X-Grant Program

Opioid project moves to final round of the X-Grants

Proposal to study the opioid epidemic and intervention approaches moves to the final stage
April 11, 2019

A project to study the opioid epidemic and help mitigate opioid use disorder has been selected to submit final proposals in this year’s X-Grant Program.

The X-Grants, an interdisciplinary research program, is part of the Texas A&M President’s Excellence Fund. The goal of the program is to unlock creative and imaginative ideas to address problems in areas that will significantly impact the most important challenges facing global society. This mix of smaller awards and larger-scale collaborative research awards will share $7 million among Texas A&M researchers.

The project that will submit a final proposal is led by Marcia Ory, PhD, MPH, associate vice president of strategic partnerships and initiatives, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, chair of Opioid Task Force, associate dean of research and Regents and Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health. The research project, Predicting and preventing opioid misuse through innovative technologies and care models: A transdisciplinary collaboratory, involves a team of faculty members from the College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and School of Public Health, along with the College of Engineering, College of Science, Mays Business School and Public Policy Research Institute.

The researchers hope to use the grant to form the foundation for research in three interrelated areas: the driving factors and magnitude of the epidemic, prediction of those with or at risk of opioid use disorder, and multifaceted intervention approaches to decrease opioid overprescribing and inappropriate use.

The team will present their proposal at a public forum April 25, 2019.

Members of the team from the Health Science Center include Joy P Alonzo, M. Engineering, PharmD, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy; Mark E. Benden, PhD, CPE, department head, School of Public Health; Gang Han, PhD, associate professor, School of Public Health; Carly McCord, PhD, clinical research assistant professor, College of Medicine; Ranjana Mehta, PhD, adjunct professor, School of Public Health; Matthew Smith, PhD, MPH, CHES, associate professor, School of Public Health; and Lixian Zhong, PhD, assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy.

A number of other Health Science Center faculty members are members and co-leaders of teams moving forward. For a complete list, visit https://www.tamhsc.edu/academics/faculty/x-grants.html

— Christina Sumners

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