Funding Opportunities

Opportunity Pool support awards and applications

Various Opportunity Pool funding awards are open to applications with the MPRINT Hub. Browse previously awarded research awards below. To apply for current funding opportunities please click here.

DMKRCC MPRINT-funded opportunity pool projects

Lead investigator
Tomoyuki Mizuno, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Babies exposed to opioids before birth often develop neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) after birth. Buprenorphine is an emerging therapy for NOWS; however, establishing optimal dosing regimens in this population remains an unmet clinical need. This pilot project will employ a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling approach to predict buprenorphine disposition in pregnant women and fetuses to evaluate the association of buprenorphine prenatal exposure with postnatal NOWS severity.

We will also investigate the effect of neonatal genetic variants on postnatal response to buprenorphine treatment. Our overarching goal is to inform postnatal buprenorphine treatment based on prenatally predicted NOWS severity and enable PK/PD and pharmacogenetics-guided buprenorphine dose tailoring.

Lead investigator
Kara M Rood, MD
Assistant Professor
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
The Ohio State University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Preeclampsia (PE) occurs in 5-8% of pregnancies and is associated with significant maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. For over decades, the role of aspirin in the primary or secondary prevention of preeclampsia has been the subject of numerous trials using a variety doses. To date, professional societies recommend use of low-dose aspirin for preeclampsia prevention in pregnant individuals at high-risk of developing the disease, but the optimal dose is unknown.

Furthermore, there are limited biomarkers available as candidates for monitoring therapeutic response to aspirin treatment in pregnant individuals at high-risk for PE, which ultimately may be used to generate desirable data to optimize aspirin dosing and improve pregnancy outcomes. Recent advancement in isolating specific extracellular vesicles (exosomes; 40–160 nm) from maternal blood and characterizing their cargo content have helped to better understand the response to therapeutic interventions.

Although diagnostic potential of exosomes has been reported, no studies have examined the response to therapeutic interventions such as different doses of aspirin on exosomes. Therefore, we are proposing this proof-of-concept, exosome profiling study to characterize the response to aspirin therapy in patients at high-risk of PE.

Using previously collected samples from over 100 high-risk patients assigned to 81 or 162mg of aspirin daily, we plan to characterize the maternal plasma proteome profile in high-risk individuals receiving different doses of daily aspirin and demonstrate that the proteome profile from patients receiving the higher dose of aspirin is more likely to mimic what is seen in low-risk control group, compared with the profile in patients receiving the lower dose of aspirin.

Lead investigator
Miranda K Kiefer, MD
Maternal-Fetal medicine Fellow
The Ohio State University School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Preeclampsia is a major complication that affects ~5-8% of pregnancies. When preeclampsia is diagnosed prior to 34 weeks gestation, continuation of pregnancy is recommended to reduce the risks of infant morbidity and mortality associated with prematurity. It is possible to prolong pregnancy in this case by controlling severely elevated blood pressures with medications such as Nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker that is first-line in pregnancy. Little is known about the pharmacokinetics of this drug in pregnancy despite its widespread use, nor its optimal dosing.

This is a randomized controlled unblinded trial comparing the rates of elevated blood pressure between individuals on Nifedipine XL 60mg daily to 30mg twice daily in patients admitted for expectant management of severe preeclampsia. Secondarily, we are assessing the pharmacokinetic measures of Nifedipine in pregnancy by analyzing nifedipine concentations in plasma at different timepoints after Nifedipine XL administration.