TRI Updates

July 2016 | Inaugural Project Updates

In 2016, the TRI External Advisory Board will review submitted projects quarterly and hear updates on funded TRI projects. Following the May meeting, the physician-scientists from the inaugural awards presented their project updates. 

CD30 Targeted Molecular Imaging in Lymphoma Relapse and Real Time Therapy Response Evaluation
Principal Investigator: Meixiang Yu, PhD
Co-Investigators: Youli Zu, MD, PhD & Swaminathan P. Iyer, MD
Updates: In year 1, the investigators plan to finish their conjugation method development and undergo stability testing. They have identified a regulatory pathway and plan to begin the process of pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) documentation during the remainder of the year.

Pre-transplant TCR Clonality Assessment to Predict Post-Liver Transplant Patient Survival
Principal Investigators: R. Mark Ghobrial, MD, PhD & Xian Li, MD, PhD
Updates: In year 1, Drs. Ghobrial and Li have sent the first round of samples for analysis and are ready to begin the analysis of the regulatory pathway. In addition to this work, they have also had the Institutional Review Board approve their protocol.

An Innovative Approach to Restoration of Function in Chronic Ischemic Stroke Using a New Wearable Multifocal Brain Stimulator
Principal Investigators: Santosh Helekar, MD, PhD & David Chiu, MD
Updates: Drs. Helekar and Chiu have identified patients for study from the Eddie Scurlock Stroke Center at Houston Methodist. They began trials on July 5, and will continue their work through the coming year.

June 2016 | New TRI Project Awarded

Houston Methodist is excited to announce that Drs. Philip Horner and Gavin Britz have been awarded 2016 TRI funding for their project, Roadmap to Neuro Stimulation Induced Molecular Protective Therapy (nSIM) for Advanced Stroke Care. 

According to the American Heart Association, each year approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. Currently, the standard of care for severe stroke patients is endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation, but recent studies suggest that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) and rehabilitation is also safe for stroke patients with the potential to improve upper-limb function. 

Drs. Horner and Britz have shown that vagus nerve stimulation decreases stroke infarct volume in rat models and propose to develop a neural stimulation induced medicine therapy, or nSIM, for stroke patients. This nSIM device will be incorporated within an endotracheal tube in a manner that will not interfere with the standard-of-care procedures. 

Our investigators propose to: 1) develop a human-specific prototype of an endotracheal tube integrated with stimulating electrodes; 2) manufacture the device; and 3) implement a phase I clinical trial in a cohort of stroke patients. The ultimate goal of the project is to license the device to users.