Active Sponsored Awards

Jessie Bricker, OTD, OTR/L

Project Title: WUOT School-Based Scholars Program
Principal Investigator: Jessie Bricker, OTD, OTR/L
Funding Source: US Department of Education - Special Education - Personnel Development to Improve Services and Results for Children with Disabilities, H325R230056
Project Period: 10/1/23-9/30/28
Project Goals: The grant will fund the School-Based Scholars Program, designed to improve the recruitment and retention of diverse occupational therapy students while increasing competencies to serve children with high-intensity needs in school-based settings. The program will provide tuition remission to up to five scholars per year, who will take specific courses supporting career development and academic performance while they work with community partner schools serving marginalized K-12 students. Scholars who receive funding agree to work in special education or related services for two years for each year of support they receive. Data will be collected on scholars to measure program success and report outcomes until their service obligations are fulfilled or they are referred for repayment of funding received.


Chih-Hung Chang, PhD

Project Title: Developing a Measure of Trust in Crisis Mental Healthcare Services
Principal Investigator(s): Morgan Shields, PhD, Chih-Hung Chang, PhD, Karen Joynt Maddox, MD, MPH
Funding Source: WU Office of the Provost, Here and Next Program- Tier 1 Spark Funding: Proposal Development
Project Period: 01/01/2024-12/31/2024
Project Goals: We propose to build on the existing trust literature and on preliminary findings from the study team to develop a specialized measure of trust focused on emergency mental healthcare response and services, to be used for research purposes as well as for inner- and outer-organizational quality improvement efforts. This Spark Funding provides the resources necessary for us to assemble an advisory board, facilitate initial meetings, and develop a viable R21 initial grant application.

Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD, MSOT, OTR/L

Project Title: Smart Kitchen to Support Independence for People with Subjective Cognitive Decline.
Principal Investigator(s): Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD, MSOT, OTR/L, Chenyang Lu, PhD and Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
Funding Source: WU Office of the Provost, Here and Next Seed Grant- Tier 2 Interdisciplinary Project Funding
Project Period: 01/01/2024-12/31/2024
Project Goals: Combining the expertise of engineering and occupational therapy (OT), our cross-campus, interdisciplinary research team proposes a pilot, proof-of-concept project to develop an AI-based Smart Kitchen System to support independent living for individuals experiencing subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Aim 1. Acquire a high-quality dataset of digital videos of people performing and making errors on a Simple Cooking Task. Aim 2. Develop a Cognitive Performance Breakdown Recognizer and Adaptive Cueing Agent by training a deep learning model to correctly recognize performance missteps and couple them with supportive cues. Aim 3. Ascertain the characteristics of individuals who make errors on the Simple Cooking Task to understand who may benefit from assistive technology at home.

Project Title:
Schultz Lifestyle Profile Series

Principal Investigator: Lisa Tabor Connor, PhD, MSOT, OTR/L
Funding Source: Schultz Family Support Fund
Project Period: 5/09-present


Erin Foster, PhD, OTD, OTR/L

Project Title: Prospective memory impairment in Parkinson disease-related cognitive decline: Intervention and mechanisms
Principal Investigator: Erin Foster, PhD, OTD, OTR/L
Funding Source: NIH/NIA R01AG065214
Project Period: 09/15/2020-05/31/2025
Project Goals: The long term goal of this research is to reduce disability, improve quality of life, and delay dementia onset among people with Parkinson disease (PD) by enabling them to cope with cognitive decline to maintain daily function. The primary objective of the current project is to determine the efficacy of a mechanistically-targeted strategy training intervention on prospective memory among people with PD-related mild cognitive impairment (PDMCI). It is a single-blind randomized controlled trial comparing the effects of strategy training to the traditional process training approach on objective laboratory prospective memory performance (Aim 1) and reported everyday prospective memory function (Aim 2). Additional objectives of the current project are to investigate neural mechanisms of prospective memory impairment in PD (Aim 3) and neural and behavioral predictors of prospective memory training response (Aim 4). This project leverages participants, data and infrastructure from an existing longitudinal cohort of PD and control participants to evaluate short-term and long-term training effects, neurobiological mechanisms, and predictors of treatment response.

