Winners of the 2022 CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants announced

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and NYC Health + Hospitals have announced the 2022 awardees of the CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants, an initiative to support collaborative, interdisciplinary COVID-19 research that will address both the pandemic and root causes of health disparities in New York City. Each winner will receive up to $25,000 to support their research project funded by Icahn Mount Sinai.

The CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants, which were launched last year, will support new COVID-19 research, with an emphasis on projects related to disease control for large communities, informatics and decision support systems, addressing structural racism and social determinants of health, translational science research, and evidence-based interventions and policies. The projects will also address the long-term effects of COVID-19, social and environmental determinants of COVID-19, and maternal and child health related to COVID-19.

We are delighted to support the second cohort of research studies under the CURE-19 collaboration with NYC Health + Hospitals to continue groundbreaking research addressing the impact of COVID-19. The pandemic continues to exacerbate longstanding social, economic, and health inequities for vulnerable communities in New York City and around the world. The CURE-19 Research Pilot Grants help us develop and expand innovations that address these challenges. Ultimately, they will enhance equitable care and strengthen our pandemic response for the most vulnerable.”

Rachel C. Vreeman, MD, MS, CURE-19 Co-Director, Chair of the Department of Global Health and Health System Design and Director of the Arnhold Institute for Global Health

“CURE-19 holds great promise for solving several puzzles brought on by the pandemic, especially those affecting vulnerable people, including children and the underrepresented,” said CURE-19 Co-Director Joseph Masci, MD, Chair of Global Health at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at Icahn Mount Sinai. “It is a welcome addition to the resources already dedicated to these issues. The wide-ranging scope of the four research projects we are funding this year reflects both the breadth of the pandemic’s impact and the diverse ways we are working to meet the needs of our community.”

The 2022 research grant winners and their projects include:

  1. Effects of COVID-19 on Underrepresented Minority Youth: Kara S. Bagot, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Icahn Mount Sinai, and her team will identify the psychosocial and health consequences of the pandemic-;such as depression, anxiety, and substance use-;on underrepresented minority and low-socioeconomic-status youth; they will also develop intervention methods to improve social and behavioral outcomes for these high-risk groups.
  2. Impact of Structural Racism on Maternal and Child Health During COVID-19: Alison Lee, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine (Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine), and Pediatrics, at Icahn Mount Sinai, and her team will examine how structural racism-;such as segregated residential communities near environmental toxins-;can contribute to disparities in maternal and child health amid the COVID-19 pandemic; they will also study how structural racism increases the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, during pregnancy and the impact of racial/ethnic inequities on health outcomes across the course of life.
  3. Effects of Music Therapy to Treat Post-COVID Respiratory Symptoms: Joanne V. Loewy, DA, LCAT, MT-BC, Director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System, and her team will assess the effectiveness of clinical music therapy to treat adults previously diagnosed with COVID-19 who are experiencing shortness of breath; they will use live music to focus on respiratory symptoms related to breathing control and other symptoms including fatigue, sleep, depression, and anxiety, to determine the direct impact of playing wind instruments and singing to improve respiratory strength-;potentially a benefit to COVID-19 long haulers.
  4. Long-term Impact of COVID-19 on Lung Function: Muhammad Khurram Perwaiz, MD, Chief Interventional Pulmonology at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, and his team will study the recovery patterns of COVID-19 to increase awareness about the long-term effects on lung function by identifying risk factors that prohibit long-term recovery and effective therapies to treat this condition; they will also contribute to developing guidelines for effective care after hospital discharge, especially for patients within an urban community hospital in an area serving vulnerable populations.

The research pilot projects are part of a larger partnership known as the COVID-19 Unit for Research at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens (CURE-19), a collaboration between Mount Sinai’s Arnhold Institute for Global Health and NYC Health + Hospitals’ Global Health Institute that was formed during the initial peak of the pandemic in 2020. CURE-19 translates data, experiences, and lessons from clinicians at the Mount Sinai Health System, Elmhurst hospital, and Queens hospital into research to both learn and respond to the global pandemic. The Mount Sinai, Elmhurst, and Queens hospitals also have a longstanding academic affiliation agreement and joint residency programs, and have previously collaborated on training, patient care, and research. The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at Mount Sinai, which specializes in global health systems and implementation research, supports four strategic global partnerships that build more resilient health systems by leveraging academic and health system partners to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

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