Jyoti Mishra, PhD
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a global disorder prevalent in 5% of children worldwide. It is associated with poor academic performance and school dropout and further foretells poor overall life quality that persists into adulthood. Pharmacological treatments that are the standard of care in ADHD do not address the underlying neuro-cognitive problems in these children, and have many long-term side-effects. Extant behavioral interventions are expensive and non-scalable. Here, we address the urgent need to develop scalable and effective solutions that are accessible to our global children struggling with ADHD. In our research, we have successfully translated digital interventions that enhance neuro-cognition to children with ADHD in a global health setting. These app-based interventions are accessible from any home computer or smartphone. In this project, we will conduct a fully-remote global trial that integrates parent-child paired digital attention training, with parallel participant enrollment in the United States and India.
Victor Lopez Del Amo, PhD and Xuechun Feng, PhD
Screening Hispanic/Latino Patients for Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease using Butterfly iQ Point-of-Care Ultrasound: A Pilot Project
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease, particularly among patients of Hispanic/Latino heritage, and can result in significant morbidity if not promptly recognized. This study aims to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the Butterfly iQ point-of-care ultrasound device as a screening tool for the detection of NAFLD in Hispanic/Latino patients using MRI proton-density fat fraction as a reference standard. Hispanic/Latino patients scheduled for outpatient abdominal MRI exams will be concurrently scanned using the Butterfly iQ device, and the presence or absence of hepatic steatosis as determined by ultrasound will be compared with quantitative measurements of liver fat using MRI. These ultrasound images will also be used to develop an AI algorithm for the detection of hepatic steatosis; this study hopes to demonstrate the viability of an AI-augmented point-of-care ultrasound program to screen for NAFLD among Hispanic/Latino patients in resource-limited settings.
Culex mosquitoes are vectors of multiple arboviruses including West Nile, Japanese Encephalitis, Western and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and St. Louis Encephalitis Viruses, as well as nematodes causing lymphatic filariasis, the Plasmodium causing avian malaria and possibly Zika virus. The current primary control strategies rely heavily on chemicals, however, the rapid development of insecticide resistance in Culex quinquefasciatus makes it urgent to explore novel strategies. CRISPR gene-drive technologies emerged as a promising tool for mosquito population control. A key advantage is that this system would only require the release of a few engineered individuals to either suppress or modify a target population. The goal of this project is to build CRISPR tools and test a proof-of-concept gene drive system in Culex mosquitoes which has not been demonstrated so far. The development of these technologies will provide new approaches to the available toolkit to fight vector-borne diseases.
Janis Jenkins, PhD
In this interdisciplinary study, we are working within a Southern California middle school setting to gain an understanding of diverse cultural conceptions and practices in relation to well-being. We employ multiple methods in English and in Spanish, including ethnographic interviews and observations, as well as psychological screening questionnaires to gain the perspectives of a range of community members, including students, families, teachers, administrators at a culturally diverse middle school in which most of the students are classified by the school district as socioeconomically disadvantaged. We are pilot testing a brief meditation technique application called MoodmAPP. Hypothesized positive effects for academic, emotional well being, and social engagement status that include reduction in commonly occurring types of distress such as anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, or inattention. Knowledge from the study will be shared with school and community groups.