Project Title: Brain Health Across the Metabolic Continuum in Youth at Risk for T2D
Principal Investigator: Tamara Hershey, PhD (WU)
OT Investigator: Erin Foster, PhD, OTD, OTR/L
Funding Source: US NIH/NIDDK R01DK126826
Project Period: 9/11/21-6/30/26

Project Title: Understanding Engagement in Research, Clinical Care, and Community Services Among People of Color with Parkinson Disease
Principal Investigator:
Erin Foster, PhD, OTD, OTR/L
Funding Source: 
American Parkinson Disease Association
Project Period:
9/1/22-8/31/24
Project Goals:
In this qualitative study, we will use a community and patient engaged research process with a socioecological perspective (working with the St. Louis APDA and other key community stakeholders) to understand the reasons for underrepresentation among Black and African American people with PD in research, clinical care, and community services in the St. Louis area.

Project Title: The Black and African American Connections to Parkinson's Disease
Principal Investigators: Erin Foster, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, and Scott A. Norris, MD
Funding Source: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
Project Period: 1/1/24-12/31/24
Project Goals: To increase representation of Black and African American genetic data in the GP2 data repository, where researchers can utilize this data to discover greater understanding of PD.


Kelly Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP

Project Title: Improving Student Mental and Behavioral Health in High-Poverty Schools: A Community-based Participatory Research Project
Principal Investigator(s): Jason Jabbari, PhD, and Kelly Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP
Funding Source: WU Office of the Provost, Here and Next Program- Tier 2 Interdisciplinary Project Funding
Project Period: 01/01/2024-12/31/2024
Project Goals: Identify current health service offerings and resources, as well as barriers and facilitators to utilization, across school, district, and neighborhood contexts; Understand how student socio-demographic, academic, and health characteristics are associated with barriers and facilitators to health service and resource utilization.

Project Title: Addressing Environmental Triggers for Youth with High-Risk Asthma: A Pilot Study
Principal Investigator: Kelly Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP
Funding Source: The Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity at WU in St. Louis Seed Grant Program
Project Period: 07/01/2024-06/30/2025
Project Goals: Asthma is the most common chronic condition affecting youth and disproportionately impacting Black youth and children living in poverty. Interventions that reduce asthma triggers in the home have been shown to significantly improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare utilization, and improve health equity; however these interventions are under-implemented among vulnerable populations due to social and economic contextual barriers. The objectives of this study are to (1) to refine the conceptual model for Asthma HOME, an intervention targeting asthma management through environmental modifications and (2) to pilot Asthma HOME components to determine feasibility, effectiveness, and optimization criteria to inform a future optimization trial.


Catherine Hoyt, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Project Title: Perinatal Arterial Stroke: A Multi-site RCT of Intensive Infant Rehabilitation (I-ACQUIRE) "Study"
Principal Investigators: Warren David Lo, M.D. and Sharon Landesman Ramey, PhD at the University of Cincinnati on behalf of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State Univ, dba Virgina Tech
WU Co-Principal Investigator: Alyssa E. Smith, M.D. Asst Professor of Neurology
OT Co-Principal Investigator: Catherine Hoyt, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Funding Source: DHHS NIH U01NS106655
Project Period: 05/01/2021-01/31/2025
Project Goals: The I-ACQUIRE Trial is a rigorous, adequately powered, multi-site randomized controlled trial comparing 2 dosages of a pediatric rehabilitation - known as Infant ACQUIRE - to Usual and Customary treatment (U&CT). The specific aims are: 1) Primary: Determine the efficacy of I-ACQUIRE at 2 dosage levels compared to U&CT to increase upper extremity skills on the hemiparetic side (using a minimal clinically meaningful threshold that is achieved at end of treatment and 6 mos later); 2) Secondary: Determine the efficacy of I- ACQUIRE at 2 dosage levels compared to U&CT to improve use of the hemiparetic upper extremity as an “assisting hand” in bimanual activities; and 3) Exploratory: Explore the association between I-ACQUIRE treatment at Moderate and/or High Doses and the infant's gross motor development and cognition (i.e., potential cross-domain effects of treatment).
 
Project Title: Expanding Access to Early Intervention (EI) Services in Missouri
Principal Investigator: Catherine Hoyt, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Funding Source: Missouri Foundation for Health
Project Period: 8/1/22-7/31/24
Project Goals: This project aims to generate change on various levels: a) for children with indicators of developmental delay during screening, the project will create a referral toolkit that includes a ready to submit “informal clinical opinion form” for EI to support their qualification for services; b) for EI leadership and FQHC staff, the project will raise awareness of racial disparities and challenges faced by families living with SCD and anticipate that these relationships will lead to further collaboration to enhance services for families with young children with SCD in the St. Louis region and more broadly in MO; c) at the organizational and system level, this project will implement a pilot screening and referral program that provides linkage between our community partners (EI and a local FQHC), identify strategies to address implementation barriers, and provide guidance on how to best help children qualify for EI services; d) at the policy level, the project will also gather meaningful information to generate change to expand EI eligibility criteria.

