studies have elucidated a connection between Se, selenoproteins, and energy metabolism. Selenocysteine lyase (Scly) decomposes selenocysteine into alanine and selenide, recycling Se. Whole-body Scly KO leads to male-specific increases in fat deposition and metabolic syndrome, corroborating human studies in which men with higher serum Se have increased susceptibility to developing metabolic syndrome, whereas women do not.
METHODS: Energy expenditure and food intake were measured in 20-22 week old castrated or sham-operated male Scly KO and WT mice using metabolic cages. Body weight was measured weekly. Immunofluorescence confirmed Scly expression in pancreatic islets. Glucose stimulated insulin secretion was measured in isolated pancreatic islets after 1 h treatment with a physiological dose of testosterone.
RESULTS: Castration reverses elevated fasting serum insulin in male Scly KO mice to WT levels, but does not reverse the obese phenotype. In addition, Scly expression in the pancreatic islet suggests that Scly may play a role in insulin production and/or secretion. Our results also suggest that testosterone and Scly work together to regulate insulin secretion.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The Scly KO mouse is an attractive model for investigating sex differences in Scly-dependent energy metabolism and development of metabolic syndrome. Our results suggest a novel relationship between sex hormones and Se recycling which may shed light on the sex differences observed in human Se supplementation trials and susceptibility to metabolic syndrome.
University of HawaiiSupported by grants NIH NIMHD G12MD007601, and NIH NIDDK R01DK047320 to MJB.
LuisLEVEL IIB PREVALENCE IN PAPILLARY THYROID CANCERPURPOSE While papillary thyroid cancer does metastasize to level IIb of the neck, this is a rare occurrence and dissection of level IIb can result in significant shoulder morbidity.  Our goal was to document the involvement of level IIb lymph nodes in PTC patients undergoing a lateral neck dissection by two a neck surgeon at a large tertiary referral cancer center. METHODS We reviewed the medical records of all patients with pathologically confirmed PTC who underwent therapeutic lateral neck dissections by EMS from June, 2003- July,2017. Level IIa and IIb were sent separately to pathology and reported individually. RESULTS The involvement of level IIa, IIb, III and IV were respectively 59%, 5%, 80% and 74%. Six out of the eight cases with level IIb metastasis had the presence of metastasis in level IIa. DISCUSION In this retrospective patient review we concur with the current guidelines for cervical lymph node dissection in PTC patients. Level IIb should be excised only when there is clinical, radiological or intraoperative findings that indicate disease at this level. Thus diminishing possible morbidity in patients.University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus
LynnEVALUATION OF P-SCN-BN-HOPO FOR LU-177 RADIOIMMUNOTHERAPYLast year, we reported a bifunctional chelator, p-SCN-Bn-HOPO, for radioimmuno-Positron Emission Tomography (radioimmunoPET) using Zr-89 that exhibited dramatic decrease of Zr-89 in the bone due compared to the clinically used DFO chelator. Here we report on the potential use of p-SCN-Bn-HOPO for radioimmuinotherapy with Lutetium-117, thus supporting our postulate that HOPO-antibodies can be used both for immunoPET imaging with Zr-89 and for radioimmunotherapy with Lu-177. In this investigation we first examined the stability of Lutetium-117 in the “bare” HOPO (without the p-SCN-Benzyl group). The kinetics of radiolabeling, radiochemical yields, and stabilities of Lu-177 HOPO were compared with those of the Lu-177 complex of DOTA, the most prevalent bifunctional chelator used in preclinical and clinical studies. Both HOPO and DOTA compared favorably in radiolabeling, challenge assays under physiological conditions, serum and cell culture assays and biodistribution. The bifunctional p-SCN-Bn-HOPO, was conjugated to trastuzumab (HOPO-Traz) and was radiolabeled with Lu-177 (Lu-177-HOPO-Traz) (specific activity: 4-5 mCi/mg; >98% radiochemical purity). In vitro analyses demonstrated stability of Lu-177-HOPO-Traz in serum and in challenge studies as well as retention of immunoreactivity. Lu-177-HOPO-Traz was administered to a group of SKOV-3 tumor-bearing female nude mice and healthy female nude mice (for biodistribution only). Tumor uptake was well delineated at early time points with high tumor uptake 7 days post injection. Both tumor bearing and healthy mice showed excretion and extremely low uptake in bone and non-target organs. This study supports the use of HOPO-Traz as a construct for both Zr-89 immunoPET imaging and radioimmunotherapy with Lu-177.Hunter College of CUNYNIH-R21CA201999; NIH- CTSC-TR000457
MagdaHYPERTENSION TREATMENT AND BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL BY SEXPURPOSE: Although effective antihypertensive medications existed for decades, only about half of hypertensive population are considered controlled. Limited research has investigated the gender difference in the utilization and efficacy of hypertension treatment. We aim to examine: 1) the gender difference in the treatment of hypertension among the U.S. adult with hypertension, and 2) the gender difference in the effect of treatment on control of blood pressure among the treated U.S. adult hypertensive population.
METHODS: Analysis of data from NHANES (1999-2012) of adults ≥ 18 years old hypertensive (BP ≥ 140/90mm Hg), currently taking antihypertensive medication. We included gender, age, race/ethnicity, obesity, smoking, comorbidities, medication, and routine place for care as covariates. We used multiple logistic regression in STATA V14 (consider sampling design and weight).
RESULTS: Of the 15,719 participants, 52% were women, 44% were =>60 years old, 14% were Blacks, 19% were smokers, 46% were obese, and 49% used antihypertensive medication (of whom 49% had controlled blood pressure). In the multiple logistic regression analysis, female was more likely to use antihypertensive medication relative to males (Adjusted OR [AOR]=1.12, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]=1.02-1.22, p<0.05). Among the treated participants, there was no association between control of hypertension and gender (AOR=0.96, 95% CI=0.84-1.10, p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that women are more likely than men to use antihypertensive medication. However, among the treated individuals, the efficacy of the treatment to control blood pressure is equal among men and women.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaMORBIDITY AND MORTALITY TREND BEFORE AND DURING PREGNANCYPURPOSE: Although maternal mortality have continued to decrease (37.1/100,000 in
1960 and 12.1/100,000 in 2003), but due to the large number of births, maternal health is a major public health concern. We aim to examine trend of maternal comorbidities/risk behaviors and its relationship with length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality in California.
METHODS: We analyzed data for 5,247,167 discharges from the Office of Statewide
Health Planning and Development for California from 2001 to 2010. We used the
International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes to identify the following conditions: chronic hypertension, pregnancy-related hypertension, pre-gestational and gestational diabetes, asthma, thyroid disorders, obesity, mental health conditions, substance abuse, tobacco use, anemia, and obstetric hemorrhage. We used multiple logistic regression to test the relationship between maternal comorbidities/risk behavior, length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.
RESULTS: We found that comorbidities/risk behaviors, hospital length of stay of =>4 days have increased overtime from 2001-2010 but the overall mortality has decreased. In the multivariate analysis, maternal comorbidities/risk behaviors were independently associated with longer hospital stay (=>4 days) [highest: hypertension (AOR=4.15, 95% CI=4.12-4.18); lowest: tobacco use (AOR=0.79, 95% CI=0.77-0.80). In-hospital mortality was independently associated with hypertension (AOR=5.33, 95% CI=4.27-
6.66), substance abuse (AOR=4.07, 95% CI=2.04-8.13), anemia (AOR=1.91, 95% CI=1.04-3.51), and obstetric hemorrhage (AOR=13.66, 95% CI=10.94-17.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of comorbidities before and during pregnancies continues to increase overtime in California. Maternal comorbidities, especially hypertension increase the length of hospital stay. Obstetric hemorrhage and hypertension are the major risk factors associated with high in-hospital mortality.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaEFFICACY OF MEDITATION MODALITIES IN ADHD: LITERATURE REVIEWPURPOSE: Over six million children have been diagnosed with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since 2011. Minorities are less likely to use prescription medication for ADHD treatment. Furthermore, African American and Latino children are more likely to face long-standing social and economic stressors that adversely affect their health. Meditation has demonstrated benefits in stress reduction. We aim to review the literature on meditation as a treatment modality in Latino and African American pediatric populations with ADHD.
METHODS: We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Psych info, Embase, and Cochrane review using the MESH terms "meditation," "mindfulness," and "Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity." Articles were screened for eligibility using: meditation as the main intervention modality, participants <18 years with ADHD, reported psychosocial (i.e. Conners-parent) quantitative outcomes, and published before 2017 in a peer-reviewed English-language journal.
RESULTS: We screened 46 articles, 12 articles were reviewed and three were excluded. Nine articles met eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Eight studies were non-randomized control trials (1/8 among African American) and one was a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The RCT study showed improvement of selective deployment of attention and freedom from distractibility (p<0.01) and the non-RCT showed improvement in sustained attention (p <0.05; 6/9 studies) and ADHD symptoms (p<.001; 4/9 studies).
CONCLUSION: There may be a potential role for meditation as a treatment modality in ADHD. Studies demonstrated significant improvements in sustained attention or reduction of ADHD symptoms. RCTs are needed that include Latinos and African Americans to further assess efficacy of meditation in these populations.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaMATERNAL MORBIDITY BEFORE AND DURING PREGNANCY AND MORTALITYPURPOSE: Although maternal mortality have continued to decrease (37.1/100,000 in
1960 and 12.1/100,000 in 2003), but due to the large number of births, maternal health is a major public health concern. We aim to examine trend of maternal comorbidities/risk behaviors and its relationship with length of hospital stay and in-hospital mortality in California.

METHODS: We analyzed data for 5,247,167 discharges from the Office of Statewide
Health Planning and Development for California from 2001 to 2010. We used the
International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes to identify the following conditions: chronic hypertension, pregnancy-related hypertension, pre-gestational and gestational diabetes, asthma, thyroid disorders, obesity, mental health conditions, substance abuse, tobacco use, anemia, and obstetric hemorrhage. We used multiple logistic regression to test the relationship between maternal comorbidities/risk behavior, length of stay, and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS: We found that comorbidities/risk behaviors, hospital length of stay of =>4 days have increased overtime from 2001-2010 but the overall mortality has decreased. In the multivariate analysis, maternal comorbidities/risk behaviors were independently associated with longer hospital stay (=>4 days) [highest: hypertension (AOR=4.15, 95% CI=4.12-4.18); lowest: tobacco use (AOR=0.79, 95% CI=0.77-0.80). In-hospital mortality was independently associated with hypertension (AOR=5.33, 95% CI=4.27-
6.66), substance abuse (AOR=4.07, 95% CI=2.04-8.13), anemia (AOR=1.91, 95% CI=1.04-3.51), and obstetric hemorrhage (AOR=13.66, 95% CI=10.94-17.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of comorbidities before and during pregnancies continues to increase overtime in California. Maternal comorbidities, especially hypertension increase the length of hospital stay. Obstetric hemorrhage and hypertension are the major risk factors associated with high in-hospital mortality.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaEFFECT OF MEDITATION MODALITIES IN ADHD: LITERATURE REVIEWPURPOSE: Over six million children have been diagnosed with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) since 2011. Minorities are less likely to use prescription medication for ADHD treatment. Furthermore, African American and Latino children are more likely to face long-standing social and economic stressors that adversely affect their health. Meditation has demonstrated benefits in stress reduction. We aim to review the literature on meditation as a treatment modality in Latino and African American pediatric populations with ADHD.

METHODS: We searched PubMed, Web of Science, Psych info, Embase, and Cochrane review using the MESH terms "meditation," "mindfulness," and "Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity." Articles were screened for eligibility using: meditation as the main intervention modality, participants <18 years with ADHD, reported psychosocial (i.e. Conners-parent) quantitative outcomes, and published before 2017 in a peer-reviewed English-language journal.

RESULTS: We screened 46 articles, 12 articles were reviewed and three were excluded. Nine articles met eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Eight studies were non-randomized control trials (1/8 among African American) and one was a randomized controlled trial (RCT). The RCT study showed improvement of selective deployment of attention and freedom from distractibility (p<0.01) and the non-RCT showed improvement in sustained attention (p <0.05; 6/9 studies) and ADHD symptoms (p<.001; 4/9 studies).

CONCLUSION: There may be a potential role for meditation as a treatment modality in ADHD. Studies demonstrated significant improvements in sustained attention or reduction of ADHD symptoms. RCTs are needed that include Latinos and African Americans to further assess efficacy of meditation in these populations.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaFACTORTS RELATED TO DEPRESSION AMONG ETHNIC MINORITIESPURPOSE: : Many studies have investigated risk factors for depression and HIV, but few investigated the relationship between depression, alcohol use, childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and HIV/AIDS knowledge among Latinos and African-Americans by gender. The main purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between alcohol abuse, CSA, and/or HIV/AIDS knowledge and depression by HIV status in Latino and African-American men and women living in South Los Angeles.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data was collected by questionnaires. Subjects were recruited at community outreach sites and HIV/AIDS Primary Care Clinics. SPSS 22.0 was used for analysis.
RESULTS Of the 266 participants, 51% were Latino, 49% were female, 51% were 18-40 years old, 40% had > high school education, 70% had health insurance, 73% had an income < $10,000/year, 12.5% were HIV positive, 55% had history of childhood sexual abuse, and 36% reported alcohol abuse. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that participants who had history of childhood sexual abuse were more likely to have depression (OR: 2.96, 95% CI [1.5-5.85]), as were those who screened positive for alcohol abuse (OR: 3.08, 95% CI [1.52-6.22]). There was no independent association between gender, HIV status, HIV knowledge and depression.
CONCLUSION: The data suggest that history of childhood sexual abuse and alcohol abuse were independently related to depression among the African-Americans and Latinos residing in South Los Angeles. Increased resources for education and treatment may greatly benefit these populations.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaHYPERTENSION TREATMENT AND BLOOD PRESSURE CONTROL BY GENDERBACKGROUND: Although effective antihypertensive medications existed for decades, only about half of hypertensive population are considered controlled. Limited research has investigated the gender difference in the utilization and efficacy of hypertension treatment.

OBJECTIVES: To examine: 1) the gender difference in the treatment of hypertension among the U.S. adult with hypertension, and 2) the gender difference in the effect of treatment on control of blood pressure among the treated U.S. adult hypertensive population.

METHODS: Analysis of data from NHANES (1999-2012) of adults ≥ 18 years old hypertensive (BP ≥ 140/90mm Hg), currently taking antihypertensive medication. We included gender, age, race/ethnicity, obesity, smoking, comorbidities, medication, and routine place for care as covariates. We used multiple logistic regression in STATA V14 (consider sampling design and weight).

RESULTS: Of the 15,719 participants, 52% were women, 44% were =>60 years old, 14% were Blacks, 19% were smokers, 46% were obese, and 49% used antihypertensive medication (of whom 49% had controlled blood pressure). In the multiple logistic regression analysis, female was more likely to use antihypertensive medication relative to males (Adjusted OR [AOR]=1.12, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]=1.02-1.22, p<0.05). Among the treated participants, there was no association between control of hypertension and gender (AOR=0.96, 95% CI=0.84-1.10, p>0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that women are more likely than men to use antihypertensive medication. However, among the treated individuals, the efficacy of the treatment to control blood pressure is equal among men and women.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaDETERMINANTS OF BICYCLE HELMET USE AND BICYCLE INJURIES, USABACKGROUND: Cycling is the #1 cause of Traumatic Brain Injury in sporting activities. During 2013, there were 494,000 emergency department visits due to bicycle-related injuries. The effects of helmet use interventions are not distributed equally among racial/ethnic groups.
OBJECTIVE: To describe racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in bicycle helmet use and bicycle-related injury outcomes amongst adults and children in the U.S.
METHODS: Analysis of the National Trauma Data Bank from 2002–2012 for all patients with bicycle-related injuries in the U.S with head and neck trauma that were treated at trauma centers. We examined the association between helmet use, insurance status, and race/ethnicity and determined the association between helmet use, injury severity, hospital and ICU length of stay (HLOS, ICU LOS), and mortality based on race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status.
RESULTS: Of the 76, 528 bicyclists, 22% wore helmets, with decreased use among Blacks and Hispanics. Blacks and Hispanics were four times less likely to wear helmets compared to Whites (p<0.05). The privately insured were more likely to wear helmets compared to other groups (p<0.05). Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to have longer HLOS and ICU LOS compared to Whites (p<0.05). There was no racial difference in mortality. The publicly insured had higher HLOS, ICU LOS, and mortality compared to the privately insured.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates disparities in helmet use among bicyclists across racial/ethnic and insurance groups. Hispanic, Black, publicly insured, and uninsured bicyclists are the at-risk groups who would benefit from targeted efforts to promote bicycle helmet use.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
MagdaPROFILE OF SELF-INFLICTED HARM ADMISSION IN USA POPULATIONBACKGROUND: Self-inflicted injury (SIH) has a substantial life-time prevalence, it is associated with tremendous costs, and its rate is increasing at a national scale.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the characteristics of those admitted for SIH in the US and to investigate the factors that potentially modify the methods used to commit SIH.

METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a nationally-representative sample of trauma cases due to self-inflicted harm/injury or suicide attempts between 2007-2012 using the National Trauma Data Bank.

RESULTS: Of the 115,463 cases admitted for SIH, 75.1% were males, 48.2% were 35–64 years old; 70.8% were Caucasian. Blacks were less likely to self-poison (OR= 0.78) compared to Whites. Individuals with psychiatric disorders/substance abuse had 2.5 and 2.0-fold higher risk, respectively. Blacks were less likely to use anoxic methods (OR= 0.69), whereas patients with psychiatric disorders/substance abuse had 1.5-fold higher risk. Black, Hispanic, and Asian (OR: 0.58, 0.55, and 0.55, respectively) and those with psychiatric disorders (OR: 0.80) had lower risk of using firearms. Blacks (OR=0.77) were less likely to cut/pierce relative to Hispanics (OR=1.4), Asians (OR=1.29), and those with psychiatric disorders (OR=2.5) or drug abuse (OR=2). Blacks (OR=1.11), Hispanics (OR=1.13), and Asians (OR=1.57) had higher risk, whereas substance abuser had lower risk to jump from high places (OR=0.77). The risk of using different methods increased with age.

CONCLUSIONS: Among patients admitted for SIH, males, aged 35-64 years, and Whites comprised the largest groups. Race/ethnicity, sex, age, with concurrent psychiatric/drug abuse disorders can potentially influence how individuals commit SIH, which is discussed.
Charles R Drew UniversityNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants 5S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 (formerly U54RR026138). NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
The purpose of this research was to develop a facile method for the introduction of modifications at the C4 position of pyrimidine nucleosides, including AZT, and an assessment of the products for antiviral activity against a range of viruses.

The C4 amide linkage in thymidine, 2’-deoxyuridine, and AZT, were activated by reaction with (benzotriazol-1-yloxy)tris(dimethylamino)phosphonium hexafluorophosphate (BOP), a commercially-available peptide-coupling agent. The ensuing O4-(benzotriazol-1-yl) pyrimidine nucleosides were then reacted with amine, thiol, and alcohol nucleophiles leading to C4 modified pyrimidine nucleoside analogues. After appropriate deprotection, these compounds were tested for their antiviral properties. Compounds prepared from AZT were further reduced to the 3’-amino derivatives, which were also tested.

The 29 compounds that were prepared via this approach were tested against several viruses. Some compounds displayed low micromolar activities against HIV-1 and HIV-2, and one compound was active against HSV-1 Kos strain.

A novel approach for the facile modification of pyrimidine nucleosides at the C4 position, via activation of the amide linkages with BOP, is described. The new compounds were tested for antiviral activities, where some showed low micromolar activities against HIV-1 and HIV-2. One compound showed activity against HSV-1. This work has demonstrated a very simple method for modification of commercially available nucleosides, with potential application for the development of novel drug candidates. In a broader sense, the chemistry will be widely applicable for modifications of nucleosides and related heterocycles.
The City College of New YorkNSF grant CHE-1265687 to MKL and infrastructural support via NIH grant G12MD007603 from NIMHD.
MANUELUNTANGLE GLYCINERGIC IMMUNOREACTIVITY IN THE BASAL GANGLIAPURPOSE: The basal ganglia circuitry involves the modulation of GABAergic medium-sized spiny neurons within the striatum by dopaminergic (DA) projections from the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc). Although the involvement of glycinergic circuitry has not been considered to be part of the basal ganglia, we hypothesize that it is a critical component and participates in the modulation of basal ganglia regulated functions. We present solid data that demonstrate the presence of glycinergic immunoreactivity within several basal ganglia structures.
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry of rat coronal and saggital sections were stained with antibodies to the glycinergic marker glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1) and other neuronal and glial markers. In addition, the cytoarchitecture of glycinergic neurons was analyzed by intracranial injection of retrograde fluorescent dyes and viral particles followed by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy.
RESULTS: immunohistochemistry clearly demonstrate that the majority of GlyT1 immunoreactivity is absent from astrocytes and mainly co-localize with the neuronal marker MAP2. Further staining with glycine receptor antibodies showed immunoreactivity in the globus pallidus (GP) and the striatum, components of the basal ganglia, suggesting the presence of pre- and post-synaptic glycinergic synapse. In addition, Injection of retrograde tracers and adeno-associated viral particles into the GP of rodents suggests that the cell bodies of these putative neurons are located within areas of the midbrain. Additional characterization of these neurons and the postsynaptic connections are currently under development.
CONCLUSIONS: These data together suggest the presence of glycinergic neurons that may contribute to the regulation of the indirect pathway of the basal ganglia.
University of Texas at El PasoThis study was supported by grant NIMH 5SC1MH 086070-04 to MM and also in part by the grant 2G12MD007592 to the Border Biomedical Research Center (BBRC)/University of Texas at El Paso from the NIMHD.
MarcantonioMULTIFACTORIAL DEVELOPMENT OF HETEROTOPIC OSSIFICATIONThe objective of this study is to identify and analyze etiologic factors and their multifactorial influence in the outcomes of patients treated with open-elbow release after developing elbow stiffness/contracture. Functional elbow arc of motion needed to perform activities of daily living include 100 degrees of linear movement and 100 degrees of forearm overall rotation. Several mechanisms have been described in the process of developing elbow stiffness, including elbow trauma. Patients were selected using the procedure code for open elbow joint release, which was traced to the insurance claims at the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UPR-RCM, from 1998 to 2014. Data from 240 patients was analyzed. Chi square and Fisher’s exact test were used for categorical variables. 54% of the population analyzed was under the age of 40, and 67.9% were male. 20.8% of patients had presented initially with a humerus fracture and 15% had a fracture of one or more bones. The leading cause of the initial trauma was motor vehicle accidents (37.5%), followed by falls (35.1%). Heterotopic ossification was identified 57.1% of the patients at the time of contracture release. Multiple etiological factors were evaluated, and their potential correlation with the development of HO. Factors such as gender, hypertension and brain injury at the time of the initial trauma were associated with the development of HO. Future studies will be focused on evaluating the effect of these factors in different outcomes, such as the initial and final elbow arc of motion.University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus
MargaritaCANCER HEALTH LITERACY AND PARTICIPATION IN CANCER RESEARCHPURPOSE: To examine the relationship between cancer health literacy (CHL) and willingness to participate in cancer studies and/or donate bio-specimens for research.
METHODS: Exploratory cross sectional study of different populations in Louisiana. Participants completed the Multidimensional Cancer Literacy Questionnaire and the Cancer Health Literacy Test (DK-version). Frequencies, means, and analysis of variance were used to test for significant differences in CHL-scores and different variables of interest.
RESULTS: A total of 1,500 participants (half women) completed the study (500 Hispanics, 500 African Americans and 500 non-Hispanic Whites). Based on total CHL-scores, 43.0% of participants were classified in the low CHL-level, 25.5% in the intermediate level, and 31.5% in the high level. Significant differences were found in CHL-scores by race, age, education, and income but not by gender or insurance. CHL-scores were significantly related (p<.01) to willingness to participate in a survey or educational intervention and/or giving a sample of blood, urine, cheek cells, blood, saliva or skin/tissue. However, no significant relationships were found between CHL-scores and willingness to participate in studies requiring taking an experimental drug (p=0.7) and/or undergoing a minor (p=0.2) or major procedure (p=0.8). Higher CHL-scores were statistically significant (p<.000) with increasing willingness to participate if the study was conducted by a university/hospital, government agency or non-for-profit organization, but not when conducted by a for-profit organization (p=.413), a tobacco (p=.335) or a pharmaceutical (p=.099) company. In general willingness to participate/donate was significantly higher in Hispanics than in their counterparts (p<.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Addressing cancer health literacy in diverse populations is becoming critical in increasing minorities’ participation in cancer research. Results show that educational interventions may be the best approach to address lack of knowledge and trust about cancer research.
Xavier University of LouisianaNIMHD-RCMI Grant No. 5G12MD007595, NIH-NIMHD Grant No. 5S21MD0000100, and NIH-NIGMS Grant No. 1U54GM104940
MARGARITAPROSTATE CANCER IN PUERTO RICANS: LIPID/ FAT GENES SNPs.PURPOSE: In Puerto Rico, Prostate cancer (PCa) mortality is high (22.6. per 100,000) and is the leading cause of cancer related death in PR men. Obesity has been associated with aggressiveness and mortality of PCa. Sixty-six (66.2%) of the PR population is overweight. We aimed to establish if SNPs in genes involved in lipids' metabolism (APOA1, APOA5) and fat deposition (FTO) influence PCa phenotype. METHODS: Genomic DNA was extracted from FFPE non-tumor seminal vesicles from specimens of Puerto Rican men aged 40-79 years old (n=512) who underwent radical prostatectomy (RP) as the first treatment for PCa, and from whole blood collected from healthy Puerto Rican men. Genotyping was done in a StepOne, Applied Biosystems. Severity was defined using RP’s Gleason score and tumor stage. Chi-square test and logistic regression models were used to assess association between PCa and the genotypes. RESULTS: SNPs were in Hardy Weinberg Equilibrium. After controlling by age, Body Mass Index and Prostate Specific Antigen, patients with APOA5 mutants rs3135506 (C/C) or rs662799 (G/G) had 72% (95%CI=0.93-3.19, p=0.08) and 14 % (95% CI: 0.22- 5.76, p=0.08) respectively higher odds for severity. In overweight cases, those with mutated APOA1 rs2070665 had a greater chance of low severity PCa (OR: 1.99 (1.24 – 3.19,p=0.004). We found an inverse association between FTO rs9939609 and risk of PCa (OR: 0.53, 95% CI: 0.31-0.92,p=0.03) and a positive association with overweight (OR: 1.05, 95% CI: 0.68-1.62,p=0.06). CONCLUSION: Results suggest a need for characterization of lipids impact on PCa in this and other populations.University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences CampusRCMI (G12MD007600), U54MD007587 (PRCTRC) from the NIHMD, NIH. IRB # 886021
MargaritaTRAINING CYCLE IN CLINICAL AND TRASLATIONAL RESEARCHPURPOSE: Responding to the need and interest of students and faculty of the undergraduate programs in learning about clinical and translational research (CTR), the Title V Cooperative Project between the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico and the Universidad Central del Caribe, developed and offered a training cycle (TC) in CTR. METHODS: Undergraduate students (US), undergraduate faculty (UF) and graduate students (GS) were invited to register in: Research Education Towards Opportunities (RETO) and Mentorship Offering Training Opportunities for Research (MOTOR), which consisted of 20 hours of training in CTR, with interdisciplinary sessions in: Introduction and preparation of a presentation in CTR; Identify, interview and share a presentation of a CT researcher; participation in conferences and a summer camp in CTR. At the end of the TC, surveys –satisfaction and needs assessment– for training in CTR were administered. RESULTS: Thirty three (33) registered in the TC, distributed: 13 (39.39%) US in RETO, 12 (36.36%) GS and 8 (24.24%) UF in MOTOR. Of these, 25 (75.75%) answered and submitted the on-line surveys and received a completion certificate. All (100%) were satisfied with the TC, and for 96% of the respondents, their expectations were fulfilled, and will continue in the TC. They selected critical review, scientific communication, and cultural diversity as thematic areas of interest. In addition, 60% of them selected neuroscience, cancer and medical imaging as main research areas of interest. CONCLUSION: The TC demonstrated to be an effective strategy to provide new knowledge, experiences and interest in CTR.University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences CampusSupported by the US Department of Education: Title V Grant Award # P031S160068
To determine the characteristics between demographics, insurance, socioeconomic status and complexity at presentation among a national sample of emergency department patients.
Retrospective analysis of 2006–2014 data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample were queried to identify adult patients presenting with diagnoses of inguinal, femoral, and/or umbilical hernia. Cases were dichotomized according with the type of presentation: complicated vs. uncomplicated. These groups were compared with unadjusted and adjusted analyses to determine the factors that influence presentation and admission.
597,246 patients were included, most were male (73%), their mean age was 55 years. The rate of uninsured was 20% and the majority were in the MHI (32%). Most had uncomplicated hernias (84%). On adjusted analysis, a higher likelihood of presenting as uncomplicated hernia was found for patients with Medicaid (OR 1.45 95%CI 1.41- 1.50), uninsured (OR 1.54 95%CI 1.50-1.58), and Medicare (OR 1.02 95%CI 0.99-1.05). And less likely if they were in the third and fourth MHI quartile (OR 0.86 95%CI 0.84-0.88 and OR 0.77 95%CI 0.75-0.78), respectively. The likelihood of presenting with a complicated hernia was higher for those uninsured patients (OR 1.34 95%CI 1.28-1.40) and lower for Medicare (OR 0.73 95%CI 0.69-0.76) and Medicaid beneficiaries (OR 0.81 95%CI 0.84-0.88) who were admitted.

Uninsured and publicly insured patients were more likely to present to emergency departments with an uncomplicated hernia. This may represent a lack of access to primary surgical care for non-urgent surgical diseases.
Howard University College Of Medicine, Clive O. Callender Howard-Harvard Health Sciences Outcomes Research Center, Washington, DC
MariaOUTCOMES AFTER BARIATRIC SURGERY IN BLACK PATIENTSIntroduction: This study aims to evaluate the impact of bariatric surgery on weight-loss and resolution of comorbidities in a Black patient population.

Methods: A retrospective review of patients who underwent bariatric surgery between August 2008 to June 2013 was performed. Outcomes of interest included mean weight-loss, percent excess weight loss (%EWL), BMI point difference, and resolution of comorbidities. We compared pre- and post-operative characteristics between laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (LRYGB) and laparoscopic sleeve-gastrectomy (LSG). Adjusted multivariable regression analysis estimated the association between outcomes of interest comparing the two bariatric procedures.

Results: 413 Black patients were included, most were female (82%) and had a mean age of 43 years. The majority underwent LRYGB (67%). At baseline, patients undergoing LRYGB had a greater body weight (308.65 vs 289.78, p=.006), BMI (50.05 vs 46.77, p<.001) and a greater proportion of diabetes (38.99% vs 25.00%, p=.005) and hypertension (77.26% vs 66.18, p=.016) compared to patients who underwent LSG. In multivariable regression analysis, no statistical significant differences were observed between LRYGB and LSG in BMI points loss (β=3.01, 95%CI=-15.79 - 21.82) resolution of diabetes (OR=2.11, 95%CI=.92 – 2.86), hypertension (OR=1.54, 95%CI=.88 – 2.70) or hypercholesterolemia (OR=1.97, 95%CI=.81- 4.79). Percent excess weight-loss was found to be higher with LRYGB (β=9.76, 95%CI=7.55 – 11.98) compared to LSG.

