Imagine if scientists developed a customizable cancer vaccine that was available — and affordable — for everyone. What if a patient scheduled for surgery also had the option of taking a pill whose composition includes nanorobotics capable of performing the procedure?
These and other medical scenarios may seem far-fetched and better suited to a science fiction thriller. However, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) is seeking to take such ideas from the drawing board to the patient, and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) will be part of the effort.
Established as part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in March 2022 and armed with a $1 billion budget for three years, ARPA-H is a federal funding agency that supports high-impact research capable of driving biomedical and health breakthroughs that can deliver transformative, sustainable and equitable health solutions for everyone. Its mission focuses on leveraging research advances for real world impact.
The model under which ARPA-H operates empowers visionary program managers to tackle a specific problem. To do so, program managers work with a range of partners using various approaches to solve that problem, and measurement and evaluation procedures are included throughout the process. All of this collaboration is made possible through one of three regional ARPA-H Customer Experience Hubs that comprise the nationwide ARPANET-H Health Innovation Network.
Lance R. McMahon, Ph.D., TTUHSC senior vice president for research and innovation, said ARPA-H membership will greatly facilitate the university’s ability to achieve its vision of transforming health care through innovation and collaboration, explaining that TTUHSC’s membership as a spoke of the Dallas-based ARPA-H Customer Experience Hub will robustly connect the rural communities of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico to world-class research and development in health care.
“TTUHSC is a critical access point for health care across a vast region, and ARPA-H membership will allow our communities to inform the most cutting-edge research and development in health innovation,” McMahon said. “Our spoke membership gives West Texas a voice in shaping health care innovations.”
TTUHSC is a member of the Customer Experience Hub (consortium) located at Pegasus Park in Dallas and operated by a Consortium Management Firm. The Dallas consortium unites under one centralized umbrella the capabilities from hub partners, known as spokes, located in Austin, Houston, North Texas and San Antonio.
“We wanted access to the exciting health care solutions being developed through ARPA-H, and they wanted TTUHSC in order to learn from and tailor health care advances to the communities we serve,” McMahon added.
With the addition of TTUHSC, the Dallas consortium currently includes 133 spokes representing the cancer research industry. Spokes are specialized entities whose capabilities, innovation, research and development and population access help to drive health outcomes. Spokes include for-profit and non-profit organizations, small scale businesses, government entities and academic institutions. TTUHSC is one of 14 academic partner spokes participating in the Dallas consortium.
Spokes are considered to be either performers (technology developers) or stakeholders (those impacted by new technologies), and all are eligible to compete for any work that is conducted through the consortium.
Min H. Kang, Pharm.D., associate director of the TTUHSC School of Medicine Cancer Center and a professor in the school’s Department of Pediatrics, said the ARPANET-H hub seeks to create a diverse health innovation network that uses a unique but necessary approach to reach diverse patient populations.
“As a member, TTUHSC has an opportunity to submit a proposal to the ARPANET-H hub in Dallas to be the center of the health innovation network in the West Texas area to represent the patients in the region,” Kang said. “Membership also accelerates our access to breakthrough technologies, platforms and innovative products and services for patients in the region.”
Due to geographic location and other related barriers, patients in West Texas often are excluded from nationwide clinical studies. Kang said ARPA-H membership will allow TTUHSC to break through those barriers and bring innovative clinical studies and health care measures for target prevention, treatment and diagnostic needs to West Texas patients.
“With ARPA-H support, we will have a better understanding of the patients in our region by characterizing the genetic properties of their diseases at an individual level and as a diverse group,” Kang said. “This will not only enhance the understanding of the disease, but also enable the matching of patients to nationwide clinical trials at our sites.”
In addition to improving patients’ clinical trials access, McMahon said spoke membership also is providing TTUHSC faculty a platform and voice to shape the overall development of the ARPA-H network.
“We have faculty who will propose grand health innovations to ARPA-H for potential funding,” McMahon said. “ARPA-H funding is considerable, and these proposals, if funded, have the potential to revolutionize health care delivery to our patients in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico.”
Almost US$7 trillion per year in government subsidies and private investment - around 7 per cent of global GDP - has a direct negative impact on nature.