 

Project Title: Early Identification Of Developmental Delay Among Infants And Toddlers With Sickle Cell Disease
Principal Investigator: Catherine Hoyt, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Funding Source: NIH/NHLBI K23HL161328
Project Period: 7/1/23-6/30/28
Project Goals: The goal of the proposed study is to determine the incidence and severity of developmental deficit at 9, 18 and 30 months of with sickle cell disease and test a 12-month, home-based caregiver intervention with this disproportionately affected population. Aim 1. Determine incidence and severity of developmental delay in children with SCD compared to peers (n=100). Aim 2. Evaluate effects of monthly caregiver driven intervention over 1 year for children with SCD (n=25). Aim 3. Identify contextual determinants (i.e., facilitators and barriers) related to implementing a home-based caregiver intervention.

Project Title: Implementation of Science for Pediatric CIMT
Principal Investigator: Sharon L. Ramey, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
OT Investigator: Catherine Hoyt, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Funding Source: NIH
Project Period: 8/1/23-7/31/24
Project Goals: Given the established efficacy of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) and the urgency to implement this effective intervention for all eligible children, the proposed study will 1) systematically analyze the extent to which CIMT is being provided around the United States, and 2) describe what adaptations to standard protocols are necessary to increase uptake of CIMT as standard care for children with HCP. The long-term goal of this research is to increase the availability of CIMT for children with HCP. The purpose of this study is to use a rigorous implementation science methodology to understand the current landscape of CIMT and perceived determinants of implementation.

Project Title: From Theory to Practice: A Scoping Review of Implementation Strategies in Pediatric Rehabilitation
Principal Investigator: Catherine Hoyt, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Funding Source: WU Institute of Public Health, Center for Dissemination and Implementation, Conceptual and Methodological Review (CAM) Funding Program
Project Period: 10/15/23-10/14/24
Project Goals: The goal of this study is to complete a scoping and realist review to understand how and why complex interventions work in clinical practice. The objective of this review is to assess the breadth of implementation strategies that have been deployed in the context of pediatric rehabilitation. This review serves as a first step towards (a) understanding what strategies have been used to promote the uptake of pediatric rehabilitation research findings and (b) applying a realist review methodology to understand how to replicate effective implementation in pediatric rehabilitation care settings.

Project Title: Strengthening Academic and Community Partnerships for Sustainable Support for Families with Children Affected by Sickle Cell Disease
Principal Investigator: Catherine Hoyt, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Funding Source: WU Center for Community Health Partnership & Research’s (CCHPR) ‘Partnership Development & Sustainability Support (PDSS) Funding Program’ supported by the WU Institute of Public Health (IPH) and the WU Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) through the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) UL1TR002345 award.
Project Period: 03/01/2024-02/28/2025
Project Goals: With funding from the PDSS award in 2023, we were able to identify and establish a partnership between the Washington University Program in Occupational Therapy, pediatric providers at CareSTL, a local federally qualified health center chain, and the St. Louis Sickle Cell Association. After months of regular meetings, we conducted a focus group for the next steps. Partners identified that continuing to meet monthly and having a formal opportunity to connect in person and learn about community services for sickle cell care are the top priorities. This 2024 PDSS funding enables us to meet these goals.


Brian Johnson, PhD, OTR/L

Project Title: Using Mobile Health Technology to Assess Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy
Principal Investigator(s): Jacob Greenberg, MD, MSCI, Caitlin Kelleher, PhD, and Brian Johnson, PhD, OTR/L
Funding Source: WU Office of the Provost, Here and Next Program- Tier 2 Interdisciplinary Project Funding
Project Period: 01/01/2024-12/31/2024
Project Goals: 1)Develop a working prototype of a customized mobile application to support both degenerative cervical myelopathy assessments and rehabilitation efforts. 2) Evaluate the usability and feasibility of a prototype mobile application to objectively classify degenerative cervical myelopathy severity. 3)Evaluate the feasibility of using a novel mobile application to monitor degenerative cervical myelopathy disease severity and support perioperative rehabilitation.

Project Title:
TRACK-DCM: a smartphone application for precision assessments of degenerative cervical myelopathy
Principal Investigator(s):
Jacob Greenberg, MD, MSCI
OT Investigator(s):
Brian Johnson, PhD, OTR/L
Funding Source:
Missouri Spinal Cord Injury/Disease Research Program (SCIDRP)
Project Period:
03/1/24-2/28/25
Project Goals:
Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) poses a substantial health challenge in aging population with surgical intervention being the only evidence-based treatment for DCM. However, the decision to undergo surgery and the ability to evaluate surgical outcomes are both hindered by the lack of reliable tools to accurately classify and monitor DCM severity. By leveraging the widespread availability of smartphone technology, this proposal aims to develop and evaluate a mobile application (TRACK-DCM) to both support precision assessments of DCM severity and provide a platform for supporting perioperative rehabilitation.