Conclusion: Black-patients who underwent bariatric surgery experienced successful excess weight-loss and resolution of co-morbidities. Patients undergoing LRYGB demonstrated greater percent excess weight-loss than their LSG counterparts. Both LRYGB and LSG had similar effects in achieving the resolution of comorbidities
Howard University College Of Medicine, Clive O. Callender Howard-Harvard Health Sciences Outcomes Research Center, Washington, DC
maria de los angelesEpigenetics and Risk Factors for Obesity among ChildrenOverweight and obesity may increase the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. If you are pregnant, excess weight may lead to short –and long-term health problems for you and your child. Overweight refers to an excess amount of body weight that may come from muscles, bone, fat and water. Overweight and obese children are at an increased risk for developing heart disease, type2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer. Researches in humans analyzed the relationship between paternal lifestyle-related factors, environmental exposure factors, and offspring’s health outcome in early and later life, suggesting that paternal effects may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of offspring chronic diseases in later life. This paper is about literature review of how the understanding of data related with environmental exposure could affect risk factors for overweight and obesity among children in Mississippi and how the use of Big Data can explain this behavior.Jackson State University• NSF MRI Grant 13-38192: Scalable Omnipresent Environment (SCOPE) • NSF CNS Grant 14-56638 Sensor Environment Imaging (SENSEI)
MarianaLATINO IMMIGRANT ALCOHOL USE THROUGH FIRST DECADE IN THE USPURPOSE: Latinos in the US experience numerous alcohol-related health disparities. The escalation of alcohol use among Latino immigrants as their time in the US increases is a well-documented but not well-understood phenomenon. Evidence suggests that shifts in socio-cultural factors related to the acculturation process may be partially responsible. This study examines how changes in socio-cultural determinants impact pre- to post-immigration alcohol use trajectories of Latino immigrants during their first decade in the US.
METHODS: At baseline, retrospective pre-immigration data was collected on 527 Cuban and South and Central American Latinos ages 18-34 who immigrated to the US less than one year prior. Two subsequent follow-ups (12 months apart) gathered post-immigration data. Three additional waves of data collection, currently underway, will allow us to examine how changes in social determinants interact with cultural factors to impact alcohol use of Latino immigrants throughout their first decade in the US. Preliminary findings on n=~300 Latino immigrants over an 8-year span will be presented.
RESULTS: Preliminary growth curve analyses reveal overall decreases in alcohol use among males and females. Direct and indirect impact of risk and protective socio-cultural determinants on alcohol use trajectories will be explored.
DISCUSSION: Findings can advance knowledge regarding socio-cultural determinants that are antecedent to and perpetuate distinct alcohol use trajectories among Latino immigrants as they acculturate to the US. Results will significantly impact public health by informing the development of efficacious interventions targeting identified vulnerability factors and capitalize on key protective factors associated with alcohol use behaviors in this population.
Florida International UniversityThis study was supported by award number R01AA024127 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and P20MD002288 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD).
MarianoA Latina Farmworkers’ Sociocentric Network HIV ProgramINTRODUCTION. Latina seasonal farmworkers (LSFWs) in the US face health disparities. In 2015, the HIV diagnosis rate in South Florida, where many LSFWs reside and work, was the highest among all metropolitan areas (38.8 per 100,000). We will present preliminary findings from a culturally-tailored evidence-based HIV prevention program for LSFWs that incorporates socio-centric network approaches.
METHODS. Preliminary results are from baseline and 6-month follow-up data collected on 114 LSFWs who attended the socio-centric network-based intervention. Analyses included McNemar’s test, Related Samples Marginal Homogeneity Test, and Related Samples Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test.
RESULTS. Significant differences from baseline to 6-month follow-up were found in the percentages of overall condom use. A higher percentage of women at 6-month follow-up used condoms during the past 30 days every time (13.5% vs. 9.6%) or sometimes (24.0% vs. 17.3%) when they had vaginal and/or anal sex. There was also a decrease in the percentage of women who never used condoms (57.7% vs. 49.0%) when they had sex. There was also a significant increase in HIV testing from baseline (15.0%) to 6-month follow-up (27.9%). There were also significant increases in the percentages of HIV/AIDS-related communications with friends, HIV knowledge, condom use self-efficacy, and correct use of condoms.
CONCLUSIONS. Our results suggest that existing best practice interventions can be improved by incorporating socio-centric networks approaches. For such interventions to be successful, the socio-centric network component must address Latino cultural values and should be conducted in an environment that allows LSFWs to feel comfortable discussing sensitive topics.
Florida International UniversityResearch reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (award #K99DA041494) and the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (award #P20MD002288) of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, or the National Institutes of Health.
MaribelGROWTH OF NEWBORNS BORN TO WOMEN WITH POSITIVE ZIKA SCREENSPURPOSE: In Puerto Rico both symptomatic and asymptomatic Zika exposures in pregnancy are documented through active surveillance. There is a growing body of evidence supporting that the risk of intrauterine Zika infection related to central nervous system development persists throughout pregnancy. However, we have identified a gap in the evidence regarding disproportionate growth parameters and sex discrepancies in the susceptibility to adverse outcomes. METHODS: A case series was established through examination of hospital registry of live births from August 2016 through March 2017. Sample selection was based on exposure to maternal Zika infection during pregnancy following the Puerto Rico Department of Health reporting criteria. Growth measures including head circumference (HC, cm), Length (cm) and weight (kg) extracted from the hospital registry was evaluated using the World Health Organization’s Nutritional Survey platform to determine the sex adjusted Z scores. The criteria for microcephalus as defined by the Department of Health was defined by a HC Z score < -3. Sex specific prevalence was also evaluated. RESULTS: We identified 82 infants (56.1% female) with history of maternal Zika exposure as confirmed by laboratory testing. The prevalence of premature birth was 8.5%, and the mean Z score for HC was -0.29±1.34, Length -0.22±1.56, and weight -0.35±1.17. The prevalence of microcephalus for the entire series was 3.7%, while the sex specific prevalence for females was 6.7%. CONCLUSION: This report adds to the evidence confirming the central nervous system effects of intrauterine Zika exposure. A sex disparity for microcephaly was observed, and requires further study.University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusResearch reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number U54MD007587, and primarily through award number G12 MD007600 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
MaricicaPLANT FLAVONOID XANTHOHUMOL EFFECTS ON LUNG CANCER CELLSIntroduction. The 5-yr survival rate of metastatic lung cancer patients is < 2%. The low survival rate is associated, partially, with chemo-resistance to the first line of plantinum-based chemodrugs. The exactly mechanism by which non-small cell lung cancer cells (NSCLC) acquire resistance to cisplatin (cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II), CDDP) remains to be determined. However increased DNA repair, and activation of anti-apoptotic mechanisms have been identified with a role in modulating CDDP resistance. Therefore, there is a growing interest in discovering alternative approaches to potentiate platinum-based drugs effect. In the present study we hypothesize that hop-derived prenylated flavonoid, xanthohumol, potentiates DNA damage and apoptosis of metastatic lung cancer cells.
Materials and Methods. We used human non-small lung metastatic carcinoma H1299 cells. H1299 cells were maintained in growth media, followed by treatment with xanthohumol (XN) 0.050, 12.5, 25, and 50 µM for 24 h. Cell viability, cell migration, cell morphology, phosphorylation of histone gamma-H2AX.
Results. XN at 12.5 and 25 µM inhibited H1299 viability by 20 and 36% compared to control. Chromatin condensation was increased by 1.75-, 1.84-, and 3.47-fold vs control. XN at 25 and 50 µM profoundly affected cell migration toward wound healing and cell morphology such as cell rounding and clustering. Fluorescent microscopy analysis of gamma-H2AX showed an increased number of phosphorylated gamma-H2AX foci by XN at 12.5 and 25 µM.
Conclusion. Xanthohumol significantly modulated metastatic lung cancer cells viability, morphology, and migration. Moreover, XN induced DNA damage and the activation of DNA repair protein, histone gamma-H2AX. The foci indicate sites of histone phosphorylation, a biomarkers for DNA damage. These results indicate the potential of xanthohumol to induce metastatic lung cancer cells death and inhibit their migration and may represent a therapeutic tool for metastatic lung cancer.
Jackson State UniversityG12MD007581
MARIELC-MS/MS METHOD DEVELOPMENT FOR OJT008.Leishmaniasis is a tropical disease caused by Leishmania major with an estimate of 30,000 deaths occurring annually. Previous studies have shown that methionine aminopeptidase (MetAP), which is a metallo-enzyme responsible for the removal of the N-terminal methionine from newly synthesized proteins, is a promising target for the development of a therapeutic agent against Leishmaniasis. OJT008, a novel molecule exhibiting high activity against MetAP has been found to be potent therapeutic agent against Leishmaniasis. Our study focused on the developing and validating a liquid chromatography –tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for quantification of OJT008 in rat plasma which will help to evaluate the pharmacokinetics parameters after administration of OJT008 in rats.
Methods: The stock solution was made using acetonitrile and Voriconazole was used as internal standard. Analytes extracted from plasma were separated using shimadzu HPLC system with Zorbax 300SB-C18(50x4.2mm id, 3.5um) column. The mobile phase consisted of acetonitrile and water (containing 0.1% formic acid) was delivered at a flow rate of 0.3ml/min. Multiple reactions monitoring (MRM) transition were performed at m/z 324.880→ 91,000 for OJT008 and 350.078→ 280.900 for voriconazole in the positive mode. Mass detection was performed by 4000 QTRAP mass spectrometer using the electrospray ionization. The Analytical data were processed by analyst software.
Results. Retention times for OJT008 and voriconazole were respectively 3.2 and 3.33 minutes. Calibration curve was linear in the concentration range of 2.5 to 750 ng/ml.
Conclusion: A rapid and validated method for OJT008 successfully developed will be used for the pre-clinical studies of OJT008.
MarinildaHIV Continuum of Care among Hispanic ImmigrantsINTRODUCTION; This study identifies and characterize differences along the HIV/AIDS care continuum experiences between Hispanic immigrants of varying migratory status and gender. The first exploratory and descriptive national cohort study of Dominicans immigrants diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico (PR) and receiving care during the period of 2010 to 2016 was conducted. Data was obtained from the Puerto Rico HIV/AIDS Surveillance System, matched with Ryan White Program, Part B database of patients in care and validated with case management component to analyze the navigation’s outcomes at each step of the continuum of care and late diagnosis. Associations with gender and migratory status were applied. RESULTS: Among 77 Dominican immigrants diagnosed with HIV/AIDS during the period of 2010 to 2016, 62% were linked to care, 71% of those were retained in care, 97% of those were on ART, of whom 88% achieved suppression of VL (< 200 cp/ml). For non-authorized immigrants diagnosed, only 53% were linked to treatment and 27% achieved viral suppression. Statistical significances differences suggest that non-authorized Dominican immigrants show lower success linking to care (p=0.03), retaining in care (p=0.01), in ART (p=0.00) and achieving viral suppression (p=0.01) and immigrants getting a late HIV diagnosis are more linked to HIV medical care (p=0.00). No statistical significance difference was observed between gender and the different phases at the continuum of care. CONCLUSIONS: Despite federal government efforts to link Hispanic immigrants to their HIV/AIDS continuum of care, they still show lower success navigating the HIV continuum of care in PR, especially for non-authorized Dominican immigrants.University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras CampusHispanic Clinical and Translational Research Education and Career Development (HCTRED) Award Number: R25MD007607
MarinildaSocial Inequality and Mental Health Services in Puerto RicoIntroduction: According to the WHO, social inequality, resulted from an unequal distribution of wealth, power and local, national and global resources, leads to health inequality, including mental health. Scientific studies have demonstrated the relationship between social and economic inequality and the prevalence of mental health conditions as well as the limited access to mental health care services. Based on the social determinants of health framework, the objective of this study was to explore the way in which socioeconomic variables, such as unemployment rates, education level, health care coverage and poverty level, are related to the availability of mental health services in different geographical regions of Puerto Rico. Method:  The Environmentally Sustainable Conditions Index (ICAS) was used to explore social inequality and socioeconomic variables in relation to geographical information systems to analyze the distribution of mental health services in Puerto Rico. The ICAS incorporated Puerto Rican socioeconomic data from 2010 to 2014. Availability of mental health services data was obtained from the two primary providers in Puerto Rico: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration & American Psychological System. The primary hypothesis of this study states that there will be less availability of mental health services in geographical regions of Puerto Rico that have smaller economic and social efficiency indexes. Results: Preliminary results showed a level of geographical disparity between economic and social efficiency of mental health services and its availability on some of the island’s municipalities.University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras CampusPartially supported by the Hispanic Clinical and Translational Research Education and Career Development (HCTRED) Award Number: R25MD007607
MarioSituating an Intervention for Immigrants in an Urban SettingPURPOSE: Despite the importance of implementing Evidence Based (EB) interventions, researchers face many challenges situating and adapting these EB interventions using Community Based Participatory Research Intervention (CBPR). The purpose of this poster is to identify and discuss the challenges experienced in delivering a manualized EB intervention (Salud/Health, Education/Education, Prevention/Prevencion and Autoayuda/Selfhelp [SEPA]) targeting Latinas’ sexual risk behavior and domestic violence reduction. METHODS: Discussion of the importance of the community’s characteristics in adapting, designing and delivering an EB public health intervention in a CBPR intervention study. Evidence based interventions when translated into a heterogeneous population such as the Latino farm working community, requires modifications in order to make the intervention feasible, linguistically appropriate and relevant to the environment and conditions to the community. The Community Advisory Board’s (CAB) practical guidelines, the rational for its use, their involvement how it influenced the research design and accessibility to the community is presented. RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS: community gatekeepers, community leaders from different areas, and advisors came into play an important role in the designing, delivering, and evaluation of the intervention. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Considerations for intervention adaptations and sociopolitical implications are discussed in shaping the intervention outcomes. Implication for intervention designs, outcomes and designs are discussed.Florida International UniversityThis study was supported by NIMHD P20MD002288-10
MarioAUTOPHAGY INHIBITION AND ERLOTINIB-INDUCED CYTOTOXICITYPURPOSE: Autophagy is a cellular process that assists with maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Erlotinib is a receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor that blocks signal transduction and subsequent cell division in Ras-mutated cells. Although erlotinib inhibits EGFR, cells are able to acquire resistance. Therefore, alternative approaches and therapies are needed. Few studies have investigated the effect of autophagy inhibition on the response of pancreatic cancer cells to erlotinib treatment. More than 90% of pancreatic cancers are driven by Ras mutation and pancreatic cancer cells have been demonstrated to have increased dependence on autophagy. In this study we investigated the effect of autophagy inhibition on erlotinib-induced cytotoxicity as well as the molecular basis for the effect.
METHODS: The pancreatic cancer cell line AsPc1 was used in this study. Wild type or autophagy-inhibited AsPc1 cells were treated with erlotinib followed by assessment of cell growth and protein expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors.
RESULTS: Erlotinib treatment decreased cell growth in both wildtype and autophagy-inhibited AsPc1 cells with a greater reduction in cell growth observed in autophagy-inhibited AsPc1 cells. Erlotinib increased p27 expression in both wildtype and autophagy-inhibited AsPc1 cells, suggesting a potential mechanism for the observed reduction in cell growth.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that autophagy inhibition coupled with erlotinib treatment is a viable therapeutic option for pancreatic cancer. Reduced cancer cell growth may potentially contribute to increased immune system-mediated clearance of the tumor due to reduced cancer cell proliferation.
Texas Southern UniversityGRANT SUPPORT: Research reported here was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institute of Health under Award Number G12MD007605. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Health.
MarisaANALYSIS OF CULTURAL TAILORING IN BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONSQUESTION: How do behavioral interventions implement cultural tailoring methods across a portfolio of PCORI-funded comparative effectiveness research studies focused on populations at risk for disparities?
PURPOSE: To examine the mechanisms of cultural tailoring within a research portfolio of behavioral interventions aimed at addressing health and health care disparities.
METHODS: Studies were selected based on intervention type and examined according to the five strategies identified to achieve cultural appropriateness: peripheral, evidential, linguistic, constituent-involving, and socio-cultural.
• Of 45 behavioral interventions included in PCORI’s Addressing Disparities portfolio,
34 utilize at least one method of cultural tailoring.
• The most utilized method included constituent-involving (n=33), linguistic (n=26), and
socio-cultural (n=25). The most infrequent methods included peripheral (n=18) and
evidential (n=15).
• The majority of studies focus on racial/ethnic minorities (n=32) and low-income
populations (n=29).
o Other populations include those with low health literacy (n=18) and rural populations
(n=8). Several studies include more than one population.
• The 34 studies cover multiple conditions, including mental/behavioral health (n=7),
nutritional/metabolic disorders (n=7) and respiratory diseases (n=5).
• A majority of behavioral health interventions utilized at least three forms of cultural
tailoring identified by Kreuter et al (n=28).
• These findings may suggest that multiple strategies are needed to address the
complexities of improving behavioral health outcomes among populations at risk for
• These studies demonstrate that these strategies can be applied to behavioral health
interventions across conditions.
• PCORI studies contribute to a body of evidence supporting research that utilizes
cultural tailoring within behavioral interventions to address disparities in health and
health care.
Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
MarkFULICIN-LIKE IMMUNOREACTIVITY IN BIOMPHALARIA GLABRATAPURPOSE: About 10% of the world’s population live at risk of contracting the parasitic disease schistosomiasis. Schistosoma mansoni, the digenetic trematode that causes the most widespread form of intestinal schistosomiasis, employs the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata as its primary intermediate host. It has been shown that infection of B. glabrata by S. mansoni causes profound behavioral changes in the snail host, including parasitic castration, a reduction in reproductive behaviors. In this study, a neural transcriptomics approach was undertaken to identify precursor prohormones that could encode neuropeptides involved in Biomphalaria reproductive behaviors.
METHODS: A transcript (1616 nucleotides) was found to encode a putative precursor polypeptide (316 amino acids) that could give rise to the neuropeptide fulicin (Phe–D-Asn-Glu¬Phe¬Val¬NH2) and five additional related peptides. For this investigation, affinity purified polyclonal antibodies were generated against the predicted fulicin neuropeptide. Antibody specificity was confirmed with dot blots and preabsorbtion control experiments.
RESULTS: Fulicin-¬like immunoreactivity was observed throughout the central nervous system (CNS) and in specific peripheral tissues. Double-labeling experiments (biocytin backfill x fulicin immunohistochemistry) identified three groups of fulicin-like immunoreactive neurons that project to penile nerve. Immunoreactivity was present in the ovisperm duct, sperm duct and prostate gland, tissues are associated with the male reproductive system.
DISCUSSION: These results suggest that fulicin and other peptides derived from the fulicin precursor could regulate male reproductive behaviors that are altered during the course of infection in this host-parasite system.
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusNational Institutes of Health (USA): RCMI MD007600, NIGMS-RISE R25 GM061838; National Science Foundation (USA):CREST HRD-1137725, PIRE OISE 1545803;
MarlaHEALTH SCIENCES MICROSCOPY AND IMAGING COREPURPOSE: The purpose of the University of Hawaii Health Sciences Microscopy and Imaging Core is to provide education, training, and access to equipment and consultation for microscopy and imaging techniques to users at the University of Hawaii and the broader research community within the State of Hawaii, as well as interested users from other institutions.
METHODS: Access to and training on state-of-the-art microscopy and imaging platforms including Leica TSP SP8 HyVolution multicolor Super-resolution confocal microscope (new in 2017); Nikon Cameleon Multi-channel AOTF laser scanning confocal on Nikon Diaphot 200; Zeiss Axioskop II plus with AxioCam MRc, motorized stage, stereology software; Zeiss Axioimager with AxioCam HRm; Olympus IX71 inverted fluorescent microscope with Macrofire camera; LiCor Odyssey CLx Infrared scanner for western blotting (new in 2017); IVIS Lumina in vivo whole animal fluorescent/bioluminescent imaging system.
RESULTS: This Core provides access and training on multiple imaging platforms to more than 100 users annually, with over 1,000 recorded uses/year from 10 departments at the University of Hawaii and 5 institutions in the State. Collaboration with the UH Cancer Center Microscopy Core began in 2015, with access and use coordinated through a web-based reservation and accounting system, and equipment at both facilities is available to all users. User satisfaction ratings ranged from 4.2–4.7 out of 5 for the past 5 years.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: The Microscopy and Imaging Core provides access to essential equipment and training to a large number of researchers, making it a valuable resource for the University and the Hawaii biomedical research community.
University of Hawaii at ManoaSupported by NIH grant G12MD007601 (NIMHD)
MarlaBEHAVIORAL AND METABOLIC RESEARCH SUPPORT FACILITYPURPOSE: The purpose of the University of Hawaii Behavioral and Metabolic Research Support Facility is to provide education, training, and access to equipment and consultation for neurobehavior, neuromotor and metabolic techniques to users at the University of Hawaii and the broader research community within the State of Hawaii, as well as interested users from other institutions.
METHODS: Neurobehavior/neuromotor assays include the RotaRod (motor function via ability to remain on rotating rod), Morris Water Maze (learning, memory, motor function), and the TSE system, a multifunctional behavior/motor testing platform for assessing active and passive avoidance, panic response, audiogenic open field seizure induction and other behavioral paradigms. Metabolic testing utilizes the OxyletPro modular system, integrating respiratory metabolism (VO2 consumption/VCO2 production), food and drink intake and activity/rearing measurements. The system utilizes indirect calorimetry to evaluate respiratory metabolism. Special configurations are available for calorimetry studies as well as exercise physiology studies with single lane, airtight treadmills.
RESULTS: This Core was a new initiative during the current G12 RCMI cycle that arose in response to expansion of neuroscience research and education at UH. This expansion was invigorated by recruitment of a tenured neuropharmacologist and establishment of a multidisciplinary neuroscience graduate program specialization. Expansion of the behavior and metabolic testing core will occur in the future, in coordination with installation of a small animal MRI.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: Neurobehavior, neuromotor and metabolic assays have wide-ranging applications in studies of neurological or developmental disorders, obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorders, nutrition studies, drug screening, phenotyping and more.
University of Hawaii at ManoaSupported by NIH grant G12MD007601 (NIMHD)
MarlaSELENIUM METABOLISM IN MOUSE PANCREATIC BETA CELLSPURPOSE: Selenium (Se) is implicated in energy metabolism, and is expressed in pancreatic β-cells. We sought to determine the role of Se in regulation of enzymes involved in the insulin secretion pathway.
METHODS: The mouse insulinoma derived Min6 β-cell line was cultured under standard conditions or in the presence of supplemental Se and/or glucose. RNA and protein levels for selenoproteins and genes linked to glucose metabolism were quantified by qPCR and western blotting, respectively.
RESULTS: Se treatment did not affect key enzymes of insulin production/secretion pathways. Scly activity was dramatically reduced by treatment with Se. Sepp1 and Scly are regulated by glucose, as are Pcx and PDH under Se-deficient but not Se-adequate conditions. Comparison of pancreas from SclyKo and WT mice revealed differences in expression of enzymes involved in trans-sulfuration and Se metabolism. Additionally, treatment of MIN6 cells with selenite improves insulin production and secretion through the upregulation of insulin promoter factor 1 (Ipf1), a key transcription factor in insulin synthesis
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: Further investigation is necessary to clarify the role of Se and selenoproteins in islet function.
University of Hawaii at Manoa
MarlaTARGETED DELETION OF SELENIUM TRANSPORT & RECYCLING IN MICEPURPOSE: Selenoproteins function in multiple essential biological functions, and are particularly known for antioxidant defense mechanisms. Selenoprotein P (Sepp1) is distinctive among selenoproteins in that it contains multiple selenocysteine residues and acts in selenium (Se) transport. Selenocysteine lyase (Scly) recycles Se from selenoproteins via decomposition of selenocysteine to alanine and selenide, the latter of which is utilized for new selenoprotein biosynthesis. Our goal was to investigate the influence of combined Scly and Sepp1 knockout (KO) and of gender on neurological and metabolic pathways in mice.
METHODS: We assessed body weight, motor function via RotaRod performance, locomotion and anxiety via Open Field Test, tissue Se content using ICP-MS, and glutathione peroxidase enzyme activity according to published procedures.
RESULTS: Genetic deletion of Sepp1 combined with feeding a Se-deficient diet results in severe neurological dysfunction and neurodegeneration. Scly KO mice raised on a Se-adequate diet exhibit hyperinsulinemia, hyperleptinemia, glucose intolerance, and hepatic steatosis, and this phenotype was more pronounced in male mice. Upon dietary Se restriction, male Scly KO animals develop obesity, fatty liver, and hypercholesterolemia, with aggravated hyperleptinemia, hyperinsulinemia, and glucose intolerance. In addition, they exhibit mild neurological deficits. We created novel transgenic mice constitutively lacking both genes and characterized the phenotype. These double knockout (DKO) mice needed supplementation with high levels of Se to survive, and surviving mice exhibit impaired motor coordination, audiogenic seizures, and brainstem neurodegeneration.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide the first in vivo evidence that Scly and Sepp1 work cooperatively to maintain selenoprotein function in the mammalian brain.
University of Hawaii at ManoaSupported by grants NIH NIMHD G12MD007601, and NIH NIDDK R01DK047320 to MJB.
The objective of this study was to evaluate racial trends in patient characteristics and non-mineral/non-vitamin medication prescribing among office-based ambulatory care visits occurring during pregnancy or puerperium.
A cross-sectional analysis of office-based ambulatory care visits occuring during pregnancy or puerperium was conducted using the National Ambulatory Care Survey (NAMCS) from 2005 to 2011. Descriptive statistics for all study variables by racial subgroups were estimated. Weighted bivariable analyses were used to examine statistical differences in patient characteristics and prescribing of non-vitamin/non-mineral medications by race. All analyses were performed using SAS 9.3 at an alpha of 0.05.
A total of 5,850 office-based ambulatory care visits (213.7 million weighted visits) occurring during pregnancy or puerperium were included. Of them, 78.8%, 14.0%, and 7.1% were from pregnant women who were of White, Black and Other race respectively. Study results showed racial differences in age, tobacco use and primary expected payment source (p<0.05) among visits occurring during pregnancy or puerperium. Racial differences in the presence of at least one chronic condition were also observed among the included pregnancy and post-pregnancy office visits (Black: 5.8%; White: 4.1%; Other race: 2.4%; p=0.003). Medication use findings showed that at least half of all included study visits had a non-vitamin/non-mineral medication prescribed. Racial differences in the prescribing of non-vitamin/non-mineral medications were also observed (Black: 54.4%; White: 50.5%; Other race: 36.7%; p=0.0021).
CONCLUSION: Racial differences in the prevalence of chronic conditions and non-vitamin/non-mineral prescribing during pregnancy or pueperium were shown in this study.
Howard University College of Pharmacy
MarySALIVARY MICROBES AND EXECUTIVE DISFUNCTION IN CHILDRENPURPOSE: Obesity has become a worldwide epidemic. Obesity state in adults has been associated with deficits in cognitive skills, inflammation, and dysbiosis in gut and oral cavity composition. However, studies exploring associations between oral microbiome and executive functions in children are overlooked. The objective of this cross-sectional study is to determine if difficulties in executive functions are associated with obesity state and salivary bacterial composition in children.
METHODS: We analyzed salivary microbiome of fifteen children aged six to eight years old. We used the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery to assess executive functions. Salivary microbiome was determined by the Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA metagenomics procedure. We performed descriptive analysis and Mann Whitney U-Test to compare groups based on obese/non-obese status and deficit/non-deficit in executive functions.
RESULTS: Obese children showed significantly higher abundance of Rothia and Haemophilus than their non-obese counterparts. They also scored slightly higher in measures of executive functions. However, Rothia was significantly more abundant in children with deficits in executive functions.
DISCUSSION: Differences in bacterial composition of oral cavity suggest that
children’s ability to inhibit automatic response propensities that may interfere with achieving a goal may be associated to salivary dysbiosis.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversitySupported by NIH-NIMHD Awards G12MD007579, S21MD001830, R25MD007607, and 2U54MD007587.
Four RCMI medical centers deployed the “Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside” (i2b2) platform, enabling them to join the Harvard Scalable Collaborative Infrastructure for Learning Health System (SCILHS) Network. One of eleven Clinical Data Research Networks (CDRNs), SCILHS covers > 12 million patients. SCILHS enables member institutions to use electronic health record (EHR) data from healthcare encounters to support personalized medicine, clinical trials recruitment, comparative effectiveness research, and team science.
Using the open source software, i2b2 and SHRINE (Shared Health Research Information Network), each member institution configured local node enabling access and extraction of specific data from clinical partners’ EHRs. This technology structure connects local i2b2 nodes to the SCILHS HUB through SHRINE, enabling shared access to clinical data warehouses across the SCILHS network. Installation included a Common Data Model (CDM) Ontology, used by each site to map local EHR data elements, enabling queries across the SCILHS network.
Early data analysis of patient demographics indicates significant minority representation from RCMI institutions; Meharry, Morehouse - Black: 53% and 90%, respectively and the UPRMSC - Multiple Races, 40%. Current patient data from existing SCILHS member data warehouses indicate an overwhelming majority are White.
Data from the RCMI institutions will contribute to our understanding and addressing of health disparities among minority populations. Trained data science and health informatics professionals will be needed for long-term expansion of data warehouses and maintenance of the network infrastructure. Growing storage needs and data processing needs, system sustainability, must also be addressed.
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus; Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research ConsortiumMSM: 8 U54 MD007588; 5U54MD008173; UL1TR000454; CDRN-1306-04608; 1 U54 RR026137-01; DCC: U54MD008149. UPRMSC RCMI: G12 MD007600; PRCTRC: U54MD007587
MatthewSocial-Ecological Factors Associated With Child MaltreatmentPURPOSE: Rates of child abuse and neglect vary significantly across neighborhoods and communities. Despite strong cross-sectional support for the link between socioeconomic factors and abuse/neglect, few longitudinal studies have examined associations between risk factors and abuse/neglect over time. The goal of this study was to identify county-level factors that predict change in abuse/neglect rates over seven years.
METHODS: The following annual county-level data for Tennessee were obtained from the KIDS COUNT data center for the years 2008-2015: rates of substantiated child abuse/neglect; primary care provider rate; unemployment rate; percentage Hispanic; percentage African American; percentage of births to unmarried women; teen birth rate; percentage receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits; percentage receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); home foreclosure rate; percentage of children living in poverty; teen death rate (by accident, homicide, or suicide). All social-ecological factors were included in the same multilevel model to assess their unique impact on change in abuse/neglect rates.
RESULTS: Within-county increases in abuse/neglect rates from 2008-2015 were independently associated with increases in percentage of births to unmarried women, teen birth rate, percentage of children living in poverty, percentage of children receiving TANF, and percentage of Hispanic residents. Counter-intuitively, within-county decreases in abuse/neglect rates were associated with increases in unemployment and teen death rate.
DISCUSSION: The present study bolsters social-ecological models of maltreatment by highlighting distinct county-level factors associated with change in abuse/neglect rates. These findings have the potential to enhance identification of high-risk counties that could benefit from targeted abuse/neglect prevention efforts.
Meharry Medical collegeK01 MH101403
Mechanisms underlying prostate cancer risk disparities are unknown. Our hypothesis is that African American (AfA) men have endogenously higher levels of reactive oxygen species, including H2O2, a well-established somatic mutagen, that contributes to the increased risk of cancer. Darker pigmentation, melanin, blocks UV-A. This prevents the hormesis effect that is more likely to occur in men of European descent. The hormesis effect refers to an exponential burst of ROS due to intense UV-A exposure; however, over a lifetime the endogenous ROS levels are lower due to the continual activation of anti-oxidant defense mechanisms. Men of European descent are more likely to be exposed to high levels of UV-A. UV-A has been shown to lead to increase ROS levels, which actives the oxidation of KEAP1 and upregulation of NRF2 and its target genes. This would predict that some genes that lighten skin color may reduce ROS levels and reduce cancer risk. The purpose of this project aims to link variation in pigmentation to differences in prostate cancer incidence. Our results will provide a framework for cancer prevention by providing a mechanism of prostate cancer origination.   

We will compare case and control of an AfrA cohort by calculating a pigmentation index on loci associated with pigmentation and light dependent ROS production to determine if there is a correlation that may be used to predict PRAD risk.

We expect that our association analysis using only the pigmentation SNPs affecting light dependent oxidant production will allow us to stratify cases and controls by the calculated pigmentation indices.

We expect this avenue of investigation to contribute biological insight into the causes of PRAD and ameliorate this health disparity.
Clark Atlanta UniversityResearch Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Grant Number 5R25GM060414-14 National Institute of Health/NIMHD/RCMI, Grant Number 5G12MD007590-30
Md. AlamgirMOLECULAR SENSOR FOR COLORIMETRIC DETECTION OF ANIONSPURPOSE: Anion detection and sensing with synthetic receptors is an active area in chemical research. Selective recognition of anions is important in both chemistry and biology from the views of both fundamental and technological aspects. Synthetic receptors capable of selective anion sensing are still limited in the literatures. This presentation will cover several types of new chemical sensors and their ability to recognize anions of environmental and biological relevance. DESIGN METHODS: The receptors were synthesized by conventional synthetic protocols, and characterized by NMR, mass and elemental analysis. The new compounds were investigated for a variety of anions in solution by UV-Vis and fluorescence titrations, and in solid state by X-ray diffraction analysis. RESULTS: The results showed that the new sensors bind several anions both in solution and solid states. CONCLUSIONS: Several new molecular sensors were synthesized showing high sensitivity for anions, displaying visual color change for fluoride, cyanide and oxalate anions.Jackson State UniversityThe project described was supported by the Grant Number G12MD007581 from the National Institutes of Health.
MeganRACE, PLACE & GUT MICROBIOMES IN OBESE VS. NON-OBESE YOUTHPURPOSE: There is consistent evidence linking excessive weight and obesity in youth with an increased risk of premature mortality and physical morbidity in adulthood. Data show that obese youth’s gut flora differs from their non-obese counterparts. However, there is not a clear understanding of the relationship between composition of gut-microbiota, combined with degree of obesity, and race/ethnicity and diet. The purpose of this study is to explore the phenotypical differences in the gut microbiomes; specifically the phyla of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, two principal bacterial populations in the human gut, in obese and non-obese youth based on their race/ethnicity. We also begin to explore the impact of diet and food access on microbiome.

METHODS: The study is an observational, descriptive case-control study, which enrolled obese and non-obese youth between 8-12 years of age at various Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta locations and GI Care for Kids in Atlanta, Georgia. Cases were then matched to controls by age, gender, race/ethnicity, insurance, and geographic location.

EXPECTED RESULTS: We hypothesize that as BMI increases, the Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes ratio will also increase. This will provide some insight into the relationship between race, place, pediatric gut microbiota and obesity.
DISCUSSION/ CONCLUSION: The implications for this study are the possibility of gut flora’s impact on weight and the potential to prevent or alter obesity by modifying a youth’s microbiome. This will enable healthcare, policy makers and public health professionals to develop culturally appropriate interventions that would be effective in treating overweight and obesity occurring in US youth.
Morehouse School of Medicine
MeldraNRMN RESEARCH RESOURCES AND OUTREACH CORE (RROC)Background: NRMN is one of three integrated initiatives of the Diversity Program Consortium (DPC), a trans-NIH program that aims to impact the participation and persistence of individuals from diverse backgrounds in the biomedical research pipeline, as well as on transforming the culture and efficacy of biomedical research training and mentoring nationwide by: 1) engaging, training and mentoring students 2) enhancing faculty development, and 3) strengthening institutional research training infrastructure.
Objective: RROC will: 1) recruit and train RCMI, MSI, HBCU scholars across career stages; 2) enable institutional mentoring resource capacity building.
Methods: RROC Southeast Training Hub (SETH) collaborates with NRMN cores to provide mentee and mentor training. The Mentoring academy, Shark Tank and Health Disparities Learning Collaboratory provide in-person, and virtual coaching, to complement existing mentor resources at scholars’ home institutions.
Results: 35 institutions have participated in NRMN SETH: 81% affiliated with undergraduates; 57% HBCU/MSI; 43% NonHBCU.
Over 600 RROC facilitated enrollment in NRMNet: 32% Black; 47% Hispanic; 30% White; 9% Asian; 4% Native Hawaiian/Pacific islander; 64% female; 34% assistant professor, 11% postdoctoral scholars
Grant mechanisms of 90 scholars from 3 SETH cohorts: 25% R21;25% K; 18% RO1; 16% SC; 16% RO3; 12% Foundation. Cohort 1 (May 2016): 39 trained; 19 submissions and 6 awards=49% submission rate, 31% award rate vs 31% submission and 16% success for overall NRMN. Impact of SETH grant writing coaching groups on trainees confidence on funding, methods and process is comparable to overall NRMN.
Conclusion: NRMN RROC is showing early success in grant submission and funding.
Morehouse School of MedicineThe National Research Mentoring Network is supported by the National Institutes of Health Common Fund and Office of Scientific Workforce Diversity, award number U54GM119023, administered by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
MeldraP4 WOMEN’S HEALTH: PERSONALIZED, PREVENTIVE, PARTICIPATORYBackground: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death among men and women across the United States. African-American women have significant cardiovascular disparities due to the presence of multiple risk factors leading to poor clinical outcomes. Noninvasive detection of vascular abnormality may detect asymptomatic disease in at risk individuals.
Objective: Conduct prospective screening of asymptomatic at risk African American women in various social and cultural settings, to determine the prevalence of vascular dysfunction and early marker of CVD across a broad demographic group.
Methods: Multi location health screenings using the Mobile Research Unit: LINKS regional meeting Birmingham AL; National Medical Association Los Angeles CA; Atlanta Churches and Recreation Centers. Noninvasive tonometry technique (HDI/PulseWave CR-2000) measures large and small artery elasticity, and generate the arterial compliance curve, an index of endothelial and vascular function. Individualized score (Rasmussen vascular disease score) identifies early vascular disease and is a better risk predictor of event rates than Framingham.
Results: n=200 screened and analyzed:
Blood pressure among participants: 32% had normal Systolic BP <140 mmHg;
40% had mild/moderate high BP (SBP 141-160); 28% had severe high BP (SBP 161-200).
Small artery (C1 compliance): Normal=22%; Borderline = 11%; Abnormal = 67%
Large artery (C2 compliance): Normal=29%; Borderline=4%; Abnormal=67%
Conclusion: Two thirds of asymptomatic AA women without a history of CVD had abnormal Vascular function, detected at community health screenings. This is much higher than published reports for Whites. The HDI vascular screening may offer a more personalized approach for CVD prevention and population health.
Morehouse School of MedicineNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U54MD008149, U54MD007588, and U54MD008173, also from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000454.
MelyssaTHE CMB CORE AT XAVIER: THE WES REINVENTS WESTERN BLOTTINGThe RCMI Cell, Molecular and Bioinformatics (CMB) Core performs services and bioassays focused mainly on cancer biology and cell signaling. The CMB core maintains “state of the art” equipment, trains students, lab staff and faculty in the latest molecular techniques and is continually expanding and improving services. Our most recent acquisition is a capillary electrophoresis Western blot system called WES (ProteinSimple). This fully automated system has completely replaced the traditional Western blot workflow in our core. The WES is easy to use and removes variability so results are more reproducible. Since a blotting step is not performed, protein transfer inconsistencies are eliminated, providing more consistent results. The software provided with the system allows quantitative comparison of proteins against a standard curve. WES is a bench top instrument capable of running up to 24 samples simultaneously. The assay kits come with a pre-filled plate that contains all the reagents other than the researcher’s samples and primary antibodies. Samples for WES are separated in a self-contained capillary cartridge and immobilized to the capillary wall via a proprietary UV capture method. Target proteins are immunoprobed with an antibody followed by HRP-amplified chemiluminescent detection. WES automates the entire Western blot procedure increasing reproducibility and delivering significant time savings. The entire process from plate loading to data acquisition is roughly 4 hours, compared to two days using traditional Western blotting procedures. In addition, much smaller amounts of total protein are required with the WES. Typically, 0.6 ug of protein lysate is loaded per capillary. Each capillary functions independently, meaning 24 different antibodies can be run simultaneously on a single lysate, 24 independent lysates can be probed with a single antibody, or anywhere in between. Shown are examples of a few of the targets we have successfully probed using the WES technology.Xavier University of LouisianaRCMI NIMHD 2G12MD00759, Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium
MichaelMolecular Characterization of HCV in Yaoundé, CameroonHepatitis C virus (HCV) affects the lives of more than 150 million people worldwide. Every year there is an estimated 700,000 deaths due to HCV-related liver disease. This is mainly due to lack of a vaccine and because most acute hepatitis cases are asymptomatic. Due to the high replication rate and high mutation rate in the polymerase gene, HCV has great genetic diversity. Currently there are seven known HCV genotypes and over 60 subtypes. High prevalence of multiple HCV genotypes has been reported circulating in Cameroon, which suggests the possibility of increased genomic recombination among different genotypes. This study was conducted to characterize HCV circulating in Yaoundé, capitol of Cameroon, and to identify potential recombinations within the population. Plasma samples were sequentially collected between June 1, 2016 and July 29, 2016 at Centre Pasteur du Cameroon, a reference laboratory. Viral RNA was extracted from 76 patients suspected of being infected with HCV. PCR was conducted using primers specific for HCV capsid and polymerase (NS5B) genes. Samples positive for HCV RNA were sequenced and analyzed for sequence diversity using bioinformatics tools. Out of the 76 samples tested, 71 were positive for HCV RNA. Of the 71 samples, one was verified with a potential recombination between HCV genotype 4 and genotype 1. These data warrant future studies focusing on i) identifying the site of recombination, and ii) testing the efficacy of genotype-specific HCV treatment on the recombinant virus.University of Hawaii at ManoaNIH (1T37MD008636-01)
MichaelEXPRESSION OF NO AND NRF2 ENZYMES IN HUMAN COLITISPURPOSE: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is comprised of Crohn's colitis (CC) or ulcerative colitis (UC). Although the incidence of IBD is increasing among African Americans (AA) and the death rates for IBD associated colorectal cancer (CACRC) are about 45% higher in AA than in Caucasian Americans (CA), the underlying causes (socio-economic/biological) are completely unknown. IBD associated gut inflammation affects the morphological and functional changes in the myenteric/enteric nervous system (ENS) and nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. NRF2 is a transcriptional factor that regulates more than 200 antioxidant enzymes. We hypothesize a differential expression of BH4/NO/NRF2 will be observed in CA vs. AA colitis patients. METHODS: Colon (diseased and adjacent healthy/normal colon specimens; n=4) and serum specimens from CC and UC patients (Caucasian) were processed for western blotting (nNOS, nNOS dimerization, BH4 biosynthesis enzymes, NRF2), NO production (ELISA) and cytokine (anti-inflammatory) experiments by using well-standardized protocols. P<0.05 considered as significant. RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry (IHC) studies were performed for endothelial (e)NOS, nNOS, inducible (i)NOS and NRF2 in colon specimens in both AA and CC colitis patients. Western blot studies revealed a significant (P<0.05) reduction in nNOS, nNOS dimerization (enzyme activity), GCH-1 (BH4 biosynthesis enzyme via de novo pathway), NRF2 protein expression were noticed in colitis patients. Serum NO, Vitamin-D, IL-10 (anti-inflammatory) levels were significantly (P<0.05) reduced in colitis patients. IHC studies revealed differential expressions of the above markers in AA vs. CC colitis patients in mucosa vs. muscle layers. CONCLUSION: Impairment in BH4/NO/NRF2 signaling pathway could lead to colitis and colorectal cancer in humans.meharry medical college5U54MD007593
MichelleIMPROVING BIRTH OUTCOMES THROUGH A COMMUNITY PATHWAYS HUBPURPOSE: In 2013, 9 Ohio communities were responsible for 98% of all infant deaths but only 48% of the births. Mahoning County was one of those communities. In response, the Mahoning County Pathways HUB was established to serve the community's women most at-risk for infant loss.
METHODS: The Pathways HUB contracts with 5 community agencies that employ 15 community health workers (CHWs) to work directly with at risk pregnant women. Following a comprehensive risk and health assessment, the CHW utilizes the Pathways strategy to connect each woman to the services and support systems she needs to address barriers associated with the social determinants of health and to overcome obstacles to a healthy birth outcome.
RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS : In its first 18 months the HUB has enrolled 226 women and had 96 births. HUB enrollees have experienced lower rates of prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) than similarly at-risk women not enrolled in the HUB.
While the 2015 African American infant mortality rate in Mahoning County was 21. 0, the HUB infant mortality rate is 0. This evidence-based approach to improving health outcomes shows considerable promise in reducing infant mortality and racial inequities in Mahoning County.
Mahoning County District Board of HealthOhio Commission on Minority Health, Ohio Department of Medicaid, the Youngstown Foundation, Western Reserve Health Foundation
MichelleSCIENCE ENGAGEMENT: A STEM LITERACY WRITING EXERCISEAn important impact of our research depends on effectively communicating our discoveries. Scientific writing is a primary tool for the dissemination of research and an important skill to develop for our trainees. For many STEM trainees scientific writing represents a style of communication that is not taught during their early education. One strategy to learn scientific writing is through reading primary research literature and a journal club style discussion. However, this activity can result in a passive learning experience and not help the trainee develop their scientific writing skills.
To promote trainee communication skills, I tested a student writing exercise to develop a revised version of my previously published research article.
Following the writing guidelines organized by the Frontiers for Young Minds journal, I worked with my students on drawing the figures in an animated style. We also defined key concepts of the research article and wrote basic explanations of the experimental methods.
The students gained an in-depth understanding of the research concepts with the completion of the revised manuscript. In addition, the writing of the text and illustration of the figures promotes an engaged sense of ownership for the students with the research.
Upon reflection of this writing exercise, I encourage all research scientists to expand the impact of their discoveries and share their knowledge with society. Improving science communication will not only benefit scientific training but also promote scientific literacy within communities with limited access to STEM fields.
City College of New YorkNIH NIAID 1R03AI117671, NIH NIMHD 5G12MD007603, NIH NCI U54CA137788
MichelleINTEGRATED MODEL DELIVERING EQUITABLE AND QUALITY CAREBackground: MACO-ES is a Medicare Shared Savings Payment (MSSP) integrated delivery model. It is physician led and includes primary care based academic practice, public health system and federally qualified health center systems (FQHCs).