Nature-based solutions remain dramatically underfunded. Current public and private finance flows are only US$200 billion per year. To meet climate, biodiversity, and restoration targets, this needs to triple by 2030 and quadruple by 2050.
Realignment of public and private nature-negative finance flows is urgently needed
Dubai, 9 December 2022 – Close to $7 trillion is invested globally each year in activities that have a direct negative impact on nature from both public and private sector sources - equivalent to ...
Tokyo, Japan – Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have measured how oxygenated hemoglobin levels in the blood change in infants’ brains in response to touch. Using spectroscopy methods with external sensors placed on the scalp of sleeping infants, they found that the time at which levels peak doesn’t change with infant age, but the amount by which it varies over time does. Insights like this shed light on how the physiology of infants develop.
The first phase of a newborn’s life is a dazzling array of rapid developmental ...
Which charities will be most effective in ensuring your donation is put to good use? For the first time in the Netherlands, researchers applied scientific methods to pinpoint which charities achieve the most with the donations they receive. The University of Amsterdam and Stichting Doneer Effectief (Donate Effectively Foundation) unveiled the list on Friday, 8 December, during a sold out evening in Rotterdam. ‘We are talking about the Champions League of good causes,’ says professor of Philanthropy & Sustainable Investment Paul Smeets of the University of Amsterdam. The ranking ...
The shimmering green, red and purple curtains of the northern and southern lights — the auroras — may be the best-known phenomena lighting up the nighttime sky, but the most mysterious are the mauve and white streaks called Steve and their frequent companion, a glowing green "picket fence."
First recognized in 2018 as distinct from the common auroras, Steve — a tongue-in-cheek reference to the benign name given a scary hedge in a 2006 children's movie — and its associated picket fence were nevertheless thought to be caused by the same physical processes. But scientists were left scratching their heads about how these glowing emissions ...
The High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) to the High Energy Physics program of the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation’s Division of Physics has released a new Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) report, which outlines particle physicists’ recommendations for research priorities in a field whose projects — such as building new accelerator facilities — can take years or decades, contributions from thousands of scientists, and billions of dollars.
The 2023 P5 report represents the major activity in the field of particle physics that ...
CHAPEL HILL, NC — Eating food and absorbing its nutrients is an everyday occurrence, but this normal activity can look different for someone who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease. IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, can cause chronic inflammation of the digestive tract – which for many reasons can lead to malnutrition. This malnourished state is associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, and new findings show that many patients in IBD clinic screen positive for malnutrition, leading to the critical need for same-day ...
The following news release on the 2023 Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) report is based on one issued today by the American Physical Society (APS) with added content specific to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory. For more information about Brookhaven Lab’s research in particle physics, contact: Karen McNulty Walsh, email@example.com, (631) 344-8350. For APS media inquiries, contact Anna Torres, firstname.lastname@example.org, (301) 209-3605.
STARKVILLE, Miss.––A Mississippi State University anthropologist’s bioarchaeological analysis and bone samples from ancient Roman burial sites were crucial in the development of new research regarding Roman and Balkan migration featured this week in Cell, a prestigious peer-reviewed journal.
Anna Osterholtz, an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures, provided her research on the “lived experiences” of the Romans in Croatia. She currently works closely with museum ...
But when those batteries – heart muscle cells called cardiomyocytes − short circuit and die, the damage can be devastating. The damage to the heart muscle is usually permanent, leaving the heart unable to pump the way it should.
That’s the subject of a new study by a team that includes two USF Health doctors who reported their findings in Circulation, the flagship journal of the American Heart Association.
“An injury like a heart attack creates a massive loss of cardiomyocytes, and you can’t renew them,’’ said Da-Zhi Wang, PhD, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine in the USF Health Heart Institute and Morsani College ...
In 2014, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry celebrated the breakthroughs in super-resolution microscopy, a technology that allows us to capture highly detailed images of small parts of cells using fluorescent microscopy. Despite its success, the resolution of super-resolution microscopy still can’t show tiny distances between organelles in cells. This gap is where Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Biomedical Computer Vision intersect, as researchers from SFU Computing Science and UBC School of Biomedical Engineering and Life Sciences Institute reveal how AI enhances super-resolution microscopy ...