Jessica Kersey, PhD, OTR/L

Project Title: Addressing Disparities in Social Determinants of Health among People with Disabilities
Principal Investigator:  Jessica Kersey, PhD, OTR/L
Funding Source: Missouri Foundation for Health
Project Period:
12/01/23-11/30/24
Project Goals: This project aims to identify the social and community factors that affect the health and participation of people with disabilities and seek their input on unmet rehabilitation needs and priorities. We will use these findings to strengthen a Chronic Care Model relevant to community-based rehabilitation services.

Project Title:
Enhancing Equity in Community-Based Brain Injury Support Services
Principal Investigator:
Jessica Kersey, PhD, OTR/L
Funding Source:
The Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity at WU in St. Louis Scholar Grant Program
Project Period:
07/01/2024-06/30/2025
Project Goals:
Community-based traumatic brain injury (TBI) support services can improve long-term quality of life, but there are race-based disparities in access to and use of these services. In this study, we will examine the current sources of community and social support used by Black TBI survivors, barriers to accessing TBI-specific supports, and priorities in community support needs. The results of this study will guide future efforts to either reduce barriers to accessing existing programs or generate new programs that better meet the needs and priorities of Black TBI survivors.

Project Title:
Developing a New Community Partnership to Address the Needs of People with Chronic Brain Injury
Principal Investigator:
Jessica Kersey, PhD, OTR/L
Funding Source:
WU Center for Community Health Partnership & Research’s (CCHPR) ‘Partnership Development & Sustainability Support (PDSS) Funding Program’ supported by the WU Institute of Public Health (IPH) and the WU Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS) through the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) UL1TR002345 award.
Project Period:
03/01/2024-02/28/2025
Project Goals:
This award supports the development of a new community partnership between Jessica Kersey, new investigator-track faculty at Washington University’s Program in Occupational Therapy, and the Brain Injury Association of Missouri. This partnership will focus on collaborative research to improve health, participation, and quality of life among people living in the community with a brain injury. We aim to establish shared research objectives, including short- and long-term plans, identify guiding principles for our collaboration, solicit stakeholder feedback on our research plans, and develop infrastructure to support research activities.

Kerri Morgan, PhD, OTR/L, ATP

Project Title: Wheelchair User Physical Activity Training Intervention to Enhance Cardiometabolic Health (WATCH): A Community-Based Randomized Control Trial
Principal Investigator: Kerri Morgan, PhD, OTR/L, ATP
Funding Source: NIH/NICHD R01HD111022
Project Period: 2/1/23-1/31/28
Project Goals: Low levels of physical activity (PA) are common in Wheelchair users (WU) due to physical disability. WU are also at greater risk for obesity and cardiometabolic health-related diseases compared to the general population. This study proposes a hybrid I randomized controlled trial to test the cardiometabolic effects of a tailored intensity-controlled physical activity training (IPAT) intervention compared to education and access to a community-based accessible gym (EA). Aim #1: To compare the effectiveness of the IPAT to EA on cardiorespiratory fitness, vascular function, and body composition. Aim #2: To identify barriers and facilitators to WU engaging in PA at a community-based, accessible gym. Aim #3: To examine the mediators (e.g., self-efficacy) and moderators (e.g. age, race, duration of disability) of the expected intervention effect to understand differences in physiologic response.

Dr. Morgan would like to acknowledge her research team who have supported and are a part of this grant: Kim Walker, OTD, OTR/L, ATP;  Sue Tucker,OTD, OTR/L, ATP; Carla Walker, OTD, OTR/L, ATP; Rachel Heeb Desai, OTD;  Yan Yan, MD, PhD; Todd Cade (Co-I),  PT, PhD; Joe Klaesner, MS, PhD; and Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH.

Community Partner: Paraquad

Project Title: Disabilities in Missouri: Identifying Current Practices and Future Strategies
Principal Investigator: Kerri Morgan, PhD, OTR/L, ATP
Funding Source: Missouri Foundation for Health’s Opportunity Fund
Project Period: 9/1/23-8/31/24
Total Award: This project will identify strategies to improve physical activity services for persons with mobility disabilities (PwMD) through education and resource referral during the transition from rehabilitation to the community.