Objective: MACO-ES, is collaboratively transforming operations and clinical delivery through innovation, including centralized care coordination, moving from “silo” based care to team-based medicine, deploying the Patient Centered Medical Home model (PCMH) with integrated behavioral health, and aligning high performing referral pathways across its 27 metro Atlanta ambulatory health center locations.

Methods: 1) Point of Care Data Integration: MACO-ES informatics capability is the integrated data repositories captured and analyzed from ACO-ES participants and suppliers, through secure access to electronic medical records (EMR) and personal health information (PHI) data sources
2) MACO-ES participants electronically track “Meaningful Use” compliance
3) Care coordination and use of mobile technology.

Results: Frequencies and Rates per 10,000 Beneficiaries by Disease Group (CMS-HCC) for Assigned Beneficiaries: MACO-ES vs All MSSP ACOs
Diabetes w/complications 1912 vs 1117
Chronic lung disease 1669 vs 1284
Heart failure 1138 vs 1085
Morbid obesity 991 vs 405
Major depression 685 vs 584
HIV/AIDs 587 vs 14
Breast, prostate cancer 557 vs 698
CKD/ESRD 520 vs 163
Seizures 504 vs 292
Ischemic stroke 450 vs 323

Conclusion: Despite high rates of multiple chronic conditions and health disparities, MACO-ES, is delivering quality care and has consistently achieved shared savings of $5.3 million or greater for each reporting year. MACO-ES will ultimately deliver care to 100,000 beneficiaries and is expanding coverage to include FQHCs across 63 locations in rural Georgia.
Morehouse Choice Accountable care Organization-Education System (MACO-ES)National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers U54MD008149, U54MD007588, and U54MD008173, also from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UL1TR000454.
The purpose of the study is to examine the crosstalk between Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors (HER/EGFR) and Wnt signaling in HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer cells. We sought to determine the modulation of gene expression following the stimulation of HER2+ breast cancer cells with EGF and to investigate the mechanisms that underlie the changes observed in gene expression.
RNA-seq and ChIP-seq for H3K18ac/H3K27ac was conducted following an EGF treatment time course in SKBR3 cells. The levels of several proteins of interest were confirmed by western blot analysis. The cellular localization of proteins of interest was examined using biochemically fractionated lysates followed by western blot analysis.
RNA-seq analysis following an EGF treatment time course revealed that approximately 2200 genes are either upregulated or downregulated compared to untreated cells. Using ChIP-seq following an EGF time course we found that H3K18ac and H3K27ac increased globally within 1h post-EGF treatment compared to untreated cells. Surprisingly, TCF/LEF1 motifs were enriched in some genes that peaked in expression after 6h post-EGF treatment. Lastly, we detected an increase in chromatin associated B-catenin following EGF treatment.
Our RNA-seq data revealed that EGF stimulation results in the activation of genes that contain putative TCF/LEF binding sites. Activation of these genes is consistent with a remodeling of the chromatin near the TSS of these genes. Taken together, the data suggests that B-catenin might activate a subset of genes following EGFR stimulation. Our findings might lead to the identification of novel drug targets for HER2+ breast cancer.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceThis work was supported by grants from NIH/NCI 1U54CA14393; NIH-NIMHD U54MD007598 to J Vadgama and NIH/NIMHD CRECD R25 MD007610 and NIMHD 5S21MD 000103 supports to Y Wu, NIH-NIMHD 5U54MD007598-08: Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health Related Research (Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science (AXIS), PI: Dr. Vadgama) to M Nava.
Miguel AngelDISTINCT DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS AND ALCOHOL USE SEVERITYPURPOSE: Limited studies have examined associations between distinct depressive symptoms and alcohol use behavior among Hispanic populations. This study examined (a) the respective associations between depressive symptoms (e.g., negative affect, anhedonia, interpersonal problems, and somatic complaints) and alcohol use severity among emerging adults of Mexican heritage, and (b) if gender moderates each respective association. METHOD: 135 (87 women; 48 men) emerging adults (ages 18-25) of Mexican heritage completed an anonymous cross-sectional online survey. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, and the Center Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to estimate respective associations of negative affect, anhedonia, interpersonal problems, and somatic complaints in relation to alcohol use severity. Moderation tests were conducted to examine if gender functioned as an effect modifier between respective depressive symptoms and alcohol use severity. RESULTS: After controlling for age, gender, nativity, and partner/marital status—findings indicated that higher levels of anhedonia were associated with higher alcohol use severity (β = .21, p = .03). No other depressive symptom had a statistically significant main effect. This model explained 17.2% of the variance of alcohol use severity. Moderation analyses indicated that somatic complaints (β = .41, p = .03) and interpersonal problems were associated with greater alcohol use severity among men (β = .60, p < .001), but not women. CONCLUSION: Findings highlight the need to examine the relationship between specific depressive symptoms and alcohol use; and the importance of accounting for potential gender differences in these associations.Florida International UniversityThis study was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities [P20 MD002288]
MistyHYPERGLYCEMIA REDUCES KIR4.1 CHANNEL EXPRESSION VIA miR-205PURPOSE: Diabetics are at risk for serious health complications including a poorer recovery after ischemic stroke. Astrocytes, aided by the presence of Kir4.1 potassium channels in their membranes, play a critical role in protecting neurons by maintaining extracellular homeostasis and preventing neurotoxicity through glutamate uptake and potassium buffering. We found previously that astrocytes grown in hyperglycemic conditions have decreased levels of Kir4.1 potassium channels as well as impaired potassium and glutamate uptake. During corneal epithelial cell injury, Kir4.1 expression is negatively regulated by miR-205. The purpose of the present study was to test if miR-205 similarly regulates Kir4.1 expression in astrocytes under hyperglycemic conditions.

METHODS: We used Western Blot and q-PCR to assess the levels of Kir4.1 and miR-205 in astrocytes grown in high glucose (25 mM) DMEM compared to control astrocytes grown in normal glucose (5 mM). Transfection of astrocytes with miR-205 mimic and inhibitor was performed to alter their levels of miR-205.

RESULTS: We found that not only was miR-205 expressed in astrocytes, but its expression was upregulated (6-fold) when astrocytes were grown in hyperglycemic conditions. Astrocytes treated with mimic miR-205 had a significant 32.7% reduction of Kir4.1 protein levels whereas, Kir4.1 protein levels in astrocytes transfected with inhibitor miR-205 were significantly up-regulated by 39%.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Taken together with our previous findings, our data suggest that down-regulation of astrocytic Kir4.1 channels by elevated glucose is mediated by miRNA-205. This may contribute to the underlying pathophysiology of diabetes-induced CNS disorders and contribute to the poor prognosis after stroke.
Universidad Central del CaribeNIH-NIGMS-SC1-GM088019, NIH-NINDS-R01-NS065201, NIH-NIMHD-G12-MD007583 and NIH-NIGMS-R25-GM110513.
MohamedGeneralized Linear Mixed Modeling in Disparity Data AnalysesPurpose: Health Disparity is defined as observed clinically and statistically significant differences in health outcomes or health care use between socially distinct vulnerable and less vulnerable populations that are not explained by the effects of selection bias. This leads to an open spectrum of statistical methodology to be employed. The most notably applicable of which is the Generalized Linear Mixed Modeling (GLMM).
Methodology: GLMM is based on R.A. Fisher work which, loosely speaking, adds additional source(s) of variation to the statistical model that shrinks the gap between the mathematical equation described by the model and the actual data structure.
The general form of the model is:
Where y describes the outcome variable; X the predictors; β the fixed-effects regression coefficients; Z the random effects; γ can be thought of as the random effects coefficients and ε are the errors, i.e., that part of y that is not explained by the model, Xβ+ZγXβ+Zγ.
Example: outcome (difference/disparity in this case) as function of race/ethnicity, age, gender, SES, disease condition, availability of health facilities. One can invoke the thought of treating, for instance, health facilities pertaining to the population under study as a random sample (effect) from a larger population of clinics. This gives “clinics” a probability structure that, in turn, increases the precision of the model’s ability to estimate the magnitude and significance of the difference.
Conclusions and results: Real disparity data sets analyses results will be presented to appreciate the added precision and validity of GLMM as an analytical tool.
Morehouse School of Medicine• U54MD007588 (Montgomery-Rice)
Mohammade-HealthyStrides© Improves Diabetes Self-Management SkillsPURPOSE: Diabetes self-management (DSM) is a central tenet in diabetes care and the use of technology in DSM training has potential to improve its outcomes. African Americans (AA) and other minorities with poor diabetes control are less likely to use technology to build DSM skills. The aim of this study is to determine the ability of e-HealthyStrides© program to improve DSM skills & clinical outcomes among poorly controlled diabetics.
METHODS: 40 consented diabetic (Type-II) volunteers with HbA1c ≥ 8.9% were enrolled in a multi-site (Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization), IRB approved study. They used a novel web and mobile technology application, (e-HealthyStrides©) for DSM support, and to set measurable self-management goals (Taking Medications, Being Active, Healthy Eating, Healthy Coping, Reducing Risk & Problem Solving) based on the American Association of Diabetes Educators seven self-care behavior goals. A health coach monitored steps required to set, track, and attain these goals. Blood glucose (BG) was measured by FDA approved devices. Differences between means were evaluated by a linear mixed effects age-adjusted regression model with a 0.05 significance level.
RESULTS: Of those 40 AA patients, 39 completed 2nd visit (22F,55%). Mean ± SD for Age (years) & A1c were 51.6±13.9 & 11.9±1.5, respectively. Taking medications was most frequently reported goal (n= 24,61.5 %), improved (P < 0.0001), and was associated with BG improvement (P <0.0001). No adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSION: The e-HealthyStrides© intervention improved achievement of set self-care goals to improve BG levels among AA diabetic patients with elevated A1c levels.
Morehouse School of MedicineU54MD008173
Mohammade-HealthyStrides© Improves Diabetes Self-Management SkillsPURPOSE: Diabetes self-management (DSM) is a central tenet in diabetes care and the use of technology in DSM training has potential to improve its outcomes. African Americans (AA) and other minorities with poor diabetes control are less likely to use technology to build DSM skills. The aim of this study is to determine the ability of e-HealthyStrides© program to improve DSM skills & clinical outcomes among poorly controlled diabetics.
METHODS: 40 consented diabetic (Type-II) volunteers with HbA1c ≥ 8.9% were enrolled in a multi-site (Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization), IRB approved study. They used a novel web and mobile technology application, (e-HealthyStrides©) for DSM support, and to set measurable self-management goals (Taking Medications, Being Active, Healthy Eating, Healthy Coping, Reducing Risk & Problem Solving) based on the American Association of Diabetes Educators seven self-care behavior goals. A health coach monitored steps required to set, track, and attain these goals. Blood glucose (BG) was measured by FDA approved devices. Differences between means were evaluated by a linear mixed effects age-adjusted regression model with a 0.05 significance level.
RESULTS: Of those 40 AA patients, 39 completed 2nd visit (22F,55%). Mean ± SD for Age (years) & A1c were 51.6±13.9 & 11.9±1.5, respectively. Taking medications was most frequently reported goal (n= 24,61.5 %), improved (P < 0.0001), and was associated with BG improvement (P <0.0001). No adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSION: The e-HealthyStrides© intervention improved achievement of set self-care goals to improve BG levels among AA diabetic patients with elevated A1c levels.
Morehouse School of MedicineU54MD008173
Mohammade-HealthyStrides© Improves Diabetes Self-Management SkillsPURPOSE: Diabetes self-management (DSM) is a central tenet in diabetes care and the use of technology in DSM training has potential to improve its outcomes. African Americans (AA) and other minorities with poor diabetes control are less likely to use technology to build DSM skills. The aim of this study is to determine the ability of e-HealthyStrides© program to improve DSM skills & clinical outcomes among poorly controlled diabetics.
METHODS: 40 consented diabetic (Type-II) volunteers with HbA1c ≥ 8.9% were enrolled in a multi-site (Morehouse Choice Accountable Care Organization), IRB approved study. They used a novel web and mobile technology application, (e-HealthyStrides©) for DSM support, and to set measurable self-management goals (Taking Medications, Being Active, Healthy Eating, Healthy Coping, Reducing Risk & Problem Solving) based on the American Association of Diabetes Educators seven self-care behavior goals. A health coach monitored steps required to set, track, and attain these goals. Blood glucose (BG) was measured by FDA approved devices. Differences between means were evaluated by a linear mixed effects age-adjusted regression model with a 0.05 significance level.
RESULTS: Of those 40 AA patients, 39 completed 2nd visit (22F,55%). Mean ± SD for Age (years) & A1c were 51.6±13.9 & 11.9±1.5, respectively. Taking medications was most frequently reported goal (n= 24,61.5 %), improved (P < 0.0001), and was associated with BG improvement (P <0.0001). No adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSION: The e-HealthyStrides© intervention improved achievement of set self-care goals to improve BG levels among AA diabetic patients with elevated A1c levels.
Morehouse School of MedicineU54MD008173
MohsenAdherence to Drug Regimen among Elderly African-AmericansObjectives: This study examines the association between adherence to drug regimens and an array of medication-related factors, including polypharmacy, medication regimen complexity, use of Potentially Inappropriate Medications (PIM), and knowledge about the therapeutic purpose and instructions of medication use.
Methods: Four-hundred African Americans, aged 65 years and older, were recruited from South Los Angeles. Structured, face-to-face interviews and visual inspection of participants’ medications were conducted. From the medication container labels, information including strength of the drug, expiration date, instructions, and special warnings were recorded. The Medication Regimen Complexity Index (MRCI) was measured to quantify multiple features of drug regimen complexity. The Beers Criteria was used to measure the PIM use.
Results: Participants reported taking an average of 5.7 prescription drugs. Over 56% could not identify the purpose of at least one of their medications. Only two-thirds knew dosage regimen of their medications. Thirty-five percent of participants indicated that they purposely had skipped taking at least one of their medications within last three days. Only 8% of participants admitted that they forgot to take their medications. The results of multivariate analysis showed that co-payment for drugs, memory deficits, MRCI, and medication-related knowledge were all associated with adherence to dosage regimen of medications. Participants with a higher level of knowledge about therapeutic purpose and knowledge about dosage regimen of their medications were seven times (CI: 4.2 – 10.8) more likely to adhere to frequency and dose of medications. Participants with a low complexity index were two times (CI: 1.1 – 3.9) more likely to adhere to the dosage regimen of their medications, compared with participants with high drug regimen complexity index.
Conclusions: While other studies have documented that non-adherence remains an important issue among older adults, our study shows that for underserved elderly African Americans, these issues are particularly striking. A periodic comprehensive assessment of all medications that they use remains a critical initial step to identify medication related issues. Assessment of their disease and medication related knowledge (e.g., therapeutic purposes, side-effects, special instructions, etc.) and their ability to follow complicated medication regimens and modification of their drug regimens requires inter-professional collaboration.
Charles R. Drew Univerity of Medicine and ScienceThis study was supported by Centers Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) award numbers 1/0CMS331364 and 1/0CMS030458 to Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (PI: M. Bazargan). Dr. Smith is a scholar supported by the Clinical Research Education and Career Development (CRECD), Phase II grant # “R25MD007610”, NIH-NIMHD. Additionally, Dr. Bazargan was supported by the NIH-NIMHD under award numbers “U54MD008149” and “U54MD007598.” Furthermore, Dr. Bazargan was supported by the UCLA/DREW Project EXPORT, NIH-NIMHD grant “2P20MD000182.”
MonetCommunity Based Screening and Navigation in Breast CancerCancer disparities are prevalent among minority communities allowing for incidence and mortality rates to surmount those of their white counterparts. However, efforts are being made to eliminate these disparities through community based programs. This literature review examines the process of Patient Navigation and its impact on breast cancer patients within a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Methods include shadowing a University of Illinois Cancer Center Breast Cancer Patient Navigator, serving a Latino population at a FQHC facility and secondary literature reviews. Literature states that Patient Navigation does assist patients in the cancer process by eliminating barriers between diagnosis and treatment. Navigation services are positive in that many are culturally tailored to serve patients of various backgrounds. The role of a Patient Navigator is distinguishable from other health care providers which is beneficial to the patient. Limits in Navigation services at the University of Illinois Cancer Center are the lack of Navigators available for each cancer site. Barriers for patients are fear or mistrust and access to facilities financially and medically. Future directions include the expansion of the University of Illinois Cancer Center which will increase the number of Patient Navigators, and the inclusion of a Navigation Coordinator who will keep track of patients during each phase of their care. Priorities of Breast Cancer Navigation should consist of best practices to include a higher number of African American women specifically, and the inclusion of programs for free screening and diagnostic testing for patients.Governors State UniversityNational Cancer Institute's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Grants: 1P20CA202907-01 and 1P20CA202907-02
MoniqueOPENNESS AND HEALTH IN A COMMUNITY SAMPLEPURPOSE The personality trait, Openness to Experience (Openness) encompasses tendencies to engage the world in novel ways. Research suggests this dimension may be directly and indirectly related to various aspects of well-being. The present study examined the relationship between several biomarkers of health status, levels of neuropsychological functioning, and Openness in an African American community sample.
METHOD African American adults ( N= 214; mean age = 46 years; 103 men) participated in this research as part of a larger study of renal health. Blood levels of cholesterol, the cytokines Il-1, Il-6, and C-reactive protein were assessed. Mean arterial blood pressure was measured while participants were seated. A technician supervised the administration of the Trail Making Test and the Wisconsin Card Sort. Also, we administered the NEO-PI-R personality measure and the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Scale.
RESULTS Correlational analyses revealed significant relationships between Openness and HDL (r = .212), and Openness and Il-1 (r = -.173). These relationships were not moderated by levels of Trait Anxiety. In two instances, education levels mediated the correlations between Openness and neuropsychological functioning. Specifically, the indirect effects of Openness through education on Trails B performance, and on the number of errors on the Wisconsin Card Sort were significant. Education did not mediate the relationship between Openness and correct responses on the Wisconsin Card sort ( r = .250).
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION Openness was associated positively with several indicators of good health. The findings encourage further examination of the role it may play in well-being in community samples.
Howard UniversityGRANT SUPPORT The National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities, Grant # 1P20 MD 000512-03
MunaA COLLABORATIVE PLATFORM FOR MANAGING VIRTUAL TEAMSPURPOSE: Coordinating geographically dispersed teams’ activities is key to successful multi-institutional research projects. Lacking physical interactions, team members can capitalize on collaborative platforms for better coordination, knowledge-sharing, performance tracking and reporting which will ensure efficient collaboration.
METHODS: As a proof of concept, the RTRN Data Coordinating Center at Jackson State University adopted the Google sites to build team collaboration platforms which support a group calendar and scheduling, project management and real-time project updates for geographically dispersed team members. Team members can securely create, manage and share documents promoting team collaboration. By hosting on-going project documents in the cloud, files are automatically synchronized, available in real-time and accessible through any browser capable device.
EXPECTED RESULTS: Cloud-based team collaboration platform will increase transparency and trust among team members. The platform will enable the team to 1) share documents and information in real- time throughout the entire project, 2) provide timely feedback for informed decision making. The platform ensures efficient project monitoring and tracking. Frequency of communication and the efficiency of project management will be enhanced leading to project success. Promoting the capabilities of the platform and getting the buy-in from team members and project leadership is another challenge. Training team members on the platform functionalities is essential to ensure their involvement and collaboration.
CONCLUSION: Cloud-based team collaboration tools are critical for effective communication and knowledge sharing which will promote team collaboration leading to the project success.
Jackson State UniversityU54 MD008149 - NIH/National Institution on Minority Health and Health Disparity
NaimeshA NATURAL DOPAMINE REGULATOR REDUCES BINGE DRINKING IN RATS.Among different patterns of alcohol intake, binge drinking (BD) is most common in the U.S. Mechanistically, BD is characterized by long-term reduction in dopamine (DA) signaling within the reward pathway. We postulated here, that restoring DA homeostasis in the mesocorticolimbic system via a nutraceutical supplement, Synaptamine (SYN), could reduce motivation to seek and consume ethanol. Using genetically alcohol-preferring (P) adult male (n=9) and female (n=12) rats trained to lever press for 10% ethanol in an operant chamber, we examined the effectiveness of human equivalent doses of SYN (3.4 mL/Kg) in reducing BD, and evaluated the most efficient route of administration: Subcutaneous (S.C.), oral (P.O.) and intraperitoneal (I.P.). The I.P. and S.C., but not P.O. administration of SYN led to immediate marked decrease in lever presses (a measure of motivation to drink ethanol) by both male and female P rats. P.O. administration, although still effective, took at least 3 days to decrease lever pressing in both male and female rats (p<0.05), suggesting a slower metabolism and delayed effect on the brain by P.O. Likewise, with I.P. and S.C., there was an immediate reduction in ethanol intake in both male and female P rats (p<0.05), whereas, after over 3 days by P.O., SYN resulted in a modest reduction in ethanol intake by both sexes. Overall, this data suggests that SYN attenuates drinking behavior in P rats, and administration by I.P. > S.C.> P.O. in reducing craving behavior and motivation to drink, possibly due to absorption efficacy differences in these routes.Howard University
NainaINTERVAL TRAINING IMPACT ON LEARNING AND BRAIN FUNCTIONThe abstract is now formatted for submission.

PURPOSE: Regular physical activity and systematic exercise have always been linked to good health and are known to reduce risk factors for obesity, diabetes, cardiac conditions, hypertension as well as depression. We aim to study the underlying physiological mechanisms and molecular pathways that participate in lowering the risk factors and enhancing the health benefits.
METHODS: As a first step in this direction, we are using oxygen consumption under different exercise conditions so that we measure hemoglobin oxygen saturation and its effect on brain oxygen perfusion and learning ability in the Howard University student community (n=18-24). Near-infrared spectroscopy () provides a noninvasive method of tissue oxygen saturation (StO2) as well as total hemoglobin NIRS levels (tHb); it provides a quantitative measure for oxygen delivery during exercise and its utilization in the specific working muscle/s. Hemoglobin oxygen saturation is measured as the difference in absorption at two different wavelengths using NIRS and pre- and post-exercise conditions with repeats of 10 second high intensity intervals.
RESULTS & DISCUSSION: The comparative analysis of data from an age-matched student group from regular students and students that use testing center services will provide the first insight into physiological mechanisms and will enable us to determine molecular pathways that are altered as a function of enhanced oxygen consumption by exercise. The results would help in defining specific parameters related to student learning ability and testing performance as outcome of enhanced oxygen consumption.
Howard University
Prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates are consistently reported to be higher in American men of recent African descent. However, the causal factors contributing to prostate cancer incidence and mortality remain incomplete. ZIC2 is aberrantly expressed in prostate cancer. The highest levels of ZIC2 expression are found in lethal prostate cancer. We hypothesize ZIC2 is integral to the etiology of prostate cancer.

To establish a model for investigating ZIC2 in prostate cancer, we created cells with mutations in ZIC2 from the PC-3 cell line. We targeted the first exon in ZIC2 by CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing and established ZIC2 homozygous mutant cell lines from PC-3. The cells were characterized by RNA-Seq for differential gene expression. Mitochondrial membrane potential was probed using JC-1 dye and quantitated by flow cytometry. Cellular respiration was monitored by extracellular flux analysis. ZIC2 localization was predicted using computational methods and confirmed using subcellular fractionation followed by immunoblot analysis.

RNA-Seq results revealed gene expression patterns consistent with restored mitochondrial function in cells harboring ZIC2 mutations. JC-1 fluorescence indicated increased mitochondrial membrane potential in ZIC2 mutant cells. Oxygen consumption rates indicated ZIC2 mutant cells significantly increase respiration. Immunoblotting of subcellular fractions indicated ZIC2 is localized to the mitochondria.

These results have uncovered a heretofore concealed relationship between ZIC2 and impaired mitochondrial function. Our results suggest a central role for ZIC2 in the origin of cancer, given the emerging evidence indicating that impaired cellular energy metabolism is the defining characteristic of nearly all cancers regardless of cellular or tissue origin.
Clark Atlanta UniversityNational Institute of Health/NIMHD/RCMI, Grant Number 5G12MD007590-30
NawalPSP INDUCES A TLR4 IFN ANTI-HIV RESPONSE IN HUMAN MONOCYTESPURPOSE: There is an urgent need to identify compounds that can reduce human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) replication without producing adverse effects. This study sought to determine whether Coriolus Versicolor’s polysaccharide peptide (PSP) triggers an early immune response through Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and Interferon (IFN), by targeting HIV infection with no significant toxicity. METHODS: PSP anti-HIV-1 activity and cytotoxicity was evaluated on HIV-1 infected human monocytes treated with PSP (200 μg/ml) over a 6-day period. HIV-1 viral replication inhibition was determined by p24 ELISA assay and antiviral chemokines were analyzed using luminex multiplex asay. TLR4 expression was evaluated by flow cytometry, and differential protein expression was analyzed by quantitative proteomics to understand the molecular mechanisms behind PSP HIV-1 inhibition. RESULTS: PSP reduced 61% replication, as determined by ELISA and to achieved a viral inhibition of 34% and 16.54%, respectively in PBMC from healthy (infected ex-vivo) and HIV-1 infected donors. Chemokines known to block HIV entry, such as RANTES, MIP-1α, MIP-1β and SDF-1α were upregulated together with the upregulation and activation of TLR4 in HIV-infected, PSP-treated cells. Inhibition of this receptor led to antiviral chemokine downregulation and increased HIV-1 replication. Quantitative proteomics data revealed the upregulation of several markers of the IF induced protein pathway such as NF-kB, IRF7 and IRF9. NFKB inhibitor was downregulated highlighting its key role in the anti-HIV response. CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate for the first time that PSP induces an anti-HIV activity mediated by TLR4 and IFN providing a unique model to open anti-HIV therapeutic avenues.Universidad Central Del CaribeResearch was supported by NIH RCMI grant (G12MD007583) to NMB from Universidad Central del Caribe, School of Medicine.
NeginEndometrial polyp and its association with colon neoplasiaBackground: According to previous studies, there is an association between endometrial and colon polyp in lynch syndrome but not enough information exists for this relation in African-Americans, a high-risk population for colorectal cancer.
Aim: To investigate colon polyps’ prevalence in African-Americans with endometrial polyps.
Patients & Methods: We reviewed pathology reports of 599 patients with suspected endometrial polyp. Those with confirmed endometrial polyps who underwent colonoscopy were retained (n=106). Their colonoscopy reports were reviewed for colon polyps’ presence. A control consisting of the colonoscopy population from 2010 to 2016 was used to determine colorectal polyps’ prevalence independently of endometrial lesions.
Results: Among the 106 patients with endometrial polyps, 53 (50%) with mean age of 58.7 had colorectal polyps as well. The prevalence of colon polyps within the control population was 41% (4,070 polyps/10,027 colonoscopies). Tubular adenomas without high grade dysplasia (n=47, 52.2%) was the most frequent type of lesions. The most common site for colon polyp was sigmoid (n=24, 26.6%). Only 18% of the study population displayed colon polyps at age below 50.
Conclusion: Higher prevalence of colon neoplasia in females with endometrial polyps suggests that endometrial lesions may be associated with colonic neoplasia. Since 82% of these patients were >50 years, it seems that this association is unlikely to be of the Lynch syndrome type. Further studies are required to determine whether if endometrial polyps’ patients would benefit from increased colorectal screening and to determine the underlying genetics of this association.
Howard University
NeshaCurcumin Prevents Stress-Induced Increases in Innate FearBackground: Low and urban-dwelling minorities are at high risk for exposure to chronic stress, which has been associated with increased vulnerability for developing a range of psychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety. Recent evidence suggests that curcumin, a compound found in the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa), prevents stress-induced depressive-like behavior in rodents. However, the use of curcumin for treating anxiety has not been examined. Here we tested whether dietary curcumin blocks the effects of a social stressor on innate fear.

Methods: Adult male mice (129/EvEv) were given chow containing 1.5% curcumin or control chow for 5 days before being exposed to chronic social defeat stress or being housed in control conditions for 10 days. Social interaction was tested with an unfamiliar aggressive CD-1 mouse as the social target. One week after social defeat, innate fear was tested in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and open field (OF) tests. Mice remained on curcumin throughout behavioral testing.

Results: Compared to stressed mice given control chow, stressed mice on curcumin spent significantly more time: 1) interacting with the social target, 2) in the open arms of the EPM, and 3) in the center of the OF. There were no detectable effects of curcumin in non-stressed mice in any of these tests.

Conclusions: Dietary curcumin blocks the effects of stress on social avoidance behavior and innate fear, suggesting that curcumin may effectively treat anxiety.
Hunter College, CUNYNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health (G12MD007599).
NicoleBREAST CANCER BELIEFS, SCREENING, AND AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMENBreast cancer in African American women is usually detected at more advanced stages than in White women, contributing to poorer prognosis and lower survival rates. Mammography screening has been identified as the best method for early detection of breast cancer but screening rates for African American women lag behind those of White women and follow-up screening rates are inconsistent.

Most programs that address impediments to screening focus on financial and health care system barriers. Few programs focus on addressing psychosocial barriers despite evidence that these barriers also impede screening (Young & Severson, 2005). To deliver effective public health interventions and improve healthcare delivery, health professionals need to explore factors that impede mammography screening from social, economic and psychosocial perspectives.

This cross sectional study examined differences between perceptions of breast cancer and self-reported mammography screening behaviors in 66 African American women. The women completed a survey addressing questions based on the constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM). Data was analyzed using t-tests and chi-square.

The results indicated that women who reported non-compliance with mammography screening were significantly more likely to perceive breast cancer as more severe and to perceive more barriers to mammography screening than women who reported compliance with screening guidelines. A prior history of a breast biopsy was found to be a significant predictor of mammography compliance.

The results of this study support the assertion that beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and fears about breast cancer can deter cancer screening (Young & Severson, 2005).
Morehouse School of Medicine/RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN)
NinaSYNERGY OF FKBP52 AND β-CATENIN IN PROSTATE CANCERPURPOSE: Androgen receptor (AR) regulated genes contribute to the initiation and progression of prostate cancer. The FKBP52 co-chaperone and β-catenin have emerged in recent years as regulators of AR activity that are functionally linked in the AR signaling pathway. FKBP52 is a known positive regulator of androgen receptor function and has been shown to be critical for prostate development in mice. β-catenin directly binds AR, stimulates AR activity, and regulates AR gene transcription. These studies are aimed at furthering our understanding of the mechanism by which AR is regulated by diverse factors to influence co-activator recruitment, recruitment of AR to promoters, and the global expression of AR-dependent genes. METHODS: FKBP52 and β-catenin synergistic regulation of AR was completed through the use of reporter assays in mammalian cells. Immunoprecipitations were conducted to determine novel protein interactions with β-catenin. RESULTS: FKBP52 interacts directly with β-catenin to promote interaction with and regulation of AR activity and FKBP52 is absolutely required for β-catenin co-activation of AR activity. SGTA, a co-chaperone known to bind AR and antagonize FKBP52 potentiation of AR, does not bind β-catenin and therefore does not require β-catenin to bind to and inhibit AR function. Bag-1L, a co-chaperone also known to bind AR and play a role in AR folding and maturation, may be interacting with β-catenin, though further studies are currently being completed to confirm their interaction. CONCLUSION: Information obtained from these results will ultimately provide more insight into co-chaperone regulation of AR in prostate cancer.University of Texas at El PasoCancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Grant RP110444-P2 awarded to MBC; NIH/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Grant 2G12MD007592 awarded to the Border Biomedical Research Center; RISE-NIH Fellowship Grant R25GM069621-11 awarded to NRO
NowahUrine biomarkers of nephropathy in sickle cell diseaseSickle-cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary disorder that affects approximately 100,000 people in the USA, primarily of African descent. Under low oxygen conditions, mutant hemoglobin S forms polymers that lead to the hemolysis of red blood cells (RBC), vaso-occlusion and organ damage. Advances in the management of SCD have led to the increase in life expectancy with a concomitant increase in the prevalence of chronic disease. SCD patients have an approximately three-fold higher risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) developing than the general population. Because the universal urine concentration defects in the SCD patients, current clinical markers (proteinuria and albuminuria) do not detect ongoing renal damage until it is severe. Thus, the discovery of novel noninvasive biomarkers of early stages of disease is needed. The objective of this study was to assess ceruloplasmin (CP), orosomucoid (ORM) and hepatocyte factor like (HGFL) protein levels in the urine of SCD patients with different stages of chronic kidney disease. The study was approved by the institutional review board (IRBs) of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and Howard University (HU), and all subjects provided written informed consent prior to urine sample collection. Fifty-four patients with different stages of CKD (stage 0-5) were recruited from the UIC and spot urine samples were collected during a clinic visit when the patient was in a steady state. Nineteen healthy subjects were recruited at Howard University. Urinary concentrations of CP, ORO, HGFL, and creatinine (CRE) were determined by ELISA. CP/CRE and ORO/CRE ratios demonstrated a positive correlation with CKD stages and hemoglobinuria, a recently identified marker of CKD progression. In contrast, HGFL positively correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and negatively correlated with CKD stages. The major limitation of this study is that relatively small cross-sectional cohort was used. These results need to be further validated in larger longitudinal patient cohorts. In conclusion, CP, ORM, and HGFL represent candidate non-invasive biomarkers of risk for CKD in SCD patients that might each reflect a distinct pathological process in the kidney of SCD patients.Howard UniversityNIH Research Grants (1P50HL118006, 1R01HL125005 and 5G12MD007597).
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is often under-diagnosed in the pediatric population. Our previous study revealed a high frequency of trauma exposure (62%) and that within this group, 65% met criteria for PTSD when assessed by Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS). The purpose of this study was to identify how many of these patients with PTSD had a documentation of PTSD in their medical chart and to identify other co-occurring pathologies.
A retrospective review of 246 randomly chosen charts of youth ages 7-17 that received at least one evaluation by a mental healthcare provider was done. All subjects were previously identified as meeting criteria for PTSD. Information was entered into REDCap and analyzed with SPSS version 23 for frequency distributions, descriptive statistics and association measures.
Only 6 of 246 charts documented a PTSD diagnosis (2.4%). Comorbid diagnoses included ADHD (30.5%), asthma (25%), obesity (24%) and depressive disorders (24%). More than half of the sample (55.7%) received at least one psychotropic and almost half (48%) of patients had one failed medication trial. Interestingly, males presented with more pediatric comorbidities (p<0.02).
Our findings suggest that PTSD is grossly under-diagnosed at our clinic, thus contributing to health disparities in this underserved population. Multiple comorbidities may mask PTSD symptoms, leading to increased likelihood for misdiagnosis. Impact of gender differences in organic comorbidities warrants appropriate screening and preventive interventions.
Ponce Health Sciences University/Ponce Research InstituteThe project herein described was supported by award number G12MD007579 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (RCMI). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Additional support was provided by the Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) Behavioral Research and Integrative Neuroscience (BRAIN) Core and the Ponce Research Institute and by the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC) Award Number 054MD007587-05. The project herein described was also supported by Award Number UL1TR000114 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Center For Research Resources or the National Institutes of Health. Study data were collected and managed using REDCap electronic data capture tools hosted at the Ponce Health Sciences University.
ObinnaRIB NOTCHING AS AN INDICATOR OF CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASERib notching can occur on the inferior or superior surfaces of the ribs. Associated with a
wide range of congenital and chronic disorders, rib notching is an important diagnostic marker
used in the practice of medicine today. Unfortunately, Rib notches have not been studied in a
human anatomical collection, and furthermore, a historical African American (AA) collection. This presents a unique opportunity to evaluate rib notching in the Cobb Collection (CC),
originally comprised of 987 de-fleshed human cadavers that were either purchased or donated
between 1931 and 1965, housed at the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory at Howard
University (CRL). A sample of 49 CC individuals were selected and placed into groups to
explore the hypothesis that rib notching can be used to indicate cardiovascular disease (CVD) in
a skeletal collection. Our results show a strong link between CVD and rib notching. This
provides a useful tool for diagnosing historical skeletal samples, using modern techniques to
confirm previous diagnoses.
Howard University
OlakunleImmune Markers in Sickle Cell Disease and Burkitt’s LymphomaChronic infections with Epstein Bar virus (EBV), in association with falciparum malaria, are responsible for the development of Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL), while falciparum malaria is a significant cause of mortality in children with sickle cell disease (SCD). Our study compared the prevalence of immunological markers in children with SCD and those with BL, who were enrolled at Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAU) in Ile-Ife, southwestern Nigeria. We tested serum samples from the two groups along with matched controls for levels of anti-malaria IgG, IgM and IgG subclasses antibodies against a ring stage antigen of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. Additional analyses were done for Th1 and Th2 cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6, IL-10), cell adhesion molecules (ICAM1 and VCAM1), serum iron and transferrin. Results showed that IgG and IgM antibodies to the malaria antigen were lower in children with BL, but were significantly elevated in SCD. All the four IgG subclasses were decreased in both BL and SCD. On the other hand, both the Th1 and Th2 cytokines were equally elevated in BL and SCD. Unlike the EB-VCA IgG, EBNA1 IgG antibodies were significantly elevated in BL. α-1 antitrypsin and α-2 macroglobulin, both protease inhibitors and acute phase proteins, were both elevated in both BL and SCD, but were much higher in SCD. Total serum iron, transferrin and iron binding capacity were significantly decreased in BL and SCD, but with highest decrease in SCD. Odds ratio determinations showed an increased risk for BL with joint elevated antibodies against malaria and EBNA1.Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, DC 20059
OlakunleEffects of HIV and STIs on CD4 counts and HIV Viral LoadWe studied the effects of HIV coinfections with malaria and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on CD4 cell counts and on HIV plasma viral load in 114 HIV seropositive pregnant women and 126 seronegative pregnant women in Akure, souyhwestern Nigeria. The results showed that HIV infection among the pregnant women reduced the CD4 cell counts from a mean of 750 cells/ml for HIV negative women to 363 cells/ml for HIV seropositive women. Additionally the presence of malaria more than doubled the HIV viral load from a mean of 7,270 ribonucleic acid (RNA) copies/ml for HIV positive women without malaria to 15,148 RNA copies/ml for those with malaria. The results also showed that 62 of the 114 seropositive women were positive for STIs, compared to 18 (14.3%) of the seronegative women. Trichomonas vaginalis was seen in 50% of the 62 seropositive women and in four (22.2%) of the seronegative women. Co-infections of HIV and STIs also significantly reduced the CD4 cell counts and increased the HIV viral load. Various Candida species were isolated from the vaginal (76.4%) and oropharyngeal cultures (23.6%) of the 106 cultures of all women. Candida albicans and C. glabrata, the two most predominant isolates from the two study groups, produced coagulase, phospholipase, biofilm and bile hydrolysis as virulence factors. The significant higher rates of STIs and Candida infections in HIV seropositive women underscores the potential burden of immunosuppression by HIV infection and the need for healthcare providers to accordingly modify their clinical management of HIV seropositive pregnant women.Howard University College of Medicine
Although significant declines in cigarette smoking prevalence have been realized in the United States (U.S.), this decline is not universal. Immigrant Muslim communities continue to have disproportionately high smoking prevalence rates. For example, the smoking prevalence rate is 44.1% among Somali adult (predominantly Muslim) men in Minnesota, compared to the average smoking rate for adult men in Minnesota (14.4%) and in the United States of 17.8%. The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility, acceptability and effects of a faith-based culturally-tailored short message service (SMS) text message-based smoking cessation program.

