Sixteen medical research projects will benefit from nearly $340,000 in seed funding from the Rhode Island Foundation. The grants are intended to further study of Lyme disease, diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and cancer, among other disorders and conditions.
Foundation funding for the projects is expected to help researchers win larger funding from national sources. Some 20 internal endowments provided the funds for this latest round of grants. Since 2008, the foundation has awarded nearly $2.5 million for medical research seed funding, according to a media release.
“We are grateful that our generous donors provide the crucial source of seed funding that enables local researchers to pursue promising medical advances,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the foundation’s president and CEO. “Our hope is that their successes will bring about healthier lives as well as a healthier economy.”
Among the recipients of seed funding:
— Lifespan’s Miriam Hospital, awarded $16,000 for “Defining Chronic Lyme Symptoms and Quality of Life to Develop Future Interventions,” led by scientist Sara Vargas.
“The search is underway to develop appropriate diagnostic tests and treatments for chronic Lyme; but, in the meantime, patients are suffering with debilitating symptoms. We’ll work with patients at Lifespan’s Lyme Disease Center to generate pilot data that will inform a framework for future behavioral interventions,” said Vargas.
— The University of Rhode Island, awarded $25,000 for “Correlations between Dietary Quality of Food Purchases and Diabetes Prevalence,” headed by Maya Vadiveloo, an assistant professor of nutrition and food sciences.
“Research has not explored the correlation between the dietary quality of household-level food purchases and the prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity,” said Vadiveloo. “Enhancing our ability to understand diet-disease relationships using routinely collected dietary data will enable us to develop appropriate interventions to reduce chronic disease burden in the U.S.”