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Research at Harborview Medical Center

Here we list some of the current projects being performed by faculty in the Harborview section of the Division of General Internal Medicine. 

Dr. Dedra Buchwald

Regional Native American Community Networks Program
This program uses community-based participatory methods to increase cancer education activities among American Indians/Alaska Natives communities to become partners in cancer-related investigations; enhance cancer training opportunities for Native researchers; and conduct community-based research on key cancer disparities. Our research projects use new and innovative media to reduce cancer-related health disparities among Native people in the Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho region and the Dakotas.

Center for Native Population Health Disparities
This project pursues 5 interwoven research projects on cancer in Native populations including the study of nicotine metabolism; a preventive intervention for cervical cancer among Hopi females; an intervention using digital stories to increase colorectal cancer screening; intervention to reduce environmental tobacco smoke; and a study of surgical treatment and outcomes in lung, prostate, breast, or colorectal cancer.

Cerebrovascular Disease and its Consequences in the Strong Heart Study Cohort
The aims of this study are to estimate the prevalence and quantify the extent of cerebrovascular disease defined by brain MRI findings, assess the relations of demographic, lifestyle, clinical, and laboratory risk factors with prevalent MRI-defined cerebrovascular disease, and document the strength of associations of MRI-defined cerebrovascular disease with cognitive impairment, motor deficits, and depressive symptoms.


Dr. Paul Crane

Alzeheimer’s Disease Patient Registry (ADPR)
The Adult Changes of Thought (ACT) study’s goals are to advance understanding of factors associated with late life brain outcomes of dementia, cognitive decline, and fixed and frozen findings at autopsy. Dr. Crane is PI of the very large UW subcontract; he wrote the bulk of the funded proposal.

Patient reported outcomes in routine clinical care of patients infected with HIV
The goals of this project are to evaluate the validity of Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) Measurement Information System (PROMIS) scales for patients with HIV, and to integrate PRO assessment into routine clinical care. Dr. Crane is one of three PIs of the study.

English and Spanish assessment of cognition in elderly
The goals of this project are to further develop and establish the validity of the Spanish and English Neuropsychological Assessment Scales (SENAS). Dr. Crane directs analyses of differential item functioning in the SENAS Scales.


Dr. Graham Nichol

Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) Data Coordinating Center
The aims of this project are 1) to develop and implement a clinical trials consortium to simultaneously study
patients with OOH-CA and LTI by providing collaboration, coordination, administration and support to
regional clinical centers, sponsors and oversight bodies, 2) to develop and implement procedures to rapidly
design and implement a series of high-quality randomized trials that have optimal internal and external
validity, and 3) to rapidly disseminate the methods and the results of these trials to the research and clinical
practice community so as to improve resuscitation outcomes.

Mild hypothermia for resuscitated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients
The goal of this study is to assess the effectiveness of intravenous cold saline in patients resuscitated from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Cascade Cardiac Resuscitation System
This is funding support for the start-up costs associated with implementing Phase II.  The goal of the overall program is to implement and maintain a statewide cardiac resuscitation system of care to monitor and improve care processes and outcome for patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.


Dr. Thomas Rea

See also: Medic One

South King County Medic One Program Medical Director
Dr. Rea serves as King County Medic One Program Medical Director and has direct responsibility for the medical performance of the paramedics and acts as liaison between paramedics and the local medical community.

Human Genetic Variation and Ventricular Fibrillation Resuscitation Outcomes
The specific aims of the proposal are to examine the association of cardiac and brain resuscitation outcomes of ventricular fibrillation with common genetic variation in candidate genes in pathways related to the three phases of resuscitation - electrical, hemodynamic, and metabolic phases.

Program for Integration of Technology and Cardiac Arrest Resuscitation
The specific aims of the proposal are to advance the role of technology to improve sudden cardiac arrest care and outcomes.


Dr. Ellen Schur

A twin study of obesity pathogenesis using fMRI
Studies how the brain regulation of appetite may be altered by genetic and/or environmental risk factors for obesity.

Stimulation of satiety by GLP-1: a neuroimaging approach
Uses functional MRI to establish the effect of a meal on brain response to food cues and the role of GLP-1 in meal-related satiety.

A brain imaging approach for identifying hormonal mechanisms underlying satiety
Studies the effect of GLP-1 on satiety perception using functional magnetic resonance imaging.


Dr. Shin-Ping Tu

Center for Native Population Health Disparities
Project 3: Using Digital Stories to Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening in Native Americans
This study aims to improve rates of colorectal cancer screening among urban American Indians/Alaska Natives by developing a culturally appropriate educational intervention using digital stories. We will compare the intervention group to a control group to gauge the effectiveness of our approach and guide future interventions.

Northwest Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center, Project 1:
Effective Emergency Communications with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Populations
This project focuses on identification of barriers to utilizing phone-based emergency communication and response systems to reach vulnerable limited English proficient (LEP) communities.

Extending Emergency Response Skills to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Communities
The purpose of this project focuses on investigation of effective communication strategies for dissemination of CPR instructions to LEP communities.


Dr. Victor VanHee

Gene-air pollution interactions and cardiac structure and function in MESA and CHS
This study will identify ways in which air pollution might affect heart diseases by looking at the relationship between air pollution, genes, and heart size & function in two large U.S. populations. By improving understanding of which genes influence susceptibility to the effects of air pollution, this study will suggest methods to prevent air pollution-induced cardiovascular diseases.