The systematic quantitative pilot survey data collected using the mobile phone will be analyzed using summary statistics including means and standard deviations for continuous variables; and frequencies and proportions for categorical variables. Chi-square and t-tests will be used to examine cross-sectional data. Adherence to the intervention defined as the number and percent EMA data completed versus expected will be assessed. Verification will be by salivary cotinine will be performed at 3 months post enrollment for those reporting abstinence. All statistical analyses will be conducted using SAS 9.3. Statistical significance will be assessed using an alpha level of .05.

We will conduct analysis to determine cotinine-verified smoking cessation at 6 months post randomization in order to obtain estimates of effect sizes for well-powered future intervention studies.

With approximately 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, nearly 3 million of which reside in the U.S, this novel intervention has the potential to produce a significant public health impact
University of Minnesota Medical SchoolResearch reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 2T32CA163184 (Michele Allen, MD, MS; PI) and a ClearWay grant/RC-2017-0007 (Ojo-Fati)
Lead is a potent neurotoxicant that increases the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in young children even at levels that are considered low hence, there is no threshold level for this toxicant. Older pipes and plumbing components containing lead may be a major source of lead in drinking water even when the aquifer has low concentrations of lead. The goal of this research was to therefore assess whether elementary schools in the City of Tallahassee had acceptably low levels of lead in drinking water.
Older elementary schools were selected because they were more likely to have plumbing fittings which contained lead. Sampling of drinking water was conducted in accordance to the US EPA’s 3Ts methodology. This sampling protocol maximizes the likelihood that lead will be detected in drinking water because samples are collected after overnight stagnation of water in drinking water pipes - a worst case scenario.
The results revealed that only 2 of the 32 water samples had lead levels above the US EPA Action Level of 15 ppb, 30 of the 32 samples from the 16 schools had lead levels above the AAP 1 ppb recommendation.
Elevated lead levels were due to supply lines and plumbing fixtures, not from the aquifer (groundwater). Regarding the two samples that tested above the US EPA’s action level, the schools took immediate action to reduce the lead levels via flushing water lines and cleaning screens at the end of water spouts
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
African Americans (AAs) suffer from the highest rates of obesity. Although the mechanisms are unclear, obesity-associated neuroinflammation is linked to both premature cognitive decline and defects in executive functioning. Although these factors can contribute to eating behaviors related to obesity, little is known, especially with respect to AAs. Studies have suggested that impaired brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production in obese individuals may partially explain deficits in attentional and motor control in maladaptive eating behaviors. However the direct causative and underlying correlated indices are understudied in AA. Therefore, studies at the interface of psychology-neurology-and-immunity are necessary to determine differences in neurocognitive factors and the pathways through which they affect biological triggers and eating behavior patterns. As such, this study aims to identify whether (1) executive functions influence eating behavior patterns in AA bariatric patients and (2) the roles that BDNF, telomerase, and/or inflammatory cytokines govern these intrinsic pathways.
Biological, psychosocial and neurocognitive data will be collected on 150 AA bariatric patients.
Anticipated results will identify impairments in performance of executive functions tasks to be directly associated with maladaptive eating behavior patterns in AA bariatric patients. BDNF and Telomerase expressions will partially mediate the relationship between executive functioning and obesity-promoting eating behavior patterns through bidirectional immunomodulatory roles governing inflammatory responses.
Taken together, these studies of BDNF and telomerase as prognostic biomarkers could serve as a valuable readout index for predisposition, progression, and success of intervention/treatment approaches, particularly in the AA community, for obese individuals.
Howard University
5-amino-1-methyl quinolinium is a potent Nicotinamide N-methyl transferase (NNMT) inhibitor. To facilitate the characterization of the compound, the objective of this study is therefore to develop a simple, rapid and sensitive liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method for the quantification of 5-amino-1-methyl quinolinium in solution and rat plasma for application to pharmacokinetic studies.
An LC system equipped with an ACE® Excel™ C8 column (2µm, 50×3.0 mm) was used for chromatographic separation with a binary solvent system comprising of water (A) and methanol (B) containing 0.2% formic acid as mobile phase. Sample were analyzed using gradient elution: initial 30% B, 98% B from 2.5-3 minutes, and 20% B from 3.1 – 3.5 minutes at a total flow rate of 0.25 ml/min. Chromatographic analysis was performed using an API 4000 QTRAP hybrid triple quadruple linear ion trap mass spectrometer equipped with a Turbo V™ ion source. Mass detection was with multiple reaction monitoring at positive ionization mode with m/z transitions of 160.008 → 90.000 (M+H)+. The assay will be validated according to the FDA’s Guidance for Bioanalytical Method Validation.
The retention time for 5-amino-1-methyl quinolinium is 0.7min and the standard curve in solution is linear in concentration range of 15 – 500 µg/mL. The detection limit for the compound is 1ng/mL

A rapid, simple and sensitive LC-MS/MS method was developed and will be validated to quantify 5-amino-1-methyl quinolinium in solution and rat plasma.
TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITYThis work is supported in part by NIH grant G12MD007605
OlorunseunMIR-1207-3P REGULATES C-MYC IN PROSTATE CANCER IN BLACK MENAggressive prostate cancer (PCa) disproportionately affects Black men (BM). Located downstream of c-MYC at chromosome 8q24 is PVT1 which encodes miR-1207-3p. We recently demonstrated that miR-1207-3p directly binds to FNDC1 to regulate a novel FNDC1/FN1/AR pathway upregulated in metastatic prostate cancer. But the relevance of this molecular pathway to PCa in BM is unknown. Prostate tissue analysis revealed that underexpression of miR-1207-3p and the overexpression of FNDC1, FN1, AR and c-MYC is significantly associated with aggressive PCa in BM. miR-1207-3p was underexpressed while FNDC1 and c-MYC were overexpressed in high grade tumors in comparison to low grade tumors. Our miR-1207-3p analog (NB1207) significantly inhibited c-MYC protein expression in seven PCa cell lines. RNA pulldown assay determined that c-MYC is not a direct molecular target of miR-1207-3p. However, siRNAs against FNDC1, FN1 and AR revealed significant suppression of c-MYC expression in the BM-derived indolent E006AA PCa cell line and the BM-derived aggressive/castration resistant PCa (CRPC) cell line, E006AA-hT, indicating that c-MYC is downstream of AR. NB1207 significantly inhibited migration, and induced apoptosis in E006AA and E006AA-hT PCa cell lines. NB5 (NB1207 analog) and NB1207 inhibited proliferation in the CRPC cell lines E006AA-hT, C4-2B, PC-3, and 22RV1 while second generation androgen deprivation therapies, abiraterone, enzalutamide and apalutamide had no effect. In conclusion, miR-1207-3p regulates c-MYC expression via the miR-1207-3p/FNDC1/FN1/AR pathway in aggressive PCa. miR-1207-3p may be a biomarker for risk stratification in PCa. And NB5 and NB1207 have potential for therapeutic targeting of c-MYC for treatment of aggressive PCa in BM.Hunter College of The City University of New York
OlorunseunPVT1 EXONS 4A, 4B & 9: PROSTATE CANCER MARKERS IN BLACK MENWe recently demonstrated that exon 9 of PVT1 may be involved in racial disparity in prostate cancer (PCa). Using the most recent full-genome variability panel from the 1000 Genomes project, we recently identified a string of 75 SNPs in a 26-kb region spanning PVT1 exons 4A and 4B as consistently showing the highest level of genetic differentiation between African and non-African populations. However, the expression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B and 9 in prostate tissues of Black males (BM) has never been investigated. We determined the expression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B and 9 in histologically confirmed normal prostate (n=22), benign prostate (n=35) and PCa tissue (n=28) obtained from BM who had undergone prostatectomy or transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy. There was a statistically significant difference in the expression of PVT1 exon 4A, F(2,61)=9.031, p=0.000; PVT1 exon 4B (F(2,61)=5.294, p=0.004) and PVT1 exon 9 (F(2,61)=3.700, p=0.029) between groups as determined by one-way ANOVA. Tukey post-hoc test revealed mean expression of PVT1 exon 4A = 3.15±0.49 (95% CI [2.13, 4.17]), PVT1 exon 4B = 2.24±0.360 (CI [1.47, 2.95]) and PVT1 exon 9 = 1.644±0.95 (95% CI [1.265, 2.023]) in PCa tissues. The results show overexpression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B & 9 in PCa tissue compared with non-malignant prostate tissue in BM. Using RNA ISH, PVT1 exon 9 was detected overexpressed primarily in the epithelium of prostate tumor tissue. The results suggest that overexpression of PVT1 exons 4A, 4B and 9 is characteristic of PCa in BM.Hunter College of The City University of New York
OmanaBUTYRATE EFFECT ON VASCULAR SMOOTH MUSCLE CELLS (VSMC)PURPOSE: Cardiovascular disease due to atherosclerosis is a major issue that disproportionally affects minority population. Unwarranted VSMC proliferation is a critical element in atherosclerosis and in arterial restenosis. Histone deacetylase inhibitor, butyrate, arrests VSMC proliferation, alters gene expression and changes cellular morphology by cytostatic process. Objective of the study is to explore the role of PI3K/PDK1/Akt pathway and the downstream targets of Akt that are central to cell survival and cell death in butyrate-induced effects on VSMC. METHODS: Proliferating VSMC were exposed to 5 mM butyrate for different lengths of time and processed for assessing butyrate effects on signaling proteins by western analysis. RESULTS: Butyrate causes inactivation of PI3K, PDK1 and Akt by inhibiting their phosphorylation-dependent activation eliciting differential effects on downstream targets of Akt. Butyrate treatment results in: inhibition of expression and activation of mTOR, which blocks activation of p70S6K and its substrate S6 ribosomal protein affecting protein synthesis; inactivation of GSK3β by phosphorylation of Ser9 appears to mediate cytostatic effect in VSMC by stabilizing and accumulating cyclin D1 in G1-phase, by inhibiting β-catanin regulated gene expression and by exhibiting no significant effect on intrinsic pathway components of apoptosis; and dephosphorylation of FOXO1 and FOXO3 activates their transcriptional activity promoting G1 arrest through p21Cip1/Waf1 and p15INK4B expression as a part of the cytostatic response. CONCLUSION: Butyrate-induced inactivation of Akt and its differentially regulated downstream targets play key role in cell cycle arrest and altered cellular morphology of VSMC by promoting complementary survival pathway and inhibiting apoptosis pathway.Texas Southern UniversityThis study was made possible, in part, by Molecular Biology research infrastructure support from grant number 2G12MD007605 from the NIMHD/NIH
OmayraMOLECULAR EPIDEMIOLOGY OF HIV-1 VIRUS IN PUERTO RICOPURPOSE: HIV-1 subtype B virus is the most prevalent subtype in Puerto Rico (PR), accounting for about 90% of infection in the island. Recently, other subtypes and circulating recombinant forms (CRF) including F (12_BF), A (01_BF), and CRF-39 BF-like have been identified. The purpose of this study is to assess the distribution of drug resistance mutations and subtypes in PR.
METHODS: A total of 873 nucleotide sequences from the period comprising 2013 thru 2017 were obtained from our “HIV Genotyping” test file. Phylogenetic and molecular epidemiology analyses were performed to evaluate the evolutionary dynamics and prevalence of drug resistance mutations.
RESULTS: According to our results, we detected a decrease in the prevalence of protease inhibitors (PIs), nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) mutations over time. In addition, we also detected recombinant forms and, for the first time, identified subtypes C and D in Puerto Rico.
DISCUSSION: Recent studies suggest that non-subtypes B are associated with a high risk of treatment failure and disease progression. The implementation of HIV prevention initiatives and adherence to HIV treatment regimens, among others, are important factors controlling HIV evolution. The constant monitoring of viral evolution and drugs resistance mutation dynamics are important to establish appropriate efforts for controlling viral expansion.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityThe study was supported by the AIDS Research Infrastructure Program (RCMI Program; NIMHD-G12-MD007579).
OswaldoAcculturation & Lifetime Prevalence Rates of Substance UseThis study examines the relationship between acculturation and the lifetime prevalence rates of substance use disorder among Latinas/os of Mexican origin (N=868). This study also examines if religious attendance mediates this relationship between acculturation and substance use disorder. Using Mplus Version 7.3l (Muthen & Muthen, 1998-2012), a path model was utilized to examine the effects model. Results show that acculturation is significantly and negatively related to the lifetime prevalence rate of substance use disorder, as well as church attendance. Results also indicate that church attendance is significantly and negatively related to the lifetime prevalence rates for substance use disorder. Results also show that church attendance mediated the relationship for acculturation and the lifetime prevalence rates for substance use disorder. This contribution to the literature can continue to shape culturally sensitivity in clinical practice by incorporating acculturation and religious attendance when confronted with substance use among this population. Research and clinical implications on health disparities and treatment utilization are therefore discussed.Virginia Commonwealth University
Menthol cigarette use is prevalent among African-American smokers and may contribute to health-related disparities in this population. However, the data regarding the pharmacological impact of menthol on nicotine addiction is limited. Menthol, a widely used cooling-anesthetic and flavoring agent, regulates sensory transduction by activating TRPM8 channels located specifically in sensory neurons. In addition to its peripheral sensory impact, recent studies have demonstrated the presence of menthol in the CNS after in vivo exposure. This implies that menthol may impact nicotine addiction through central mechanisms. Menthol has been shown to upregulate nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and to stimulate GABAA receptors and enhances GABAergic transmission in the spinal cord and hippocampal neurons. However, the neuroanatomical and neurochemical profile of CNS neurons targeted by peripheral and/or direct central effects of menthol is not known. Thus, in the present study using GAD67-GFP knock-in mice, we hypothesized that GABAergic neurons of the reward-addiction circuitry are one of the targets of menthol in the CNS. We tested this hypothesis by utilizing a c-Fos immunohistochemical technique to identify the neuroanatomical location of menthol-induced, c-Fos activated GAD67-GFP positive cells in the addiction circuitry. Menthol (200 mg/kg, IP), produced c-Fos activation at multiple sites in the CNS including several structures previously shown to be activated by nicotine such as the periaqueductal gray, dorsal raphe, ventral tegmental area, hypothalamus, paraventricular thalamic nucleus, lateral habenular nucleus, hippocampus, piriform cortex, anterior olfactory nucleus and prefrontal cortex. However, with the exception of a sparse number of cells in the posterior hypothalamus, no other somatodendritic components of GAD67-GFP positive cells of the reward-addiction circuitry were the targets of menthol in the CNS. Finally, the overlap of CNS structures activated by nicotine and menthol implies that nAChRs may be one of the targets of menthol in the CNS.
Howard UniversityNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number G12MD007597
P. QasimahBUILDING FARMERS MARKET CONSUMER BASE IN PUBLIC HOUSINGPURPOSE This research project pursues foundational marketing data on public housing residents’ relationships with food and Farmer’s Markets. Unique to this project is a collaborative research strategy that includes residents, community organizers and food environment experts in oversight and performance.
METHODS To determine effective engagement methods for increasing target population interaction with Frenchtown Heritage Marketplace (FHM), a farmers market in Leon County, Florida, 44 participants from public housing residents of 4 different housing locations were interviewed. Interviews were scheduled with household food shoppers.
RESULTS Most participants were female, single, had 2-4 people in the household, had earned a high school diploma, were not native to Tallahassee but had relatives in the area. The majority of participants liked to cook, preferred culturally familiar dishes, liked vegetables and fruits, looked for sales in those items, liked to buy produce when they could afford it, and had SNAP benefits. Convenience and cost drove most purchases; transportation was a root problem. Overall, Farmer’s Markets did not ‘solve’ a problem for many people, as there was little interest in the higher quality of produce (organic or local).
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION Messages (live classes, poster, videos, market flyers) need to emphasize the word fresh, as residents appreciated this feature the most. Emphasis of savings in conjunction to their SNAP benefits was desired. Improving peer relationships and food connections, as well as to the Farmer’s Market with emphasis on the community Farmers as their farmers, were salient components.
Florida A&M University/College of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical SciencesUS Department of Agriculture FL-FMPP-0045-119
PabloTargeting c-MYC-regulated moecules in ovarian cancerOvarian cancer remains an important cause of female cancer-related deaths, with approximately 22,440 new cases and about 14,080 deaths predicted for 2017 in the United States. Its high death rate is reflective of the fact that most ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease and become resistant to platinum-based therapy. Ovarian Cancer-associated mortality is higher in American women of African descendant. Being such a lethal disease and a health disparity concern, there is a need to identify key molecules within the cell-survival pathways for the development of novel therapies for ovarian cancer patients.
Activation of the c-MYC oncogenic is involved in the development of cisplatin resistance. We published that targeting c-MYC with nanoliposomal-siRNA inhibited in vivo tumor growth. However the molecular mechanism of c-MYC regulation in ovarian cancer has not been elucidated. Evidence indicate that c-MYC is regulated posttranscriptionally by microRNAs (miRNA). A miRNA microarray profiling revealed that 14 miRNAs were significantly upregulated, whereas, 12 miRNAs were significantly downregulated in cisplatin-resistant compared with cisplatin-sensitive ovarian cancer cells. Real Time PCR (qRT­PCR) analysis confirmed our findings. We used bioinformatic tools to select those miRNAs that potentially binds to the c-MYC messenger RNA (mRNA). A screening with oligonucleotide miRNA mimics of these miRNAs showed that targeting miR-18a drastically reduced in vitro cell proliferation. Western blot analysis and luciferase reporter assays suggested that the observed reduction in cell growth could be in part due to direct downregulation of the c-MYC oncoprotein. These findings identify miR-18a as potential target for cisplatin-resistant ovarian cancer.
University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences CampusK22 (NCI/NIH), RCMI, Cancer Center
PabloSALIVARY MICROBIOTA AND HOST RESPONSE IN CIGARETTE SMOKERSPURPOSE: Tobacco use has been implicated as an immune modulator in the oral cavity and contributes to the development of oral cancer. In the present study we investigated the effects of cigarette smoking in bacterial diversity and host-responses as compared to non-smoking healthy controls.
METHODS: Saliva samples were collected from eighteen smokers and sixteen non-smoker individuals by passive drool. Next generation sequencing was used to characterize the salivary microbiome by using the Illumina MiSeq platform. We used LEfSE to compare the bacterial taxonomic composition of the smoking and no smoking groups. Human cytokines and chemokines were quantified simultaneously using a panel of 19 fluorescent-labeled magnetic beads based technology from MILLIPLEX® MAP. Correlations and network were generated using qgraph in R 3.4.0.
RESULTS: Significant differences in cytokine and chemokines expression levels of MDC, IL-10, IL-5, IL-2, IL-4, IL-7, ACTH, insulin and leptin were observed between smokers and non-smokers. Comparison of taxonomic analyses of the thirteen major genera observed suggest that bacteria such as Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Actinomyces, Leptotrichia, Fusobacterium, Granulicatella and Actinobacillus are significantly different between the two groups. According to our data, the salivary microbiome, endotoxin levels and host response differs between non-smokers and smokers.
DISCUSSION: These factors have been associated with inflammation and carcinogenesis in the oral cavity. This data may aid in the identification of distinct smoker’s clusters for the development of biomarkers.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityGRANT SUPPORT: The study was supported by the AIDS Research Infrastructure Program (RCMI Program; NIMHD-G12-MD007579).
PamelaDIABETES, DEPRESSION AND AFRICAN AMERICAN SYNDEMIC SUFFERINGHealth care disparities and gaps impact health care inclusion and access, especially regarding type 2 diabetes and depressive disorders in the African American community. This qualitative research helped to fill this gap by illustrating applied syndemic theory.

Herein, applied syndemic theory and narratives were used to explain the interconnections of type 2 diabetes, depression and human suffering among low-income African American outpatients in the southern sector of Dallas, TX, USA. The intersections of race, gender and class were also examined, along with resilience and optimism.

This research indicated how poverty, social relationships and other conditions stressed individuals and populations, weakened their natural defenses and caused exposure to disease clusters.
University of Texas at Arlington
ParthaLRP-1 TARGETED NEUROPROTECTION IN THE DIABETIC MICE RETINADiabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the most common vision-blinding complications of diabetes. Emerging evidence suggests retinal dysfunction associated to DR is a neurovascular disease involving progressive neurodegeneration and vascular abnormalities. So, therapeutic strategy addressing both neural degeneration and vascular dysfunction is much needed and represents a departure from current available therapies, mostly targeting vascular abnormalities of DR. One cell membrane receptor, the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP-1) regulating lipid homeostasis is critical to repair and/or protect neurons from injury. LRP-1 is expressed in many cells including neurons. Male db/db mice homozygous for the diabetes spontaneous mutation Leprdb (BKS.Cgm +/+ Leprdb/J) and their age-matched non-diabetic heterozygous controls (db/m) were intravitreally treated with 100μM apoEdp in 5μL of sustained release formulation vehicle. Treatment started at 12 weeks of age and mice were sacrificed at 24 weeks. Western blot analysis of retinal extract suggest that (a) LRP-1 activation by apoEdp treatment resulted in the inactivation of cytoplasmic protein phosphatases PP2A and PP2B, (b) activation of intracellular kinase activity of PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 pathways, (c) Inhibition of pro-apoptotic p-Gsk3β, BAD, cleaved caspase 3 and cleaved/active PP2B (calcineurin). Intravitreal apoEdp treatment resulted in the significant reduction in retinal ganglionic cell (RGC) death compared to vehicle treatment as determined by immunohistochemical analysis of retinas for TUNEL and cleaved caspase 3. Our results suggest LRP-1 is a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of DR and may be considered for other retinal neurodegenerative diseases such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, all results to RGC apoptosis.Xavier University of LouisianaNIMHD-RCMI grant number 5G12MD007595 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the NIGMS-BUILD grant number 8UL1GM118967.
PatienceSCREENING OF MEDICINAL HERBS FOR ANTIDIABETIC ACTIVITIESDiabetes is the 7th leading course of death in the United States of America. Type 2 diabetes is now the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States. The African Americans suffer more from end stage renal disease than the other races in the USA. Despite the progress made with insulin and oral hypoglycemic drugs, search for newer drugs continues because the existing synthetic drugs have several limitations. Literature has cited bitter melon, dandelion, blueberry, and roselle as hypoglycemic agents. However, the exact mechanisms of action are unknown. PURPOSE: We hypothesized that these agents reduce hyperglycemia by inhibiting α-glucosidase. The aim of the study was to examine inhibition of α-glucosidase as a possible mechanism of action of bitter melon (Mormodica charantia), dandelion ((Taraxacum officinale), blueberry (Vaccinium corybosum), and roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa). METHODS: The study was done in vitro using α-glucosidase obtained from Bacillus. The inhibitory effect of different concentrations of alcoholic extracts of the plants on α-glucosidase was examined for alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity in a 96-well micro titer plate. This was read on a spectrophotometer at 400 nm using acarbose as a positive control. RESULTS: The extracts of the plants showed inhibitory activities against α-glucosidase in a dose dependent manner in comparison with acarbose (IC50: 0.53 E-5±3.59 mg/ml). CONCLUSION: The result demonstrated that bitter melon, roselle, dandelion, and blueberry share similar mechanism of action with acarbose already marketed as an antidiabetic agent suggesting that these agents may have a potential to regulate postprandial blood glucoseXavier University of LouisianaBUILD Program, Xavier University of Louisiana
PatriciaTRAINING IN ADMINISTRATION OF PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXISPURPOSE: Despite reductions in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the United States, infection rates continue to climb among subpopulations, particularly Black and Latino men and transgender women who engage in sexual intercourse with men. The prescribing of PrEP by health care providers has the potential to significantly contribute to HIV prevention and the elimination of AIDS.
METHODS: A systematic review was conducted to identify how students are being taught in medical schools to increase patient awareness, knowledge, uptake and adherence to PrEP as a first line defense in the prevention of new cases of HIV and in ending the HIV epidemic. The PRISMA 2009 Checklist was used to conduct a systematic review of the literature in medical education to ascertain how PrEP is being taught to students in in medical schools.
RESULTS: Little attention has been given to how medical students and primary care physicians are taught to administer PrEP to prevent the transmission of HIV.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: PrEP has been shown to be an effective method in reducing HIV infections among those who are most at risk for HIV transmission. Uptake and adherence of PrEP remain highly variable across sub-populations. More attention is needed to ensure that physicians, other health care providers, and interprofessional partners and collaborators, are prepared to educate and promote PrEP uptake as a primary prevention tool to prevent HIV transmission in sero-discordant partners. This study has broad policy implications for teaching biomedical students about PrEP as a tool for primary prevention and ending the HIV epidemic.
Meharry Medical CollegeThis project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UH1HP30348, entitled academic Units for Primary Care Training and Enhancement.
PatriciaIMPLICIT BIAS AND LGBTQ PATIENTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEWPURPOSE: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) population experiences higher rates of health inequities. Cultural in-sensitivity, personal discomfort and/or explicit and implicit bias experienced in the health care environment by LGBTQ persons have been identified as playing a role in these inequities. The health care environment includes private offices, community health clinics, and private and public hospitals. Patient enrollment, registration processes, physical examination procedures, and the referral system may reinforce implicit bias experienced in health care settings. The purpose of this review was to identify interventions that had been conducted to reduce implicit bias among medical students, physician residents, and primary care providers towards LGBTQ patients.
METHODS: A systematic review of LGBTQ bias reduction training programs was conducted using the PRISMA 2009 Checklist. Searches of online databases for original articles published prior to February 2017 were conducted to identify interventions that sought to reduce implicit bias among medical students and health care providers towards LGBTQ persons.
RESULTS: While a number of studies were found that identified interventions that address racial implicit bias among medical students and health care providers, none were found that addressed implicit bias towards LGBTQ patients.
DISCUSSIONS/CONCLUSIONS: Little is known about how students are trained in medical schools to reduce implicit bias towards LGBTQ populations. More research is needed to identify interventions that are effective in reducing implicit bias towards LGBTQ patients in biomedical education as well. This has important implications for the reduction of health inequities experienced by LGBTQ persons and other vulnerable populations.
Meharry Medical CollegeThis project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UH1HP30348, entitled academic Units for Primary Care Training and Enhancement.
PaulMOLECULAR MECHANISMS OF CISPLATIN CYTOTOXICTY IN APL CELLSPURPOSE: Cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (II) (cisplatin) is a widely used anti-tumor drug for the treatment of a broad range of human malignancies with successful therapeutic outcomes for head and neck, ovarian, and testicular cancers. It has been found to inhibit cell cycle progression and to induce oxidative stress and apoptosis in acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells. However, its molecular mechanisms of cytotoxic action are poorly understood. We hypothesized that cisplatin induces cytotoxicity through DNA adduct formation, oxidative stress, transcriptional factors (p53 and AP-1), cell cycle regulation, stress signaling and apoptosis in APL cells. METHODS: We used the APL cell line as a model, and applied a variety of molecular tools to elucidate cytototoxic mode of action of cisplatin. RESULTS: We found that cisplatin inhibited cell proliferation by a cytotoxicity, characterized by DNA-adduct formation, oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest, stress signaling and apoptosis in APL cells. Cisplatin also activated p53 and phosphorylated activator protein (AP-1) component, c-Jun at serine (63, 73) residue simultaneously leading to cell cycle arrest through stimulation of p21 and down regulation of cyclins and cyclin dependent kinases in APL cell lines. It strongly activated the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis through alteration of the mitochondrial membrane potential, release of cytochrome C, and up regulation of caspase 3 activity. It also down regulated the p38MAPK pathway. CONCLUSION: Overall, this study highlights the molecular mechanisms of cisplatin in APL toxicity to APL cells, and provides new insights on the novel targets to overcome APL disease and/or to design new APL drugs. .Jackson State UniversityNational Institutes of Health-NIMHD grant number G12MD007581 is gratefully acknowledged.
PaulREVERSIBLE JUMP MARKOV CHAIN MONTE CARLO IN NEUROSCIENCEPURPOSE: Mitral cells are the main type of output neuron from the olfactory bulb. They convey sensory information to higher order olfactory centers in the brain in the form of action potentials that are traveling down their long axons. Mitral cells exhibit two modes of integrative behavior: long-lasting membrane potential depolarization with a burst of action potentials and regular firing of action potentials. We consider and explore structural breaks in a second-by-second time series of action potential firing patterns of mitral cells. A common strategy to determine a change in a cell’s firing behavior is to “eyeball” the data and to see changes in the number of action potential firing. However, using Bayesian change-point techniques which are used across disciplines, our objective is to mathematically capture the moment in which a change occurs.
METHODS: Reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques were used to examine data collected with the whole-cell patch-clamp recording technique from individual mitral cells in mouse brain slices that contain the olfactory bulb.
RESULTS & DISCUSSION: Analysis of the firing patterns revealed that the changes in action potential firing reflect the mitral cells’ response to membrane potential depolarization. Our results indicate that the method applied in this study captures the firing changes mathematically and allows for a detailed temporal analysis of firing patterns.
Howard University College of MedicinePTA was supported through The Advanced Research Training Corps: A Novel Initiative for URM Students, NIH-NIGMS [GM101997]. Support for TH comes from NSF [IOS-1355034].
PaulaALTERATIONS IN MITOCHONDRIAL GENOME AND COLORECTAL ADENOMASPURPOSE: The presence of colorectal adenomas dysplasia subtypes, increase one's risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Racial/ethnical differences in the clinical outcomes of CRCs have been reported and African Americans usually present with higher stage disease and have poorer clinical outcome than Caucasians. Alternative approaches, such as identification of molecular markers associated with CRC progression, will be a useful predictive tool, to decrease the incidences of CRC. The mitochondrial genome is susceptible to mutations due to high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) relative to ageing. Given that CRC is most frequently seen in older people, mtDNA mutations may play a vital role in CRC tumorigenesis. This study aims to identify a profile of mtDNA mutation/protein expression patterns in the early progressive stages of colorectal tumors within and among African-American (AA) and Caucasian patients in relative to age stratification. METHODS: A combination of PCR-based sequencing and qRT-PCR technologies were employed to determine differences in 16 CRC tissue samples. RESULTS: Fifty-eight mtDNA mutations were identified out of which 93% of mutations were somatic and 7% were Germline mutation. Three of the mutations of COIII Adel9409, A9437G Gdel9438 were not reported previously. Additionally the relative RNA expression in ATP6 region in the early stage of CRC adenoma is higher in AA compare to Caucasian tissue samples. CONCLUSION: Our preliminary results suggest that there are certain mitochondrial mutation/ expression that may be associated with specific adenoma stages and this may aid in new clinical strategies for early screening in individuals with high risk.Morenouse School of MedicineThis study was funded in part as a result of the grants from NIH-NIGMS (122669 and 099663 awarded to Felix O. Aikhionbare. Also, fund was provided by NIMHD Grants no. RCMI 8G12MD007602. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH-NIMHD.
PedroA RB PHOSPHORYLATION SIGNATURE ASSOCIATED WITH METASTASISNon-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is characterized by poor prognosis and proclivity for early metastasis, having a five-year survival rate of 18%. Assessment of NSCLC metastasis relies mostly on post-resection evaluation of tumor histology, which is limited to only 15% of the patients who are diagnosed with resectable disease. Hence the need to characterize biomarkers with metastasis-predicting value in pre-resection biopsy specimens. Our data correlates the phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (pRb) in residues S249 and T821 with the expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers. This phosphor-signature was identified by a comparative mass spectroscopy analysis between E-cadherin-expressing and E-cadherin-deficient lung cancer cells lines. We found that pRb phosphorylation in S249/T821 correlates with loss of epithelial markers and strong vimentin expression. Cells in which these residues are phosphorylated show decreased cell-to-cell adhesion, as assessed by PKH26 fluorescent membrane labelling assays. pRb S249/T821 phosphorylation also correlates with strong expression of p39, an activator of the Cdk5 kinase associated with metastasis. To assess the prognostic potential of the pRb S249/T821 phosphorylation signature, we used phosphor-antibodies against these residues, together with antibodies against E-cadherin, to stain NSCLC tissue microarrays. Tissues that stained positive for both S249 and T821 pRb phosphorylations together with low E-cadherin had pathological data indicative of more advanced disease, relative to tissues that only showed T821 phosphorylation, which were associated with earlier disease stages. With this investigation, we hope to establish a metastasis-associated pRb phosphorylation signature that can inform treatment options in patients with diseases not amenable for resection.Ponce Health Sciences UniversityWe acknowledge the support, both financial and with instrumentation and services of the Ponce Health Sciences University (PHSU) RCMI Molecular and Genomics Core (Grant RR003050/MD007579). This work was funded by National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health (, grant 1U54CA163071-01A1.
Health disparities are linked to avoidable illnesses and deaths amongst racial/ethnic minorities. Addressing health disparities is challenging due to underrepresentation of minorities in research. We utilized existing data from a community research ethics seminar to identify barriers and examine knowledge, attitude, beliefs, and behaviors about participation in research for South Los Angeles (L.A.) residents.

This retrospective research study examines data from quality assurance surveys administered at a community research seminar given in South L.A. on July 23, 2016. This seminar aimed to increase attendees’ awareness about research participation and personal health through a research workshop and wellness fair. About 70 residents from under-resourced areas attended the conference, of which 37 completed pre and post program evaluation surveys, which assessed knowledge, attitude, beliefs, and behaviors about participating in research. This study will use data collected to determine frequencies and tests of association for survey responses.  

Expected results will identify the impact of the seminar by determining if there was a change in participants’ willingness to engage in research. Additionally, respondents identified barriers and opportunities to inform potential interventions. The data will demonstrate an increase in willingness to participate in research and knowledge about research after attending the community research seminar.

Community education seminars in under-resourced areas are effective approaches to learn about barriers to participation in research, provide health education, and increase willingness of racial/ethnic minorities to engage in research. Education seminars also provide a space where the voices of historically silenced communities are heard.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number S21 MD000103 and Charles R. Drew Mission Maker Mini Grant
Obesity disproportionally affects African Americans and Hispanics in the United States. Text messaging may provide a valuable tool to improve care in these high-risk populations.

A 2.5-hour medical group visit named Preventing Obesity With Eating Right (P.O.W.E.R) was a lifestyle modification program implemented in South Los Angeles. From May 2016-May 2017 N=100 participants attended the visit multiple times, and 85 enrolled in the CareMessageTM (CM) goal-setting texting program. CM participants received three weekly text messages on nutrition and exercise for five months. The primary outcome was weight loss. HbA1c and lipids were secondary outcomes. Texting feasibility was evaluated via a self-report survey. 

The P.O.W.E.R. group participants were adults, majority female (90%), about half were African Americans (45%), and half Hispanics (48%). Compared to baseline, all P.O.W.E.R. participants, on average, showed a significant reduction in weight (p<0.001), HbA1c(p<0.001), LDL (p=0.03), and Non-HDL levels (p=0.029). Specifically, only those who completed CM had a significant reduction in HbA1c (p=0.001) from baseline. There was no statistically significant difference in clinical measures for those enrolled in CM compared to the rest of the group visit. Acceptability to text messages was high.

