Loma Linda Linda University last month received two grants of more than 2 million dollars combined from the National Institutes of Health or NIH. NIH is the largest biomedical and public health research agency in the world. The agency has given Loma Linda University nearly 40 million dollars for research over the past decades.
The most recent grant was given to researchers within the University's School of Medicine. The 1.7-million dollars from NIH will fund a team's efforts to create treatment for hydrocephalus. The condition, also called "water on the brain" is the buildup of excessive cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and can lead to irreversible damage. It can be caused by injury or disease, but many cases are seen among premature infants.
The money from NIH will fund research using fetal rat brains to study whether mechanisms that produce cerebrospinal fluid can be manipulated.
The university also received 1.4-million dollars last month for researchers of its School of Public Health. The funds will go toward developing research methods for enhancing the effectiveness of tobacco control programs in East Asia.
Researchers will create a survey to analyze the capacity for tobacco control in Cambodia, Laos and Mongolia. The countries were chosen because they signed the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Treaty. The treaty focuses on patterns of tobacco sales and use. The countries agreed to place significantly higher taxes on cigarettes to discourage teenagers and average users from buying them.
According to Doctor Pramil Singh the principal investigator for the grant, nearly half the male population in Cambodia, Laos and Mongolia are smokers. Singh is also the director for the University's Center for Health Research. He and his colleagues will develop mobile applications for 33 tobacco control scientists and their staff. Researchers will ask smokers for permission to photograph the tax stamps on their cigarette packets and geo-code the location of where the cigarettes were purchased. [photo: Alex Slatter]