Research and Scholarship

April 6, 2021

Dr. Nathan Culmer, assistant professor at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, and Dr. Todd Smith, assistant professor at UA’s Capstone College of Nursing, will share a $918,948 grant award aimed at improving the provision of health care in rural Alabama. Funding from the USDA Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant will be used to connect 23 ambulances and seven hospitals in eight rural counties in West-Central Alabama. Culmer said the project seeks to create a network of ambulances equipped with telemedicine services to relay patient data to emergency medicine physicians and provide more efficient care for patients. The USDA provided a total of $42 million via 86 awards in states across the country through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant program. The program benefits rural residents by helping education and health-care entities remotely reach students, patients and outside expertise. Rural communities often experience poorer health outcomes among their residents because of difficulty accessing medical care.

Dr. Ravikumar Majeti, professor at The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, was awarded a $1.83 million grant to investigate Urolithin A nanoparticle therapy for acute kidney injury. The grant from the National Institutes of Health is for five years, beginning April 2021 and ending March 2026. Majeti leads a team of biomedical sciences researchers that CCHS, in partnership with UA’s Office for Research and Economic Development and Alabama Life Research Institute, recruited to UA and the College late last year. The team has major NIH grant funding, a solid track record in oral drug discovery and will propel basic sciences and translational research at the College. “CCHS has historically done clinical and community-based participatory research,” said Dr. Martha Crowther, CCHS associate dean for Research and Health Policy. “Now we’re adding basic sciences research. It helps us as a College take what we’re seeing clinically and use it to improve outcomes.” CCHS operates University Medical Center, the largest community medical practice in West Alabama with locations in Tuscaloosa, Northport, Demopolis and Fayette.