The use of group medical visits was found to be effective in managing obesity in our sample of high-risk African Americans and Hispanics. A significant drop in HbA1c from their initial levels was found for participants who completed the texting program. Texting may be a promising intervention. However, further studies are needed to fully explore the effect of texting programs in medical group visits.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceUCLA Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTSI) and CDU Advancing Excellence In Translational Science (AXIS)
PeterThe Morehouse-Emory Cardiovascular (MECA) StudyThe MECA study is unique in that is examining CVD resilience in blacks at both the individual and community (census tract) level in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. The causes of resilience are not known and may be different than the factors responsible for the white/black CVD disparity. Both individual and community level factors may be responsible for cardiovascular risk and resilience in blacks. The first stage of the MECA study was to identified “at risk” and “resilient” communities. Methods: 2010-2014 Rates of CVD related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths for blacks aged 35-64 living in census tracts in the Metro Atlanta were used. Regression models controlling for median black household income, age groups, and percent male were estimated for each of the outcomes. Residuals in top 25% were considered to be “at risk” tracts (high rate) while residuals in the bottom 25% were considered “resilient” (low rate tracts). Results: Mean black household income in the tracts are similar (resilient: $46,335, at risk: $44,721). Black CVD hospitalization event rate was 28 vs. 132 per 1000 population(p<.0001) for resilient tracts vs “at risk” tracts. Black CVD ED visit event rate and CVD mortality rate was also lower in resilient (ED: 33 per 1000 pop; Mortality: 8 deaths per 1000 pop) than “at risk” (ED: 147/ 1000 pop; Mortality: 14 deaths per 1000 pop) census tracts. Conclusion: We have identified census tracts in metro- Atlanta that have large differences in premature CVD outcomes for Blacks despite having similar mean income levels.National Center for Primary Care/ Morehouse School of MedicineAmerican Heart Association
PhilipBiobreast; A unique breast cancer biorespositoryPURPOSE: Minority and underserved populations are underrepresented nationally among biorepositories for breast cancer. Nashville General Hospital (NGH) at Meharry Medical College (MMC) is a safety net hospital serving an urban population of predominantly African American patients. The establishment of a comprehensive biorespository that includes clinical information regarding patient demographics and treatment in this population will be a valuable resource for future investigations.
METHODS: We are creating MMC/NGH Biobreast by approaching every patient at NGH with a lesion concerning for breast cancer undergoing biopsy and every patient with planned surgical resection of breast cancer. Participants are also asked to contribute urine and serum samples to contribute to the biorepository. Participants may be approached for specimen collection at subsequent time points when their disease status may have changed from the time of enrollment. Patients sign informed consent for their samples to be used for current and future research studies. A panel will be convened to review future proposals to utilize the biorepository with preference given to investigators from MMC, but we do not expect it to be restricted to only local investigators.
EXPECTED RESULTS: The study began in mid-2017 and in its early stages of recruitment and the biorepository is not yet mature. We aim to enroll approximately 50 patients with breast cancer each year during the existence of the biorepository.
CONCLUSION: MMC/NGH Biobreast will be an inestimable resource for future investigation of biomarkers of breast cancer physiology and potentially of response to therapies.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: NIMHD (U54MD007593) to the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC)
Meharry Medical CollegeNIMHD (U54MD007593) to the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC)
PiwenGREEN TEA AND ARCTIGENIN IN PROSTATE CANCER IN OBESE STATEPURPOSE Both the incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer (CaP) are much higher in African-American men. Obesity is linked to aggressive CaP. This study was designed to determine whether a combination of green tea (GT) and a lignan compound arctigenin enhances the anti-CaP effect in obese state.
METHODS An in vitro obesity model was created by co-culturing androgen-sensitive prostate cancer LNCaP and LAPC4 cells with mouse adipocytes 3T3-L1. Cells were treated with GT polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and arctigenin alone or in combination. A mouse study was performed to confirm the anti-tumor effect of GT and arctigenin in vivo. Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice were fed high-fat diet to induce obesity and implanted with LAPC4 xenograft tumors. GT water containing 0.1% GT extract was administered as drinking water, and arctigenin given at 50 mg/kg bw daily by oral gavage.
RESULTS EGCG and arctigenin in combination significantly enhanced the anti-proliferative effect than alone in both LNCaP and LAPC4 cells, along with 40-50% reduced IGF-1 and VEGF concentrations in co-culture medium. After 6-weeks intervention tumor growth in SCID mice was inhibited by 20% (GT), 30% (arctigenin), and 50% (GT+arctigenin). GT+arctigenin significantly decreased the blood concentrations of VEGF and free fatty acid. There was no difference in body weight among groups.
DISCUSSION This study provides a promising regimen by combining GT and arctigenin to enhance chemoprevention of prostate cancer in a non-toxic manner. Results from this study warrant future clinical trial studies to confirm the anti-tumor effect of the combination in humans.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceThis work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH, NCI, NIMHD, NCATS) Grants: U54 CA143931-01, U54MD007598, UL1TR000124 (JV Vadgama); NIH/NCATS/UCLA CTSI Grant KL2TR000122, NIH/NCI 1R03CA208221 (P Wang).
PoornaDeaf and LGBT: Health and Quality of Life OutcomesPROMIS-Deaf profile is a patient reported outcome measure that is accessible in American Sign Language and English. Such measure that has been validated in these languages will allow future research and clinical trials to include deaf and hard of hearing population without barrier. In this presentation, we provide a descriptive report of deaf LGBT's health and quality of life outcomes compared to the general LGBT population's health/QoL outcomes.Gallaudet UniversitySexual and gender minority supplement to P Kushalnagar's R01, supported by NIH/NIDCD
PrachiPEDIATRIC CANCER INCIDENCE, TRENDS, MORTALITY:SEER 1973-2014PURPOSE: Despite improvement in pediatric cancer survival, incidence rates continues to rise. The continuous increase in incidence and temporal trends maybe associated with individual and group heterogeneity, geography and social environment. We aimed to assess the incidence, temporal trends and mortality in overall pediatric cancer. Additionally, we sought to assess sub-population variability in both incidence and mortality in childhood cancer.
METHODS: Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results -18 (SEER) data from 1973-2014 were used for assessment. The age-adjusted incidence rates were used to examine temporal trends in children aged <1-19 years. Univariable and multivariable binomial regression models were used to assess the relationship between race and cancer mortality as well as controlling for the potential variables in this relationship.
RESULTS: There were 92,594 children diagnosed with cancer during this period. White children comprised of n=74,758, (80.7%), blacks n=10,030, (10.8%) and other races n=6,648, (7.2%). The age-adjusted temporal trends showed that white children had higher incidence of pediatric cancer, while children aged 15-19 years and those in metropolitan regions were more likely to be diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Males were 18% more at risk for cancer mortality compared to females [Risk Ratio (RR):1.18, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.16-1.21] and blacks were found to have a survival disadvantage compared to whites [adjusted Risk Ratio (aRR):1.28, 99% CI: 1.23 – 1.31].
CONCLUSION: There were increased trends in pediatric cancer incidence. Racial disparities in mortality and incidence were observed; while black children indicated survival disadvantage, tumor incidence was lower among them relative to whites.
Nemours Alfred.I Du Pont Children's Hospital
PrachiSELECTIVE INHIBITION OF LIVER CANCER CELL PROLIFERATIONHepatocellular carcinoma is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with over 500,000 people affected. The most common treatment for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is chemotherapy with doxorubicin, 5-fluorouracil or cisplatin, or targeted therapy with sorafenib. Peptidic compounds with high specificity for tumor cells provide a route for killing cancer cells while protecting normal cells and have several advantages, such as low molecular weight, and selectivity for a specific target, organelles or cells with minimal toxicity compared to chemotherapy or radioactive treatment.
This work illustrates the cytotoxic and anticancer properties of Tv1, a small disulfide rich peptide from a terebrid snail Terebra variegata. Tv1 appears to inhibit cancer cell proliferation via apoptosis using Cox-2 pathway in mouse liver cancer BNL 1ME A.7R.1 (chemically transformed from normal liver cells) cells. In vivo treatment in allograft mouse tumor models also showed significant reduction in tumor sizes over a 3 week period of time. Fluorescent co-localization Immunofluorescence assay indicate Tv1’s mechanism of action is possibly by inhibition of TRPC6 channels, which are over expressed in cancer cells compared to normal liver cells. Tv1 inhibition of TRPC6 results in downregulation of Cox-2 and PGE2 expression, two proteins involved in cancer cell proliferation. Our results suggest the anticancer property of Tv1 can be exploited to contribute to selective HCC therapy.
Hunter College-CUNY
PrachiBRAIN & CNS MALIGNANCY: INCIDENCE, TRENDS AND MORTALITYPURPOSE: While survival in overall pediatric malignancy has improved, Brain/Central Nervous System (CNS) tumors still present significant burden to childhood malignancies. Whereas incidence data continue to implicate race, ethnicity and sex in both incidence and mortality outcomes, there are relatively few clinico-epidemiologic data on large samples especially in pediatric setting. We sought to characterize Brain/CNS tumors by socio-demographic factors such as age, race, sex and tumor grade, as well as assessing racial variances in social determinants and their selective impact on pediatric Brain/CNS cancer incidence and mortality.
METHODS: A retrospective cohort design using data from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) 1973-2014 was used for assessment of children aged <1-19 years diagnosed with Brain/CNS tumors and followed for the disease during this period. The age adjusted incidence rates were used for temporal trends, while binomial regression model was used to determine the exposure effect of race on cancer mortality adjusting for potential confounding.
RESULTS: The incidence of Brain/CNS tumors varied by race and year of diagnosis. Relative to whites’ blacks were 13.3% more likely to die from Brain/CNS tumors. After controlling for age, sex and tumor grade the racial disparities in Brain/CNS tumors persisted with 18% increased risk of dying among blacks relative to whites [adjusted Risk Ratio (aRR):1.18, 95% Confidence Interval:(1.10-1.27), p< 0.0001].
CONCLUSION: The incidence of Brain/CNS malignancy was more common among whites relative to blacks; however blacks had a survival disadvantage even after adjustment for potential prognostic, survival risk and pre-disposing factors.
Nemours/Alfred I. Du Pont Children's Hospital
PradeepIdentifying New Drug Targets for HIV Drug DeliveryPURPOSE: HIV is now considered a global pandemic affecting millions of people. Sexual transmission is the major mode of HIV infection in healthy humans. None of the vaginal microbicides and/or oral therapies has yet resulted in a complete protection from sexual transmission of HIV. Attachment of HIV to the human CD4+ T-cells, incorporation of viral enzymes and genetic material constitute the first steps of HIV sexual transmission. The purpose of the study is to screen the primary human CD4+ T-cells and transfected vaginal epithelial cells (VK2) for the presence of prominent ABCC class of drug efflux transporters: Multi Drug Resistance Associated Proteins (MRPs), Pglycoprotein (P-gp) and Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (BCRP).
METHODS: Molecular screening was performed by RT-PCR gene expression followed by sequencing analysis. Functional screening was performed by 3H-Tenofovir uptake in the presence of specific MRP inhibitor (MK571), P-gp inhibitor (Pgp-4008) and BCRP inhibitor (Fumitrimorgin-C). Intracellular radio labeled drug concentrations were analyzed by liquid scintillation counter.
RESULTS / EXPECTED RESULTS: Single specific PCR gene products corresponding to GAPDH, MRPs1-7, MRP9, BCRP and P-gp were observed in primary human T cells. Single distinct bands for MRPs 1-9, BCRP and Pgp were observed in VK2 cells. Relative % drug uptake of tenofovir in primary human T cells in the presence of 50 μM MK571 was 173.9±5.8%), 100 μM MK571 (205.7±10.6%), 50μM Pgp4008 (215.4±9.2%) and 50 μM Fumitrimorgin (192.1±18.38%) compared to control (100±6.65%).
DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: The results, for the first time demonstrated the molecular and functional expression of multiple ABCC drug efflux transporters in primary human T cells and VK2 cells. Further, functional uptake studies revealed that the prominent drug efflux pumps (MRPs, Pgp and BCRP) are functionally active in unactivated human T-cells leading to decreased intracellular tenofovir concentrations.
Howard University
PranabanandaMCP1 REGULATES INVASIVENESS IN TRIPLE NEGATIVE BREAST CANCERPURPOSE: Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive type of breast cancer. The frequency of TNBC is highest in young African-American women, leading to significant cancer health disparity. Therefore, it is imperative to identify novel therapeutic strategies for treatment of TNBC. Here we aim to show that the Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein -1 (MCP-1) induces TNBC progression. METHODS: We employed ELISA method to measure secreted MCP-1, and Real-time PCR to determine mRNA levels of MCP-1 in several breast cancer cell lines. Boyden chamber assay was used to determine the effect of recombinant MCP-1 on cellular invasiveness. Immunohistochemistry staining was utilized for detecting MCP-1 in tissue samples from breast cancer patients. RESULTS: Our data show that MCP-1 is upregulated in TNBC cell lines both transcriptionally as well as in secreted protein levels compared to ER-positive cell line, MCF-7. Breast cancer patients also showed high expression of MCP-1. MCP-1 treatment induced MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cell invasion, without affecting cell proliferation. Small molecule antagonists against Chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2), cognate receptor for MCP-1, and the MAP Kinase pathway inhibitor U0126 negatively affected MDA-MB-231 cell invasion. Knocking down MCP-1 by shRNA decreased cell invasion in TNBC cell line, BT-549 along with downregulation of key epithelial to mesenchymal transition markers, N-cadherin and Vimentin. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that a high MCP-1 levels in TNBC cells may be responsible for increase in cell invasion via the MAP Kinase pathway. Thus MCP-1 mediated pathways could be potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of TNBC.Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceThis work was supported by grants from NIH/NCI 1U54CA14393; NIH-NIMHD U54MD007598 to J. Vadgama and NIH-NIMHD U54MD007598 Pilot project to P. Dutt
PriscilaXYLAZINE EFFECTS IN RAT PREFRONTAL CORTEX PYRAMIDAL NEURONSPURPOSE: Xylazine is veterinary drug used as an adulterant in recreational drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Therefore, we are aiming to understand xylazine's effects at neuronal circuits involved in addiction. Previous in vitro electrophysiology studies have shown that perfusion of rat medial prefrontal (mPFC) cortex coronal slices with xylazine at 10 and 100 µM altered the firing pattern of layer V pyramidal cells.
METHODS: Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents were registered from rat prefrontal cortex pyramidal cells in voltage-clamp mode that were exposed to 5 min perfusion with 100 uM xylazine. Frequency and amplitude of the sEPSCs in the presence and absence of xylazine application were compared to assess alterations in electrophysiological parameters at the postsynaptic or presynaptic levels.
RESULTS / EXPECTED RESULTS: Preliminary data showed that xylazine (100 µM) significantly decreased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) but not its amplitude. No changes were observed in either rise time or decay time.
DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: Xylazine, is an alpha2-adrenergic agonist. Light and electron microscopy have shown that α2A-adrenergic receptors are distributed in axon terminals and somatodendritic processes in layer V of the mPFC. Therefore, xylazine might be acting at pre-synaptic terminals inhibiting glutamate release. Evaluation of xylazine’s effects in fast afterhyperpolarization potential (fAHP) showed no effect on fAHP suggesting that xylazine’s modulation of pyramidal cell activity is not mediated through the regulation of calcium activated voltage dependent potassium channels.
Universidad Central del CaribeG12 RR 003035-27 (PS); GM084854, (NSF) OISE-1545803 (CJR)
Qian-JinOvarian Cancer lines Exhibit Differential Gene ExpressionPatients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer often appear disease recurrence after standard therapies. Early and late disease recurrence determines if patients can have five year survival. Recent reports indicated that long-term or short term survival is associated with varied gene expression of cancer cells. Thus, identification of novel prognostic biomarkers should be considered. Since mice genome is similar to human genome, we explored prognostic biomarkers by using two groups of mouse ovarian cancer cell lines which display highly and moderately aggressive phenotypes in vivo. Mice injected with these cell lines have different survival time and rates, reflecting different prognostic potentials. Using an Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 2.0 Array, a total of 209 transcripts that represent 181 genes were significantly expressed (P<0.01) by a two-fold or greater amounts between two groups. Of the 181 genes, 109 and 72 genes were overexpressed in highly and moderately aggressive cell lines respectively. Analysis of the 109 and 72 genes by using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) tool revealed two cancer related gene networks. One associated with highly aggressive cell lines and affiliated with MYC gene, and another associated with moderately aggressive cell lines and affiliated with androgen receptor (AR). Finally, the gene enrichment analysis indicated that the overexpressed 89 genes (out of 109 genes) expressed in highly aggressive cell lines had a function annotation in the David database. The cancer relevant significant GO terms included Cell cycle, DNA metabolic process and Programmed cell death. None of the genes from a set of the 72 genes overexpressed in moderately aggressive cell lines had a function annotation in the David database. Our results suggested that the overexpressed MYC and 109 gene set represented highly aggressive ovarian cancer biomarkers while overexpressed AR and 72 gene set represented moderately aggressive ovarian cancer biomarkers. These biomarkers provide important information for investigating human ovarian cancer prognosis.Xavier University of LouisianaThis study was supported by funding from NIH (RCMI, 8G12MD007595) and Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium (LCRC) to Dr. Qian-Jin Zhang. Dr. Harris McFerrin was supported by funding from NCRR (P20RR016456) and NIGMS (P20GM103424). This study was also supported by funding from Louisiana Board of Regents Eminent Alumni Scholars Program, Kellogg Professorship IV in the Arts and Sciences to Dr. Shubha P. Kale.
RajbirGENOMIC TESTING FOR MINORITIES WITH OR AT RISK FOR CANCERPURPOSE: eMERGE (Electronic Medical Records and Genomics) is a multicenter network sponsored by NHGRI/NIMHD with the primary goal to develop, disseminate, and apply approaches to research that combine biorepositories with electronic medical records (EMR) for genomic discovery and medicine implementation research. The consortium also focuses on ethical issues involving privacy, confidentiality, and interaction with the broader community. Meharry Medical College was requested to add a diverse cohort to this network.
METHODS: We will enroll 500 African Americans with or at high risk of the four most common cancers (prostate, colon, breast, lung) to examine possible genetic and proteomic differences to account for health disparities. We will perform DNA, RNA, and proteomics analyses pertinent to these cancers and obtain corresponding clinical history from the EMR.
RESULTS: 204 subjects (92 female) have been enrolled in 3 months from Nashville General Hospital including the following cancer/at-risk volunteers (Breast 35/19; Colorectal 7/58; prostate 11/36; lung 10/28). Most participated for potential benefit to themselves, family members, or humankind with only seven refusing to participate. Little concern has been voiced of providing samples for genetic analysis. Study investigators will share results with the participants if testing does not indicate high risk. Results indicating increased risk for the volunteer/family will be returned by a genetic counselor.

CONCLUSION: The inclusion of ethnic groups in genomic research is critical to identify possible reasons for health disparities. In this study, African-Americans are willingly participating in clinical research to examine possible genetic and/or social bases of disparate cancers in this population.
Meharry Medical collegeNIMHD (U54MD007593) to the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC)
This project tests a new anticoagulation strategy to treat thrombosis without internal bleeding risk that is known for current anticoagulants. The strategy exploits sulfonated nonsaccharide glycosaminoglycan mimetics (SNGMs) that potentially act as allosteric inhibitors of human factor XIIIa (FXIIIa).

The FXIIIa inhibition potential of two SNGMs was evaluated using a transglutamination assay. Their effects on fibrin(ogen) polymerization was evaluated by gel electrophoresis. The activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) and prothrombin time (PT) assays in human plasma were used to evaluate their potential selectivity. Molecular modeling exercise was exploited to determine the putative binding site(s) of SNGMs on FXIIIa and their potential selectivity against human tissue transglutaminase 2.

SNGMs dose-dependently inhibited FXIIIa-mediated fibrin(ogen) polymerization at micromolar concentrations. SNGMs did not double clotting times at the concentrations tested. Molecular modeling studies indicated that inhibition of FXIIIa apparently stems from the preferential binding of the “extended” forms of SNGMs to an allosteric cationic site. Corresponding site on transglutaminase did not appear to reproducibly recognize SNGMs.

FXIIIa is a coagulation transglutaminase that cross-links fibrin to form blood clots. Studies indicate that inhibiting FXIIIa may protect against venous thromboembolism without bleeding complications. We identified two SNGMs that moderately inhibits FXIIIa. SNGMs appear not to inhibit other coagulation enzymes in clotting assays. Putative allosteric binding site for SNGMs on FXIIIa was computationally proposed. SNGMs identified in this project may serve as a novel platform to guide subsequent efforts to rationally design allosteric FXIIIa inhibitors that possess significant selectivity against other coagulation proteins and transglutaminases.
Xavier University of LouisianaThis publication was made possible by funding from NIMHD-RCMI (#5G12MD007595) and LSU/NIH-LBRN (Subaward #99908) to RAAH.
RamonGENDER-SPECIFIC HEALTH RESOURCES IN GOVERNMENT & ITS IMPACTState Public Health Departments (SPHDs) and federal agencies provide critical access to health outreach and services. Important strides have been made in these areas to provide appropriate health information to broad ranges of populations. However, many men’s health advocates believe that services to achieve similar goals for men and boys have inadvertently declined creating an unintended, but remediable, service and health disparity. In 2016, the Men’s Health Network completed a survey of SPHDs and federal agencies to assess availability of gender-specific health information and resources to address the validity of concerns about this disparity, characterize the range and nature of existing SPHD resources for both genders and establish a survey methodology. Validated data were obtained from 49 states and Washington, D.C. Analysis indicates that there are few state resources dedicated to the health of men and boys, such resources are significantly less than for other populations, few states have population-specific information for men and boys, and most such information was subsumed in women’s health information sites. This study validates concerns that a health disparity has developed; highlights the need for better planning, resourcing, and outreach specific to men and boys; and indicates the imperative to perform a regular comprehensive environmental scan to guide policy development, resource stewardship and partner engagement.Men's Health Network
To develop and validate an Amharic version of the Simplified Medication Adherence Questionnaire (SMAQ).
A cross-sectional study was conducted to develop and validate the SMAQ into the Amharic language. Patients literate in Amharic were recruited from ambulatory care clinics in an urban teaching hospital in Washington DC. Data was collected using an Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview (ACASI) system. Statistical analysis of internal consistency reliability and known groups validity was conducted.
A total of 31 Amharic speaking persons were included in the study. Out of 31 patients, 61.3% of them have difficulty in communicating in English, 96.8% of them were born in Ethiopia, and 54.8% were female. The average age and years lived in the United States of America were 57.9±11.8 and 13.8±8.3 respectively. The Amharic version SMAQ showed acceptable internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha of 0.653). Findings also showed acceptable known groups validity based on an association between adherence and good control of A1C (p<0.038) CONCLUSION The translated tool showed acceptable reliability and known groups validity and can be used to evaluate the level of medication adherence among persons literate in Amharic.
Howard University College of PharmacyHRSA Center of Excellence Grant
RaphaelCERVICOVAGINAL HPV GENOTYPING AND MICROBIOME PROFILESPURPOSE: HPV infection is the most common infection in young adult women and a critical factor in cervical cancer development. The role of cervico-vaginal microbiota in preventing colonization of pathogens and its association with sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and high-risk HPV (hrHPV) have not been well established. However, increased diversity of vaginal microbiota and a reduced relative abundance of Lactobacillus spp. may have a relationship with the infection and subsequent persistence of the virus as well as the development of cervical lesions including cancer.
METHODS: We investigated the distribution of HPV genotype in Dominican women (DR) compared to those of Puerto Rican women (PR), including HIV status (+/-) and cervical cytology, Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) was performed to detect the presence of HPV genotypes and to characterize the vaginal microbiota. The sequencing data was analyzed using HPVDetector for the HPV genotyping assay and QIIME for microbiota analysis.
RESULTS: NGS HPV genotyping revealed that HIV+ women from DR exhibited increased abundances of HPV genotypes 16, 45, 56, 62, 66 when compared to PR, 53, 58, 61 and 84. HIV+ status in general contributed to increased diversity in the cervico-vaginal microbiome, this increased diversity resulted in a reduction in the total Lactobacillus population. Moreover, in both DR and PR population, HIV+ status was associated with increased abundance of Sneathia, Gardenella and Prevotella.
DISCUSSION: Decreased abundance of Lactobacillus spp. and increase diversity in the cervico-vaginal microbiome such as Gardenella, Prevotella and Sneathia may have an association with prevalent hrHPV infection.
Ponce Health Sciences UniversityThe study was supported in part by the infrastructure grant G12 HD007579 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), NIH, US-DHHS. Generous supports by the Ministerio de Educación Superior, Ciencia y Tecnología (MESCYT) of the Dominican Republic are also acknowledged.
Despite highly effective clinical management, HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorders (HAND) affect 50% of HIV patients. Chronic inflammation and HIV-1 neurotoxins, including Nef, produced by latently infected brain cells (astrocytes) contribute to HAND. We developed a rat model showing HIV-1 Nef is sufficient to cause learning impairment. Here we test if and the mechanism by which Nef disrupts the blood brain barrier and causes inflammation.
Sprague Dawley rats were infused with astrocytes expressing Nef in the dentate gyrus. After two days rats were euthanized; multiple tissues were removed for a variety of antibody-based and histological analyses. Other rats also received inhibitors to signaling, immunological or neurochemical pathways to elucidate mechanism.
Nef caused significant disruptions in the blood brain barrier, brain inflammation, and synaptodendritic damage, assessed immunohistochemically (claudin-5 reduction, astrogliosis, macrophage infiltration, synaptophysin loss). Focal produciton of nef in the hippocampus caused significant inflammation in the lungs (interstitial pneumonitis, eosinophil infiltration) and GI (Peyer’s patch development, macrophage infilatration, villus blunting). Pharmcological inhibitors of IL-1B, TGF-beta, and beta adrenergic neurotransmission blunted the effects of Nef significantly.
Nef is a potent neurotoxin capable of causing learning impairment and also driving a strong systemic inflammatory response in gateways to the body (lung and GI). The partial reduction of the effect through the blocking of immune, signaling or neurochemical pathways suggests the brain-to-body communication involves multiple, non-redundant neuroimmune mechanisms. These findings are relevant to the chronic inflammation and HAND found in patients on antiretroviral treatment. The production of HIV-1 toxic proteins by latently infected cells in anatomical reserviors is a critical target to further reduce morbidities in HIV infection.
Ponce Health Sciences University-Ponce Research InstituteResearch supported by: GM106970, MD007579, GM082406, GM096955
richardSORAFENIB NANOPARTICLES FOR THE TREATMENT OF HCCPURPOSE Hepatocellular carcinoma is a health disparities issue affecting minorities over 2.4 times more than non-Hispanic white men and women. The goal of this project is to develop sorafenib loaded poly (lactide/glycolide) nanoparticles for liver targeted delivery.
METHODS Eight types of nanoparticles were prepared, using either sorafenib base or tosylate and poly lactide /glycolide polymer as the matrix. The nanoparticles were prepared using a solvent evaporation method. The effect of drug loading on the overall formulation characteristics was studied by means of physical characterization using electron microscopy (SEM). Particle size, zeta potential, and thermal properties were also characterized. Dissolution studies were also performed
RESULTS / EXPECTED RESULTS All formulations showed encapsulation efficiency in the range of 90% or higher, an average particle size range from 111 to 185 nanometers, and a zeta potential between -4 and -20 mV. SEM pictures showed that the nanoparticles were smooth and spherical at 20% or less drug loading, however, at 30% or higher, more crystalline structures were observed. Dissolution data were collected for up to 22 days. The overall dissolution of the nanoparticles was slow. The formulation containing 10% sorafenib tosylate showed the highest drug release (35%) in 22 days.
CONCLUSIONS Both free base and tosylate salt forms of sorafenib could be used to make nanoparticles. As drug loading increased above 20%, more crystalline structures could be seen in the samples. The nanoparticles prepared with the tosylate showed relatively faster dissolution than the base loaded nanoparticles.
Xavier University of LouisianaThis work was supported in part by the NIH Grant #8G12MD007595, DHHS Grant #D34HP00006; and the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium.
RigobertPotential Role of Uric Acid in Patients with Heart FailureBackground: Changes in left ventricle (LV) structure (increased mass) contribute to impairment in LV diastolic function (E/A ratio), which eventually can progress to heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HF-rEF) and increased risk of mortality. Emerging evidence suggests that elevated uric acid (UA) levels may play a direct role in HF-rEF risk stratification, progression and worsening as determined by B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP). However, the relationship between UA, BNP and EF is not well defined in African American (AA) patients with HF-rEF.

Objective: To evaluate the association of plasma levels of UA and BNP to echo-determined EF in a population-based sample of predominantly African American patients with HF-rEF.

Methods: Cross-sectional data analysis in 82 consecutive patients (55+11 years) with documented HF-rEF by high BNP and reduced EF (30+13%) who were admitted in a large urban teaching hospital serving predominantly AA patients. Plasma UA, BNP, echo-determined LV mass, E/A ratio, and EF were measured at baseline and analyzed for correlations.

Results: Patients with higher UA tended to have higher BNP, higher LV mass and lower EF. UA was negatively associated with EF (p=0.038) and positively with BNP (p=0.037). BNP was negatively associated with EF (p=0.051). No statistically significant correlations were found between UA or BNP and any measures of LV structure and diastolic function (p=NS).

Conclusion: These findings, not previously described, provide preliminary evidence to suggest that high levels of UA and BNP are associated with low EF in a population-based sample of predominantly African American patients with HF-rEF.
Morehouse School of MedicineRCMI Infrastructure for Clinical and Translational Research (RCTR) (U54) 1 U54RR06137 (NIH/NCRR)
Our research explores whether unaesthetic dental malocclusions influence hiring decisions. State-level data show that Black children are less likely to receive orthodontic treatment than White children. Prior research, focused on teeth whitening, shows it influences attractiveness, which is known to influence hiring. The current study is the first to explore the impact of unaesthetic dental malocclusions on hiring.

Participants (N = 51) were seated at isolated computer workstations and shown 18 Black faces with varying levels of unaesthetic dental malocclusion, as rated by an orthodontic resident using the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN) Aesthetic Component (AC). Participants provided the following judgments on a 7-point Likert scale, in this order: attractiveness, competence, warmth, education, hireability, and teeth. Participants provided judgment on each item for all faces before moving on.

Higher IOTN-AC ratings predicted statistically significantly lower hireability (r = -.51), as well as lower attractiveness and competence. Attractiveness and competence were also significantly correlated with hireability (r =.60 and r =.50, respectively). However, attractiveness was not correlated with competence (r = .07), suggesting they provide distinct mechanisms.

Higher ratings on the IOTN-AC are associated with decreases in willingness to hire, showing a bias against those with unaesthetic malocclusions. Notably, lack of orthodontic treatment led Black candidates to be seen as less competent, quite separately from the impact on attractiveness. If a noticeable lack of orthodontic treatment has a negative impact on hireability, this suggests a broader economic impact from racial disparities in orthodontic treatment.
Howard UniversityN/A
RobertPOSITIVE COOPERATIVITY IN ANTIBODIES AGAINST CANCER MARKERSThe National Cancer Institute selected surface plasmon resonance (SPR) as the means to quantify the binding of protein antigens to the 372 antibodies (corresponding with 177 antigens) currently selected for their Clinical Proteomic Technologies for Cancer (CPTC) initiative. Alternative antibody-antigen binding reactions were conducted using the NCI’s reagents and kinetic exclusion assays performed on a KinExATM 3000 flow fluorimeter. The values of the association rate constants for the binding of each of the 7 antibodies to its antigen as determined by kinetic exclusion assays were, without exception, at least an order of magnitude faster than those measured by SPR and reported on the NCI/CPTC website. Furthermore, kinetic exclusion assays showed that 5 of the 7 antibodies analyzed from the NCI’s CPTC initiative exhibited homotropic positive cooperativity when they bound their respective protein antigens. The values of the apparent Hill coefficients for these cooperative binding reactions ranged from 1.2 to 1.75. There was no evidence of positive cooperativity from the corresponding SPR measurements. These observations are consistent with what appears to be a systematic bias in the thousands of published antibody binding constants that have been obtained using SPR. This bias misrepresents the functional properties of antibodies chosen for therapeutic and diagnostic applications. It also obscures the existence of allosteric binding behavior in antibodies.Xavier University of LouisianaNIMHD-RCMI grant number 5G12MD007595 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the NIGMS-BUILD grant number 8UL1GM118967
RobertMEASURING LITERACY IN INFORMED CONSENT FOR BLOOD PRODUCTSPURPOSE: Subjects who consent to a transfusion have better knowledge of the reasons, purpose, risks, benefits, and alternatives as compared to scenarios with a proxy signing.
METHODS: A sample of 50 subjects with the need of blood transfusion (tx) were identified. Subjects and proxies with low Medical literacy (SAHLSA-50) were excluded. Through direct interviews, data were collected for a specific reason, benefits, risks, and alternatives to the transfusion. The majority of patients and proxies had participated in the general orientation for the transfusion.
RESULTS Sixty-two percent were females, 49% were of 50-64 years, 67% had high school diploma or higher. Medical illiteracy was seen in 10% of subjects. Proxies providing informed consent was seen (23%) with 80% proxies from female patients vs. 57% of males. Seven percent of consenters were unable to provide a reason/benefit for transfusion, all from the patient group. All were able to identify benefits from the tx, 33% did not identify infection as risk, and 73% did not identify tx as a risky intervention, 24% of subjects did not identify any alternatives to homologous tx ( all in pt. group). The most common reason to get a blood transfusion was low hemoglobin (80%), and most patients and proxy identified a higher hemoglobin as a benefit of obtaining a blood transfusion (74% vs. 80%). No differences in the knowledge were seen between subjects or proxies in the record.
CONCLUSIONS: Proxies have equivalent knowledge of the informed consent and alternatives and risks appear to be superior.
Universidad Central del Caribe, School of MedicineResearch Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI): G12MD007583 and the Puerto Rico Clinical and Translational Research Consortium (PRCTRC): U54MD007587
Research has consistently demonstrated a relationship between psychosocial factors such as depression, social isolation, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Evidence for the relationship between anxiety and CVD has been less definitive. This cross-sectional analysis was designed to determine whether significant differences exist in the prevalence of these psychosocial risk factors among heart failure (HF) patients. This examination of psychosocial factors and HF considered sex/gender, and ethnic/racial disparities as well.

This study used PROMIS® (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) measures of depression, anxiety and social isolation to evaluate the association of moderate to severe depression, anxiety and social isolation with race/ethnicity, gender and other risk factors, among 492 HF patients. Patients were enrolled in a multi-site HF registry in the emergency department (ED) of three academic medical centers.

The sample consisted primarily of individuals 45-65 years old (48%); 94% reported at least one CVD co-morbidity; 72% non-Hispanic African American (AA); 24% non-Hispanic White; 52% Males; and 48% Females. With the significance threshold set at .05, there was no significant difference in anxiety and social isolation across the sociodemographic variables. However, there was significantly higher prevalence of depression in AA patients (p=0.0076) and Females (p=.028). AA patients were more likely to have two or more of the psychosocial risk factors.

