ECU recognizes dental faculty for funded projects

Dr. Linda May, Dr. Mark Moss, Dr. Brian Muzyka and Dr. Wanda Wright were honored at ECU’s Research and Scholarship Awards Ceremony on March 2, 2020, for their recently funded projects over $100K. The event, sponsored by the ECU Division of Research, Economic Development and Engagement (REDE), also recognized ECU faculty for Lifetime Achievement, 5-Year Achievement, Scholarship of Engagement, Coastal Scholarship and Invention.

Linda E. May, PhD, MS, FAHA

Primary Investigator: Linda May, PhD, MS, FAHA, Associate Professor
Research Title: ENHANCED By Mom
Sponsor: American Heart Association, Funded $200,000

Primary Objective: This is the first study to assess functional and metabolic changes due to maternal exercise in the skeletal muscle of offspring via stem cells and neuromotor skills. The work is significant since it documents how exercise during pregnancy influences the child’s skeletal muscle development and overall cardiovascular risk. The findings will have a significant impact on United States public health regarding heart disease and obesity prevention during pregnancy.

Mark Moss, DDS, PhD

Primary Investigator: Mark Moss, DDS, PhD, Associate Professor
Research Title: Implementation Coaching for School-based Oral Health Expansion Project.
Sponsor: Duke Endowment, two-year project, Funded $493,800
Primary Objective

Primary Objective: Faculty provides technical assistance to 16 school-based oral health expansion programs funded in North Carolina by the Duke Endowment. The primary role is that of coaching for success. There are two phases that are part of the funding – a 6-month Readiness Phase and a 3-year Implementation Phase. Dental faculty work closely with the grantees to accomplish planning and implementation around 15 key domains that are hallmarks of successful school-based programs. These include activities that relate to working with the schools, development of a care plan for service delivery and development of a business plan that tracks impact and leads to sustainability so that the project can continue after the funding ends.

Primary Investigator: Brian Muzyka, DMD, MS, MBA, Associate Professor
Research Title: Reduction in Oral Mucositis with Avasopasem Manganese (GC4419) – Phase 3 Trial in Patients Receiving Chemoradiotherapy for Locally-Advanced, Non-Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer
Sponsor: Galera Therapeutics, Funded $215,814

Primary Objective: This is a phase 3 multi-centered clinical drug trial to assess the effect of intravenously (IV) administered GC4419 on the incidence and severity of severe oral mucositis (SOM) in people receiving chemotherapy with cisplatin plus radiation therapy (Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy, IMRT) for locally advanced, non-metastatic squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity or oropharynx. CG4419 is designed to convert superoxide caused by radiation therapy to hydrogen peroxide, which is then converted to oxygen and water. As a result, GC4419 significantly reduce the immediate and long-term radiation damage to normal tissue.

Wanda Wright, RN, DDS, MS, MSD

Primary Investigator: Wanda Wright, RN, DDS, MS, MSD, Assistant Professor
Research Title: Bertie County School-Based Oral Preventive Program
Sponsor: Duke Endowment, two-year project, Funded $400,000

Primary Objective: The ratio of dentists-to-population in Bertie County, North Carolina, is very low with only one or two licensed dentists for a population of approximately 21,000 people. The grant supports ECU dental faculty and dental hygienists in offering preventive oral health care to all students in public elementary and middle schools in Bertie County, including comprehensive exams, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride varnish application and sealants. The program also connects children and families with a dental home at the ECU School of Dental Medicine’s community service learning center in Ahoskie, N.C.