Project Title: Reaching Persons with Spinal Cord Injury with Important Health Information Through a Text-Messaging Intervention: Adaptation and Pilot Study
Principal Investigator: Kerri Morgan, PhD, OTR/L, ATP
Funding Source: Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, Psychosocial Research (PSR) Grant
Project Period: 04/30/24-04/29/26
Project Goals: Our research team at Washington University in St. Louis and Shirley Ryan Ability Lab will adapt, further develop, and pilot test a 12-week self-management short message service (SMS) intervention using mobile phones to improve the psychosocial health of persons with spinal cord injury (PwSCI). The purpose of the project is to further develop (Aim 1) and adapt (Aim 2) an mHealth intervention for persons with a disability targeted at one specific secondary health condition (SHC), fatigue, previously developed by the research team.


Benjamin Philip, PhD

Project Title: Interhemispheric Communication and Compensation in Peripheral Nerve Injury
Principal Investigator: Benjamin Philip, PhD
Funding Source: NIH NINDS R01NS114046
Project Period: 12/15/20-11/30/25
Project Goals: Our short-term goal is to identify interhemispheric mechanisms that support left hand compensation (both performance and use), and determine whether the mechanisms arise from cortical asymmetry for movement (i.e. hand dominance). This will provide the foundation for our long-term goal to develop and target therapies to improve LH compensation for patients who face challenges to rehabilitation due to chronic RH impairment. Aim 1: Identify the interhemispheric mechanisms that support LH performance after RH injury. Aim 2: Identify the interhemispheric mechanisms that support increased usage of the LH after RH injury. Aim 3: Determine whether the interhemispheric mechanism arises from cortical asymmetry.


Lindsay Spell, OTD, OTR/L

Project Title: Asthma Home Occupation-based Modified Environmental Assessment (HOME): A Pilot Study
Principal Investigator: Lindsay Spell, OTD, OTR/L
OT Mentor: Kelly Harris, PhD, CCC-SLP
Funding Source: American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Nancy Talbot Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
Project Period: 02/01/2024-1/31/2025
Project Goals: The aims of this proposal are to (1) adapt an existing asthma home environmental assessment and develop appropriate implementation strategies, and (2) assess the acceptability, usability, and preliminary effectiveness of the adapted assessment and aligned implementation strategies (Asthma HOME program). Achieving these aims will reduce healthcare utilization and improve academic outcomes and participation for youth with asthma and provide preliminary data to inform a large-scale randomized control trial to assess the implementation of the Asthma HOME assessment program and support the development of a service model for the automated identification and referral of youth with high-risk asthma.


Susy Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Project Title: Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences -Hub Research Capacity Component- Integrating Special Populations (ISP) (Subproject)
Principal Investigator: William Powderly, MD (WU)
OT Investigator: Susy Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Sub Project Co-Lead
Funding Source: US NIH/NCATS UL1TR002345
Project Period: 3/01/22-2/28/27

Project Title: Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences, Clinical Translational Science Award Training Core
Principal Investigator: Jay Piccirillo, MD, FACS
OT Investigator: Susy Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, TL1 Associate Lead
Funding Source: US NIH/NCATS TL1TR002344
Project Period: 3/01/22-2/28/27

Project Title: FALLS: A Marker of Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease
Contact Principal Investigator: Susy Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Other Principal Investigator: Beau M. Ances, MD, PhD, MSc
Funding Source: NIH/NIA R01AG057680
Project Period: 8/15/18-4/30/25

Project Title: Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center/ Research Education Component
Principal Investigator: John C. Morris, MD
OT Investigator: Susy Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Funding Source: US NIH P30AG066444
Project Period: 05/15/20-04/30/25
Project Goals: The goal of the Knight Alzheimer Disease Research Center Research Education Component is to provide a one-stop training center for comprehensive Alzheimer disease and related dementias research training for individuals along the training pipeline, including underrepresented minorities, and the development of a team of well-trained, highly effective mentors.

Project Title: Successful Aging in Place: PACE and Washington University
Principal Investigator: Susy Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Co-Investigator: Stacy West-Bruce, OTD, MSW, OTR/L
Funding Source: Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences (WU ICTS) and the Institute of Public Health (IPH): Partnership Development & Sustainability Support (PDSS) Funding Program
Project Period: 6/1/22-8/31/24
This partnership development award between the new New Horizons’ Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) (Dr. Williams) and the Stark Lab at Washington University (Drs. Stark and West-Bruce) aims to identify unmet needs among PACE participants. It will seek to test and develop innovative programming focused on reducing barriers in the community to promote successful aging in place.


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