Evidence-based ED protocols should be implemented to assess the possibility of depression, anxiety and social isolation in all HF patients. However, keen attention should be given to identifying moderate to severe depression among African American and female HF patients.
Morehouse School of MedicineThe project described is supported, in part, by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Grant Number U54MD007588; a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIMHD or NIH.
RomanVirtual screening for discovery of JAK2 inhibitorsAbnormal activity of tyrosine-protein kinase Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) is related to both chronic and acute forms of eosinophilic, lymphoblastic and myeloid leukemia. The set of machine learning techniques were applied to dataset of over 15,000 molecules with experimentally measured IC50 values against JAK2 kinase targets. The purpose of the work was to develop a QSAR model for prediction of IC50 values. Using a set of 918 2D molecular descriptors, the best prediction performance was archived with feed-forward deep neural network. RMSD on target pIC50 values was estimated as 0.48 using 5-fold cross-validation of the trained model. It was demonstrated, that Random Forest can archive RMSD of 0.54 using less than 50 descriptors. Developed QSAR models can be used for in silico screening of potential JAK2 inhibitors.Jackson State UniversityNSF MRI 13-38192; NSF CNS 14-56638
RomanNext Generation Open Platform for Visualizing Big DataData-driven science and engineering is powered by large-scale data acquisition, computing and networking initiatives whose provided scientists with substantial resources for the modeling, simulation, measurement, and analysis of complex physical biological and social phenomena. Visual exploration of the complex and large datasets is a cornerstone of the data-driven science. In this context, and in order to support its Big Data research initiative, Jackson State University build Scalable Omni-Presence Environment (SCOPE), a next generation of multi-modal high-performance visualization instruments specifically designed to enable intuitive, interactive and collaborative data analysis in the era of big data.
Ths system is scalable in terms of visualization space, with more than 300 megapixels on the display assembly, in term of performance, as it is driven by a cluster of powerful rendering workstations, and in terms of collaborative space, as it allows data sharing and remote collaboration with similar SCOPE instruments over high-speed network. The applications of the SCOPE instruments include immersive visual exploration of ultra-high resolution images, 3D models and point clouds, with use of advanced human-computer interfaces. The SCOPE instrument is a core of open platform and ecosystem for domain researchers in ocean science, cyber-archaeology and cultural heritage diagnostics, real-time brain imaging, digital cinema/ultra-high-quality media, integrative computational biology, underwater microscopy, molecular dynamics, structural biology and computational chemistry, and large-scale numerical simulation.
Jackson State UniversityWork is funded by NSF MRI Grant 13-38192: Scalable Omnipresent Environment (SCOPE)
RosaEPIDEMIOLOGICAL PROFILE OF HIV+/ HCV IN PUERTO RICAN WOMENPURPOSE: Almost, one quarter of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV+)-infected people in the United States are also co-infected with Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). HIV+/HCV co-infected women are more susceptible to health complications and are associated with incident AIDS in comparison with the HCV-uninfected women. The objective of this study was to describe the epidemiological profile of HIV+/HCV co-infection in a Puerto Rican women cohort. METHOD: This study is a secondary data analysis; 45 HIV+ women was recruited from the Medical Science Campus, Puerto Rican HIV+ women cohort. HIV+ women was stratified in HIV+/HCV co-infected women (n= 15) and HIV+ mono-infection (n= 28). Evaluation methods included medical history, neurological exam, viral-immune profiles, and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), within others. Parametric and non-parametric statistics were performed. RESULTS: 35% of our sample of HIV+ women had HCV-coinfection. We observed that HIV+ mono-infected women, mean age was 41.29, (SD=9.03 years), Depression Scale [BDI-II] (Mean 12.86, SD=11.68), BDNF (Mean 121.10, SD= 46.67 pg/mL), CSF Viral (Mean 0.94, SD= .92), CD4 Nadir, (Mean 389.83, SD= 240.35), and CD4 Final (Mean 651.48, SD= 299.15). Regarding HIV+/ HCV co-infected women, the mean age was 46.93 (SD= 7.91 years), BDI-II (Mean 12.47, SD= 9.25), BDNF (Mean 139.96, SD= 454.28pg/mL), CSF Viral (Mean 1.51, SD= 1.45), CD4 Nadir Mean 363.36, SD= 252.02), and CD4 Final (Mean 679.83, SD= 435.79). CONCLUSIONS: It is necessary a better assessing of the HIV+/HCV co-infected women in order to provide better health care and accessibility.University of Puerto Rico Rio PiedrasPartially supported: R25MH080661, R21MH095524, U54NS43011, S11NS046278, U54RR026139, P20RR11126, G12MD007600, 2U54MD007587
RosaSPATIAL MEMORY AND HIPPOCAMPAL VOLUMES IN HIV+ WOMENPURPOSE: In the era of antiretroviral therapy (cART), HIV-seropositive (HIV+) patients presents an increase in survival. Still, high prevalence of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) continues to be observed. The major aim of this study was to explore the associations among spatial memory, learning memory, CD4 count, and hippocampal volumes in HIV+ women. METHODS: We recruited 61 women: 45 HIV seropositive and 16 HIV-seronegative controls. HIV+ women were evaluated for viral-immune profiles, Navigational Memory Island test (MI learning and spatial memory), neurological exam, NP testing, the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to obtain volumes of the hippocampus. We determined cognitive performance using the HAND nosology criteria, dividing the HIV+ women into cognitively normal and neurocognitive impaired (stratified into asymptomatic [ANI] and mild neurocognitive impairment [MND]). A subgroup of 19 participants underwent MRI to determine hippocampal volumes. Parametric and non-parametric statistics were performed. RESULTS: We found that hippocampal volumes had a strong inverse correlation with current CD4 in HIV+ women (p <0.05). We observed a significant correlation between spatial memory and hippocampus volumes (p< 0.05). However, we did not find a significant correlation between hippocampal volume and MI learning. CONCLUSION: The results demonstrate that navigational spatial memory is significantly associated with hippocampal dysfunctions and memory deficits in HIV+ women with HAND.University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras CampusPartially supported by: R25MH080661, R21MH095524, U54NS43011, S11NS046278, U54RR026139, P20RR11126, G12MD007600, PR Award(P031S100037) iINAS, 2U54MD007587
RosabrilACTIVATING IMMUNE SYSTEM AGAINST CANCER BY IMMUNOTHERAPYPURPOSE: Members of the CD28 co-inhibitory receptor family, Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte- associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), Program death-1 (PD-1) and B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) are expressed on a variety of hematopoietic cells. These receptors deliver “off” signals which regulate immune cell activation. Manipulation of inhibitory signals may provide therapeutic strategies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, transplantation tolerance and cancer. In fact, the FDA has approved the use of monoclonal antibodies (Ipilimumab) against CTLA-4, for the treatment of Stage 3 metastatic melanoma and Atezolizumab against PD-1 ligand (PD- L1) for the treatment of urothelial carcinoma. However, little is known about the therapeutic value of monoclonal antibodies toward BTLA or of the targeting of a combination of co- inhibitory receptors simultaneously. To address this deficiency, we have developed novel monoclonal antibodies against the extracellular domains (ECD) of human BTLA as well as PD-1 and CTLA-4. METHODS: Flow cytometry and dot blot analysis were used to characterize the in vitro properties of these antibodies. To test the in vivo anti- cancer capabilities of these clones, EMT-6 murine breast cancer cells were subcutaneously implanted into Balb/c mice. Established tumors where monitored and treated with anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1 or anti-BTLA antibodies. RESULTS: EMT-6 tumors responded to anti-inhibitory receptor therapies and we identified one clone from each group for extended in vivo combinational treatments. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that one or a combination of these antibodies could potentially be used to block the activation of inhibitory signals thus “super charging” the immune system against cancer.The University of Texas at El PasoGRANT SUPPORT: Research supported in part by grants from the Lizanell and Colbert Coldwell Foundation and Edward N. and Margaret G. Marsh Foundation, and made possible by grant 5G12MD007592 to the BBRC from the NIMHD, a component of the NIH.
RosemaryMaternal deprivation and resilience to secondary stressEarly life stress can induce persistent changes in central stress circuits, leading to increased sensitivity to stress. Here we measure endogenous hormone in rats exposed to a 2-hit model of maternal deprivation stress (MDS) in infancy followed by chronic restraint stress (CRS) during adolescence/adulthood to determine resiliency or susceptibility to the second stress exposure. Equal numbers of male and female pups were maintained under normal rearing conditions (CTL, n=40) or exposed to chronic MDS (n=40) for 3 hours daily, beginning at postnatal day (P) 2 to P21. Half the animals in each group were exposed to CRS at P49 during adolescence, and half was exposed to CRS at P98 during adulthood. Serum corticosterone (CORT) levels were measured as an indicator of physiological stress. Overall, adolescents had higher baseline corticosterone levels compared to adults (93.63±1.6 vs. 68.06±0.93, p≥0.01) irrespective of MDS exposure or sex. CRS in adolescence caused a 15.6% increase (95.6±1.4 vs 110.6±1.8, p≤0.01) in CORT in an MDS independent manner. There was no sex-dependent difference in CORT in adolescents. Unlike males (-CRS vs. +CRS, p≤0.05), CTL females did not increase CORT in response to CRS, and in fact, prior exposure to MDS reduced baseline CORT in females (p≤0.05) but not males. Therefore, females may be more resilient to exaggerated stress responses. Our data demonstrates significant alterations in adolescent and adult responses to chronic stress following MDS. This illustrates that MDS induces persistent changes in the central corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) expression and increases resilience to stress, in a sex-dependent manner.Howard University
Our objective was to determine the efficacy of pretargeted radioimmunotherapy (PRIT) based on the bioorthogonal inverse electron demand Diels-Adler reaction that occurs between tetrazine (Tz) and trans-cyclooctene (TCO) in a murine model of colorectal cancer. Previous in vivo PET imaging studies have shown that pretargeting using the inverse electron demand Diels-Alder reaction produces high concentrations of radioactive payloads in tumor tissue. The goal of this investigation was to explore whether this strategy could be applied to radioimmunotherapy as well.

In our study, we functionalized the A33 antigen-targeting antibody huA33 with TCO and used a 177Lu-DOTA-PEG7-Tz construct as the radioligand moiety. Nude mice bearing subcutaneous A33 antigen-expressing SW1222 xenografts were utilized for initial biodistribution studies as well as a longitudinal therapy experiment. In the latter, 2 groups received only huA33-TCO or only 177Lu-DOTA-PEG7-Tz and 3 groups received the pretargeted therapy encompassing the huA33-TCO followed by administration of various doses of 177Lu-DOTA-PEG7-Tz. Tumor burden was assessed via caliper measurements over the course of 70 days. Pretargeted PET imaging was conducted in the therapy cohorts by re-administering huA33-TCO 24 hours prior to injection of 64Cu-SarAr-Tz.

The longitudinal study of tumor burden reveals that pretargeted therapy was able to halt tumor growth and ultimately decrease the tumor volume to below its initial state. Importantly, the sequential administration of 177Lu-DOTA-PEG7-Tz and huA33-TCO is essential for the therapy to work, as no effects were observed when either half of the pretargeting system was delivered on its own. Pretargeted PET images following the therapy regimen, allows us to visualize A33 antigen surface expression on tumors and validates the potential for multiple cycles of pretargeted therapy treatment.

We have successfully demonstrated the in vivo efficacy of 177Lu-Tz-PEG7-DOTA and huA33-TCO for use in pretargeted radioimmunotherapy in a murine model of colorectal cancer.
Hunter CollegeWe would like to thank the NSF (Hunter College/MSKCC IGERT Program), the Hunter College Center for Translational and Basic Research (CTBR), and the National Institutes of Health (R00 CA1440138) for their generous funding.
RubénCLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH PLATFORM FOR UNDERGRADPURPOSE: The Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico and the Universidad Central del Caribe, through the Title V Cooperative Project, devised a clinical and translational research (CTR) platform to pipeline students and faculty of undergraduate programs into clinical and translational research (CTR). Educational interventions in CTR – introductory intervention (II) and Annual Symposium (AS) – were designed to promote awareness, stimulate interest of students and faculty in CTR. METHODS: In the II the participants (N=159) were surveyed prior to and after a presentation and panel discussion about CTR. In addition, after the sessions- plenary, panel and workshop- about CTR, the participants of AS (N= 42) were surveyed for satisfaction and learning experience in CTR. RESULTS: Most participants of the II, 134 (84.3%) were students. Fifty-eight (58, 36.5%) completed the post II survey. Of these, 53.4% satisfactorily defined the CTR concept vs only 31.0 % that could define CTR in the pre survey, 47 (81.7%) were unable to identify a CTR researcher and 45 (78.3 %) expressed interest in learning about CTR. Twenty-eight (28, 66.7%) participants of the AS completed the satisfaction survey, out of which 17 (60.6%) were students. One hundred percent (100%) agreed that the AS served as a vehicle to increase their knowledge in CTR. CONCLUSION: The educational interventions demonstrated to be an effective strategy to promote awareness and stimulate interest of students and faculty in CTR. In addition, the results obtained, provided valuable baseline information for the planning -development of training cycles in CTR.University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences CampusSupported by the US Department of Education: Title V Grant Award # P031S160068
RuthRADIATION & PEDIATRIC SECOND PRIMARY THYROID MALIGNANCY RISKPURPOSE: Childhood thyroid cancer had been linked to radiation exposure given the radiosensitivity of thyroid glands, especially in children. While data continue to observe increased incidence of second primary thyroid malignancy (SPTM), there are sparse data in pediatric settings as well as limited information on subpopulation variability in incidence and temporal trends. We aimed to assess the racial and sex variances in SPTM incidence trends and to determine the exposure effect of radiation in SPTM risk. METHODS: We used a retrospective assessment of children diagnosed with thyroid cancer between 1973 and 2013/14, aged 0-19 years in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry. Percent and annual percent change (APC) were used to examine the cumulative incidence rate and trends, while binomial regression model was used to determine the exposure effect of radiation on SPTM. RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS: Compared to whites, blacks were 60% less likely (RR=0.40, 95% CI 0.06-2.47, p=0.19) and other/unknown races were 18% more likely (RR=1.18, 95% CI 0.48-2.87, p=0.64) to develop SPTM. Additionally, females relative to males were 63% less likely (RR=0.37, 95% CI 0.22-0.61, p=<0.001) to develop SPTM. Furthermore, compared to metropolitan areas children in urban and rural areas were 31% (RR=1.31, 95% CI 0.58-2.92, p=0.39) and 66% (RR=1.66, 95% CI 0.28-9.89, p=0.47) more likely, respectively, to develop SPTM. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: There are increasing temporal trends in pediatric SPTM with blacks relative to whites having lower incidence. The SPTM risk was higher among males, as well as in urban and rural areas.Nemours / Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
RuthCEREBRAL PALSY RACIAL VARIANCES & CO-MORBIDITIES IN CHILDRENPURPOSE: Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common form of chronic motor dysfunction in children, affecting 2–2.5 per 1000 live births. Available data in adults associate this motor disorder with several co-morbidities. However, data are sparse in the pediatric setting. We aimed to examine the prevalence of CP as well as CP as a function of co-morbidities among children. METHODS: This study represents a community-based survey of children as a representative sample in the United States using the National Survey of Children’s Health, 2011-2012. Data were assessed using an atypical case/non-case design and a logistic regression model. RESULTS/EXPECTED RESULTS: The prevalence of CP in this sample (306/95,677) was 0.3%, 95% CI 0.28-0.36. CP was mostly diagnosed among blacks (0.5%) while Hispanics (0.3%) demonstrated the lowest prevalence. There was a dose-response pattern in the prevalence of CP by income as indicated by federal poverty level. The prevalence was highest among those in the lowest quartile (25.8%) of income while lowest among those in the highest quartile (16.5%) of income. Children with CP were 13 times as likely to have a joint or muscle disorder. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Overall, co-morbidities were more prevalent among children with CP compared to those without, namely, seizures, intellectual and learning disability, vision loss, and speech impairment. In addition, there were racial heterogeneity in both prevalence and co-morbidities in CP prevalence as well as in co-morbidities. However, after adjusting for social determinants, the racial/ethnic disparities in co-morbidities did not persist.Nemours / Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
SaidahANEMIA IN PREGNANCY IN WESTERN JAMAICAAnemia is one of the most prevalent problems in pregnancy. In 2011, 29.9% of all pregnant women in Jamaica were diagnosed with anemia. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and predictors of anemia in pregnancy in Western Jamaica. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 293 mothers attending public post-natal clinics in Western Jamaica. A questionnaire was administered to mothers and clinical data was collected from the mothers’ records. The prevalence of anemia among the women was 37.6%. Younger mothers (aged 18–24 years) were more likely to be anemic compared to those older than 35 years (P value: 0.0342). Mothers who reported not always washing their hands after using the toilet were almost 10 times more likely to be anemic (P value: 0.0045) compared to those who reported always washing their hands. Mothers who attended a public facility for antenatal care were 2.3 times more likely to be anemic (P value: 0.0359) compared to those who obtained care at a private facility, and mothers who reported being told that they were anemic by a health care provider (HCP) were almost six times more likely to be anemic compared with those who were not told (P value: 0.0029). The results of the study indicate that early identification and treatment of anemia, especially among younger pregnant women, should be a priority. HCP should ensure that women understand the need to be cured of their anemia and to adhere to preventive hygienic practices.University of Alabama at BirminghamNational Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Ministry Of Health (MOH), Jamaica
SakinaDESTABLIZATION OF AHR BY HSP90 INHIBITORS IN TNBC CELL LINESIn metastatic breast cancer, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) protein is upregulated and constitutively activated. We previously showed that knockdown of AhR in a metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) cell line inhibits their metastasis in experimental metastasis xenograft mouse model. The molecular chaperone Hsp90 is required for the conformational maturation and stability of AhR. Therefore, an Hsp90 inhibitor may show therapeutic benefit in metastatic TNBC, which expresses high levels of AhR protein. We tested two novel hsp90 inhibitors in number of TNBC cell lines with different molecular subtypes; MDA-MB231, BT-549, MDA-MB468 and an ER+ MCF7. Both inhibitors caused massive depletion of AhR protein within 24 hours, accompanied by loss of the AhR transcriptional activity. Although, the treatment with hsp90 inhibitors within this time did not affect the cellular viability, it resulted in a remarkable change in the cellular morphology, where the mesenchymal morphology of these TNBC cell lines transitioned back into the epithelial type morphology. This is consistent with our previous observation that overexpression of AhR induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition through regulation of actin reorganization. Consequently, treatment with hsp90 inhibitors resulted in decreased in cellular motility and impaired cellular invasion on matrigel matrix. Co-treatment with two proteasome inhibitors, bortezomib and carfilzomib (100 nM) could not rescue AhR from depletion induced by inhibitors of hsp90. These results demonstrate the potential of targeting AhR by hsp90 inhibitors for treatment of metastatic breast cancerMeharry Medical CollegeThis work was supported in part by NIH grants G12RR 003032 and SC1CA1553326 (SE Eltom)
SalilTSPO is Highly Expressed in TNBC Breast Cancer Cell LinesTranslocator protein (TSPO) is a biomarker for breast cancer. Its expression is higher in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative than ER-positive breast cancer cells. African American (AA) women have higher grade breast tumors, higher incidence of triple negative breast cancers (TNBCs), higher proliferation indices, and node-positive disease than their Caucasian (C) counterparts. Among breast cancer patients, the mortality rate is higher in AA than C women. It is possible that the expression of TSPO is higher in TNBC than non-TNBC and that higher mortality rate among breast cancer in AA women is mechanistically linked to higher incidence of TNBC cells. To test this, we employed several TNBC and non-TNBC human cell lines for determination of TSPO expression. The cultured cells were analyzed for protein levels by Western blot and immunohistochemistry, and gene expression by RT-PCR. Binding characteristics of TSPO were determined by receptor binding assays. Results indicate that expression and protein levels of TSPO are higher in TNBC cell lines than non-TNBC cell lines. There was no significant difference in TSPO expression of TNBC cells between AA and C. RO5-4864, a TSPO agonist and cholesterol stimulated the proliferation of all cell lines, but the efficacy was highest in TNBC followed by non-TNBC and normal cell lines. PK 11195, a TSPO antagonist caused a dose-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation in both TNBC and non-TNBC cell lines. Furthermore, immuno-histochemical studies indicate that expression of TSPO as well as VEGF, a marker of angiogenesis is higher in humans with TNBC compared to non-TNBC.Meharry Medical CollegeThe project was supported by MeTRC NIH grant: 5U54MD007593)
Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC) is seventh most common cancer across the world with ~600,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Additionally, black males have twice the rates of mortality compared to white males or females. Here, we provide a preliminary catalog of RNA-Seq level differences in African American (AA) versus White HNSCC late stage samples from the National Cancer Institute – The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data repository ( clinical and expression data sets.
Overall, 7 AA and 10 Caucasian (non-Hispanic) samples with stage III or IV tumors (from larynx anatomical site) were analyzed. Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs) were analyzed with DESeq2 and CLC Genomics Workbench. Significance threshold was set to >|2.0| and a multiple test corrected p-value < 0.01. Enrichment analysis to KEGG pathways and Transcription Factors was done using the WebGestalt. Finally, a biological interaction network was constructed using the GeneMANIA prediction tool (
We expect to find transcriptome level changes in the signature of HNSCC in AA populations. Further, we also expect to find enrichment level mapping of genes to pathways and transcription factors.
Overall this approach will enhance our understanding of transcriptome level differences specific to AA populations with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. As this is a significant health disparity, we further conclude that this approach will lead to potentially improved and more specifically targeted treatment regimens.
Meharry Medical CollegeThis research was funded by in part NIH grants MD007586 and MD007593 to Meharry Medical College from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and CA166544 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The overarching goal of the Meharry RCTR (MeTRC) is to expand & strengthen the overall research infrastructure at Meharry Medical College (MMC) for conducting & promoting clinical and translational research (CTR) in health disparities, with a major emphasis to reduce or eliminate disease burden in minorities regarding inflammatory diseases, HIV/AIDS, diabetes/obesity, cancer and neurological diseases.
We will achieve this by expanding the infrastructure to support innovative CTR discoveries which address the science of health disparities; foster sustained, productive intra- and inter-institutional collaborations that span the translational research spectrum and include basic, social & behavioral scientists, clinical & community-based researchers which will lead towards successful establishment of competitive & externally funded CTR projects; enhance CTR enterprise by further developing our research infrastructure, including developing data warehouses, management & integration of hardware and software systems; enhance the infrastructure to improve minority participation in CTR by providing an environment that fosters patient interactions; enhance technical & support infrastructure to accelerate research discovery in clinical & translational sciences such as proteomics, cell & tissue imaging, advanced data analysis & other data intensive research areas.
To date MeTRC has supported over 40 research projects which have resulted in over 150 peer reviewed publications and 20 extramural grants. It has also led to the participation in the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) project sponsored by NHGIR for recruiting 500 African Americans.
MeTRC has developed the necessary infrastructure for supporting CTR at MMC. The outcomes contribute to addressing health disparities.
Meharry Medical CollegeNIMHD 5U54MD007593
SandraADHERENCE TO TREATMENT SCALE: DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATIONPURPOSE: Nonadherence to treatment is a serious concern that affects the successful management of Severe Mental Illness (SMI) patients. Nonadherence to prescription medication implies a longer duration of psychiatric illness, and the untreated disease worsens the general health of the patient and carries a substantial economic burden as well. Lack of medication adherence is a common, potent, but modifiable risk factor for poor outcomes. The aim of this study is to develop and validate a scale to measure nonadherence treatment. METHODS: An item pool of 147 items was created related to the concept of nonadherence from previous qualitative research among Puerto Rican patients. The item pool was reviewed by nine experts in terms of content, clarity and relevance. A content validity ratio (CVR = .78) was calculated for each item, finally, retained 40 items. The scale was administered to 100 patients, 21 to 60 years old, recruited from Carlos Albizu University and governmental health agency outpatient sites. Participants had Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Schizoaffective Disorder. RESULTS: Internal consistency was examined obtaining a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.84 that is considered respectable. The final version of the scale account for 39 items. CONCLUSION: The scale presents good psychometric properties that yield important information about nonadherence behaviors. It also can help health professionals and researchers to assess patients’ behavior adherence or nonadherence to medication.Medical Sciences CampusResearch reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health Award Number #R25MD007607. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
SanikaPOOR SLEEP QUALITY CORRELATES WITH HIGHER HBA1C IN PREGNANCYPURPOSE: The risk factors inducing hyperglycemia that lead to gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are inadequately defined. We suggest that poor sleep quality results in elevations of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and may be an antecedent risk factor underlying susceptibility to GDM. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Thirty-eight pregnant and 22 non-pregnant (age, 18-35 years; body-mass index, 20-35 kg/m2) healthy women were enrolled in the study. Sleep quality was assessed during gestational week 24 (pregnant), or outside of the menstrual period (non-pregnant), using subjective (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index) and objective (actigraphic wrist watch) measures. Blood glucose and morning cortisol levels were assayed. RESULTS: Eight pregnant and one non-pregnant women were lost to follow-up, or withdrew from study. There was a higher incidence of poor sleep quality in pregnant (73%) relative to non-pregnant women (43%). Although actigraphic data revealed no differences in actual sleep hours between pregnant and non-pregnant women, the number of wake episodes and sleep fragmentation were higher in pregnant women. Poor sleep quality was positively correlated with higher HbA1c in both pregnant (r = 0.46, n = 26, p = 0.0151) and non-pregnant women (r = 0.50, n = 19, p = 0.0217), reflecting higher chronic blood glucose concentrations. In contrast, poor sleep was correlated with dampened cortisol responses in pregnant women (r = - 0.46, n = 25, p =0.0167). CONCLUSIONS: Our results support the hypothesis that poor sleep quality is associated with elevated HbA1c. Therefore, poor sleep quality in pregnant women can be a risk factor of increased risk for GDM.Meharry Medical CollegeNIH grant G12MD007586-29
The goal of this study was to evaluate engagement with Howard University's (HU) RCMI products to qualitatively determine their reach and impact. This presentation will demonstrate and present results from the application of web-based technology that yields real-time evaluation data on HU RCMI’s products.
We evaluated 138 Howard University RCMI products using the Altmetric Explorer database. Altmetric’s web-based technology captures engagement data in real time. Descriptive statistics and infographics were generated to visually display reach and impact.
We found that Howard University RCMI products received attention in 9 of the 16 platforms Altmetric tracks (91 News mentions, 14 blog mentions, 478 Twitter mentions, 65 Facebook mentions, 2 Wikipedia mentions, 6 Google + mentions, 1 Reddit mention, 1 F1000 mention, and 2 video mentions). As of August 2017, this engagement was global representing over 20 countries and diverse stakeholder groups. We will conduct further analysis to update the data and identify top “influencers” (whose engaged) in the news, blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.
Howard University’s RCMI research is reaching broad audiences globally with many kinds of stakeholder groups across the globe, ranging from companies to clinicians. Altmetric data can be helpful in identifying the reach and impact of RCMI, because it accrues in real time and is transparent – i.e., 99% of engagement can be traced back to the person who engaged and what they said. Such data unearths hitherto unknown answers around how key stakeholder groups engage with RCMI research.
AltmetricThis project was supported (in part) by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number G12MD007597. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
SarrahANNEXIN A6 IS CRITICAL FOR LAPATINIB-RESISTANT BREAST CANCERPURPOSE: As a major oncogene in basal-like breast cancer (BLBC) cells, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) remains a viable drug target. Unfortunately, the poor response and rapid recurrence of breast tumors following treatment with EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) constitutes a major obstacle to the treatment of this BC subtype. Available evidence suggest that localization of EGFR in lipid rafts correlates with resistance to EGFR-TKIs while loss of Annexin A6 (AnxA6) is associated with a better response of BLBC cells to EGFR-TKIs. METHODS and RESULTS: we show that transient treatment of AnxA6-low BLBC cells with lapatinib led to up-regulation of AnxA6 protein and mRNA, and that this was associated with reduced cell growth. We established lapatinib resistant MDA-MB-468 (Lap-R) cells by continuous lapatinib treatment for up to 4 months and confirmed that AnxA6 was up-regulated in the Lap-R cells compared to parental cells. Separation of post-nuclear supernatants in Optiprep density gradients and analysis of the fractions revealed that the distribution of EGFR and flotilin was similar to that of AnxA6 in the Lap-R cells. The prolonged lapatinib induced up-regulation of AnxA6 was also associated with redistribution of cholesterol in the gradient fractions as well as improved cell growth and motility in the presence of lapatinib. Transfection of Lap-R cells with control or shRNAs targeting AnxA6 re-sensitized the cells to lapatinib. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that AnxA6 is critical for the development of drug resistance, and that it is a useful biomarker for the detection of resistance to lapatinib.Meharry Medical CollegeThis research was funded by NIH/NIGMS 5SC2 CA170244 and 1SC1 CA211030
SeanAPPLICATION TO VISION LOSS FROM DIABETIC RETINOPATHYIn clinical research, bivariate response variables are a common occurrence and the joint inferences of such outcomes are usually of interest. When the response variables are continuous, parametric or nonparametric analysis techniques are available. However, bivariate methods for dichotomous response variables are less developed.. An example of the need for such a method include rheumatologists’ need to examine both the left and right hands for arthritis, or a cardiologist investigating the presence of hypertension and diabetes of a patient.

Correlated data are also common in clinical research due to clustering of outcomes. We develop a likelihood function for clustered bivariate binary data. We introduce a parameter that induces aggregation of the binary outcomes within the cluster and another parameter to account for the correlation between the binary outcomes. Response probabilities based on mixed effect models are formulated and inferential procedures based on a maximum likelihood framework are developed. We illustrate our methodology by analyzing vision loss in the left and right eyes due to diabetic retinopathy. Data was obtained from the NIH funded ACCORD Eye Study.

Keywords: clustered bivariate binary data; correlated binary outcomes; diabetic retinopathy, maximum likelihood methods; mixed effects models.
Howard UniversityNIH/NCAT grant UL1TR000101 and NIH/NIMHHD grant G12MD007597
SebastianROLE OF IMMUNE FACTORS IN RECURRENT CHILD MRSA INFECTIONSPURPOSE: Recurrent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in children are a well-documented occurrence in the United States. However, there are currently gaps in scientific knowledge regarding why some children develop recurrent skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) due to community-associated MRSA.
METHODS: This is a prospective, case control study, which followed enrolled patients for more than 1 year from the time of enrollment. We used the CDC case definition for community associated MRSA infection. Recurrent infection was defined as two or more SSTI infections separated by 28 days or more. To test for these differences in immune profiles, wound and colonization swabs were obtained to determine carriage, and a follow-up blood draw was scheduled for immune factor testing. Blood will be tested for IL-17 immune markers, TLR2 density, and TLR2 genotypes.
RESULTS: We have enrolled 15 patients who met our definition for recurrent skin and soft tissue infection. Eight patients’ wound cultures confirmed MRSA; half of these patients’ colonization swabs did not reveal MRSA. Study participants have been prospectively followed for 24 months since the time of enrollment. Data analysis will include an ANOVA comparison of mean inflammatory marker levels, non-parametric ANOVA comparisons of TLR2 surface expression, and genotype prevalence comparisons via X2 analysis.
DISCUSSION: Our results will help to explain host factors contributing to the risk of recurring SSTIs in children and further the understanding of the overall innate immune response to S. aureus infection.
Morehouse School of MedicinePHS Grant UL1 RR025008 from the Clinical and Translational Science Award program, National Institute of Health, as part of the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute; Grant Number 2R25RR017694-06A1; and Grant Number G12-RR03034, a component of the National Institute of Health
SenaitDEPRESSION RELATED FACTORTS AMONG ETHNIC MINORITIESPURPOSE: : Many studies have investigated risk factors for depression and HIV, but few investigated the relationship between depression, alcohol use, childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and HIV/AIDS knowledge among Latinos and African-Americans by gender. The main purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between alcohol abuse, CSA, and/or HIV/AIDS knowledge and depression by HIV status in Latino and African-American men and women living in South Los Angeles.
METHODS: Cross-sectional data was collected by questionnaires. Subjects were recruited at community outreach sites and HIV/AIDS Primary Care Clinics. SPSS 22.0 was used for analysis. RESULTS Of the 266 participants, 51% were Latino, 49% were female, 51% were 18-40 years old, 40% had > high school education, 70% had health insurance, 73% had an income < $10,000/year, 12.5% were HIV positive, 55% had history of childhood sexual abuse, and 36% reported alcohol abuse. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that participants who had history of childhood sexual abuse were more likely to have depression (OR: 2.96, 95% CI [1.5-5.85]), as were those who screened positive for alcohol abuse (OR: 3.08, 95% CI [1.52-6.22]). There was no independent association between gender, HIV status, HIV knowledge and depression.
CONCLUSION: The data suggest that history of childhood sexual abuse and alcohol abuse were independently related to depression among the African-Americans and Latinos residing in South Los Angeles. Increased resources for education and treatment may greatly benefit these populations.
Charles Drew University of Medicine & ScienceNIH-National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, grants S21MD000103 and U54MD007598 and NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR001881
SergueiMOLECULAR FILTERING VIA ASTROCYTIC GJs: ROLE OF POLYAMINESPURPOSE: Glia and polyamines (PAs) involvement in brain (dys)function is an enigma. PAs are accumulated in glia, therefore we hypothesize that PA-cations enter glia, propagate though gap-junctions (GJs) in the glial syncitium where PAs interact with negatively charged molecules (NCM) such as RNA, DNA, proteins, and viruses and selectively filter the traffic through GJs. The purpose of the present study was to understand PA-circulation and a role of PAs in molecular trafficking in the adult rodent brain.

METHODS: We used patch-clamp, imagining, dye propagation, and immunocytochemistry.

RESULTS: (1) Intracellular PAs increase dramatically NCM-trafficking through astrocytic GJs and this can be blocked by the GJ blocker carbenoxolone. (2) The ratio of charge to weight of NCMs is the key determinant of PA-induced molecular propagation. (3) PAs spermine and spermidine are not synthesized in glia but (4) are taken up via Cx43 hemichannels and SLC22A transporters since siRNAs against Cx-43 and SLC-blockers depress such transport.

DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: PAs can selectively facilitate intracellular signaling via the astrocytic syncytium. Our results provide insight into: (i) What are the mechanisms that cause uneven distribution, PA accumulation in and release from glia? and (ii) What are the consequences of PA fluxes within the astrocytic syncitium? Since multiple CNS disorders such as aging, trauma, and diseases are correlated with deficits in PA exchange, it is necessary to understand (iii) What are the roles of PA deficiency in brain disorders and diseases and in improving memory, autophagy and synaptic plasticity. This should be an intriguing subject for future research.
Universidad Central del CaribeR01-NS065201, G12-MD007583, SC2-GM095410, R25-GM110513 and P031S130068
ShamaraREGULATION OF TREX1 BY APOL1 SPLICE VARIANTSPURPOSE: African Americans are four times more likely to develop kidney disease. Racial disparities in the frequency of nondiabetic kidney disease has led to the discovery of Apolipoprotein L1 (APOL1) gene variants, G1 and G2, which exist only in individuals of African ancestry. The presence of these variants strongly correlates with several forms of nondiabetic kidney disease including HIV-associated nephropathy (HIVAN) or lupus nephritis. The hallmark of glomerular disease is a progressive decline in renal filtration, which is associated with the damage of podocytes, glomerular cells that play a key role in maintenance of filtration barrier in the kidney. Accumulation of cytosolic DNA in the absences of three prime repair exonuclease 1 (TREX1) induces expression of interferon β (IFNβ) that damages podocytes. We are investigating how APOL1 variants modify TREX1 expression in order to restore TREX1 activity and prevent podocyte damage. METHODS: Cells were transiently transfected with APOL1 vectors and expression of TREX1 and IFNβ genes were analyzed by immunoblotting and RT-PCR. RESULTS: APOL1 splice variants A and B1 that express exon 4-encoding sequence, reduce TREX1 protein levels leading to inefficient degradation and accumulation of cytosolic DNA that activates the STING-TBK1-IRF3 pathway. In contrast, APOL1 splice variant C, without exon 4, does not affect TREX1 expression. CONCLUSION: Exclusion of exon 4 by targeting the APOL1 gene splicing may reduce TREX1 degradation and provide a novel approach to prevent podocyte damage.Meharry Medical CollegeRISE, T32 NHLBI, METRC
ShamekaUntreated Communication Disorders & Low-SES Black Males' QOLThere has been limited focus within the healthcare system on analyzing and addressing health disparities from the viewpoint of the impacts complex social determinants of health have on quality of life. This presentation will focus on social determinants of health as a means to addressing the health disparity of access to communication disorder assessment, treatment, and resources in low SES minority males. As well as, addressing the impact of social, economic, and environmental factors on improving and influencing population health disparities in low SES minority populations (Heiman & Artiga, 2016). The researcher will discuss how social determinants to health can be used to address the approach to improving limitations and access to health and community services in low SES minority populations at-risk for or experiencing untreated communication disorders, and what areas of life are impacted. The presentation will examine a specific set of social determinants of health: a) economic stability – namely poverty and employment; b) social and community context – namely discrimination and incarceration; c) health and health care – namely access to health care; d) neighborhood and built environment – namely crime and violence; and e) education – namely language and literacy, and high school graduation (World Health Organization , 2016); to determine the impact and effect of social determinants of health on the accessibility, availability, intervention, and awareness of communication and cognitive disorders within low SES-minority populations. The presentation will also discuss the correlations between social health determinants and communication disorders on healthy living, and quality of life in low-SES minority males.Howard University
In paradox to critical functions for T-cell selection and self-tolerance, the thymus undergoes a profound age associated atrophy and loss of T-cell function which are further enhanced by cancer therapies. Identification of thymic epithelial progenitor populations capable of forming functional thymic tissue will be critical in understanding thymic epithelial cell (TEC) ontogeny and designing strategies to reverse involution.
We identified a new population of progenitor cells, present in both thymus and bone marrow, that co-express the hematopoietic marker CD45 and the definitive thymic epithelial marker EpCAM and maintains the capacity to form functional thymic tissue. Confocal analysis and qRT-PCR of sorted cells from both BM and thymus confirmed co-expression of CD45 and EpCAM. Grafting of C57BL/6 fetal thymii under the kidney capsule of H2BGFP transgenic mice revealed that peripheral CD45+ EpCAM+ GFP-expressing cells migrate into the developing thymus and contribute to both TECs and FSP1-expressing stroma. Sorted BM derived CD45+EpCAM+ cells contribute to reaggregate thymic organ cultures (RTOCs) and differentiate into keratin and Foxn1 expressing TECs, demonstrating that BM cells can contribute to the maintenance of TEC microenvironments previously thought to be derived solely from endoderm.
BM derived CD45+EpCAM+ cells represent a new source of progenitor cells that contribute to thymic homeostasis. Future studies will characterize the contribution of BM derived CD45+EpCAM+ TEC progenitors to distinct functional TEC microenvironments in both the steady state thymus and under conditions of demand. Cell therapies utilizing this population may prove useful for counteracting thymic involution in cancer patients.
The City College of New York/Biochemistry PhD Program Graduate center, City University of New YorkThis work was supported by NIH/NIAID 9SC1AI04994, NIH-NCI 1U54CA137788 and NIH-NCRR/NIMHD 3G12MD007603.
ShanchunZB716 Orally Efficacious in Blocking Mammary Tumor GrowthAdvances in oral SERDs development so far have been confined to nonsteroidal molecules such as those containing a cinnamic acid moiety, which are in early-stage clinical evaluation. ZB716 was previously reported as an orally bioavailable SERD structurally analogous to fulvestrant. In this study, we examined the binding details of ZB716 to the estrogen receptor alpha (ER) by computer modeling to reveal its interactions with the ligand binding domain as a steroidal molecule. The ability of ZB716 to inhibit cell growth and downregulate ER expression in endocrine resistant, ER mutant breast cancer cells was demonstrated. Moreover, in both the MCF-7 xenograft and a patient derived xenograft model, orally administered ZB716 showed superior efficacy in blocking tumor growth when compared to fulvestrant. Importantly, such enhanced efficacy of ZB716 was shown to be attributable to its markedly higher bioavailability, as evidenced in the final plasma and tumor tissue concentrations of ZB716 in mice where drug concentrations were found significantly higher than in the fulvestrant treatment group.Xavier University of LouisianaThis study was supported by NIH grants 2G12MD007595 from NIMHD, 1R43CA213462 from NCI, and by Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium.
ShankarTRYPANOSOMA CRUZI CALRETICULIN ENHANCES CELLULAR INFECTIONPURPOSE: Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas heart disease modulates gene expression of heart cells to facilitate cellular invasion. The mechanism by which the parasite interacts with heart cells leading to cellular invasion is poorly understood. The goal of this study is to identify and validate parasite surface molecules that interact with host thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) to facilitate the process of cellular infection. Characterization of virulent parasite surface molecules is essential for the development of intervention strategies.

METHODS: To elucidate the mechanism of cellular invasion, we used host TSP-1 which is up-regulated by invasive trypanosomes during the process of infection to identify parasite surface proteins that interact with TSP-1 using mass spectrometric approach. We selected one of the identified parasite surface proteins and overexpressed it in the parasite generating transgenic trypanosomes. We evaluated the overexpression of the transgene and relative infectivity of the transgenic (Tg) parasites.

RESULTS: TSP-1 interacts with T. cruzi calreticulin (TcCRT) as shown by mass spectrometry analysis. T. cruzi epimastigotes overexpressing GFP were sorted by FACS and cloned. The clonal population of epimastigotes transfected with pTREX-TcCRT showed higher amounts of TcCRT compared to wild type parasites. Tg invasive trypomastigotes overexpressing TcCRT showed a higher level of infectivity compared to control parasites in infection assays.

DISCUSSION: Our findings reveal that overexpression of TcCRT in the parasite leads to an increase in the amount of parasite surface calreticulin and TcCRT in the conditioned media, which together enhances cellular infection. Therefore, TcCRT is a virulent factor that enhances T. cruzi infection.
Meharry medical CollegeSupported by NIH grants 1SC1AI127352-01A1, G12MD007586 and Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC) (5U54MD007593-09)
SharonHEALTH EQUITY VIA THE INTEGRATED CARE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMPURPOSE: The purpose of the Integrated Care Leadership Program (ICLP) is to build capacity within clinical sites to integrate primary care and behavioral health services. The goal is to promote health equity among vulnerable populations by strengthening capacity among providers and clinics to implement and sustain integrated practice. Participants enhance leadership skills and competencies in promoting system transformation through the following objectives: 1) completing the ICLP online curriculum; 2) attending monthly webinars; 3) participating in knowledge-exchange through a virtual community of practice; 4) monitoring organizational readiness; and 5) analyzing clinical data for changes in patient outcomes. ICLP staff provides ongoing technical assistance and coaching.
METHODS: ICLP conducts internal/program-level and external/clinic-level process and outcome evaluation. Internal process evaluation examines the delivery of intended information and skills; external process evaluation studies quality improvement (QI) and participant experience. Internal outcome evaluation includes lessons learned and program sustainability; external outcome evaluation measures organizational readiness, project impact, clinical outcomes, and integrated practice sustainability.
RESULTS: Nineteen sites from 11 states have enrolled in the ICLP. Universal depression screening rates increased. Organizational readiness was generally high; sites needed support with staff capacities, resource use, and simplifying steps in integrated care. QI activities included building staff collaboration, improving readiness, new patient intake procedures and clinical workflows, cross-site collaboration, and enhancing patient engagement.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: Integrated care improves patient mental health, well-being, and overall quality of life, as well as increasing staff satisfaction and cost-savings. ICLP enables participating sites to take a more robust approach to measurement-based care.
Morehouse School of MedicineICLP is funded under grant #20151254 from Kaiser Permanente National Community Benefit.
ShashidharSHORTINTERVALCOLONOSCOPY@DISCRETIONOFTHEGASTROENTEROLOGIST?BACKGROUND: Gastroenterologists do not always follow guidelines for performing colonoscopies. Short interval colonoscopies is recommended at the discretion of gastroenterologist or patient’s symptoms. We here evaluated factors that contributed to dual colonoscopies in a short time (less than 90 days) in an African American population.
METHODS: Data was reviewed from a retrospective study (Jan 2010 to Dec 2016) conducted at Howard University Hospital. Patients who had repeated colonoscopies less than 3 months were selected for this study. We analyzed patient’s demographics, bowel preparation, clinical symptoms, histopathological features, gastroenterologist recommendations and follow-up findings.
RESULTS: There were 42 patients who underwent two colonoscopies within 3 months (5 days – 90 days), with 18 females and 24 males with mean age of 59 years. Out of these, 8 patients had poor bowel preparation. For the remaining 34 patients, the reason for second colonoscopy were: further evaluation of colon and removal of polyps(21.5%), multiple polyps(19%),difficult access especially to cecal area(7%), high grade dysplasia(4.7%), Screening(4.7%), Follow-up for Crohn’s disease(2.3%), pre-colorectal surgery colonoscopy (2.3%)and post-polypectomy bleed(2.3%). Follow-up of these 42 patients after their last colonoscopy revealed that: 20 visited the hospital for reasons unrelated to gastrointestinal diseases, 5 patients with abdominal pain, 5 patients for surveillance while 4 patients had colon resection. For 8 patients, there were no records post last colonoscopy.
CONCLUSION: Even though there are no recommendations to repeat colonoscopy within very short time intervals, endoscopists perform such colonoscopies at their own discretion based on high-risk individuals, bowel preparation, multiple adenomas, type of adenoma and resection clearance.
Howard University
ShashidharINTERVAL COLONOSCOPY AND LOCATION &HISTOLOGY OF COLON POLYPIntroduction: The underlying factors behind the higher incidence and mortality from colorectal cancer among African Americans are still unknown. One potential risk factor might be the histology and location of previously detected lesions on surveillance colonoscopy outcome. We aimed to investigate such correlations in an African American population in the D.C. area.
Methods: A retrospective review of 15,986 colonoscopy records (Jan, 2010 to Dec, 2016) led to the detection of 6,040 patients with polyps. Of these patients, 351 had index and follow-up colonoscopies within this time period. We analyzed demographic, clinical and histopathological features within these 351 patients and statistical analysis was performed to establish correlations.
Results: African Americans consist of 86.8% of the study population with median age of 58 years (53-64), 55% were male. Most common histopathologic colonic lesions are tubular adenomas (73.5%). Most of the polyps are located in the proximal colon (ileo-cecal junction to transverse colon) [ascending colon (41.8%); transverse colon (36.2%)]. Patients with multiple colonoscopies generally displayed same type of lesions in the following OR risk: sessile serrated polyp/adenoma (SSA/P) (OR=12.43, 95%CI: 2.93-52.69, p < 0.001), tubulovillous (OR=5.62, 95%CI: 1.52-20.85), tubular adenoma (OR=2.92, 95%CI: 1.81-4.69) and hyperplastic adenoma (OR=3.57, 95%CI: 2.29-5.56; p value <0.001).
Conclusion: These findings reflect the effect of polyp histology and location on surveillance colonoscopy outcome and mandate a vigilant follow-up in patients with SSA/P and tubulovillous lesions primarily in proximal colon.
KEYWORDS: Interval colonoscopy, gastroenterologist.
Howard University
ShelleyDISPARITY IN WORKFORCE IMPACTS OF BREAST & PROSTATE CANCERPURPOSE: The current study investigates employment decisions of non-Hispanic black and Hispanic survivors of breast and prostate cancer.
METHODS: We utilized the 2008-2014 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to estimate double hurdle regression models of labor force participation and hours of work among cancer survivors. The roles of race/ethnicity were assessed using models including dummy variable race/ethnicity indicators, and models including interactions of race/ethnicity with occupation types.
RESULTS: We found that breast cancer leads Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women to be less likely than non-Hispanic white women to work in the labor market. However, if employed, Hispanic and non-Hispanic black women work more hours (6 and 4.3 more hours, respectively). Non-Hispanic black men who survive prostate cancer are less likely than non-Hispanic white or Hispanic men to work in the labor force. If employed, Hispanic men work 5 fewer hours weekly than non-Hispanic white men. Types of jobs held matter, with service sector employees working fewer hours if they survive breast and prostate cancer.
DISCUSSION: With limited family income and dependency on public health insurance, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic breast and prostate cancer survivors can least afford to not work. However, cancer survival poses a risk of survival of employment and earnings opportunities. Since non-Hispanic black and Hispanic cancer survivors hold jobs that are more physically demanding, exposure to cancer treatment and associated fatigue decrease chances of keeping their jobs. The data also suggest that employment discrimination and late stage diagnoses may add to risks of not working after cancer treatment.
UNiversity of Tennessee Health Science Center
ShilongBIOCOMPATIBLE BORON-CONTAINING PRODRUGS OF BELINOSTATPURPOSE: Despite promising therapeutic utilities for treatment of hematological malignancies, histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) drugs have not proven effective in clinical trials involving the treatment of solid tumors. It is imperative to expand the clinical indications of HDACi drugs. METHODS: We developed novel boron-containing prodrugs of belinostat (2), one of which efficiently releases active 2 through a cascade of reactions in cell culture and in vivo. RESULTS: Prodrug 7 demonstrates activities comparable to 2 against a panel of cancer cell lines. Importantly, prodrug 7 is more efficacious than belinostat in vivo, not only inhibiting the growth of tumor but also reducing tumor volumes in an MCF-7 xenograft tumor model due to its superior biocompatibility. CONCLUSION: The study suggests prodrug 7’s clinical potential in the treatment of solid tumors.Xavier University of LouisianaThis work was supported by NIH-NIMHD through grant 8G12MD007595, by NCI through grant 1R43CA213462, and in part by Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium.
SimaA regulatory role for SDF-1/CXCR4 axisAlcoholic cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease caused by alcohol abuse. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) plays a role in cardiomyopathy, and can lead to cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Our preliminary data suggests that stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) stimulates TNF-α mRNA and protein secretion in cardiomyocytes. Since cardiac expression of SDF-1 is enhanced in inflammatory cardiomyopathy, we have suggested a regulatory role for SDF-1/CXCR4 axis in promoting TNF-mediated cardiac damage associated with cardiomyopathy. This study was to determine the effects of high alcohol on cardiac function as well as to determine if cardiac dysfunction-mediated with high alcohol consumption is associated with SDF-1 –mediated TNF upregulation. Our central hypothesis is that increased levels of SDF-1 correlate directly with production of TNF and the severity of pathological changes observed in the setting of alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Adult rats were put on a 3-months isocaloric Lieber-Decarli liquid diet with high alcohol (HA: 100mM) levels. Hearts were taken out and concentrations of TNF-α and SDF-1, were analyzed using ELISA and Western blot. Our data suggests that high alcohol consumption is associated with increased SDF-1 and TNF protein expression and reduced cardiac contractile function. Moreover, using isolated adult rat cardiomyocytes we have demonstrated that SDF-1 only at high concentrations can induce TNF protein expression and subsequent cardiomyocytes apoptosis. SDF-1 mediated apoptosis was inhibited with neutralizing antibody against TNF implicating that a SDF-1/CXCR4 network regulates TNF production in cardiomyocytes potentially leading to pathological changes observed in alcoholic cardiomyopathy e.g. myocyte apoptosis.Howard University
Multimorbidity (the co-occurrence of chronic conditions) is common, increases steeply with age, and is strongly and significantly associated with adverse health outcomes. A hardship reported by multimorbid individuals engaging in self-care is the lack of e-Health tools capable of monitoring multiple chronic conditions (MCCs). Notwithstanding, no previous work has investigated the capabilities and limitations of existing e-Health medical devices, and more specifically one’s available over-the-counter (OTC), in monitoring MCCs. Such an understanding is foremost to developing innovative medical devices to optimize self-care for multimorbid individuals.

We performed a retrospective review of 47,231 medical devices seeking approval or clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between the period January 1, 2001 through September 19, 2016. The following inclusion criterion were adopted: (1) self-contained medical devices, (2) enabled through electronic communications, (3) and available OTC.

Based on a list of 20 chronic conditions, published by the US Department of Health and Human Services, we found numerous devices (n = 903) were capable of monitoring between 2 and 9 chronic conditions. Blood pressure and glucose monitoring devices (n = 567 and 267, respectively) accounted for most devices (93.7%).

OTC e-Health medical devices capable of monitoring MCCs are common, but largely homogeneous in type and capability. Further, the conditions monitored by most devices are mismatched for several common combinations of multimorbidity. Future research should identify which medical sensors (e.g. thermometer, glucometer), when combined, provide the most comprehensive and clinically relevant assessment of the health status in multimorbid individuals.
University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
So-HyunAdherence to American Cancer Society GuidelinesPurpose/Objectives: There are sparse data on adherence to the American Cancer Society (ACS) Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity among cancer survivors. The aims of this study were to describe adherence to the ACS guidelines on in female cancer survivors and to explore if participation in an exercise intervention would improve adherence to the guidelines over 1 year.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Aerobic-resistance exercise intervention group at gym compared to home based health promotion physical activity group.
Sample: Peri-menopausal and early postmenopausal female cancer survivors (n=154).
Methods: Diet and physical activity data were collected with four day diet records and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. A scoring system to determine adherence to the four ACS guidelines was used that ranged from 0 (no adherence) to 8 (highest adherence).
Main Research Variables: Adherence scores for ACS guidelines, physical activity level, and intakes of fruits and vegetables, red meat, and alcohol.
Findings: The majority of the participants had breast or gynecologic cancer with a mean age of 57.9 years. Mean total adherence score for ACS guidelines was 4.2 (baseline), 4.9 (6 months), and 4.8 (12 months).
Conclusions: There was modest overall adherence to the ACS guidelines. Level of physical activity improved in both groups but no change was observed for adherence to weight, dietary or alcohol intake guidelines. Further research is needed to examine factors that influence adherence to the ACS guidelines.
Implications: Improved strategies and interventions are needed for cancer survivors to better adhere to the ACS guidelines.
Hunter College, City University of New YorkT32 NR008346
Our goal is to determine how DAP5 mediates translation of p53 IRESs under stress conditions (e.g., apoptosis, hypoxia) that inhibit Cap-dependent translation. Under these conditions the tumor suppressor p53 is translated by two different IRESs: the first in the 5’UTR, the second within the coding sequence. As a result, two different p53 protein isoforms are produced (full length p53 or N-terminal truncated isoform, ΔN p53). The ratio of these isoforms affects the activation of downstream genes during stress conditions. The eIF4G homolog, DAP5 (p97/NAT1) has been shown to regulate the translation of these p53 IRESs both in vivo and in vitro, but quantitative data for preferential binding of this protein to the two IRESs is lacking.
Human DAP5 protein and translation initiation factors eIF4A1 and eIF4B were recombinantly expressed and purified. Binding affinities of these factors for the two IRES structures were probed using an anisotropy assay developed in our lab.
DAP5 binds differentially to these two IRESs with a 2-fold higher affinity for ΔN p53 IRES over full length p53 IRES. The effects of other elFs on DAP5 binding and ribosome recruitment are being investigated.
Our results further validate the hypothesis that DAP5 mediate translation of p53 IRES. Better understanding of binding interactions is necessary to fully characterize the mechanism of ribosome recruitment in this non-canonical system. This understanding may prove crucial for the development of p53 oriented therapeutics.
Hunter College, the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY)Research funded by RCMI Program grant from the National Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) of the National Institute of Health (NIH): 8 G12MD007599 and, NSF MCB -1513737(D.J.G)
SolomonRESEARCH RESOURCES AND NETWORKING: COLLABORATION IMPACTCollaborative interdisciplinary translational (CIT) research outcomes/outputs are heavily dependent upon networking to share knowledge and expertise including access to the needed and/or desired research resources. The Research Centers in Minority Institution (RCMI) Translational Research Network (RTRN) R3N activities support passive and actively engaged networking enhancing scientists’ collaboration prospects. This study is to gauge how the RTRN and its deployment and implementation of research resources and research networking tools has influenced its support on fostering CIT research among the consortium members using publication as a measure

Methods. We retrospectively observed the RTRN consortium’s National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) Expenditures and Results Module (RePORTER) information/data correlating it with that of network’s research networking tool, RTRN Profiles.

Results For research networking tools users, authorships per publications inter- and intra- institutionally are associated with a significant increase comparing years 2000-2007(before RTRN) vs 2008-2016 as an indicator of collaborations. Between the years of 2012-2016 after the consortium members’ acceptance of R3N tool deployments and implementations, we find that there is a much greater degree of change between the before after this period.

Conclusions. RTRN’s infrastructure; created to energize, enable and enhance interdisciplinary collaborative translational research toward ending health disparities has created affirmative scientific advances. Findings demonstrate a meaningful use of the RTRN knowledge-driven ecosystem highlighting a positive and statistically significant impact.

This study was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number U54MD008149.
Jackson State UniversityThis study was supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health under award number U54MD008149.
SugandhaBehavioral Factors and Metabolic Syndrome In Asian AmericansBACKGROUND: Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a term that connects several risk factors for cardiac disease, diabetes, and all-cause mortality in multiple ethnic groups. Little research has examined MetS and its predictors among Asian Americans (AA). Only one study (Palaniappan et al., 2011) examined Asian American subgroups using an adjusted and unadjusted waist circumference and found significantly higher prevalence of MetS for AA at all BMI levels with the adjusted waist circumference. This suggests that lower cutoff values for waist circumference be used for MetS diagnoses for AA, given their smaller bone structure.
AIM: This study examines how psychological (anxiety, depression) and behavioral (sleep duration, physical activity) factors influence MetS scores in a large sample of 3,967 Asian American adults, using both adjusted and unadjusted MetS scores.
METHOD: Data were collected from medical records and self-report questionnaires of AA adults attending a preventive care visit (1864 women, 2103 men; M age=38;SD=10). MetS was assessed using NCEP ATP III criteria, with and without adjustment of waist circumference. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, anxiety with the General Anxiety Disorder-7, and physical activity by whether weekly MVPA was the recommended >150 minutes. Multiple regression analyses examined each predictor separately. Prescribed medication for high BP, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, depression, and sleep disorder were covaried.
RESULTS: Prevalence of MetS among AAs increased from 5% to 7% in women and 9% to 18% in men using the NCEP ATP III criteria adjusted for a smaller waist circumference. Shorter sleep duration was associated with higher adjusted MetS scores, as well as the individual components of SBP, DBP, waist circumference, and fasting glycemia. Anxiety was associated with higher triglycerides, waist circumference, and fasting glycemia. Participants who reported >150 minutes of weekly MVPA had significantly lower MetS scores (adjusted and unadjusted) than those who did not.
CONCLUSIONS: Adjusting NCEP ATP III MetS criteria using a smaller waist circumference increased prevalence among AA, doubling it for men, suggesting that current guidelines may be underestimating MetS prevalence among AA. Behavioral factors should be considered in designing interventions to reduce MetS among AA. The findings emphasize the need to study MetS and its predictors within specific ethnic and cultural groups.
The Graduate Center at the City University of New York
At Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), to continue clinical and translational research focusing on health disparities, we adopted and customized Profiles RNS Beta Version (‘CDU Profiles 1.0’) to serve as a backend node to RCMI Translational Research Network (RTRN) consortium which runs Profiles RNS version similar to ours and but later our partnership with University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), required us to provide them with ‘RDF triples’ from ‘CDU Profiles’ to feed their home-grown Research Networking Tool. For this we adopted and customized architecturally different Profiles RNS 2.x and called it ‘CDU Profiles 2.0’. But now it became necessary to replicate any change of ‘CDU Profiles 2.0’ into ‘CDU Profiles 1.0’ automatically justifying the development of an automated tool.
We analyzed CDU Profiles 1.0 and 2.0 on demographics, personal, narratives, awards and publications using complex cross-referencing, number of complex inner and outer joins and Node table lookup using the [RDF.].Triple tables.
The program using C# and SQL transfers demographic and personal data between Profiles instances using either queries or complex joins on multiple tables in 2.0 to load them into filter tables in 1.0.
The techniques using Predicate analysis, looking up in the Triple table, findin Object ID in the Node table, grabbing the narrative text, transferring awards and publications information were all used solve the problem for transferring data between different versions of Profiles RNS.
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine of Medicine and ScienceThe work was supported in part by US National Institutes of Health’s NIMHD grant number U54 MD007598.
SunilNUTRITION, ALCOHOL DRINKING, AND RELATED HEALTH DISPARITIESAlcoholism presents a significant social and economic burden to modern society. Furthermore, negative consequences from drinking are disproportionately higher in certain ethnic minorities. Nutritional deficiencies are frequently observed in alcoholics, which may contribute to the pathology of alcoholism. However, nutrition is often overlooked as an important treatment component for alcoholism. We have recently reported that six weeks intermittent exposure of a nutritionally complete palatable diet (NPD) attenuates alcohol intake in rats, which has important clinical implications for treating alcoholism. However, essential components (e.g., minimum effective exposure) of such a dietary intervention are unknown and was the objective of the present study. Male Long Evans rats matched for body weight, water, and food intake, received intermittent (24hr twice a week; Int-NPD) access of NPD or chow (controls) for one or two weeks. Chow was available ad libitum to all groups always. Following initial NPD exposure, ethanol (20%) consumption was evaluated using 2-bottle-choice alcohol drinking paradigm on the following day of NPD exposure. Rats in Int-NPD groups displayed increased and decreased energy intake on and following days of NPD exposure, respectively. Alcohol intake was significantly attenuated in both one and two weeks Int-NPD groups compared to controls, whereas no significant differences in water or total fluid intakes were observed. These data suggest that even one-week intermittent access to a palatable food is sufficient to attenuate alcohol drinking in rats. Importantly, these findings provide a critical framework to evaluate the therapeutic potential of improving nutritional deficiencies in alcoholism and related health disparities.Xavier University of LouisianaNIMHD-RCMI grant number 5G12MD007595 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and the NIGMS-BUILD grant number 8UL1GM118967.

SO Onyeabor, M Langley, L Caplan, P Newbill

AFFILIATIONS: Morehouse School of Medicine (SOO, LC, ML, PN)

Following recent advancement in the treatment of Hepatitis C, as well as increased intravenous drug use in rural areas, the health promotion resource center at Morehouse school of medicine organized training for nurses in some Georgia’s rural counties. The goal of the study was to evaluate the impact of a one-day intensive Hepatitis C training on rural Georgia county nurses’ knowledge base regarding Hepatitis C prevention, screening and control.

A cross-sectional study of 17 nurses from five rural counties in Georgia, selected based on work location, participated in a one-day intensive Hepatitis C training at the Spalding County Public Health Department in Griffin, Georgia. 12 participants out of 17 submitted their self-administered pre and post-test surveys (five attended via video conference). The paired t-test was used to analyze the data.

Paired t-test was conducted to compare knowledge of Hepatitis C prevention, screening and control before and after the one-day Hepatitis C training. There was a significant increase in knowledge about Hepatitis C from before (mean=71.67, SD= 11.43) to after training (mean=90.83, SD=11.87); t (12) = 3.56, P= 0.05.

There was evidence of increased knowledge about Hepatitis C following the training, which should translate to early detection and treatment in future.

Supported Through HIV Capacity Building Initiative SAMHSA Grant # 5H79SP021255
Morehouse School of MedicineSupported Through HIV Capacity Building Initiative SAMHSA Grant # 5H79SP021255
SusanDescribing Vietnamese Vulnerability through PhotovoiceThe Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Vietnamese community (MSGCVC) has repeatedly experienced physical, psychological, and economic hardship from natural and man-made disasters and economic downturn. Approximately 28,067 Mississippians describe themselves as Asians, comprising less than 1% of Mississippi’s total population. More than 7,408 of these individuals are Vietnamese living in Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties. Literature suggests that economic strain is the greatest contributor to Vietnamese population vulnerability. Research suggests more beneficial approaches to decreasing vulnerability should focus on strength capacities to build culturally-appropriate interventions, including social support and acculturation as strong protective factors. Previous literature focused on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, BP oil spill, and urban communities, with little research considering vulnerability and resiliency, and developing interventions addressing health risks and strengths in rural communities. To address this gap, a CBPR health policy project was developed to determine how social, economic, cultural, and/or environmental policies (or lack of) impact the health of the MSGCVC to 1) measure causes and consequences of vulnerability and resilience by identifying sources of health strengths and resilience and health risks among individual, family, and other members of MSGCVC through photovoice; and 2) analyze the role of culture and social networks in vulnerability and resiliency by implementing and evaluating a volunteer CHA project to enhance community resiliency among MSGCVC. This presentation will document findings from photovoice discussions among first, second, and third generation MSGCVC. Findings will aid others exploring innovative approaches to addressing vulnerability and resiliency in underserved communities and applying photovoice as a research tool.University of Southern MississippiFunding for this research was provided by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities to The Gulf States Health Policy Center (grant #U54MD008602-05).
SusanaSYNTHETIC VACCINES AGAINST T. CRUZI IN NONHUMAN PRIMATESThe causative agent of Chagas disease (ChD) is the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma cruzi. Currently, 6-8 million people are chronically infected and most of them live in Latin America. Lately, ChD has also spread to nonendemic regions, such as the U.S. and Europe. The disease can be transmitted by triatomine insect vectors, blood transfusion, organ transplantation, tainted foods and fluids, and congenitally. T. cruzi has a plasma membrane coated by immunogenic glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored glycoproteins, such as mucins and mucin-associated surface proteins (MASPs). Mucins contain the immunodominant glycotope, Galα(1,3)Galβ(1,4)GlcNAcα (KM24), which induces high levels of lytic, protective anti-α-Gal antibodies, which control the parasitemia in both acute and chronic phases of the disease. Recently, we showed that KM24 covalently coupled to BSA (KM24-BSA) elicited 100% survival upon parasite challenge in the α-galactosyltransferase-knockout (αGalT-KO) mouse model, which mimics the human response against αGal-containing epitopes. MASPs encompass overlapping B- and T-cell epitopes in a peptide named MASPpep (DAENPGGEVFNDNKKGLSRV), which was recently revealed by proteomics of trypomastigote extracellular vesicles and immunoinformatics and shown to induce considerable protection against T. cruzi challenge. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of KM24 and MASPpep as potential ChD vaccine candidates in a nonhuman primate model. Four groups of Papio hamadryas (baboons; 4 animals each), were immunized subcutaneously with KM24 covalently linked to HSA (KM24h), MASPpep covalently linked to KLH (MASPpep⎼KLH), KM24h+MASPpep-KLH, or PBS (placebo); all containing liposomal-monophosphoryl lipid A (L-MPLA) as an adjuvant. All groups were immunized four times at weeks 0, 6, 12 and 24, and challenged twice with metacyclic trypomastigotes (isolate HC123, TcI, originated from baboons). Blood, serum, and heart samples were collected for analysis of specific antibody titers (by CL-ELISA), parasitemia (by qPCR), serum and heart cytokines (by Multiplex), and heart histopathology and inflammation-related microRNAs. Our preliminary data demonstrated a very strong antigen specific antibody response in immunized baboons with either antigen alone or combined. Additionally, histopathology and parasite load of vaccinated baboon hearts clearly indicated that both vaccines, alone or combined, elicited significant protection against inflammation and parasite burden in the cardiac tissue, hallmarks of chronic ChD. We anticipate that vaccination with KM24h and MASPpep-KLH, alone or combined, will result in robust protection against chronic ChD, particularly heart inflammation and parasite load, in a nonhuman primate model.University of Texas at El Paso Border Biomedical Research CenterNIH/NIAID grant: 1R21AI115451-01; Kleberg Foundation grant; BACF: NIMHD/(RCMI) grant: 2G12MD007592
SyedUse Of Rare Keto-Hexose As An Anti-Angiogenic CompoundPURPOSE: On the basis of availability we can classify monosaccharide into two groups, natural and rare. Functional studies of rare sugars have gained momentum in recent years. However, still our knowledge about the physiological effects of rare carbohydrates is very limited. Since some rare keto-sugars appear to be inhibitory to glycoprotein processing enzymes in one of our previous studies, it was of interest to screen ketohexoses to determine whether any of them would inhibit the process of angiogenesis in a chick embryo model. Angiogenesis is the fundamental process by which new blood vessels are formed as extensions from the existing vasculature. METHODS: In this study we have used eight different ketohexoses such as D-Fructose, L-Fructose, D-Psicose, L-Psicose, D-Sorbose, L-Sorbose, D-Tagatose, and L-Tagatose in a chick embryo model (fertilized white leghorn chick embryo) for anti-angiogenic effect. Cell migration inhibition was observed in human umbilical vein endothelial cell in vitro migration assay. RESULTS: Out of these eight keto-hexoses one has shown significant inhibition of angiogenesis. We also report here that one of the keto-hexoses inhibits migration of vascular endothelial cells (VEC) in an in vitro migration assay at 200nm concentration. CONCLUSION: One of the eight ketohexoses has anti-angiogenic property. This inhibitory effect was determined to be stereospecific as the D-isomer of the same sugar was significantly more effective than that of the L-isomer.Xavier University of LouisianaRCMI: 2G12MD007595-06 and NSF: 215903
SylvaEFFECTS OF A STROKE PROGRAM ON AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMENStroke is the 5th leading cause of death in the United States. African Americans are twice as likely to a suffer stroke than their Caucasian counterparts. Further, African Americans have reduced stroke knowledge in comparison to Caucasians. In this study, change in stroke awareness was investigated in African American women (AAW) following participation in an online stroke education program. The goal of this study was to demonstrate positive change in stroke knowledge following the intervention. Participants were asked to complete pretest and posttest questionnaires before and after the intervention, respectively. Participants were asked to view 3 online presentations about stroke, health beliefs and lifestyles changes. For this study, a single group pretest-posttest design was used. A secure web-based application was used to build and manage the questionnaire, and to collect the data. Links for the questionnaire and the presentations were distributed to participants via their email addresses. Strict measures were observed to protect confidentiality as noted in the IRB. After the intervention, participants noted a higher level of awareness about stroke and the need for behavioral change. Though greater awareness of the need for stroke education occurred, a program of longer duration may have greater effect on knowledge and beliefs. The participants expressed an interest in the topic and in the online approach. Future collaborative research and educational efforts between FBOs and researchers may wish to consider incorporating an online approach. Continued collaboration between FBOs and researchers can expand the current body of knowledge regarding stroke awareness and appropriate interventions.Howard University
SylvieVALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF A DIETARY SELF-REPORT MEASUREPURPOSE: This study examined the psychometric properties of a short 11- item version of the Personal Diabetes Questionnaire scale (PDQ-11) among patients with Type 2 diabetes. DESIGN METHODS: Participants (n=411) completed the PDQ-11 and other diabetes-related scales. Statistical analyses were conducted to explore the structure of the PDQ-11, and its internal reliability and validity. RESULTS: Participants were 64% Non-Hispanic Whites; 18% Non-Hispanic Blacks; 24% Hispanics; with mean age, 49.3 ± 9.4 years; education, 11.2 ± 3.3 years; BMI, 35.8 ± 8.9 kg/m2; and A1C, 9.6% ± 2.1. Factor analysis of the PDQ-11 revealed four components (items loading >0.40; Cronbach's α = 0.50 - 0.81): Eating Behavior Problems; Use of Information for Dietary Decision Making; Calorie Restriction; and Activity and Exercise. Eating Behavior Problems and Use of Information for Dietary Decision Making had the strongest associations with the diet subscales of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities; general diet (rs = -0.29 and 0.31, respectively); specific diet (rs = -0.20 and 0.19, respectively) and were also correlated with the Perceived Diabetes Self-Management Scale and Adherence to Refills and Medications Scale scores (all ps < 0.001). Different PDQ-11 subscales predicted BMI (Calorie Restriction, β = 0.17, p<0.01; and Activity and Exercise, β = -0.17, p<0.01); diastolic blood pressure (Eating Behavior Problems, β = -0.14, p<0.01) and systolic blood pressure (Eating Behavior Problems, β = -0.17, p<0.01). CONCLUSION: The PDQ-11 is a valid measure of dietary behaviors in patients with type 2 diabetes; its use may help to tailor individual nutrition intervention strategies.Meharry Medical CollegeThe National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK-5R18DK083264), the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) (NIH/NCATS-2UL1TR000445), and the Meharry Translational Research Center (MeTRC) (5U54MD007593-09)
TammiREGENERATIVE ROLES OF WNT-3A AFTER FOCAL ISCHEMIC STROKEWnt signaling is a conserved pathway involved in expansion of neural progenitors and lineage specification during development. However, the role of Wnt signaling in the post-stroke brain has not been well-elucidated. We hypothesized that Wnt-3a would play an important role for neurogenesis and brain repair. Adult male mice were subjected to a focal ischemic stroke targeting the sensorimotor cortex. Mice that received Wnt-3a (2 µg/kg/day, 1 h after stroke and once a day for the next 2 days, intranasal delivery) had reduced infarct volume compared to stroke controls. Wnt-3a intranasal treatment of seven days upregulated the expression of brain-derived growth factor (BDNF), increased the proliferation and migration of neuroblasts from the subventricular zone (SVZ), resulting in increased numbers of newly formed neurons and endothelial cells in the peri-infarct zone. Both the molecular and cellular effects of Wnt-3a were blocked by the Wnt specific inhibitors XAV-939 or Dkk-1. In functional assays, Wnt-3a treatment enhanced the local cerebral blood flow (LCBF) in the peri-infarct, as well as improved sensorimotor functions in a battery of behavioral tests. Together, our data demonstrates that the Wnt-3a signaling can act as a dual neuroprotective and regenerative factor for the treatment of ischemic stroke.Jackson State University
TashunaA COMMUNITY-ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIP FOR ADOLESCENT PREP USEPURPOSE: Adolescent HIV disparities demonstrate the need to scale up pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to younger age groups. We have limited knowledge of adolescents and parents/guardians’ beliefs and attitudes about implementation and delivery of PrEP to adolescents. We also need to understand the training needs and concerns of providers who work with adolescents at risk for infection. Our study lessons learned from developing a partnership between a community hospital and an academic institution to implement is a community based formative implementation study to determine the feasibility of PrEP scale up to minority adolescents in Bronx, New York.
METHODS: Utilizing an ecological systems framework our study uses a mixed methods approach (i.e., integration of qualitative and quantitative data) to: 1) identify adolescent, parent/guardian, and provider attitudes and beliefs towards PrEP uptake, 2) identify clinical and logistical facilitators and barriers to PrEP uptake among adolescents, and 3) assess receptivity to adolescent PrEP uptake by potential adolescent PrEP providers.
RESULTS: Our process evaluation highlights challenges, including working across geographic, discipline, and organizational differences, to articulate a common vision and process for conducting systems level research within a racial minority community; demonstrate a community based approach to conducting formative implementation research; and engagement of community hospital and academia.
CONCLUSION: Without partnering efforts from across sectors, there will continue to be systematic and structural implementation challenges to significantly reducing new HIV infections among at risk groups. An urgency exists for communities and academics to critically assess who needs to be on board in this new era of biomedical HIV prevention.
City University of New York School of Medicine5P30MH062294-15
TatianaPP1 inhibitor for Ebola and Marburg InfectionsThe recent largest Ebola virus (EBOV) outbreak in West Africa underscored the need for novel antiviral therapeutics. We developed a novel approach targeting host protein phosphatase-1 which we tested against EBOV and Marburg virus (MARV). The ribonucleoprotein complex of filoviruses includes VP30 protein in addition to NP, VP35 and the polymerase (L). The polymerase complex can mediate both the transcription of individual genes and replication of the whole genome and VP30 functions as a switch in this process, as its phosphorylation blocks the ability of the viral polymerase to function during transcription. We show that protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) controls VP30 phosphorylation in vivo. We also recently found that phosphorylation of EBOV VP35 protein regulates EBOV transcription. EBOV can be efficiently inhibited in infected cultures with PP1-targeting small molecule, 1E7-03. We also tested the effect of 1E7-03 on MARV and showed efficient inhibition which correlated with increased MARV VP30 phosphorylation. Unlike in EBOV transcription, VP30 is dispensable for MARV transcription but its non-phosphorylated form strongly enhanced both transcription and replication of MARV. We tested stability of 1E7-03 in vivo and also analyzed details of 1E7-03 binding to PP1 using mass spectrometry-based “painting” approach. This led us to identify novel and more stable EBOV inhibitors. Overall, our findings suggest that targeting PP1 with small molecules is a feasible approach to achieve EBOV and MARV inhibition. This novel approach may be used for development of antivirals against filoviruses.Howard University: This work was supported by NIH Research Grants (1P50HL118006, 1R01HL125005, U19AI109664 and 5G12MD007597). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
ThomasNEIGHBORHOOD STRESS AND ANS ACTIVITY DURING SLEEPObjective: Mechanisms underlying the contribution of stressful neighborhood environments to health disparities are not well understood. Healthy sleep appears to provide an important respite from sustained sympathetic nervous system (SNS) activity. Our objective was to evaluate relationships between neighborhood stress and nocturnal and daytime SNS and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity.
Methods: Healthy young adult urban-residing African Americans filled out surveys of neighborhood stress, sleep-related vigilance and were evaluated for medical and psychiatric exclusion criteria and posttraumatic stress. A subset had 24 hour ECG monitoring with analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) and actigraphy in their home environment
Results: The final sample included 37 men and 48 women, mean age of 23.0. All significant relationships with HRV measures were from the sleep period. Neighborhood disorder correlated with normalized high frequency (nHF, HRV indicator of PNS activity) (r = -.24, p = .035). HRV indices also correlated with sleep duration and sleep fears. Among females, the low frequency/high frequency ratio (LF/HF, HRV indicator of SNS activity) was correlated with exposure to violence, r = .39, p = .008 and nHF with census tract rates for violent crime (r = -.35, p = .035). In stepwise regressions, among women, total sleep time accounted for the variance contributed by violent crime to nHF, while posttraumatic stress did not contribute to the relationship between violence exposure and LF/HF.
Conclusions: There is an effect of neighborhood environments on SNS/PNS balance during sleep that may contribute to adverse health outcomes.
Howard University College of MedicineR01HL087995, UL1RR031975
ThomasSPECIFIC INTERACTION OF AMPHIPHILES WITH SODIUM CHANNELSPURPOSE: Amphiphiles are chemical compounds possessing both hydrophilic and lipophilic properties. They are widely used in pharmaceuticals, food, cosmetics and for drug delivery. Their effects include ameliorating symptoms of pathneurological pain, increasing blood brain barrier, enhancing transdermal drug delivery, and prolonging sensory-selective nerve blockade of local anesthetics. Their effects are thought to result from non-specific lipid–protein interactions, namely, a bilayer–protein hydrophobic coupling mechanism. Little is known about the molecular interaction between amphiphiles and target proteins.
METHODS: Here, we hypothesize that some amphiphiles specifically interact with sodium channels to exert their pharmacological action. Two groups of chemical analogues, Polysorbates and Spans, were selected to test the direct action on sodium channels using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from transfected CHO cells that stably expressed the Nav1.2 sodium channel isoform.
RESULTS: Polysorbate 20 and Polysorbate 80 display tonic inhibition of sodium currents, modulation of voltage-dependent availability and larger use-dependent block. However, Spans, which are chemically analogous to Polysorbates but lack the poly(-O-CH2Ch3) group in their hydrophilic head, fail to modulate the function of sodium channels. The results indicate that 1) not all amphiphiles modulate sodium channel function through a bilayer–protein hydrophobic coupling mechanism; 2) Polysorbates specifically interact with sodium channels to inhibit sodium channel function.
DISCUSSION: The specific interaction with sodium channels provides direct evidence that the prolonged sensory-selective nerve blockade of anesthetics by amphiphiles is pharmacodynamic rather than pharmacokinetic, and will lead to the development of novel prolonged-duration local anesthetics and a novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of neuropathic pain.
Howard University College of MedicineGrant support from the Latham Trust Fund and NSF (IOS-1355034) to TH, and the Foundation of Selected Item Support for Researcher Back from Overseas to ZJW (sponsored by Ministry of Personnel, P.R.C.).
ThomasNOVEL ENAMINONES AND THEIR EFFECTS ON NEURONS IN THE BRAINPURPOSE: Epileptic seizures are the result of excessive cortical excitation. Therefore, most anti-seizure medications work by promoting neuronal inhibition. However, currently available treatments are less than ideal and novel drugs with higher efficacy and fewer side effects are being scouted. Some enaminones have been demonstrated to exert potent inhibitory effects on neurons. Potentially, such compounds could be used to treat epilepsy. We previously reported that the enaminone KRS-5ME-4-OCF3 strongly inhibited mouse mitral cells in main olfactory bulb (MOB) slices.
METHODS: To expand our drug discovery efforts, we have synthesized and tested five novel enaminones with similar chemical structures (GSA-62, CMA-90, TTA-35, WWB-33, and WWB-67). We used whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology to record from mitral cells in acute brain slices that include the MOB.
RESULTS: We hypothesized that one or more of the five novel enaminones has a reversible inhibitory effect on mitral cells, similar to the drug effect of KRS-5ME-4-OCF which resulted in a decrease of the firing rate and a more negative membrane potential. The novel enaminones did not demonstrate robust changes in firing rate or membrane potential of the mitral cells. We will continue to modify the chemical structure of enaminones to find potent anti-epileptic candidate drugs.
DISCUSSION: None of the tested drugs evoked significant electrophysiological responses suggesting that they exert their activity through another mechanism of action not tested in our studies. We will continue with our extensive structure activity relationship studies to chemically modify potential agents for clinically use in the treatment of seizure disorders.
Howard University College of MedicineJW was supported through the Howard University College of Medicine Medical Student Summer Research Program, 2017. Grant support from the Latham Trust Fund and NSF (IOS-1355034) to TH.
ThomasG-PROTEIN COUPLED RECEPTOR MODULATION OF OLFACTORY NEURONSPURPOSE: In the mouse main olfactory bulb (MOB), glomerular neurons express high levels of G-protein coupled receptors such as cannabinoid receptors, group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (I-mGluR), dopamine receptors and GABA-B receptors. The functional modulation of neuronal activity by G-protein coupled receptors in glomeruli and the underlying ionic currents are largely unknown. Mitral and tufted (M/T) cells are the key output neurons in the main olfactory bulb and show diverse patterns of neuronal activity.
METHODS: In this study, we addressed the role of different G-protein coupled receptor signaling systems in regulating neuronal activity of M/T cells. Our experimental approach used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in acute mouse brain slices.
RESULTS: Except for GABA-B receptors, other G-protein coupled receptors, namely, I-mGluR, cannabinoid receptors and dopamine receptors in glomerular neurons participated in the regulation of burst currents in glomerular neurons. The I-mGluR agonist DHPG directly depolarized M/T cells via activation of I-mGluR. DHPG also evoked inhibitory synaptic transmission in the form of inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). DHPG also activated I-mGluRs in inhibitory juxtaglomerular interneurons. Cannabinoid receptors modulated burst currents through inhibitory synaptic transmission. Dopaminergic transmission was involved in cannabinoid receptor-mediated effects, probably through release of dopamine from juxtaglomerular cells. The pattern of burst currents was modulated by GABA-A receptors rather than GABA-B receptors in M/T cells.
DISCUSSION: The involvement of dopamine receptors, I-mGluR, and cannabinoid receptors in modulating burst currents provides new insights into the roles of these G-protein coupled receptors in tuning and processing odor information in olfactory glomeruli.
Howard University College of MedicineGrant support from the Latham Trust Fund and NSF (IOS-1355034) to TH. PTA was supported through the Advanced Research and Summer Training Program offered by Georgetown University funded by NIH-NIGMS.
ThomasDOPAMINERGIC SYNAPTIC TRANSMISSION IN THE OLFACTORY BULBPURPOSE: The glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb receives synaptic input from olfactory receptor neurons that send their axon from the nasal epithelium to the ipsilateral olfactory bulb. Neurons in the glomerular layer fall into three subpopulations: periglomerular (PG), external tufted and short-axon cells. PG cells receive input from the olfactory receptor neurons or dendrodendritic glutamatergic input from external tufted or mitral cells, the olfactory bulb output neurons. A large subset of PG cells contains dopamine and/or GABA and presynaptically inhibits olfactory receptor neurons through GABAergic and dopaminergic transmission. Even though dopaminergic PG neurons are critically placed at the entry to the olfactory bulb neural circuitry, their role in dopaminergic regulation of mitral cells and, therefore, output from the main olfactory bulb remains elusive. We tested the hypothesis that dopamine D2 receptors regulate mitral cell activity and, thereby, have a critical role in sensory processing of olfactory information.
METHODS: We used an electrophysiological experimental approach with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from mitral cells in mouse brain slices. We recorded from mitral cells that exhibit burst-firing of action potentials.
RESULTS: Our results showed that in voltage-clamp recordings, the dopamine antagonist sulpiride enhanced the amplitude and duration of long-lasting current in mitral cells. Similar results were obtained when GABA-A receptors were blocked with gabazine. DISCUSSION: Blockade of dopaminergic or GABAergic synaptic transmission relieves mitral cells from inhibition and results in a significant increase of mitral cell activity which will greatly enhance olfactory bulb output to higher order olfactory centers in the brain.
Howard University College of MedicineGrant support from the Latham Trust Fund and NSF (IOS-1355034) to TH.
ThomasREVERSIBLE FIRING PATTERN TRANSFORMATION IN CENTRAL NEURONSPURPOSE: Mitral cells (MCs) in the main olfactory bulb (MOB) encode odor information in the form of action potentials. The firing patterns of MCs are related to both intrinsic properties and their synaptic connectivity (dendrodendritic connections). MCs exhibit two types of firing patterns: (1) regular/rhythmic firing and (2) burst firing of action potentials.
METHODS: Using an electrophysiological experimental approach with whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in mouse brain slices, we hypothesized that the two firing patterns can be transformed into each other either spontaneously or pharmacologically.
RESULTS: Our results showed that MCs with regular firing preserved their firing pattern in the presence of blockers of fast synaptic transmission suggestive of the firing pattern as an intrinsic property. However, regular firing was transformed into bursting by applying GABA-A receptor antagonists to block inhibitory synaptic transmission. In contrast, burst firing of MCs was transformed into regular firing by blocking ionotropic glutamate receptors, rather than blocking GABA-A receptors, indicating that ionotropic glutamatergic transmission mediated the transformation. Long-lasting inward currents (LLCs) measured in voltage-clamp recording conditions corresponded to burst firing in current-clamp recordings. Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) were also involved in the LLCs in over-excited MCs. The intrinsic membrane property of MCs that were tested by using fast synaptic blockers concealed the fact that the membrane properties of MCs were transformable at dendrodendritic connections.
DISCUSSION: The involvement of both intrinsic and dendrodendritic mechanisms in firing pattern transformation suggests that odor information may be encoded by dendrodendritic mechanisms that work in addition to intrinsic properties of MCs.
Howard University College of MedicineGrant support from the Latham Trust Fund and NSF (IOS-1355034) to TH.
ThomasEPIGENETIC ANALYSIS OF EFFECTS OF A SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDPURPOSE: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been shown to be one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. The main cause of post-TBI complications is neuroinflammation, the brain’s immune response to pathological insults. This response is facilitated by cytokines, chemokines, prostaglandins, and other byproducts that participate in the inflammatory cascade. The early effects of inflammation have been shown to be beneficial, but prolonged inflammation leads to detrimental effects including neuronal cell death. Repeated TBI’s throughout life can lead to the development of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), caused by long-term, constant neuroinflammation. A solution is needed to combat the short and long- term effects of TBIs and neuroinflammation. Cannabinoids are a chemical family that have been shown to be effective at lowering inflammation. Therefore, in this experiment we tested the chemical WIN 55,212-2, a synthetic cannabinoid, on HeLa cells in order to determine its potential anti-inflammatory effects.
METHODS: We performed an epigenetic analysis, MeDIP Chip (Methylated DNA Immunoprecipation), in order to better understand the anti-inflammatory effects of WIN 55,212-2, mesylate at the gene expression level.
RESULTS: Several hundred genes were altered as a result of the treatment, and major gene groups affected are involved in inflammatory responses, and, surprisingly, epigenetic control. This latter result was unexpected and we are further analyzing the data.
DISCUSSION: Overall, the hypothesis of the involvement of the synthetic cannabinoid in inflammation processes was validated, but raises new questions about the mechanism of action of WIN 55,212-2 mesylate, and possibly other cannabinoids.
Howard University College of MedicineGrant support from NIH to ABC and the Latham Trust Fund and NSF (IOS-1355034) to TH.
TongxinDESIGN NEW DENTAL COMPOSITES WITH HYDROLYTIC RESISTANCEPURPOSE: Develop new dental composites with long service lifetime is of great importance for oral disparities, because it may provide longer service time for those who has limited access to dental visits. However, the dental resin in current composites may easily degrade in oral cavity, which will breakdown the polymer backbone, thus leading failure of the filling composites. The objective of this project was to synthesize a series of new resins, which are less hydrolysable than currently used dental resins.

METHODS: The first strategy to synthesize the new resin was to replace the ester bonds with the non-hydrolysable ether bond. The second strategy was to replace the methyl acrylate terminals with reverse acrylate terminals, which avoided the hydrolysable ester bonds in the cross-linked “bridge”. Degradation and the degradation dependent mechanical strength were evaluated by using the time-dependent mechanical strength of the composites degraded in acid.

RESULTS: New resins have been successfully synthesized and their structures were confirmed by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Mass Spectroscopy. Time dependent mechanical tests confirmed that the composites prepared from the new resins had less decrease in strength than those from BisGMA.

DISCUSSION / CONCLUSION: A series of resins with less degradable structures were successfully synthesized. The new resins and the related composites were more resistant to acid degradation than Bis-GMA, thus there is high likelihood that these less degradable resins could be high potential candidate for dental restoratives with long life.
Howard University, College of DentistryNIH/NIMHD U54MD008149; NIH/NIDCR R01 DE021786
TraciTRAINING FOR HEALTH & MEDICINE: IMPACT OF THE RCMI PROGRAMSPURPOSE: Training of minority health professionals is widely accepted as an effective means of ensuring that minority patients and vulnerable communities have high-quality health care to reduce health disparities. The Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI) programs at medical schools and institutions offering doctoral degrees in health-related fields are committed to building basic and clinical research infrastructure for mentoring underrepresented individuals for careers in biomedicine, pharmaceutical sciences, and social and population science. The research presents the matriculation outcomes of the national RCMI program.
METHODS: Enrollment and matriculation data, collected from the 18 RCMI grantee institutions for the 15-year period (2000–2015), were analyzed according to degree type, gender, race and ethnicity
RESULTS: Collectively, the RCMI programs awarded 23,000 terminal degrees (MD, PhD, PharmD, DVM, and DMD) to 9,277 African American, 3,114 Asian and Pacific Islanders, 6,670 Hispanics, and 3, 925 multi-racial and white recipients during the study period.
DISCUSSION: The RCMI grantees are implementing strategies to recruit and retain minority students into medical and health programs. In the 2013–2014 academic year, 11 of the 18 RCMI programs ranked among the top degree producers for minority graduates in the health sciences.
CONCLUSION: Efforts of the health and medical organizations have not eliminated the shortage of minority health professionals. However, the RCMI programs have had success in improving the number of minority student enrollment and graduates in health-driven professions who can meet the needs of nation’s changing demographics.
Jackson State UniversityRTRN is supported by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health (NIH), through Grant Number U54MD008149.
UchePediatric African-American Children with Uncontrolled AsthmaBackground
Racial disparities exist in regards to African Americans and asthma. According to the Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20% more likely to have asthma and are three times more likely to die from an asthma-related cause than non-Hispanic whites.

Pharmacists provided individualized asthma education and medication therapy management during the 1st visit, week 24 and week 48 at the patient’s home. Pharmacy interns provided follow-up calls between pharmacist visits at week 4, 8, 12 and 36. A total of 367 African American children aged 4-17 with uncontrolled asthma were derived from a local Medicaid Managed Care Organizations’ claims database, Community Health Choice Inc (CHC).

Medication adherence, triggers and technique were evaluated by the pharmacist at the first visit. Only 7%(n=25) of participants were fully adherent to their asthma medications. Smoking was the most prevalent trigger with 68%(n=251) living with a smoker. About half of the children (51%) had an asthma action plan which should be provided to patients and caregivers a plan of what to do when asthma flare-ups begin. Spacers which are indicated to assist patients with utilizing their inhalers, particularly children were used by 28% of the children at home and at school, 22% at home only, 4% at school only, and 165 children (45%) currently do not use a spacer.

Over half of the participants’ caregivers in this study are knowledgeable in regards to asthma as well as limited medication adherence with the asthma medication and high exposure to known asthma triggers.
Texas Southern UniversityThe project described was supported by Funding Opportunity Number CMS-331440-01-00 from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.” Recipient also must include a disclaimer stating that “The contents provided are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of HHS or any of its agencies.
UgochukwuEffects of taurine on cocaine reward & neurogenesis in malesAccording to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 4.8 million United States residents , of which 3% are adolescents, are cocaine addicts. Cocaine is a psychostimulant whose use leads to cognitive dysfunction due to decreases in hippocampal cell proliferation. Taurine, an essential amino acid found in high concentrations in energy drink and has been shown to increase hippocampal neurogenesis and has therapeutic value. Previous studies from our laboratory determined sex specific effects of taurine on cocaine reward, adult males being the most sensitive to the protective effects of taurine. The objective of this study was to test whether taurine would affect cocaine reward in adolescent male rats and if this could be explained by differential effects on hippocampal neurogenesis. Thirty-six male adolescent rats (P30), were treated with either taurine (100 mg/kg) or saline and tested for cocaine (10mg/kg) reward using a conditioned place preference paradigm. Bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and Ki67 were used to assess whether taurine affected neurogenesis. Adolescent male rats showed a strong preference towards the cocaine paired chamber, independent of taurine pre-treatment. Surprisingly, they also acquired a preference to taurine. Nevertheless, this study found that taurine or cocaine did not have significant effects on hippocampal neurogenesis in adolescent male rats. Taurine increased cocaine reward and did not have an effect on neurogenesis. Taurine may be increasing neurogenesis but not demonstrated with results because of the already high levels of neurogenesis during adolescence. Further studies need to be performed to understand the interaction between taurine and cocaine in the adolescent brain. Additionally, our laboratory is interested in understanding whether sex differences exist during these developmental stages.CUNY School of MedicineNIDA R25DA030310 (KYSR); NIMHHD (RCMI) - 8G12MD7603-27, 5G12RR003060-26 (KYSR); NIDA R25DA035161-01 (UA)
ValerieINSULIN RECEPTOR, GLUCOSE METABOLISM & HIV DEMENTIAPURPOSE: Previously we found that high levels of soluble insulin receptor (sIR) in the plasma of HIV-seropositive women were associated with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). Although we found evidence of cellular insulin resistance it is not clear if sir is associated with peripheral insulin resistance as determined by the homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index. In this study, we investigated if sIR is associated with HOMA-IR. METHODS: 50 HIV-seropositive women and 18 controls without history of diabetes were tested for oral glucose tolerance test (including fasting blood sugar [FBS] and insulin levels), glycosylated hemoglobin (HgA1c), HOMA-IR, and plasma sIR full-length. Participants were also evaluated for metabolic syndrome with blood pressure, anthropometric measures, and lipid profile. HAND was determined following the HAND nosology criteria. RESULTS: No significant differences were observed between controls and HIV-seropositive women stratified by HAND (normal cognition [18], asymptomatic impairment [ANI, 13], and symptomatic neurocognitive impairment [SNI, 19]) regarding age, BMI, HgA1c, insulin and FBS, and HOMA-IR. An association was observed between plasma Sir AND hand (P=0.003), where women with ANI Presented with higher levels. No Spearmen’s correlation was observed between plasma sIR and age, BMI, HIV RNA copies/mL, CD4 cell count, use of protease inhibitors, HgA1c, FBS, insulin levels, and HOMA-IR. CONCLUSION: Plasma sIR is not associated with standard measures of peripheral insulin resistance such as HOMA-IR. It is possible that the presence of plasma sIR levels and its association with hand is related to a chronic subclinical cellular insulin resistance.University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences CampusR21MH095524, R01NS099036, U54MD007587, G12MD007600
Food insecurity (FI) remains a significant risk factor in morbidity and mortality among children, which impacts malnutrition and protein deficiency. We aimed to examine FI prevalence in Delaware and to determine the association with overall health, quality of life, and resilience, and the racial variability therein.

A cross-sectional design with stratified random sampling was used, n=1,002. The prevalence of FI was obtained using frequency, percentage, and proportion. Logistic regression model was used to assess the effect of race and other potential confounding variables on FI.

FI was prevalent in 166 survey participants (16.6%, 95% CI 14.4-19.0). Blacks indicated the highest prevalence (22.0%, 95% CI 17.7-27.1), whites (13.1% 95% CI 10.3-16.4), multi-race (17.3%, 95% CI 10.4-27.3), and other (12.6%, 95% CI 7.2-21.1). FI was associated with overall health (1.68, 95% CI 0.98-2.87), quality of life (2.12, 95% CI 0.96-4.71), and resilience (2.33, 95% CI 1.63-3.34). After controlling for potential confoundings, the association of race/ethnicity with FI did not persist. Blacks compared to whites were 4% less likely to have FI, (adjusted OR (aOR) = 0.96, 99% CI 0.54-1.68), other 45% (aOR= 0.55, 99% CI 0.22-1.44), and multi-race 23% (aOR =0.77, 99% CI 0.31-1.90).

The prevalence of FI is relatively substantial in our sample and varies by race and ethnicity with black children more likely to be food insecure. Overall, children with FI demonstrated poor health outcomes, quality of life, and decreased vitality. These findings are indicative of racial and ethnic disparities, requiring intervention mapping.
Clinical and population based data have implicated social determinants in Behavioral and Mental Dysfunction (BMD). These implications are rare in pediatric environments. We aimed to assess a possible relationship between social determinants and predisposition to BMD, as well as racial/ethnic variability.

An atypical case/non-case design, using data extracted from the 2011/2012 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) (n = 95,677) and ages 0-17 years were used. Chi-square statistic was used to assess the independence between BMD and the study variables: social determinants and demographics. To determine the social determinant exposure effect on BMD, logistic regression was used.

BMD prevalence was 7.12% in the sample with BMD predisposition higher among blacks and multi-race, intermediate among whites, and lowest among Hispanics. Compared to whites, Hispanics were 16% less likely, blacks 7% more likely, and multi-race 99% more likely to be diagnosed with BMD. Children with parks and playgrounds were 16% less likely to be diagnosed with BMD (OR=0.84, 95% CI, 0.78-0.91). Those in fourth quartile income households were 50% less likely to develop BMD compared to first quartile income households (OR=0.50, 95%CI, 0.46-0.54). After controlling for potential confoundings, compared to whites, Hispanics were 32% less likely to be diagnosed with BMD (adjusted OR (aOR) = 0.68, 99% CI, 0.53-0.87), and likewise blacks and multi-race were 32% and 14% less likely, respectively.

There were racial/ethnicity variabilities in BMD, which did not persist after controlling for social determinants. Additionally, BMD was influenced by the physical environment and neighborhood factors.
VernonEXERCISE ON MOOD AND EEG ASYMMETRY IN AFRICAN AMERICANSMental health problems in African Americans is 20% higher than the general population, and exercise among non-African Americans has been observed to improve mental health. Purpose: This study aimed to quantify the magnitude of mood responses and EEG asymmetry to either acute exercise or quiet rest among young adult African-American women and men. Methods: Subjects consisted of 8 women (mean ± SD; age = 20.8 ± 0.8 yr) and 8 men (21.1 ± 0.6 yr). Profile of Mood States total disturbance score (feelings of tension, depression, vigor, fatigue, anger, and confusion) and prefrontal EEG asymmetry values were randomly measured following cycle ergometry exercise at 60% peak oxygen uptake for 30 minutes or seated rest. Asymmetry for the alpha, beta, delta, theta, and gamma frequency bands were extracted in the prefrontal areas of the brain cortex (Fp1 –Fp2), using an Atlantis II EEG acquisition system. Results: Total mood disturbance measure between exercise and control conditions were statistically significant in females (34 ± 8.4 vs. 12.8 ± 7.5, p=0.02), with no observed differences in males. EEG asymmetry bands for alpha, beta, delta, gamma, and theta waves were not affected by exercise. Conclusion: A positive effect of acute moderate aerobic exercise was observed on psychological, perceptual responses in African-American women, with no improvement in males. Most plausibly, improve mood response after a single bout of aerobic exercise is not modulate by prefrontal asymmetry. Future research should confirm findings and determine mechanism(s) of gender sex-related differences in mood response to exercise in African Americans.Howard UniversityThis work was supported in part by grant 2G12RR003048 from the RCMI Program, Division of Research Infrastructure, National Center for Research Resources, NIH, and Howard Univ. COAS Honor's Program
VictoriaTRAINING FUTURE PEDIATRIC RESEARCHERS AND CLINICIANSPURPOSE: Training biomedical and clinical students with various degrees of research and clinical experience, and with a wide range of career trajectories, can be difficult. We describe the successes of the pipeline program developed by the Pediatric Clinical and Translational Research Unit (PCTRU) at Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM); this program is driven by collaborative and team science, coupled with close mentoring, in an effort to expand the pool of the physician and non-physician trainees to carry out evidence based research in areas for which there are pediatric health disparities. This program serves as a potential model for other academic medical institutions.
METHODS: The PCTRU accepts motivated students to train in research methods, and clinical practice: essential components to conduct clinical and translational research in pediatrics. The program assesses trainees’ clinical and research experience, and employs a trainee-centered approach to orient them quickly, but effectively, to the fundamentals of successfully conducting pediatric research.
RESULTS: In 6.5 years (4 years informally and 2.5 years formally), 20 students have received some degree of training. Students came from a variety of educational backgrounds and degrees (undergraduate, medical and graduate students; resident physicians) and with a variety of interests. Students that participated in the program went on to complete their training in clinical- or research-based fields.
DISCUSSION: Hands-on experience and tailored mentoring in a team environment are an asset to medical schools with learners at different stages. This model is an effective way to meet students’ needs to develop successful clinical and research careers.
Morehouse School of Medicine
VictoriaBreak the Cycle of Children’s Health DisparitiesPURPOSE: Children who live in poor communities are more likely to be exposed to environmental hazards and less likely to have access to quality health care and a good education. Consequently, they become trapped in the Cycle of Environmental Health Disparities.
METHODS: Break the Cycle of Health Disparities, Inc.(BCHD) has partnered with Region 4 Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSU) to establish a program called Break the Cycle of Children’s Environmental Health Disparities. This is an interdisciplinary research and training program that encourages and inspires university students to develop creative projects that will reduce or prevent environmental health related illnesses of vulnerable children who live in poor communities. At the completion of the project, the students report the results of their findings at a national conference and in an international journal.
RESULTS: Since its inception in 2004, there have been 12 annual programs with over 100 students. The students’ papers have been published in 9 journal supplements and 9 books. In a survey conducted in 2012, the students reported a positive experience from their participation, enhanced knowledge and insights in children’s environmental health disparities. For many, the experience was defining for their careers. Furthermore, the student projects have generated interest in pursuing further projects on community engagement.
DISCUSSION: Break the Cycle offers a readily replicable and reasonably inexpensive model for exploring children’s environmental health disparities within the community context, and in cultivating future leaders who will continue making positive difference for the health of children, their families and their communities.
Morehouse School of Medicine
VictoriaPREVENTING CLABSIS: THE INFECTION PREVENTIONISTS’ VIEWSPURPOSE: Health-care associated infections (HAIs) are of growing concern in the field of infection prevention, as they affect millions of patients around the world each year. Finding effective solutions to the causes of HAIs, that are acceptable to Health Care Workers (HCWs) is a priority.
METHODS: Our team surveyed a cohort of health care workers and infection preventionists at an annual infection control meeting to gain insight on their perspective on preventing central-line associated blood stream infections. We offered multiple choice and open-ended questions to the ninety-seven respondents and used a mixed-methods approach to analyze the responses
RESULTS: We found that bundles for central line placement was the most popular response when asked ways to prevent Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSIs) is the most effective and cleaning the line components was a common theme when asked about issues that effected central line sterility.
DISCUSSION: Future research should be conducted to find a system to prevent CLABSIs that meets the needs of the hospital staff in charge of patient well-being.
Morehouse School of MedicinePHS Grant 8R25MD007589-10, from the Clinical and Translational Science Award program, NIH, NIMHD; PHS Grant UL1TR000454 as part of the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute; NIH, NCATS; Grant 8G12MD007602 from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities; and Grant Number G12-RR03034.
VivekIDENTIFICATION OF ZIKA VIRUS ANTIBODIES IN CORD BLOODThe re-emergence of Zika Virus (ZIKV) has caused global concern due to recent outbreaks and links to the development of severe congenital defects, including hydrocephaly and microcephaly, and aberrant autoimmune responses. Currently there are no licensed vaccines or treatments for ZIKV disease. Antigenic similarities between flaviviruses, such as dengue virus (DENV) and ZIKV, results in cross-reactivity and poses challenges for definitive ZIKV laboratory diagnosis. There are no commercially available serological kits to detect the presence of anti-ZIKV antibody in cord blood samples. In this study, we investigated archived cord blood samples collected between 2009 and 2015 from mothers previously confirmed for ZIKV infection (PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Dec 20;10(12):e0005262) and gave birth in Hawaii to neonates with microcephaly. We evaluated the diagnostic performance of anti-ZIKV IgM and IgG ELISAs based on recombinant ZIKV non-structural protein 1 (NS1). The serology for ZIKV IgM and IgG was assessed in cord blood and mother’s plasma by the commercially available Euroimmun anti-ZIKV NS1 IgM and IgG ELISA. The ELISA results were compared to ZIKV, DENV-1 and DENV-2 plaque reduction neutralization test 80 (PRNT80) antibody titers. Euroimmun anti-ZIKV NS1 IgG assay was highly sensitive and specific for the detection of anti-ZIKV IgG in the cord blood of neonates born to mothers with ZIKV infection, which was further confirmed by ZIKV PRNT. High cross-reactivity with DENV was not detected in these samples. This is the first study to investigate the use of a commercially available ZIKV ELISA kit using cord blood samples. These data suggest that Euroimmun anti-ZIKV NS1 IgG assay could be used to confirm cases of ZIKV-associated microcephaly in the context of a maternal primary ZIKV infection at time of birth in the neonate’s cord blood. Additionally, this data demonstrating the detection of ZIKV antibody in cord blood of neonates born with microcephaly combined with previously published data on presence of ZIKV antibodies in their mothers, attests to the presence of ZIKV positive cases associated with microcephaly in the United States as early as 2009.University of HawaiiRMATRIX, RCMI, COBRE
VivekSCHLAFEN4 IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF FLAVIVIRUS ENCEPHALITISMembers of flavivirus genus are the most important arthropod-borne viruses causing disease in humans. This genus includes West Nile virus (WNV) and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) that are the leading causes of arboviral encephalitis in the United States and worldwide. No effective therapies exist for treating individuals with encephalitic flavivirus infections, and pathogenesis of flavivirus encephalitis is not completely understood. Schlafen4 (SLFN4) is a poorly characterized but important member of the Schlafen family that includes several mouse and human genes. Recently we demonstrated that SLFN4 is required for WNV replication in primary mouse embryonic fibroblasts. Herein, we used newly developed SLFN4-deficient mice (SLFN4-/-) and an established murine model of WNV and JEV to determine the in vivo role of SLFN4 in flavivirus pathogenesis. After subcutaneous inoculation with 100 plaque forming units (PFU) of WNV, SLFN4-/- mice exhibited significantly higher survival percentage than wild-type (WT) mice. Increased survival in SLFN4-/- mice was associated with significantly reduced viral burden in serum, spleen, kidney and brain compared to WT mice. Thus, the absence of SLFN4 caused decreased WNV replication and dissemination after subcutaneous inoculation. Moreover, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the serum, spleen and brain were significantly reduced in SLFN4-/- mice compared to WT mice. Similarly, after subcutaneous inoculation with 1,000 PFU of JEV, SLFN4-/- mice exhibited significantly higher survival percentage than WT mice. Collectively our data for the first time indicate the novel role of SLFN4 in flavivirus replication and pathogenesis. This study provides new insight into a novel host factor for flavivirus replication and dissemination, and thus will have a significant impact on the development of much-needed therapeutic interventions that will reduce virus spread and improve disease outcome.University of Hawaii at ManoaNINDS/R21; NIGMS/COBRE
Cardiovascular disease is one of the main health problems in Puerto Rico. Permanent Pacemaker (PPM) are known to be beneficial. However, as most procedures, its therapeutic success depends on the patient’s acceptance. A brief interview was made at an Interventional Cardiologist Office located at Centro Cardiovascular de Puerto Rico y del Caribe.
Ninety-two patients were chosen based on medical record and then a list was provided to potential subjects, only 67 completed the interview. Patients were classified among six groups based on implantation time (2001-2016). The interview was guided by a short survey composed of three parts: Demographics, Positive/Negative Aspects, and 16 questions which 14 were adapted from a previous study.
Overall results revealed that most patients adapted to PPM in less than a month and had not suffered an overall negative impact. However, pacemakers were the second condition considered as a major life impact, preceded by none. Nonetheless, pacemakers provided better compliance and were perceived as an enhancer of security and health. However, PPM did not promote healthy eating habits nor increased physical activity.
Stratified results for cohort showed statistical significance in the involvement of a supportive group and individual independence. The following aspect showed marginal statistical significance: awareness about cardiovascular disease, life extension perception, and worthiness. Although not statistically significant, we found clinical importance in the following: depression, psychiatric help consideration, physical activity, work, economy, and positive impact on security and health.
We conclude that some aspect of pacemaker adaptation is dependent of the time span since implantation.
University of Puerto Rico School of MedicineThis study was supported by the UPR School of Medicine Endowed Health Services Research Center, Awards Number 5S21MD000242 and 5S21MD000138 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NCMHD or NIH
Puerto Rico, as well as worldwide, has a high incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Permanent pacemakers are known to be beneficial for many patients with cardiovascular diseases; however, it is not known if the permanent pacemaker implantation (PPM) has a physiological impact after its placement. A retrospective medical record was made at an Interventional Cardiologist Office located at Centro Cardiovascular de Puerto Rico y del Caribe to compare clinical and laboratory indicators before and after PPM.
One-hundred and two records of patients receiving a permanent pacemaker during the period 2000-2014 were reviewed. Clinical indicators and laboratory test results were collected the year before and the year after PPM.
We use standard values and laboratory reference to flag the results as normal, high, and low. In case that a year before/after was unavailable, we used the next available year, up to five years. Descriptive statistics and comparison between groups were done using paired t-test and Pearson Chi-square. P-values below 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Only four laboratory indicators showed significant improvements: BUN, FBS/glucose, glomerular filtration rate and triglycerides. Five laboratory indicators showed significant negative changes: T7, TSH, hemoglobin, glucose, and AST. No significant differences were found in other clinical indicators.
We conclude that permanent pacemaker implantation may cause several positive and negative physiological changes in patients with cardiovascular disease. Further studies are necessary to assess the impact of these changes.
University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras CampusThis study was supported by the UPR School of Medicine Endowed Health Services Research Center, Awards Number 5S21MD000242 and 5S21MD000138 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NCMHD or NIH
VladimirNOVEL DESIGN OF SUPERPARAMAGNETIC THERANOSTIC AGENTSPURPOSE: to facilitate early cancer diagnostics by developing novel superparamagnetic theranostic agents that can be used for solving multiple biomedical tasks such as positive and negative MRI imaging and cell or biomolecule labeling.
METHODS: Our central hypothesis is that the universal magnetic imaging agents can be obtained from iron oxide nanoparticles by tuning the mechanisms of their interaction with biological media. We are developing the nanoparticles with hydrodynamic diameter 20-30 nm with improved pharmacokinetics. Targeted nanoparticulate adduct is composed of ultrasmall (3-5 nm) iron oxide core coated with non-polymeric organic shell which is functionalized for bioconjugation.
RESULTS: Oligomeric capping ligands with tunable structure, and steric and amphiphilic properties were synthesized based on 2-hydroxyisophthalic acid with a short-chain oligoethylene glycol or oligoglycerol substituent. We used their high binding capacity to metal oxide surfaces for constructing the adducts with ultrasmall (3-5 nm) iron oxide nanoparticles stable in aqueous solutions. Cytotoxicity studies on several substituted derivatives of 2-hydroxyisophthalic acid showed no viability reduction of HeLa cells.
DISCUSSION/CONCLUSIONS: Small-molecule ligand-linkers developed in this project will minimize the interaction of the nanoparticulate agent with proteins in blood, which would increase its stability and influence the mechanisms of the particles’ passing through biological barriers, including vascular system, tissues and cellular membranes, and their clearance from the body. In turn, these mechanisms would control passive targeting properties of the agent. The ligands-linkers developed in this project contain reactive terminal groups to be used for the grafting of the targeting ligands for specific receptors on the tumorous cells.
Xavier UniversityNIH RCMI 2G12MD007595-06; Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium
VonnieEXPLAINING NEURONS AND THE BRAIN TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDSPURPOSE: Understanding the structure and function of neurons and the brain is fundamental in gaining an appreciation of how we think and how the brain works. Science literacy is an important factor and first step in overcoming health disparities. Students from a Baltimore elementary school participated in a STEM-based science fair. Students visited numerous expositions and were presented with different hands-on activities in all areas of the STEM disciplines.
METHODS: The children participated in small groups consisting of 4-10 participants. Each activity lasted for 5-10 minutes. Two of the booths were entitled “Building Models of Neurons Using Edible Items” and “How Does it Feel to Hold a Human Brain in Your Hands?” The first exposition engaged the children by exposing them to build neurons using food items. Using plastic neuron models helped to reinforce concepts and to assist the children in learning appropriate neuronal terminology and function. At the second exposition, children handled plastinated human brains and life-size brain models and learned the names of the different brain lobes, as well as general functions housed in these areas. Following both presentations, the children were asked general questions about the material to assess their level of comprehension.
RESULTS & DISCUSSION: These expositions are two-way streets for communicating and learning about neuroscience. Neuroscience professionals, who participate in these activities, change their perceptions of how to teach children about neuroscience and to communicate science more effectively to the general public, thereby improving neuroscience education and general science literacy for children using fun activities.
Towson UniversitySupport Contributed By: NSF MRI-1626326 (VDCS), NSF IOS-1355034 (TH), & St. Paul’s Lower School (ND)
VonnieLEVEL UP VILLAGE GLOBAL DOCTORS ANATOMY SEMINARSPURPOSE: Third grade students at St. Paul’s Lower School participated in a one week “Level Up Village (LUV) - Global Doctors: Anatomy Project Seminar Series.” Global science literacy is critical in reducing health disparities. Seminars were given in the “Discovery Center.” Here, students participate in problem based learning and respond to complex questions, problems, and challenges.
METHODS: In the LUV series, grade three parent volunteers, with training in health or biologically-related disciplines, were selected to deliver organ and systems presentations. Students exchanged video messages with global student partners in developing countries and shared what they had learned. A video of each presentation was disseminated to the global partner school.
RESULTS & DISCUSSION: We chose the topic, “reflexes,” to explain to students how the nervous system works. We used two activities to measure reflexes and reaction time. In one activity, each student wore goggles. A lightweight object was thrown toward his/her eyes. Each student was asked not to blink to suppress the eye-blink reflex. A second activity measured each student’s response time. A long ruler was held by its end, displaying the highest number, and then dropped without warning. Each student was asked to catch it. The time that the ruler was caught was recorded as the response time. The specific location on the ruler where it was caught was measured in inches or centimeter and this distance was converted into a reaction time. These activities helped students to understand the neural connections that mediate reflexes and responses to sensory input.
Towson UniversitySupport Contributed By: Support Contributed By: NSF IOS-1355034 (TH), NSF MRI-1626326 (VDCS), & St. Paul’s Lower School (MCM)
VonnieBIOLOGICAL ODORANTS ELICTING ATTRACTION IN AN INSECT MODELPURPOSE: Olfaction is a necessary component of vertebrate and invertebrate physiology. Many animals use their sense of smell in food finding, oviposition, and mate choice. The insect olfactory system is a prominent model in neuroscience for addressing how animals detect, encode, and process olfactory stimuli. The present study investigated the effect of biological odorants in eliciting attraction in the house cricket, Acheta domesticus. These crickets are omnivorous scavengers and their diet selection parallels that of humans. Subsequently, these insects can contaminate foods with their feces. This raises concerns about resulting foodborne illnesses associated with microbial pathogens or food contaminants, creating serious health concerns in developing and developed countries.
METHODS: This study employed the use of a glass Y-tube to test odorant preferences in a behavioral bioassay. We determined if selected naturally occurring odorants elicited walking behavior toward the odorant source (i.e., anemotaxis). We tested the behavior of adult crickets using dead crickets as odorant sources that were collected at different time intervals post death (e.g., 12 h, 24 h, 36 h, etc.).
RESULTS & DISCUSSION: Our results indicated that biologically attractive odorants were emitted post death. By identifying the peak time frame at which the attractive effect was observed, we hope to be able to identify the specific odorants that are responsible for the attractive effect using gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy. Odorants from dead insects may serve as olfactory attractants in the development of insect traps to prevent pest infestation.
Towson UniversitySupport Contributed By: NSF MRI-1626326 (VDCS); GSA Research Award (JS); FCSM Undergraduate Research Grant (LH, KB)
WenshengDRIVER GENE MUTATION BASED CLUSTERING OF TUMORSPURPOSE Somatic mutations in proto-oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes constitute a major category of causal genetic abnormalities in tumor cells. The mutation spectra of thousand tumors have been generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and other whole genome sequencing projects. This study aims to improve personalized cancer treatment by leveraging these resources to identify genetic similarity-based subtypes within a cancer type as well as relate the pinpointed subtypes to the clinical characteristics of patients.
METHOD We proposed two novel methods for mutation-based clustering of tumors. In the former, binary variables indicating the status of cancer driver genes in tumors and the genes’ involvement in core cancer pathways are treated as features in the clustering process. In the latter, the functional similarities of assumed cancer driver genes and their confidence scores as the “true” driver genes are integrated with the mutation spectra to calculate the genetic distance between tumors.
RESULTS We applied the proposed methods to modeling the TCGA data of 16 cancer types. Promising results were obtained when the proposed methods were compared to state-of-the-art approaches regarding the associations between the determined tumor clusters and patient race or survival time. We further extended the analysis to detect mutation-characterized transcriptomic prognostic signatures.
DISCUSSION Due to the varied carcinogenic mechanisms, not a single clustering method could outpe